Forget Me Not (Duerrisms for the Week of November 18th)


We live to write another day! When there is a new edition of DUERRISMS (presented as always by our fine friends at SLEEP TIGHT) in mid-November, that means the Tri-States is doing something right in local sports. And there has been a lot of good something so far this Fall. Three State Championships and counting to this point, thanks to Payson Seymour Volleyball joining the Canton and Bowling Green Softball squads in the Winner’s Circle. Heck, I was convinced midway through Saturday’s Class 2A Title Match that QND was going to shock the Spikes World as well. All that’s left for us is to now plot a couple of trips to Columbia for State Championship Football contests on Thanksgiving Weekend. Fingers crossed…

Keep our good friend/Weekend Sports Anchor Emeritus Nico Haeflinger in your prayers this week. His Stepfather Randy passed away this week after a long and brave battle. That’s largely the reason Nico didn’t get to spend a lot of time with us in his last few weeks of employment here. He was home with Family, as it should be.

Voting has started for KHQA Awards Week with all of our Fall (read non-football) awards on the Facebook Page ( and those polls will stay open until Thanksgiving. That said, I haven’t actually set a date for Awards Week yet with Football Season still on-going, a new weekend Sportscaster to train, and a looming trip to the Army/Navy game in early December. Depending on how those variables fall into place (believe it or not, I have already gotten a decent start on writing up the All Do or Die Football honors team) I will make a determination soon as to when we will honor all of your chosen (and our chosen) Fall Awards winners. Could be as early as November 27th. Might be as late as December 18th. Stay tuned.

Have been thinking a lot about this column of late. I was on the road this week and got approached by a gentleman who told me that I once wrote the nicest thing about his now adult Son in this space and he wanted to thank me for it. To be honest, I racked my brain and I can’t remember writing the passage in question. It got me to thinking about how many kids we’ve mentioned in this space over the last 20 years. Heck, this endeavor started before there was the word “blog” to define it way back in 1996-ish. And we’ve been here in some form or another ever since. We’ve always endeavored to make it a positive forum about our kids, but my default reaction upon posting this thing every week for more than 20 years is to hit send and then brace for the backlash. Still to this day. The “Who did I tick off this week?” reflex, if you will. That’s the funny thing about this business. Someone is always irked at you for something, regardless of your intentions. Believe me, it’s a small price to pay for this life but it is a basic truism of the job; the risk of dealing in other people’s kids as your stock and trade. Our sins in the local sports business are generally venial in nature. Misspell a name or mispronounce on air. Pay too much attention one kid, not enough to another. Predict an outcome that goes against your kid’s school or team. I’ve been “guilty” of all of them at one time or another. And I’ve heard about it. Most times good naturedly or correctively, which is always appreciated. And sometimes not. I still find it hard to believe that full grown adults with successful jobs and families get legitimately triggered because Chris Duerr picked their kid’s team to lose on a given Friday, but such is the passion of local sports. My answer to that has always been if my know-nothing opinion rubs you the wrong way, why the heck would you even read the column to begin with? But it’s never really caused me real consternation either. Goes with the territory. You post the column. Hope for a quiet week. Deal with the bruised egos or hurt feelings when they crop up and move on. Still, I find it interesting that there are people out there that love me unconditionally, as well as group of folks who despise me based on what I do for a living. It’s just kind of a weird human dynamic how one column aside written years ago that I don’t remember authoring, earned my a family’s esteem for live. But also how something I may have written years ago still to this day has people I’ve never met harboring legitimate grudges against me. True story: a couple of years ago my wife and I went to the grocery store and returned from our shopping to find a note tucked under my windshield wiper. The note went on to call me every nasty name in the book…with the post-script addressing my need to start driving an American Car as well. My wife was really upset by this and yet madder at me for thinking the whole incident was hilarious. Why aren’t you furious, she asked me? Does this guy not know or appreciate the hours you worked for his kid? And I looked at Angie and said: you are missing the point. The beauty of this whole situation is that a full grown man was so afraid of me that he left me a note, like a third grader, on my car. This couldn’t be more AWESOME. And Ang just shook her head at me and muttered her own special redacted insult at her big dumb husband. (As well she probably should, the Sainted woman) On that note, let me circle back to the greater point here: I hope you find entertainment or encouragement or enjoyment in this column every week. That’s all I am aiming for. You are allowed to disagree, dissent with my opinions. If they rub you the wrong way, but you still enjoy reading this, God Bless You for your patronage. And if I’ve really angered you with something I’ve written or something I’ve omitted, don’t be afraid to tell me about it rather than let it fester to the point you want to scrap with me in the Hy-Vee Parking Lot (until it dawns on you I am a much bigger dude than I look like from the safety of your Flat Screen and you lose your nerve. Sorry, that story will never not make me happy.) Long ago, I had a colleague in this business warn me as I was starting out, the less you engage with people in this business, the less trouble you get in. I never heeded that advice as I think the thing we (all of us in this market: TV, Newspaper, Radio) do in the Tri-States that makes Sports coverage special is get involved, share our opinions and solicit yours, and sometimes debate passionately with all of you. That’s a good thing. Sure, it’s a double-edged sword and it sometimes comes back to bite me with an angry e-mail or hurt feelings. Regrettable but a small dark lining on an otherwise gigantic silver cloud. And well worth it if you can touch at least one person’s life with your words the way I apparently did to that gentleman the other night. Getting to have the kind of impact on a Father’s life by amplifying their pride in their own kid is worth the everything else along the way.

