Student Standouts for December 4

Student Standouts: Birkel ’21, Kacmarek ’21, Pace ’21, Purdy ’21, Andrew ’22, Bhayani ’22, Bhayani ’25, Riley ’26, Janes ’26, Clennan ’26, Wright ’27, Boys Soccer, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, and Football in the News

Congratulations to this week’s standouts below. Way to go #RamNation! And as always, if you have a story to share, please email weeklynews@micds.org.




Senior Soccer Star Earns Athlete of the Week

Alexander Birkel ’21 was one of the Athletes of the Week according to STL High School Sports for his tremendous contributions to the MICDS Boys Soccer State Championship team. Birkel played as a forward and scored the only goal for the Class 2 state game over Orchard Farm. He has earned a spot on second-team all-Metro League and first-team all-district honors. In his soccer career at MICDS, he has racked up 33 goals and 16 assists. Congratulations, Alex!

Senior Defensive End and Tight End in the Spotlight

Will Kacmarek ’21 is a defensive end and tight end for our Rams football team, and he is in the spotlight in this STL High School Sports article. After six weeks of delays to the start of the season with the possibility of not being able to play at all, Kacmarek has learned not to take any opportunity for granted. As someone who wants to play football in college, he put film together from his senior season instead of being able to attend college camps, on-campus visits, or scout combines. Kacmarek has been offered a football scholarship at Drake, and he also plays basketball and lacrosse at MICDS.

As Kacmarek plays on Friday in the State championship game, we’ll be cheering him and his teammates on to surpass their runner-up status from two years ago. Let’s go Rams!

Jalen Pace

Pace Ready to Make More Rams History

Outside linebacker and tight end Jalen Pace ’21 is featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an article that showcases his football career thus far. It highlights his recent contributions to the 2020 State-bound football team that plays tonight against Helias for the Class 4 State Finals. Tonight’s game also is the final game with a group that Pace has played with for the past decade: Pace, Nate Smith ’21, Crawford Bundy ’21, Grant Purdy ’21, Will Kacmarek ’21, and Will Schaumburg ’21 have all played together since 2nd grade. Once he graduates in the spring, Pace is considering college offers from Dayton, Lindenwood, and Quincy.

The article also shares how Jalen’s father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Orlando Pace, made history on a different Rams team (the St. Louis Rams) about 20 years ago. With feedback from his dad, practicing with his younger brother Landon, Jalen is ready to give his all to tonight’s championship game. Let’s Go Rams!

Jalen also is an Athlete of the Week according to STL High School Sports. He is recognized for his interceptions, tackles, catches, and sacks.

Senior Highlighted for Football and Academic Pursuits

Grant Purdy ’21 is highlighted in this STL Today article as the senior linebacker of our MICDS Rams football team. Prior to the Class 4 semifinals, Purdy was given the charge of making the defensive play calls for the game against Union. The article quotes Defensive Coordinator and Athletic Director Josh Smith who has known Purdy since he was born and has been his defensive coordinator since Purdy was in 2nd grade. Smith’s son, Nate Smith ’21, grew up with Purdy and is also a senior on the football team.

In addition to the position of linebacker, Purdy is also the emergency offensive lineman and the holder for placekicks. Besides football talent, he is a true student-athlete balancing the heavy workload at MICDS. The article shares that Purdy created polycarbonate face shields to help the team be able to play safely during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, Purdy is considering studying business and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Washington University in St. Louis. Be sure to cheer him and his fellow teammates on this Friday during the State Championship game!

Quarterback Featured in the News

Quarterback Reagan Andrew ’22 is bound and determined to help the Rams bring home the win at tonight’s Class 4 State Finals game. He remembers all too well what it was like to be runner-up at state two years ago. Reagan has worked hard in his MICDS football career and this year was no exception with having a new coach, a new playbook to learn, and an unpredictable season full of preseason practices.

Check out this article on STLtoday.com.

