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November 2017

Ben Pyle McPherson

Caleb Jordan Sacred Heart


Taylor Robertson McPherson


• Pregame by WSU’s Gregg Marshall • McPherson Basketball • Can the Knights Repeat • Salina Central’s Girls • Wrapping up VB, XC, Soccer Cydney Bergmann Concordia

Let’s meat up. ®

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Halle is a senior at Bennington High School and participates in cross country and track for the Bulldogs. She was the 2017 state cross country champion in Class 2A and two-time Top 10 finisher; a four-time league champion and three-time regional champion. In track, she was a four-time regional champion in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs and the 2017 Class 2A state champion in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Halle carries a 3.92 grade point average and belongs to the National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, Forensics, Mentor Magic, TRUCE and 4-H clubs at school. She volunteers for the Love Chloe Foundation, Relay for Life, Food Inc. and Recycling Center. She will attend Wichita State University on a cross country and track scholarship.

Academic Athlete Photo

Cade is a senior at West Elk and participates in football, basketball and baseball for the Patriots. In football, he was named all-district first team and HM All-State (quarterback and defensive back) as a sophomore and junior. In basketball, Cade was second-team All-SCBL as a sophomore and first team as a junior. In baseball, he was selected first-team All-SCBL as a sophomore and junior and secondLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed team all-state in Class 2A. Cade carries a 4.0 GPA and do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore belongs to the National Honor Society,magna STUCO, Family, FCCLA, Math Team, FBLA, Skills USA and Drama aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation Club. He volunteers for the United Methodist Youth Halle Johnson, Cade Miller, ea commodo consequat. and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Bennington H.S.ullamco laboris West Elknisi H.S. ut aliquip exFellowship Cade plans to attend college and work towards Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velitanesse advanced degree in the medical field.


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Every Level of Athlete. Every Level of Care. Salina Regional Sports Medicine. Led by sports medicine fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr. Timothy Hawkes, Salina Regional Sports Medicine offers comprehensive care that includes education to prevent sports injuries, sports performance, and the healing and preservation of damaged joints through surgery and rehabilitation. Dr. Hawkes specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ligament, cartilage and meniscus injuries, including treatment of the shoulder, hip and knee. He and his team of physical therapists, athletic trainers and his physician assistant support five area high schools, providing the highest-quality, most timely care to athletes of every sport. Whether you’re a high school athlete or a weekend warrior, we’ll help you get back in the game. And keep you in the game. Salina Regional Sports Medicine—the regional leader in comprehensive sports medicine.

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Joanna Chadwick, Matt Browning, Brad Hallier, Bob Lutz, Kyle McCaskey, Jim Misunas, Conor Nicholl. PHOTOGRAPHERS Shannon Achilles, Joey Bahr, Tanner Colvin, Salena Favela, Nikki Hightree, Bill Millspaugh, Kelly Ross, Everett Royer, Kendall Shaw, Dale Stelz, Mark Weaver, Phil Zivnuska. FRONT COVER Kelly Ross, Mark Weaver BACK COVER VYPE Staff FALL INTERN Brady Carter CONTACT INFORMATION WEBSITE: MAGAZINE: EDITOR: ADVERTISING: SALES REPRESENTATIVES: Kevin Newman Ted Hayes Cathy Carrier COMMENTS & FEEDBACK: SALES: 316.218.3579 EDITORIAL: 785.577.4074 SUBSCRIPTIONS: 316.218.3579 ADDRESS: 1049 Whitetail Ct. Wichita, KS 67206 Vype High School Sports Magazine is published monthly by Vype High School Sports Magazine North Central Kansas. Reproductions in whole or in part without permission are prohibited. Vype is not responsible for the return of unsolicited artwork, photography or manuscripts and will not be responsible for holding fees or similar charges. All digital submissions and correspondence will become property of Vype. Statements made, implied or expressed in Vype do not necessarily represent the editorial position of the publisher. EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER All rights reserved. For editorial matters, please contact the editor. The views of contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the policies of Vype nor that of the publishers. Vype has a clear commitment to inviting and publishing corrections of fact and clarifying errors of context. Corrections of errors and mistakes are a necessity in obtaining credibility in the magazine. Vype supports and encourages our staff and contributing writers and photographers to make any potential error known to our editor. ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER All rights reserved. The views and opinions of Vype advertisers do not reflect that of Vype High School Sports Magazine. In accordance with the NCAA Bylaws, Vype and its advertisers have complied in all advertisements present in Vype.