Yours in Sports,

Chris Duerr



On Wednesdays at KHQA, we scrap the traditional format and devote our entire three minute six o'clock newscast to honoring the outstanding student athletes in Tri-State Sports. Minimum requirement to be considered for this award is a 3.5 GPA with participation in at least one sport. And you must be a High School Senior. At year's end, our independent nominating committee will choose and reward the top Male and Female from the 36 candidates appearing in our Wednesday Night honor roll with a college scholarship. If you know of a deserving candidate, you can obtain a nomination form from your High School's Athletic Director or Principal, who must sign off on the nomination for it to be considered. Or print one from the KHQA Website, but be sure to have your AD and Principal sign off on it. We don't want to miss out on introducing the Tri-States to single deserving candidate so help us put the spotlight on these amazing Young Men and Women in our communities. Plus there is a dinner banquet to honor all of our nominees in June. Please help us add to the list below. Our second (and second to last) nomination vote is set for January 8th, 2018, your next deadline to send us quality kids to honor.

2018 KHQA SAW Honorees

Week One-SIERRA ERKE, Quincy High Volleyball

Week Two-ELI TEN EYCK, Pittsfield Cross Country/Track and Field

Week Three-MICHAELA DAVIS, Keokuk Basketball/Track and Field/Volleyball

Week Four-TAYLOR KLUSMEYER, Unity Football/Basketball/Track and Field

Week Five-JOE HENDRICKER, Brown County Football/Basketball/Baseball

Week Six-JOSIE STANFORD, Payson Seymour Volleyball

Week Seven-ZEB RINEY, Clark County Football/Basketball/Baseball

Week Seven-MAYA RASHID, Holy Trinity Soccer/Volleyball



2017-KOLBY MCCLELLAND, Southeastern, Murray State

2017-CORY MILLER, Unity, John Wood Community College

2016-MARIAH BRODIE, Illini West, Illinois State

2016-DYLAN POWELL, Hannibal, Stanford

2015-MIKAELA FOECKE, Holy Trinity, Nebraska

2015-CAMERON DURST, Canton, Columbia College

2014-TYLER NIEMANN, Canton, Morehead State

2014-KATEE HINKLE, Palmyra, Bowling Green


2013-DALTON POWELL, Hannibal, Truman State

2012-ALEX WALTER, Central, Augustana

2012-TORI KUHN, QND, Quincy University

2011-JACOB CONLEY, Central, US Millitary Academy at West Point

2011-DAKOTA FLESNER, Payson, Iowa Wesleyan

2010-MICHAEL LAFFERTY, Illini West, Monmouth

2010-TAYLOR BAXTER, Palmyra, Illinois State

2009-CHLOE BARNES, QND (Ball State)

2009-MATT PATTERSON, South Shelby (Truman State)

2008-LUKE GUTHRIE, Quincy High (Illinois)

2007-KATELYN BASTERT, Illini West (Duke)





