ST. LOUIS – Sports looked a bit different at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, but student athletes still worked hard and competed. Athletic trainers with Mercy Sports Medicine are embedded inside many St. Louis metro area high schools and get to know the athletes throughout the year. As a way of highlighting outstanding students from these schools each month, a new Mercy Sports Medicine Athlete of the Month will be recognized. Athletes are nominated by coaches and selected by a committee.
Here are the Mercy Sports Medicine Athletes of the Month for the 2020-2021 school year.
Reagan Rapert, a senior basketball player at Union High School, is a hard-working student athlete who is a great role model for younger kids. She excelled on the court all four years, the last two at UHS. Rapert made multiple All Tournament teams, All Area and All State selection. She racked up impressive high school career totals including 1,829 total points, 472 rebounds and 605 assists. Off the court, she gives lessons, helps with youth tournaments and provides daycare for teachers during professional development time. Rapert plans to attend Wofford College in South Carolina, to play Division 1 basketball while studying in the fall.
Larry Hughes, Jr., a junior basketball player at Christian Brothers College High School, is recognized both on and off the court for his basketball and academic skills. He has played varsity all three years, averaging per game 16.6 points, four rebounds and two steals and is 75% from the free throw line. Hughes had a career high game this season with 31 points and multiple 20+ point games. He was MVP of 2019-2020 National Hoopfest in Memphis and plays for MoKan Elite, one of the top elite youth basketball leagues. He also volunteers his time at the Larry Hughes Basketball Academy
Kellen Mottl, a junior swimmer at Clayton High School, has upped the “game” of swimming at CHS setting countless records both at the school and state level. This season alone, she set five school records – one in each of three relays and two individual in the 100 freestyle and breaststrokes. In the 100 freestyle, she placed first at conference and sixth at state championships. In the 100 breast stroke, she placed first both at conference and state. Mottl was also on the 200-medley relay that placed first in state, setting a new Class 1 state record. Out of the pool, she excels in grades and in numerous other activities. She manages the men’s swim team, tutors Glenridge elementary students and is a member of a student-initiated club focused on clean water. During the summer, she also works full time as a camp counselor at Camp Pegnita in Kirkwood.
Evan Boren, a senior wrestler at Lafayette High School, has taken his talents in wrestling and great attributes as a person to become a strong leader on the boys’ wrestling team. He’s respectful to those around him, works hard to achieve his goals and carries himself in a positive way. He encourages and supports those around them to be the best version of themselves, all while exhibiting leadership skills and a strong work ethic in our program. Boren placed second at sectionals and second at state. Even with his exceptional athletic background, he is choosing to focus on academics in college with an impressive cumulative GPA and high ACT score.
Kate Hillyer, a senior basketball player at Eureka High School, has been setting records and starting on varsity each of her four years. She was named Freshman of the Year in 2018 and All-Conference for three years. She holds four school records – free-throw percentage and three point for career, season and game. Nom-Hillyer is also closing in on the school’s all-time scoring record (1,605) set in 2001. She is involved in the community as well, with canned food, clothing and back to school drives with her church. Last summer, with many summer camps canceled due to the pandemic, she even she held weekly basketball camps for kids in her neighborhood giving them a physical outlet and growing the game. She will be playing at William Jewel College next year.
Austin Vick, a junior basketball player at Westminster Christian Academy, is a person of high character, integrity and humility. He shows up early, stays late and follows through making him teachable and coachable. He has started every game and currently averages eight points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two assists per game. In a couple games, Vick has even had a double-double (double figure points and rebounds). In the community, he volunteers for Crisis Aid International by packing and serving food to those in need.
Grace Ellington, a senior basketball player at Parkway South High School, is a player her coach will never forget. She’s a leader on the court, in the locker room and out of school. She is a four-year variety starter. She has made numerous All Conference and All District teams all while compiling a 4.1 GPA. Ellington has committed to play at Milwaukee School of Engineering and study Actuarial Science.
Mekhi Wingo, a senior football player at DeSmet Jesuit High School, has been the ultimate leader and teammate for the variety football team, and a starter for the last three seasons. As a team captain at defensive tackle, he has excelled at stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback. Moore was named MCC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time, led the team in sacks and was among the leaders in tackles. He was named Class 6 1st Team All State in 2019 and 2020 seasons and has committed to play at Mizzou next year.
Ella Brinkmann, a junior volleyball player at St. Francis Borgia High School, thrives in the classroom and on the court. With a Class 5 team finishing in the final four, Brinkman had an impressive 541 kills, 42 blocks, 26 aces and 312 digs. She’s a member of National Honor Society, involved in the Spirit Leaders club and served as a leader for the school’s Luke 18 retreat for incoming freshmen. Brinkmann also volunteers for the Rockwood Thunder Volleyball Club and at various parish events at Our Lady of Lourdes church.
Gabe Porter, a junior swimmer at Parkway South High School, is an exceptional teammate and leader. He finished fourth in the state for the 100 Fly, for which he broke a 20-year school record with a time of 50.91. Porter also finished seventh in state for 500 freestyle and 11th in the 200 medley relay. He takes time at practice to teach and help his teammates with technique in different strokes. He excels in the classroom and dedicates time to helping youth swim clubs.