McPherson players go wild after a trick-play two-point conversion pass gives the Bullpups a 15-14 overtime victory over Buhler in the Class 4A-I playoffs. (Photo, Kendall Shaw)


16 - State Volleyball

6 - Picture This

20 - Basketball, 2017-18

The Value of Effort, Consistency By Gregg Marshall

Bluebirds Just Short of Perfection By Joanna Chadwick.

Fall Sports Are Covered

10 - State Soccer

Bullpups Finish Third in 4-3-2-1A

12 - State Cross Country Another 1A Crown for Princ By Huey Counts

McPherson Boys, - By Conor Nicoll Sacred Heart Boys - By Matt Browning Boys Team Capsules Robertson’s Career is Booming - By Jim Misunas Central Girls Have High Expectations - By Joanna Chadwick Girls Team Capsules



VYPE serves the following North Central Kansas High Schools… Abilene Cowboys Beloit Trojans Bennington Bulldogs Canton-Galva Eagles Centre Cougars Chapman Fighting Irish Chase Kats Clay Center Tigers Clifton-Clyde Eagles Concordia Panthers

Ell-Saline Cardinals Ellsworth Bearcats Elyria Christian Eagles Goessel Bluebirds Hanover Wildcats Herington Railroaders Hillsboro Trojans Hope Lions Inman Teutons Lincoln Leopards

Linn Bulldogs Little River Redskins Lyons Lions Marion Warriors McPherson Bullpups Minneapolis Lions Moundridge Wildcats Peabody-Burns Warriors Pike Valley Panthers Republic County Buffaloes

Rock Hills Grizzlies Sacred Heart Knights St. John’s Blujays St. John’s Military Muleskinners Salina Central Mustangs Salina South Cougars Smoky Valley Vikings Solomon Gorillas Southern Cloud Warriors Southeast of Saline Trojans

Sterling Black Bears Sylvan-Lucas Mustangs Tescott Trojans Tipton Cardinals Wakefield Bombers Washington County Tigers Wilson Dragons


The Value of Effort, Consistency Back in my high school days, you didn’t want me guarding you at practice, or even in a pickup game. I would stick to you, harass you and annoy you from the opening tip until the final whistle. When I laced up those Chuck Taylor Converse shoes, I was ready to go to war. Sometimes that came with consequences. I probably still own school records at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, Va., for cuts, scrapes, floor burns and missing teeth. But I didn’t care. I just wanted to win. During one game, I took an elbow to the mouth and lost two teeth. For several minutes, they stopped the game so we could search for them. One turned up at midcourt and the other by a wall. I got to wear a red wrestling mask for the rest of the year. That look was probably fitting. I wasn’t the fastest or the tallest. I was 6-foot-3 and weighed 145 pounds, dripping wet. I didn’t play above the rim or do many of the things that make the highlight reels. But I competed really, really hard – all the time – and I made it my mission to improve every single day, on the court and in the classroom. Looking back, those are two qualities that helped me the most as a player: effort and consistency. Not surprisingly, they’re two things I now value as a head coach. Of course, consistency isn’t just a quality; it’s a skill that developed and shaped. It’s often what separates good players from mediocre ones. Good players perform certain tasks – many of them simple ones -- over and over again, routinely. It is not easy to be consistent. At Wichita State, we ask our players to be “every day” guys and we hold them to the highest standards. When it comes to success, we tell them, “Be pleased but not satisfied. You can always do more. Your only chance to approach your potential is to strive constantly to do more. Satisfied players are rarely good ones.” For you high school kids -- I hope you will take this message to heart, because it applies to more than just basketball. Whether its school, work, sports, etc. -- the best way to improve at any endeavor is with consistent effort. This is a very special time in your young lives. In closing I would like to personally wish all of you the best of luck in your upcoming seasons as you strive to reach your goals. But most of all, I hope you take the time to soak it all in. The season will be over in a flash. Take time to enjoy the ride. – Gregg Marshall, Men’s Basketball Coach – Wichita State University

VYPE would like to thank Coach Gregg Marshall, Korey Torgerson, Ryan Hillard and Wichita State University for providing our readers with a great message and a perfect launch to the 2017-18 VYPE High School Basketball Preview and season!