Sisters Make a Difference with Volunteer Activities

Sonia Bhayani ’22 and Nina Bhayani ’25 have been participating in a number of creative and meaningful volunteer activities. Both students made bookmarks and notes that were to be included with books for the United Way’s “Take A Book Tuesday Cards/Bookmarks” volunteer opportunity. Nina also wrote letters to orphans through the Paper Bridges organization and added a small Perler bead creation with each one. Last week, Nina compiled 40 craft kits created from craft supplies that were donated to the Great Circle residential facility for children here in St. Louis. Way to go, Nina and Sonia!

Four Unstoppable MICDS Irish Dancers

Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Mid-America Oireachtas Irish Dance regionals competition occurred with MICDS being magnificently represented by four students. Dancing as Open Champions for the Meghan Torno School of Irish Dance, Kate Riley ’26 led the way within her U13 (under 13 years old) age group and placed 2nd overall to earn a spot on the podium. Also recalling in the top-half of their competitions to earn excellent placements were Delaney Janes ’26 in 20th place in U12 (under 12 years old age group), Carrie Clennan ’26 in 24th place in U13, and Rowan Wright ’27 in 24th place in U12. These incredible placements were trained for during a pandemic with many of their classes being held over Zoom.

Congratulations to all four dancers for not only achieving incredible competition results but for also strengthening their resilience, perseverance, and dedication to their sport in light of a pandemic! Imagine what they will do in 2021!

Boys Soccer Wins Historic State Championship

Congratulations to our first-ever Boys Soccer State Championship team! Our Rams scored a 1-0 victory against Orchard Farm on Saturday with a goal by Alexander Birkel ’21 from a pass by Walter Ralph ’21, a shutout by goalie James Hammersmith ’21 who had four saves, and many other outstanding contributions by the full team. After losing in the Class 3 district tournament the past three seasons in the first round, this victory means a lot to the whole team and to our four-year varsity players (Birkel, Ralph, Hayden Fischer ’21, and defender Joe Nicpon ’21) as well as Head Coach Jack Fischer. We are so proud of this team for making history despite COVID-19 delays and even a lightning delay on game day. Way to go, #RamNation!

Read the championship game recap by STL High School Sports.

Here’s who made All-District First Team:

  • James Hammersmith ’21
  • Hayden Fischer ’21
  • Joe Nicpon ’21
  • Walter Ralph ’21
  • Alexander Birkel ’21
  • Will Ploszay ’21
  • Harrison Engel ’24
  • Andrew Kuznetsov ’22
  • Nick Scheele ’21

Here’s a video of the team celebrating their championship win!

Boys Basketball Preseason Top 10 Breakdown

The MICDS Boys Basketball team is listed as number 6 of the STL High School Sports Preseason Top 10 Breakdown. Last season, the Rams went 23-5 and lost to Ladue in the district final. Check out the preview of this year’s team!

Girls Basketball Puts Health and Safety First

STL High School Sports featured an article on Wednesday on the MICDS Girls Basketball team, highlighting that the team will be wearing masks no matter where it plays. They seek to prolong their season as long as possible by doing their part and learning new breathing techniques with their masks. Schools inside St. Louis County must wear face protection at all times, but those competing in games outside of the county are to make that decision for their own team. Regardless of where our Rams play, we’ll be masked up.

Read the recap of the mask policies and recent game against Rolla here.

Football Semifinal and Quarterfinal Victories

MICDS football defeated Hannibal in the Class 4 state quarterfinal on Saturday, November 21 with a fourth-quarter comeback! They earned 21 points in the final 11 minutes and 47 seconds of the game for a final score of 48-34. Read the full STL High School Sports game recap and brief recap here. Prior to the game, Fox2Now posted this MICDS football playoff preview.

Moving right along, the Rams beat Union 56-20 in the state semifinals on Saturday, November 28! Read the recap of the semifinals by STL High School Sports and another brief recap here.

Head Coach Dr. Fred Bouchard is also highlighted on the Decatur Tribune. Read about his football history and how the upcoming state game brings his football journey full circle. The last time the Rams won a football state championship, Bouchard was the opposing team coach.

Today, our Rams will compete in their 15th state championship game at the Class 4 State Championships! Here is a preview of the state game by The St. Louis American. The game is at 7 p.m. against Helias at Jefferson City High. Don’t have tickets? Watch a live stream at mshsaa.tv.