Rationale: No vote offered or needed this week. Clark County’s Super Sophomore stole the show with his two way performance against North Callaway. Most evidently, he carved up the Thunderbird Defense with his sudden burst and directed running style, to the tune of 218 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 totes. His 90 yarder (which I happened to catch from the back of the end zone, Ashton Gronewold style) shattered a scoreless tie in the second quarter at the time. To be honest, Caleb really didn’t have to do a whole lot individually on that, a credit to his incredible offensive line as the seas just kind of parted in front of him. (Interestingly, I was made privy to a conversation this weekend that revealed that West Hancock star Defensive Tackle Andy Bird has contended throughout the entirety of this season that Clark’s Offensive Line was the very best he faced. That group is incredibly undersold and the biggest reason perhaps this team is still alive) Caleb’s 28 yard Jet Sweep score however later in the second quarter was a much better measure the kid’s skill level; as his slashing, vision, and ability to weave nimbly through traffic was all put on great displayed. Caleb is weirdly sudden. To be honest, I don’t think if you watch him in isolation your realize how quick he actually is because his motion is compact and tight. Watch him relative to the people around him on the field however, and it becomes a whole different story. Actually, I think that is even more true on Defense. He gets from front to back on people as quickly as any kid I’ve seen in Northeast Missouri this season. Watching him the last two weeks against both Palmyra and North Callaway, his ability to fly up against the run is field tilting for Bryan Plenge’s defense. It wasn’t until I saw him in person, however, I realized what a good tackler he was. Go back to the OVERTIME reel on Saturday and watch his tackle for loss against Adam Reno. Caleb was disciplined enough to wait out Reno in the backfield and not get juked. But once Caleb committed, he was like a laser guided missle to Reno’s ankles, taking down the hulking tailback like he was nothing. He’s a super skilled kid and if I were a betting man, a kid most likely in the next three years to hand Clark County its first Player of the Year Award since Javis Vineyard. Heck, at the rate Caleb’s going, he might be in line for multiple wins there.

Past Winners:

Week One: KEVIN CAMPBELL, RB/DB, Hannibal (vs Helias)

Week Two: DEVIN TYNAN, RB/DB, Brown County (vs West Central)

Week Three: ALEX GULLY, RB/DB, Fort Madison (vs Central Lee)

Week Four: JOE HENDRICKER, QB, Brown County (vs Beardstown)

Week Five: DALTON CRANE, QB, Pleasant Hill/Western (vs Calhoun)

Week Six: JIREHL BROCK, RB, Quincy High (vs Rocky)

Week Seven: DARIAN DRAKE, RB/LB, Brown County (vs Triopia)

Week Eight: GABE GOODWIN, OLB, Palmyra (vs Brookfield)

Week Nine: COLE PENNEWELL, FB/LB, Monroe City (vs Palmyra)

Week Ten: CALEB GEHLE, RB, Fort Madison (vs Washington)

Week Eleven: JOE HENDRICKER, QB, Brown County vs Arcola

Week Twelve: BRYCE WILSON, RB, West Hancock




Saturday 1:00pm

HE WENT TO JARED: Well, I guess that silences any further questions about the Monroe City Defense, doesn’t it. The Panthers limited Westran to seven first quarter points and 138 yards of total offense. The same Hornet squad that dropped 42 points on second ranked Marceline a week earlier. David Kirby made the point this week about myopia and I have been as guilty of it as anyone. Monroe City’s offense dazzles and dazes weekly.The Panthers have scored 584 points this season and are averaging 45 points per game. That’s obscene production and that’s where the eye tends to go. And in so doing, we tend to forget this group has only allowed 170 points all year. Throw out those first two games to Clark County and Macon and over the course of the last eleven games, the Panthers are allowing a paltry 9.27 points per game. Sure, some of that has been hewn at opponents not remotely in Monroe’s league. And there have still been moments where teams like South Shelby and Centralia scored some points at Monroe’s expense. Saturday’s effort was a better exclamation point on just who this Panther Defense can and should be. The took a punch in the first half, got angry, and effectively sucked all the oxygen out of the room. So dedicated story line here: Monroe’s Defense had its moment on Saturday. And given what’s left on the landscape, the Panthers will need two more similar efforts to reach their goal. I will also take the heat for speaking Blake Hays first interception of the year into existence. Kind of like asking about a no-hitter in the seventh inning, I might have jinxed the kid in this passage last week by mentioning his superb streak of efficiency out loud. That said, Monroe simply took the slip up in stride and went back to work with a barrage of typical Monroesque big plays. Zach Osborn launched a 71 yard TD run in answer to Westran’s initial (and only) score. Cole Pennewell delivered an even bigger shot with his 85 yard rumble that saw him jump over not one, but two Hornet defenders (see Sensational Seven for a greater appreciation of that gem) in route to the end zone. Gage Bottoms followed up with a trio of touchdowns, showing off his physicality in leveling a would be tackler on the way to the end zone off a 15 yard screen pass. And the rout was effectively on. Standard issue Monroe City fare.