Get a ‘Step Ahead’ at HutchCC With the rising costs of higher education, affordability is always a concern for parents and students. Hutchinson Community College’s Step Ahead program can help you get a head start on a quality education at one of the premier colleges in Kansas. And the best part is it could cost you almost nothing. If you’re a Kansas resident and take some classes from HutchCC while you’re attending a Kansas high school, then, after you graduate, enroll and attend full-time at HutchCC for your freshman year, you may qualify for reimbursement of the tuition expenses you’ve incurred. Student Requirements: • College credit must be a letter grade and students must have earned a grade of C or higher or a P in a pass/fail class. • Day or evening, on-campus, off-campus, ITV or on-line classes taken during the fall, spring, or summer semesters prior to high school graduation are eligible for reimbursement. • The tuition reimbursement is granted to students who enroll and attend full-time in the Fall or Spring semesters following high school graduation.  • HutchCC must be the only institution attended after high school graduation. • Graduated High School Seniors, attending only HutchCC Summer classes, are not eligible for the program. For more information, visit: or e-mail



Presents November’s Mother & Student Athlete of the Month! Tammy and Morgan Thaxton, SE-Saline H.S. “Winning is not done in the last few seconds of the game, but in small battles we fight through and win every day.” Being a Mother to four very sports-minded children has been a blessing. My joy comes from the competition and camaraderie that playing sports brings. I have been fighting stage four colon cancer for six years. My playing days are fewer than they used to be, but the opportunity to watch and coach my own kids has been a blessing. Through my battle with cancer I hope they have learned that we are not defined by the score at the end of the game. We are defined by how we fight the small seemingly insignificant battles that confront us throughout each and every day. Winning is not the goal, it is the product of our unending will to do the best we possibly can in the time we are given. Morgan, you have always been our bulldog. You were always willing to put in a little extra time and work a little harder. You are our perfect example of, “Action speaks louder than words.” You are awesome, and we love you. Proud to be a Southeast of Saline Trojan! - Tammy Thaxton

To nominate your favorite Mother and Student Athlete go to


BENNETT DIFFERENCE Winners will be featured on our website and in VYPE High School Sports Magazine with pictures and a short bio. No purchase necessary - Anyone can nominate! 651 S. Ohio Salina, Ks · 785-823-6372 or toll free at 1-800-569-5653 online shopping & service scheduling at


Ell-Saline’s defense, led by Jared Walsh (66) and company, buries a Plainville ball carrier during the Cardinals’ 27-20 double overtime loss in the 2-1A state playoffs. (Photo, Joey Bahr)

Davante Hammer of Pike Valley looks for a receiver during his team’s 50-0 win over Central Christian in the Eight-Man II state quarterfinals. (Photo, Tom Clark)

Ty Garrett of Salina South catches a pass against Eisenhower in a secondround 5A playoff game. Eisenhower won, 20-6. (Photo, Bill Millspaugh)

Smoky Valley’s Zach Able runs for yardage against Collegiate as the Vikings won a 12-2 decision in a 4A-II playoff game in Lindsborg. (Photo, Todd Deterding)

Marion’s Seth Lanning pitches to Corbin Wheeler in the 3A state playoffs against Cheney. (Photo, Bill Millspaugh)

McPherson’s Jace Kinnamon, with a big block from Alex Perkins, has room to run during his team’s 15-14 overtime win over Buhler in the 4A-I playoffs. (Photo, Kendall Shaw) 6


