Hawkins, Noel named prep athletes of the week

Apr. 10—Webb City track runner Riley Hawkins and Webb City baseball player Shane Noel have been named the Globe’s high school athletes of the week for the week ending April 3.


Hawkins had a tremendous start to her junior track season at Webb City. In the Carthage Invitational on April 2, she won three events — the 800 with a time of 2:33, the 1600 in 5:28 and the 3200 in 11:49.

The Cardinals captured team titles on both the boys and girls sides. In total, the girls won five events and took second in four others.

“What stood out to me is how disciplined Riley was in letting the races develop before she made her move,” Webb City girls coach Jeremy Butler said. “Tripling and winning all three distance races, shows how dedicated Riley has been in preparation for the season. Riley is a great teammate and is growing as a leader.”


Noel, a versatile infielder for Webb City, may have had a season for the ages this past week. The two-way standout went 15-for-21 (.714 average) with four triples, 13 RBI, 11 runs, four walks and swiped three bases.

“Man, he did a really good job with pitch selection at the plate and making sure to get balls down, pitches he could handle,” Cardinals coach Flave Darnell said. “He just had a great week at the plate. I’m not really sure what to say about it. He seemed to be unconscious. Every time he hit the ball, it seemed to go to the right-center gap for a triple. He played really well. He pitched well against Glendale, which was a big game for us. He had a phenomenal week.”

Noel, the winning pitcher in the Cardinals’ 14-2 victory over Glendale on April 2, went five strong innings and allowed just two runs. The senior signed to play college baseball at Crowder College on April 7.

“He’s super athletic, he can play a lot of different positions on defense,” Darnell said. “He’s playing third for us. In high school baseball, third is a really difficult position coming in to get the bunt. Playing on turf, you get a lot of those rollover ground balls that can be tough to handle. He’s been doing a great job there. He can play anywhere. Short, second or third. His speed makes him very, very versatile. He’s a highly-athletic kid. He can fit in a lot of different ways at Crowder.”

COACHES CAN NOMINATE athletes of the week by emailing sports@joplinglobe.com before 5 p.m. Tuesday. Please attach a close-up head-and-shoulders photo of the athlete to the email. Awards on April 17 will be based on performances from April 5-10.

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