The postgame celebration, however, was anything but. David Kirby followed up the win with an even bigger victory, dropping to a knee “to put a ring on it” after the game. His girlfriend Amanda Owens said yes. And there was great rejoicing on all fronts. Hard to fashion a more perfect Saturday on all fronts.

Monroe’s road to the State Title Game is blocked now by an East Buchanan squad that upset previously unbeaten Princeton. Again, we are into the portion of the schedule where we don’t get a lot of points of reference on Semifinal Caliber opponents from across the state, but based on the understanding that Princeton’s Defense was advertised to be very stingy, I am going to draw the conclusion that the Bulldogs passing game is legit. East Buch dropped 48 points on Princeton, including five touchdowns from Junior Quarterback Tyler Schlottel. Kid was 32 of 42 passing last week and apparently spreads the ball around well. Case in point, East Buch’s Number Three Wide Receiver Conner Karl has had 19 catches in the last two games. I don’t know if that makes East Buchanan better or worse for Monroe as a Secondary Draw than say a Hamilton-Penney type attack with a singular LaTroy Harper to worry about (though one could argue that East Buch has a pretty darned viable Number One target in Seth Kenagy, who has 1132 yards on 80 receptions and 18 touchdowns to his credit) Schlottel apparently isn’t going to lock into any one target and he’s going to take what the defense allows him. Kenagy had just three targets against Princeton. The Bulldogs have three receivers with 50 or more catches and five targets with at least 27 receptions. Monroe City’s second and third levels are going to be quite busy on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs Defense seems a little more circumspect. Their two losses have come to really good teams (a fully healthy Hamilton Penney and Bishop LeBlond) but they gave up 56 and 27 points respectively in each game and are averaging 22 points per game against. Again, I don’t claim to possess any kind of deep insight into KCI football but it does read like East Buch has played a lot of different teams with spread profile attacks. It doesn’t read as though the Bulldogs have seen much in the way of Wing-rooted attacks like Monroe’s. As duly noted here more than a few times during the postseason, that requires a very dedicated approach to defense and reading between the lines here that hasn’t been a consistent long suit for East Buch. Monroe City is a different animal with its multiple weapons, its ability to project run game production both in quick hits and long droning sustained drives, and its sneaky-effective reliance on the play action passing game. The vibe I get is that East Buch is very comfortable playing track meet football; trying to outpace a foe on the scoreboard. That would seem a fool’s errand with Monroe City’s ability to pace and explode. And as such, I think Monroe has an excellent chance of running onto Faurot Field November 25 at 3pm and playing for a Title.






Saturday 2:00pm

WORLD WIDE ZEB: On much deeper reflection, Saturday’s Clark County quarterfinal win over North Callaway was one of the stranger games I’ve witnessed this season. I’m not complaining, mind you, because the final result was perfect and spun forward what has fast become one of the coolest postseason rises and runs in recent memory. (From 1-4 to the Final Four is a pretty dramatic about-face, no?) My greater takeaway here is that the Indians destroyed a pretty darned good T-Bird squad…without really playing a great overall game. Once I got some distance from the fun of Saturday’s contest, it kind of dawned on me that Clark was actually downright awful, on both sides of the ball, in the first quarter. I don’t say that pejoratively to take some kind of shot at the Indians. I actually point it out as proof of a couple of more important epiphanies that I arrived at much later thinking about the game. One: that Clark County was good enough in spurts on Saturday to beat a good team even with its C-level stuff (or below) at times. Heck, I’d argue that Clark left a ton of points on the table because of their frigid Offensive Start. (Do you know the Indians Offense actually had a 4th and 45 situation at one point in that first quarter and were negative 38 yards in total offense until the third quarter, by my count?) And in the interest of fairness, I will point out too that the Indian Defense got run over on their first possession, right up until North Callaway hit the red zone and Zeb Riney turned in the most important play of the afternoon with an interception in the end zone on 3rd down that proved to be the thread that cause the T-Birds to unravel. You could very easily throw out everything in this game (save for Zeb’s first of two more picks on the day) that happened prior to Caleb Lapsley’s 90 yard touchdown run and the Indian Staff and Players would probably be grateful never to have to look at that portion of the film again.

