Missouri Class 5 Football State Champions


Making History. In August, MSHAA moved varsity football to Class Five from Class Six. This meant new competition.

“At the end of the day, we are chasing the ring whether we are in Class One or Five,” senior JB Ney said, Aug. 31.

After an undefeated 13 games and a send-off parade, football traveled to Mizzou for the state championship.

“It was really nice seeing all my classmates, the parents, and the staff waving to us. It was very inspirational,” senior Evan Piwowarski said. “On the bus you could just tell the vibe was definitely up and we were hyped.”

With 6:46 to play in the first quarter, junior Adam Shipley put the first points on the scoreboard of the state championship following a 33-yard touchdown.

“I felt so good to be the first one to score. It was definitely a momentum swing. It was a great start,” Shipley said. “Our attitude was that we just wanted to finish the game. We didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

With three seconds left in the first half, senior Brett Norfleet hauled in his second 10-yard touchdown giving Howell a 35-7 lead.

“I was super proud of my guys going into the half. Knowing that Fort Osage is a good team, I knew we needed to keep our foot on their throats,” Norfleet said. “Being up by so much was nice, but we knew that we still had another half to play. I said to my guys in the locker room that we can’t let up and we just need to keep the intensity going.”

The boys did just that. They held the lead the whole game.

A fanbase of 10,000 plus Howell students, parents, friends, and community members roared with excitement at the final scoreboard: “Vikings: 49, Fort Osage: 21.”

“Winning the state championship for a fan base and community that has been deserving of it for so long felt gratifying,” senior Ethan Bryles said.

After being awarded the trophy, Piwowarski raced to the student section with the trophy held aloft. Senior Wyatt Robbins climbed the concrete barrier and hoisted the trophy even higher.

“I was happy to hold the trophy up to our student section because it was the first time in history that we have won it,” Robbins said. “It was definitely a thrill. I was very in the moment having fun.”

The boys hugged, high-fived, and cheered with their classmates.

The Vikings won the state championship for the first time in Howell’s 54-year football history. The undefeated  14-0 record marked the most wins in a season in program history. The Vikings averaged over a 34-point margin of victory over the course of the 14 games.