Players & Coaches of the Year


Adrenna Snipes


Marquette Catholic’s Adrenna Snipes averaged 17.9 points per game as a freshman to earn honors as the 2018-19 Telegraph Small-Schools Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Snipes led the Explorers in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots during a 21-10 season that earns her 2018-19 Telegraph Small-Schools Girls Basketball Player of the Year honors. The Alton resident also considered attending high school at Alton High or Civic Memorial, but chose Marquette because “I thought it was a better fit for me,” Snipes said.

Gracie Piar
Gracie Piar

ALTON - “High school golf is a lot shorter, so I prepared myself by hitting a bunch of irons off the tee,” Piar said. “I didn’t hit too many drivers this year, because of how short the yardage is, and I practiced a lot on my short game as well.”

Piar recorded her second hole-in-one earlier this summer on the first hole at Spencer T. Olin in Alton. Her first career ace — at age 12 — also came at Olin on hole No. 5.

Piar has lowered her handicap to 1.8 this year. “My strokes have dropped, probably, five or six,” said Piar, whose low round of 68 came last fall in a practice round for the regional at Roland Barkau in Okawville.                                                                                                              read more...

PREP YEAR IN REVIEW: Small-Schools Girls Golf Coach

Deb Walsh

ALTON — Marquette Catholic Explorers girls golf got back to state in 2018 for the first time since making its first trip in 2000.

That postseason journey began in Okawville with what Explorers coach Deb Walsh called “an incredible day for us.”

Marquette won its second Class 1A regional championship — the first came in 2016 — and survived the sectional in dramatic fashion to secure a state berth and earn Walsh recognition as the 2018 Telegraph Girls Golf Coach of the Year.  

Sam Cogan

ALTON — Sam Cogan took a half-hearted shot as explaining away the bloated scores from his first state tournament trip as a freshman with Marquette Catholic Explorers boys golf.

“Oh, freshmen year, state, it was cold, blah, blah, blah,” Cogan

But the Class 2A leaderboard, as far as you can scroll down from the top, had Cogan in 112th place in a state field of 112. Six strokes back of 111th place and 59 shots off the lead with a two-day score of 199. Cogan closed with a 103.
Chris Hartrich

ALTON — While Marquette Catholic’s 2018 season ended sooner than he expected, Chris Hartrich wouldn’t trade his senior year as an Explorer kicker for anything.

Now, it’s onto life without soccer.                                                                                                    

PREP YEAR IN REVIEW: Small-Schools Boys Soccer Coach 

Joe Burchett

ALTON — Joe Burchett, the 2018 Small-Schools Boys Soccer Coach of the Year, made pretty efficient use of his time as head coach at Marquette Catholic High School.

In just two seasons, Burchett guided the Explorers to a 33-9-7 record and the 2017 Class 1A state championship. In 2018, the Explorers went 16-3-4, despite being moved up from Class 1A to Class 2A because of the IHSA success factor.                                                                                              

Nick Hemann & Chris Hartich
Hemann and Hartrich
Marquette Catholic’s Nick Hemann (left) and Chris Hartrich are the 2018-19 Telegraph Small-Schools Boys Basketball Players of the Year. Both averaged 11 points a game as a senior to lead the Explorers to a 30-4 season.                                                                                                                                                               read more...

PREP YEAR IN REVIEW: Small-Schools Boys Basketball Coach

Steve Medford
Marquette Catholic coach Steve Medford instructs his team during a timeout in the Southwestern Class 2A Regional title game in Piasa. The Explorers won the regional and finished 30-4 to earn Medford a fourth consecutive Telegraph Small-Schools Boys Basketball Coach of the Year award.                                                       read more...

Keep checking back for additional winners! 

Greg Shashack,   and Pete Hayes,
Photos by Billy Hurst