- Nipher Middle
Kirkwood High School Racquetball Team Wins National Championships for Second Year in a Row
Kirkwood High School (KHS) boy’s and girl’s racquetball teams were crowned the Overall Team National Champions at the USA Racquetball High School Championships held last weekend in Portland, Oregon. This is the second consecutive Overall Team title as KHS was National Champs in 2022 as well. The boy’s team placed second and the girl’s team placed first. This is the first title for the girl’s team in school history and the fifth overall team title for Kirkwood.
“We flew to Portland and the kids played amazing," Coach Dan Whitley said. "Despite being in a new environment, they played with high intensity and poise. They supported one another and played as a team, exemplifying the players they have been all season. We are so proud of the way they represented Kirkwood High School and our community on a national stage.”
“It was an emotional and epic week of racquetball," Coach Daniel Witt said. "Our team stuck together and pushed each other to the finish line.”
Kirkwood was represented by 55 student athletes in the tournament, showcasing the program’s depth. The team was led by four seniors named as USA Racquetball All-Americans: Avery Opperman, Gabbie Roseman, Sam Neunreiter, and Zach West. Gabbie Roseman placed second in #1 Singles, first in #1 Doubles, and second in #1 Mixed Doubles. Gabbie made history as the first player from Missouri to reach the finals of all three girls divisions (Singles, Doubles, & Mixed Doubles). Avery Oppermann placed second in #2 Singles, first in #1 Doubles, and first in #2 Mixed Doubles. Zach West placed third in #1 Doubles and second in #1 Mixed Doubles. Sam Neunreiter placed third in #1 Doubles and first in #2 Mixed Doubles. In addition, Mia Risch (junior) won a National Title at #3 Singles, #3 Mixed Doubles, and #2 Doubles. Timmy Market (senior) won a National Title at #3 Mixed Doubles. Margaret McPheeters (junior) won a National Title at #2 Doubles. Charlie Vonder Brugge (sophomore) won a National Title at #4 Singles.
Missouri High School Racquetball League (MOHSRA) State Championships
Kirkwood High School won both the Girls and Boys Varsity State Championships February 22-26 at Vetta Sports Concord. This is only the second time in the league's 43-year history that the same school has won both titles. This was the second Girls State Title for Kirkwood (the other being 2002), and the first State Title for the Boys Varsity Team, capping off an undefeated 10-0 season.
The following students won State Titles at their respective seeds: Gabbie Roseman (State Champion at #1 Singles); Avery Oppermann (State Champion at #2 Singles); Emily Butler (State Champion at #3 Singles); Mia Risch (State Champion at #4 Singles); Timmy Markee (State Champion at #3 Singles); Harry Bogatko (State Champion at #5 Singles); and Tyler Kraichely and John Vonder Bruegge (State Champions at Varsity Doubles).