Retiring Coach ‘Rod’ surprised by party

Former players, family and friends kept a secret well enough to see retiring coach John Roderique genuinely surprised as he realized the event he was going to Saturday was a party in his honor.

Roderique is retiring after 315 wins in 26 seasons as the Webb City Cardinals football coach.

2002 and 2015 Little League World Series teams inducted into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Webb City Little League’s two World Series Teams, of 2002 and 2015, were inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony Wednesday, June 7, at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.

Only three teams from Missouri have ever reached the prestigious Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., and two are from Webb City.

Its 2002 team finished 13-3 by going undefeated in four games at the district tournament, the state tournament and the regional. Playing as the Midwest representative, Webb City came incredibly close to winning at Williamsport, as its losses were all by one run: 1-0, 2-1 and 2-1.

Those 2002 Little Leaguers were Darren Aggus, Caleb Powell, Brett Richardson, Jerick Swarens, Alan Pink, Preston Walker, Chance Sossamon, Dakota Miller, Landon Zerkel, Jordan Hickman and Jayrd Gregory. They were coached by Craig Powell, Matt Sossamon, Kenny Zerkel and Bhurle Sossamon.

The 2015 team was 15-4, including 7-1 in districts, 3-0 at the state tournament and 4-1 in regionals. Webb City lost to Pennsylvania (the eventual LLWS runner-up to Japan) and Rhode Island but beat Canada and was awarded the Jack Losch LLWS Sportsmanship Award.

That team included Jaxson Cartwright, Kamdyn Culver, Mekhi Garrard, Cole Gayman, Eli Goddard, Brett Graham, Cale McCallister, Noah Mitchell, Treghan Parker, Blake Smith, Jaystin Smith, Devrin Weathers and Matt Woodmansee. Coaches were Eric Parker, Jason Woodmansee and Tyler Burgess.

The Joplin High School 2000-2003 baseball teams were also inducted. All four teams made it to the final four, and the 2001 team won the championship.

Other 2023 inductees are Missouri State and major league pitcher Shaun Marcum, Missouri State University softball standout Penny Clayton, Springfield Catholic High School girls soccer coach Ben Timson, Carthage native and longtime high school and college baseball coach John Burgi, Vienna High School softball coach Mick Byrd and the 1990-1996 era of Fatima High School softball.