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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
Here are the top local sports stories from 2012.
1. Richmond Spartan baseball team claims first MRVC East and District championships. Coach Brandon Quick’s Spartans easily had one of the best RHS baseball seasons ever during the spring of 2012. The Spartans rolled through the league with a 9-1 record to claim their first conference championship. Richmond clinched the crown with a 1-0 win over Holden with seniors Trent Dial and Kyle Carroll teaming up to blank the Eagles. Nathan Sickle’s RBI-single in the top of the first provided the only run Richmond would need.
After defeating defending district champion Excelsior Springs 5-2 in the semifinals, the Spartans captured their first-ever district title by disposing of long-time nemesis St. Pius X in the District 15 finals, 4-3 at Chrysler Stadium in Independence. The Warriors had defeated Richmond in the district tournament the past two springs. Sickle drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring home Reid Summers with the winning run after Richmond battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the fifth. Carroll’s 2-run home run in the fifth tied the game. Jimmy Hamm earned the win in relief of Carroll by inducing a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play on his first pitch to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh.
3. Cody Gorham wraps up outstanding running career at RHS. Senior Cody Gorham, who owns most of Richmond’s long-distance running records, went out with some flair at the Class 3 State Track Meet in Jefferson City. Gorham, who was also a three-time state qualifier for the Richmond cross country team, became a four-time state qualifier for the Spartan track team in the spring.