By Fred Liggett
The final record for the 2018 Summit Christian Academy Eagles football team was 11-3. How they compiled that record and the feats of their best player has area sports fans talking well after the final whistle was blown on the season.
The Eagles put up big numbers all season long to overcome opponents and win the Crossroads Conference on the way to an impressive playoff run. Thanks to scoring over 60 points on two different occasions and seven times scoring over 40 points in a game the Eagles were able to run away from their competition the majority of the season. In fact in their only two losses during the regular season the Eagles lost both times by just two points. Those losses came to Skyline and Pembroke Hill. On Friday, Nov. 16th in their last game the Eagles were eliminated from state playoffs with a 41-14 road loss at Lathrop.
A large part of the Eagles success this past year was thanks to a “special young man” as described by head football coach Tom Berck. This young man is Josh McConnell who, off the field, has applied for entry into the Air Force Academy. McConnell’s family has a history at the academy as Josh’s dad played football there for longtime Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry. Josh has also applied at Washington University in St. Louis wanting to be an Aerospace Engineering major.
Coach Berck also describes his star player as a “Great leader on his team, a humble young man who is supportive to his teammates. A real gem to have in this program.” The type of season McConnell enjoyed usually brings with it some post-season honors. Coach Berck says at some point after everyone’s season is over an All-State player vote will take place. The All-State teams are voted on by the Missouri coaches where in every district has two coaches represented. Coaches cannot vote for their own kids. Summit Christians is in Class 2, District 7 at the present time.
McConnell’s season long stats are pretty impressive as he piled up 1,574 yards and 31 touchdowns after the team’s first 10 games. McConnell also was credited with 73 tackles and two interceptions. Special teams play also kept McConnell on the field as he was 28 of 29 with point after kicks and was successful in his only field goal attempt. Coach Berck “Hopes his younger kids learn work ethic from McConnell.” Berck states Josh was the “First kid at a work out or at a practice.” McConnell gained national attention for his 2018 season recently when he was named a finalist for the national private school player of the year. He is one of five finalists for this year’s award being handed out by the NAAPS.
When all the accolades and awards are done being handed out no doubt the 2018 season will go down as a Summit Christian Academy Success story.