Winter sports’ top underclassmen

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John Flanegin

While many of RBHS’s underclassmen may be a decade and a half or so older than 2016, they resemble each other in more ways than one, youthful, full of promise, and with plenty of time to show their worth, here are just a few of the most successful underclassmen to exhibit their abilities this winter.
[heading size=”14″]Wrestling – Don Hammers, 10[/heading] While only in his second year on the mat, Hammers has proven to be one of the brightest stars on a the Bruins wrestling team. Equipped with exceptional strength and deceivingly quick feet, the sophomore has been consistently winning in the 220 pound weight class, earning a second place finish at the Marshall Tournament held on Jan. 16.
Hammers has also earned himself his fair share of impressive victories, including a 7-4 decision over Hickman’s Elijah Crum, who is currently ranked sixth in the state for Class 4, according to missouriwrestling.com. Although nursing a minor tear to his posterior cruciate ligament, Hammers will be a possible state qualifier when the Class 4 District 3 Tournament begins at Nixa High School Feb. 12.
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Photo by Cassi Viox 
[heading size=”14″]Girls’ Basketball – Katey Klucking, 10[/heading] It didn’t take long for the 5’8” guard to prove that she had a knack for scoring as she dropped 18 points and led all scorers against Kickapoo on Dec. 4 in the Norm Stewart Classic early in the Lady Bruins’ season.
Since then, Klucking has remained a steadfast option for the squad when they need a bucket, often finishing as one of the Lady Bruins’ top scorers. Klucking, however, is most notably known for her physical presence on defense, constantly diving for loose balls and putting her body on the line when the Lady Bruins are looking for a much needed stop. And with the graduation of senior guard Bri Ellis right around the corner, Klucking’s ability to score at will and play lockdown defense will play an even bigger part in RBHS’s overall makeup in the 2016-17 season
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Photo by Devesh Kumar
[heading size=”14″]Swimming – Bettie Logan, 10[/heading] It was quite the freshman season for Logan, who as part of the 200-yard medley relay team, helped buoy the RBHS girls’ swim team to their second state title in school history and showed her worth individually in the 50-yard freestyle where she placed sixth.
This year, Logan has fared just as crucial, if not more so for the Lady Bruins in competition, and has qualified for state in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke as well as the 400-yard freestyle relay. The sophomore, however, will be most keen at capturing a title in the 50 free, an event where she was ranked sixth in the whole of the nation in the 14-year-old age group two years ago by USA Swimming.
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Photo by Caitlynn Noltie