Show-Me State Games Bring Alumni Back
Tigers of all ages were well-represented at the Show-Me State Games.
Doug Leonard, BA ’87, has always been a basketball player who loved the sport’s team aspects. But he didn’t always know he was a coach.
Growing up in St. Louis, Leonard competed through sophomore year at St. Dominic High School. That year he played on the junior varsity squad, and he realized he wasn’t quick enough to play on the varsity team. “So, after that I sat in the stands and rooted for my friends,” says Leonard, who teaches English and history at Frontier Middle School in Wentzville, Missouri.
Brian Bostick, BS ’02, MD, PhD ’10, was a little reluctant to take over the coaching duties of his daughters’ softball team. His wife is the family expert. Liz Bostick, BHS ’01, MHS ’03, coaches pitchers for the Centralia High School softball team. Brian Bostick is a cardiology fellow at University Hospital, where he researches heart failure and obesity. But 15-year-old Madeline and 13-year-old Gwendolyn needed a coach, so he stepped up to the plate. Along with Russ Greene, BS BA ’92, Bostick coached the Ballisticks softball team to first place in the 14-and-under division at the Show-Me State Games July 18-20. “Some of these teams [at the games] are competitive teams made up of the best players from multiple towns,” Bostick says. “But [the Ballisticks] are just a group of friends all from little Centralia who win by playing their hearts out for one another.”
As a Mizzou student, Leonard loved playing basketball at Brewer Fieldhouse. “Once I found out could get into pick-up games at Brewer all day every day, I went all the time. Every so often, Steve Stipanovich [BES ’89] and some of his teammates would come and play. It was awesome to stand there and watch, and to know that they’re playing but not really playing, and even so how good they were compared to us.”
Shortly after graduating from Mizzou, Leonard found himself coaching a team that included the son of a friend. Soon after, St. Dominic’s varsity coach, Joe Haug, saw Leonard’s work and offered him the job of coaching the school’s freshman team. “He must’ve seen some potential,” Leonard says. Potential, indeed. Since then, Leonard has coached junior varsity and varsity teams in the Wentzville School District, as well as the teams of his own sons, Kyle, a Mizzou sophomore, and Jeremy, 14. By now, Leonard is experienced not only at coaching different ages but also at managing team logistics and handling media interviews.
Jeremy’s team brought Leonard to the 30th annual Show-Me State Games last weekend. The games draw thousands of competitors and their families to Columbia every summer for dozens of events. The Hammers finished in third place. Leonard’s trips to Columbia typically include eating pizza at Shakespeare’s and taking a walk around Mizzou’s grounds, including Francis Quadrangle. “It’s been one of the neatest things,” says Leonard of sharing his alma mater with his sons. “When we did Summer Welcome for Kyle, Jeremy said he wanted to skip high school and come straight to Mizzou. It’s an awfully neat campus.”