Nick Davenport of Ell-Saline picks up yardage against Plainville in a 2-1A quarterfinal game in Brookville. (Photo, Joey Bahr)

WE ARE MOVING NOW OPEN Effective Oct. 9th, 2017



STATE CROSS COUNTRY Photos By Huey Counts, Bill Millspaugh and Kelly Ross

Caleb Eilert, St. John’s Beloit 5th Place, Class 1A

Aaron Modrow, Chapman 5th Place, Class 4A

Caroline Giles, Minneapolis 3rd Place, Class 3A

Hayley Burks, Beloit 2nd Place, Class 3A

Peyton Piepho, Bennington 4th Place, Class 2A

Jaycee Vath, Lincoln 2nd Place, Class 2A 8


Nicholas Martisko, Inman 5th Place, Class 2A

STATE VOLLEYBALL Photos by Nikki Hightree and Everett Royer

Athlete of the Month

Elizabeth Overmiller of Beloit goes low to dig a serve during the Class 3A state tournament in Emporia.

Leah Booton and Brittney Hiebert of Goessel team up to win the battle at the net in the 2A tourney at Emporia.

Reed McHenry, Salina Central H.S. Reed is a freshman at Central High School and will participate in basketball and tennis for the Mustangs. He carries a 4.0 grade point average and volunteers for the Salina Rescue Mission and First Covenant Church as an usher. After high school, Reed plans to attend college. His favorite sports teams to follow are the Kansas Jayhawks, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Timberwolves. Logan Walter (6), Kerstin Decker (44) and Aundrea Haberer of Sylvan-Lucas are ready and waiting for Atwood in the 1A-I tournament in Hays.

Kids Athletic Development • Prevent Injuries • Build Strength • Improve Agility • Increase Endurance

Macy Doebele of Hanover slams home a kill against Lebo in the 1A-I tournament.

The Blujays of St. John’s Beloit get fired up for their match with Waverly in the 1A-II state meet in Hays.

330 North Ninth Salina KS, 67401 785.826.5940




McPherson starters line up prior to the state semifinals against Bishop Miege in Olathe.

Photos by Shannon Achilles

Bullpups Finish Third in Class 4-3-2-1A The McPherson Bullpups wrapped up an outstanding season on Saturday, October 28, with a third-place finish in the Class 4-3-2-1A state soccer tournament. The Bullpups of head coach Chris Adrian ended the regular season with an 11-5 record and then proceeded to defeat Winfield (1-0) and Buhler (3-1) to reach the state quarterfinals. McPherson hit the road for a quarterfinal match with Louisburg and came away with a 2-1 victory to reach the state semifinals. A spot in the championship game was denied by perennial power Bishop Miege as the Stags posted a 3-1 win over the Bullpups. McPherson then wrapped up a 15-6-0 season with a 1-0 victory over Spring Hill in the third-place match. Eleven McPherson players were named to the AVCTL III-IV all-league team, including five on the first team forward Darrius Armstrong, midfielders Britton Haigh and Drew Schrader and defenders Devin Cape and Trenton Stecklein. Armstrong was named the league MVP and Adrian was selected as the coach of the year. Salina Central and South both lost first-round playoff games. Central (13-4-0) was upset by Liberal, 4-3, in overtime, while South (6-11-0) lost to Emporia, 4-1.

Darrius Armstrong is surrounded by Miege defenders during the 4-3-2-1A state semifinal match. 10


Drew Schrader of the Bullpups uses his head to steer the ball to a teammate.

Britton Haigh of McPherson battles for possession with Miege’s Richard Bowman.

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Another 1A Crown For Princ

By Huey Counts VYPE North Central Kansas

Two years ago, Autumn Princ was ninth grader getting ready to try out for the Sylvan-Lucas volleyball team. Her future did not include running cross country. “I had never even heard of cross country until seventh grade,” she said. “I never have been coordinated with (ball) sports. I just knew cross country would be easier than volleyball.” Things have changed quite a bit in two years and to say racing cross country courses came easier than hitting a volleyball for Princ would be a huge understatement. She’s a full-time runner now as a sophomore. And a two-time state champion. Princ raced to first in a field of 87 runners last month in the Class 1A Kansas State Cross Country Championships. She covered the 5,000-meter Wamego Country Club course in 18 minutes, 37 seconds, winning by more than 90 seconds. “I just got out at the beginning and stayed there,” she said. “I got a big enough lead that I just focused on my time.” That time morphed into her personal best for cross country, lowering her previous mark by more than five seconds and more than a minute faster than her winning state-race time from her freshman season. “I felt more experienced and knew the course a lot better,” Princ said. “This year I just felt a lot more prepared.” The Sylvan Lucas standout wasn’t the only VYPE NCK area runner to stand atop the podium on championship weekend: * Halle Johnson of Bennington closed out her somewhat frustrating schoolgirl cross country career with the 2A title, her time of 19:14.1 at Wamego easily besting Lincoln freshman Jaycee Vath’s mark of 19:40 as her team won the team title. * Beloit sophomore Hannah Burks’ mark of 19:10.29 carried her to first at the 3A meet at Lawrence’s Rim Rock Park, where her twin, Hayley, was second in 20:07.72. * Freshman Taylor Briggs gave Chapman its first-ever cross country title, using a strong finish to clock in at 18:46.4, besting the runner-up by nearly 14 ticks. Johnson was the lone senior girl to claim a gold medal at state this season. When she crossed the tape in her race, Johnson says she was crying “happy tears.” After placing third as a freshman, her sophomore and junior state races had been derailed by illness 12


Autumn Princ of Sylvan-Lucas cruised to her second consecutive 1A state title. (Photos, Bill Millspaugh)

Halle Johnson of Bennington was all smiles as she neared the finish line in the 2A race at Wamego. Johnson helped the Bulldogs to another team title as well.

Mission Accomplished for Lutgen

Class 1A state cross country champion David Lutgen, St. John’s BeloitTipton. (Photo, Bill Millspaugh)

By Huey Counts VYPE North Central Kansas Tangibly, there is very little that carries over from one cross country race to the next, and certainly not from one season to another. Confidence, well, that’s another matter. For a distance runner, with each success come a greater belief that they can improve, that times they one time never believed attainable are within their grasp. So David Lutgen winning a bronze medal in the 3,200 at the state track and field championships in May doesn’t really translate to the fall, the St. John’s


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Beloit senior claiming a silver medal in the 2016 state cross country meet didn’t mean a whole lot going into this year’s event – to him at least. But, it certainly didn’t dampen the soft-spoken ground-grinder’s confidence, which came mostly from knowing he had not lolly-gagged through his off-season workouts nor had he half-assed his way through the early part of the season. Everything he did for running served a purpose and the effort manifested itself in results, his latest prep triumph coming as he crushed the field in the Class 1A championships. He completed the hilly 3.1-mile course in Wamego in 16 minutes, 22.3 seconds, nearly 40 seconds ahead of runner-up Brodric Shirley of Frankfort. “I felt pretty comfortable the whole race,” he said. “I was expecting some people to go out fast, so that wasn’t really a surprise. I knew it would be at least a mile before I was comfortably in the lead and that was how it played out. About 1,200 meters in, a mile in, I was finally able to get positioned in first and from there I just started creating a gap from everyone and it just kept getting bigger as the race went on.” His time was about eight seconds shy of his personal best, but it was four seconds better than his state race of a year ago when he played runner-up to former Olpe standout Kyler True. Lutgen was joined in the top 10 by three of his teammates as the Bluejays easily repeated as 1A team champs with a tidy 19 points. Freshman Caleb Eiler was fifth in 17.22.8, senior Adam Bates was sixth in 17:32.2 and sophomore Brandon Bates was eighth in 17:39.5. Entering the meet, Lutgen and company had freely discussed the possibility of posting a perfect team score of 10, meaning the Bluejays would have to sweep the top four spots. “We talked about it, we knew it was a possibility,” he said, “but it just wasn’t our day for a perfect score. But, again, we got the goal of the championship so that disappointment faded away.”