The grander point here: what a tough-minded, resilient group to so dramatically reverse fortunes in-game like that.

We are talking about a collectively pretty young roster here. What they did against North was the stuff of far more mature, seasoned clubs. More than anything else I saw Saturday, that was the inspired takeaway. For all the talent, speed, and phenomenal line play (the biggest outlier asset on the board) at Ethan Allen’s disposal, the tipping point with this crew is sheer grittiness. I guess we should expect no less from a crew that crawled out of its early season struggles so terrifically well but man, does that resonate here. I was actually made more of a believer in this team because of that awful quarter of football than I would have been had Clark had just taken care of business like this was a back-end of the season Cannon foe. Boiled down to a single sentence: the intangibles here are really good. And that’s why this team is going to really hard to oust. London Brunk’s poise on 4th and goal with eight seconds left. Lapsley’s patience waiting out his blocking on the 28 yard jet sweep to go up two touchdowns. Zeb’s innate big play gear when his team needs it most. And most enjoyably from my standpoint, watching a Defensive Line and Linebacker crew exact for three quarters on Adam Reno what he doled out to them over the first four minutes of the game.

The way Bryan Plenge’s crew attacked that North Callaway Backfield was a sight to behold. Obviously, Jack Hunziker’s destruction of the entire T-Bird backfield early on was a flash point moment but I actually think the more pervasive signs of this groups work-rate was just how the entire crew, starting with a Lapsley tackle for loss on North Callaway’s second possession, started ripping away the T-Bird’s confidence while building its own. North Callaway’s talented young quarterback was visibly shaken after Zeb’s first interception and his throws were rushed and nervous until midway through the third quarter. And more acutely, you could see all of North Callaway’s backs realize that even on the rare occasions when they got off first contact, they had no tricks to avoid the swarm. No escape to the outside. No space to be found between the guards. Everything North Callaway tried to do to improve an already bad situation, snowballed into even bigger losses and physical hits to punctuate them. I don’t think I called Chayson Kleine’s name once on Saturday during the highlights. But when I went back through our film to cherry pick highlights for the archive, that kid was at the center of every pile. And as much as I tend to think Jack Hunziker is an elite piece, if Nick Gray, Trevor Schorr and Kyle Golbricht continue on this current trajectory; the Indians Front Eight will be the least of their team worries next Fall even in the wake of a pair of huge graduation losses. Moreover, there wasn’t a player who didn’t have a hand in on this defensive effort. It was a treat to watch.

This week, I think that Defensive momentum, as well as Clark’s past experiences playing West Hancock and Monroe City serve them well. Lafayette County is an explosive Wing-T attack with firepower comparable to both those elite area squads. The difference may be that Quarterback Kinser Madison is arguably a more dynamic version of Bryce Buckert and Blake Hays, given a freer hand to make things happen of his own accord. Well, and a Division Two Outside Linebacker’s body. He’s a physical kid and from what I can gather watching his highlight clips, a pretty good on the run creator for his own passing game. He’s going to move around a lot. He’s hard to bring down. And he really fires the ball out quickly. Watching video, Lafayette County’s line isn’t overly big. Those kid do their work fast and on the fly. It’s a Palmyra feel up front more than it was say Monroe City. The Huskers don’t slug away at you. They clip a piece of you, allow their weapons to get past, and then those kids all work quickly to the next level. In short, this high powered offense is pretty legit. They are going to try and run you and run you over as well. That’s nothing that Clark County isn’t used to our can’t account for with their own speed. It actually makes for a terrific head-to-head matchup. Is it winnable? I sure think that depends on Clark continuing its current defensive model of causing turnovers and putting teams into “and long” situations. Clark County’s secondary is incredibly difficult to attack when they are expecting the pass. We saw it from Riney, London Brunk, and Dalton Albert again on Saturday. They break on the ball fast. They smother receivers. So basically what I am telling you here is that if Clark is to hand Lafayette its first loss of the year, they are going to have to do it by winning first down. Tell me right now how many times Lafayette County is in “2nd and less than five yards to go” situations and I can tell you who wins this game without even watching it. In short, Clark has to disrupt and maintain the aggressive big play profile that worked so well last week,but with better discipline against the play fakes that the Huskers will deliver. Lose contain on Madison and he’s going to score. It’s a weird but necessary balance. I think Clark can definitely move the ball on these guys. The Indians Offensive Line is just a wrecking crew right now and looking at some of the successes Brookfield had offensively in a loss to Lafayette County, I think Clark has a lot it can exploit in a “Palmyra Game” kind of way. The trick is not to get caught into a track meet. The Huskers are going to score here. They will hit big plays. I tend to think the magic number is 30. If Clark can hold Lafayette to 28 points or less (no easy feat) than I think the Indians see this through to Thanksgiving Weekend.






