Which athlete on the St. Louis sports scene overachieved the most in 2016 without receiving widespread acclaim?
2016 was by no means a year to remember (at least for positive reasons) on the St. Louis sports scene. It opened in a sorrowful manner as the Rams departed for Los Angeles after 21 seasons in St. Louis, and as Mizzou and SLU basketball failed miserably, Mizzou football endured another sub-.500 season, and the Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010, things only got worse. The Blues’ appearance in the Western Conference Finals was the one saving grace, but even that ended in frustration as the franchise was kept out of the Stanley Cup Finals for a 45th straight season.
That meant it was easy for some players who delivered spectacular individual performances to get overlooked. For some casual fans, the identities of the players who achieved major accomplishments such as leading the Cardinals in home runs and leading Mizzou in sacks may come as a surprise, since those players weren’t viewed as front-line contributors heading into 2016. Now the question looms: which St. Louis athlete did the best job of coming from nowhere to achieve great success, and thus is the most deserving of our Best Under-the-Radar Performer award for 2016?
The recipient of this award should be the athlete on the St. Louis sports scene who provided the most outstanding performance without widespread recognition during the 2016 calendar year. In other words, which athlete had the best season in 2016 without widespread expectations that they would be great?
Check out the candidates on the next few slides, then vote for the most deserving recipient at the end! Without further ado, we’ll get started with a Mizzou receiver that achieved at a whole new level in 2016: