As the 2020 school year comes to a halt, many seniors are missing out on end of year activities. Among those activities include the opportunities to share future plans and commitments for their next journey. This includes Monroe City High School Senior Bryce Stark, who recently announced he would continue his education and athletic career at Hannibal LaGrange University. Bryce has made his commitment to continue his collegiate basketball career with an athletic and academic scholarship. Bryce stated, “I am excited to attend HLGU. I have a good relationship with Coach Jason Durst,” as he explained he played for Coach Durst the year prior on his AAU team during the summer. Bryce is the son of Jason Stark and Kelly Stark, along with being a middle child to four siblings, Jayon, Keshara, Jazlynn and Braylon.
Bryce plans to major in Biology while attending HLG and has an academic interest in science. College life has many things to look forward to, as Bryce stated, “Seeing how to play the next level of basketball is something I am excited about, but will miss seeing my close friends.”
Monroe City Head Basketball Coach Brock Edris shared, “Coach Durst picked up a tremendous basketball player, but better yet, a high character young man that will be coachable and represent HLGU’s basketball program and school in a positive light. I see Bryce playing a big role for Coach Durst in the next few years. It’s hard to walk into a 4-year program and expect playing time right away as a freshman, but knowing him as a competitor, he will do his best to help the Trojans win. I can’t wait to watch Bryce continue his career at HLGU.”
Bryce was named with All State and District honors his senior year and All Conference his senior and junior years while playing for the Panthers. He also participated in FCA and had planned to be on the Track and Field Team this year, before the season was canceled due to COVID-19. Coach Edris stated, “I must say that it has been a true pleasure to watch Bryce mature and grow as a young man really these past 10 years that I have been at Monroe City. I remember when Bryce and our other players as kids would attend our youth basketball camps and play in some 3on3 tournaments,” reflecting on coaching Bryce he added, “I’m not sure if I’ll remember one specific incidence that was my favorite memory of him as a player. He’s made many terrific plays over the years and especially this season. My favorite moments as a coach would be seeing Bryce succeed on and off the floor, learning from his mistakes, and embracing him along with our other players, just letting him know how proud and how much I care about him.”
As Bryce shares his love about basketball, it is easy to hear the heart and desire he has for the game. He shares looking up to several NBA players and admitted being inspired by Coach Edris and Coach Ed Talton. He started playing at the age of four in his back yard, stating, “I have always loved basketball.” Coach Edris shared, “I’m excited for Bryce to continue his academic and athletic career at HLGU. Bryce played a very important role for our basketball team over the past few years and helped guide our team to the Class 3 Final Four tournament.”
Bryce’s senior year was full of great memories and excellent shots, but one memory will be etched in his scrapbook for years to come, sharing his favorite memory, stating with great joy, “The buzzer shot against Palmyra at the Monroe City Tournament.” Bryce described this moment as a great victory in his high school career. Although the class of 2020 doesn’t know what graduation looks like right now, his mother has a great outlook on her son’s sudden finish at MCHS, commenting, “Bryce still had the best senior year.”