Not at liberty to say too much yet, but it sure seems like the John Wood move is working out well for Keokuk native Jonny Dahl. I have it on good authority that he already has one highly intriguing D2 college offer potentially brewing and he’s getting plenty of looks along the trail already.

Feels entirely too soon for Brett Taylor to be playing his last regular season game in Macomb this weekend. Seven years of getting to watch him be the very epitome of both an old school Linebacker and a Scholar/Athlete has been a gift to us all. Class, class young man and a super talent.

Quincy High Alum Malique Robbins was accorded First Team All GLVC Football honors for his work as Truman State’s Return Specialist. Carrollton native Cody Leonard was Quincy University’s only First Team GLVC honoree for his outstanding work at Linebacker. Hawk Second Team selections include QHS alum Nathan Kewney for his punting prowess

Palmyra’s Ben Althoff earned First Team MIAA Football Honors for his work at Linebacker for Northwest Missouri State. Teammate Bobby Gruenloh, also of Palmyra, was a Third Team honoree on the Defensive Line. Hannibal’s Shamar Griffith, a true freshman at Missouri Western, was an Honorable Mention pick as a Return Specialist.

Yeah, I don’t know what to make of the Jirehl Brock All State snub either. I got nothing. Kid goes viral and ends up Sportscenter and commands as much recruiting attention as any back in the state, on top of all else, and gets left off the 6A IHSFCA Squad. Something there just doesn’t compute.

Depressing news from the local basketball scene. West Central All Stater Annika Kaufmann is lost for the season. She blew out her knee this Summer. The Lady Cougar Junior averaged 14.8 points per game in her first two seasons of varsity basketball. Fingers crossed the talented Guard can make a full recovery for her Senior Year in Winchester.

Speaking of West Central, super impressed with Hannah Cannon early on. Kind of a slithery, fearless wing with a knack for making tough shots. Don’t ever count out a Brian Bettis coached team. Playing young kids this year in Annika’s absence could really benefit everyone involved with when the All Stater comes back next Winter.

Great start early on for Katie Abell at Routt. I saw her matched up on opening night against Pittsfield and Lilly Pepper and Katie looked very composed on defense (two massive blocked shots in the first quarter) and very comfortable both scoring from and passing out of the post. She’s scored 28 points in her first two games.

What a huge confidence boost for Emma Knipe and West Hancock pulling off the early season win over CSE at Augusta.

Heartbreaking end to a great season but its always neat to hear great coaches like Josh Jostes praise the class of both the West Hancock Football program and community in the aftermath of a game like last Saturday's Quarterfinal. Two really good, evenly matched football teams with Thanksgiving Weekend talent. A shame one had to lose. And man was the Chase Hartweg strip away insane.

Nice Comeback story brewing Friday with Megan Adams pledge to run Cross Country at Eastern Illinois. The Unity star had a marvelous Senior Season, bouncing back tremendously from a rough Junior Year both athletically and personally. The strides she made in regaining balance in her life dwarf all of her fantastic running efforts, which is no small feat. Always inspiring to see someone fight back so hard from adversity. Hats off to Megan on earning back this tremendous collegiate opportunity.

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