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STATE CROSS COUNTRY Beloit sophomore Hannah Burks ran to victory in the Class 3A race in Lawrence. (Photo, Huey Counts)

Chapman freshman Taylor Briggs crosses the finish line to win the 4A race in Wamego. (Photo, Bill Millspaugh)

“I just felt joy, I felt immense joy for my coach and my family,” the Wichita State-signee said. “And the first person that I saw that I knew was my little brother and I just gave him a big hug.” She didn’t really care that her time was nearly 60 seconds slower than the state-best time of 18:11 she put down just one month prior at the Beloit Invitational. “I decided with the struggles I’d had, being sick and collapsing in the past, I would run a more strategic race than going for a fast time. I felt strong pretty much from the get-go.” Competing in her first-ever state competition, Briggs, who entered the meet with seven victories in eight races, says she was not concerned with her placing nearly as much as she was in breaking 19 minutes. With less than 500 meters remaining, she kicked into overdrive, leaving any remaining contenders in her wake. “Running under 19 is ultimately what I wanted,” said Briggs, whose one non-victory was a runner-up finish to Princ. “The winning was just the gravy on top. At the end it was a full-out ‘let’s go, finish the race hard, end the season well.’” Only five girls in Kansas have won four state cross country titles, the latest being Girard grad and current Iowa State runner Callie Logue. Briggs has the first one down and Princ is halfway to four. “It would be great to go for four, but it would be great to get some (stronger) competition in 1A, too,” said Princ, who won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter state titles last May. “Next year some 2A schools may be coming to 1A, so that should help.” In her 3A championship run, Burks left little doubt as she jumped up two places from her freshman season. She ran with a small pack early but by the two-mile mark it was readily apparent she had much more in her engine than the others. “It was exciting just knowing that all the hard work that Hayley and I had put in throughout the season had paid off,” Burks said. “And listening to our coaches and trying to do what’s right, that stuff paid off.”

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ONE TO WATCH Ryan Heline, Smoky Valley H.S. Ryan is a freshman at Smoky Valley and will participate in cross country, basketball and track for the Vikings. He earned all-league honors in cross country this fall and finished 26th in the Class 4A state championships. Ryan carries a 3.57 grade point average and plans to run in college and get a Fire Science degree. He runs for the Salina Burns during the summer and is excited about the upcoming basketball and track seasons. His goal next year in cross country is to place in the Top 15 at state and help the team to a high finish. | 877.621.2600 | Over 50 Locations to Serve You

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Bluebirds Just Short of Perfection

Goessel players and coaches celebrate a point in the Class 2A state championship match. (Photo, Nikki Hightree).

By Conor Nicholl VYPE North Central Kansas Goessel coach Crysta Guhr has to consistently find ways to challenge her team in practice. She uses a drill book, attends several clinics a year and sometimes develops ideas on her own. Sometimes only certain plays count as points. Other occasions, when the varsity and junior varsity scrimmage, the varsity doesn’t win a point if the JV has a mistake. The drills help Goessel, with just four losses in the last four years, develop a strong focus. “It’s easy to kind of get caught up in the fact that some of our matches do kind of come fairly easy,” Guhr said. “But in the long run, that’s not going to do us any good. So that’s actually just been super fun the last few years is to have a squad that can embrace those types of challenges mentally and physically, and as a coach, making practice plans has just been challenging.” After second, first and third place showings in Class 1A, Division I the last three seasons, Goessel transitioned up to Class 2A. The Bluebirds went undefeated in the regular season and rolled through pool play. Against Valley Heights in the state semifinals, the Bluebirds trailed 21-18 in the first set. Goessel responded with a 25-23, 25-22 win. Guhr believed it marked the biggest late-set comeback all year. In the championship, Goessel led late in the first set versus Olathe Heritage Christian but fell 25-23, 25-15. OHC won its second straight 2A crown, while Goessel finished 43-1. Centralia, whom Goessel had played 16


Delaney Herold of Sylvan-Lucas helped her team to a third-place finish in the Class 1A-I state tourney in Hays. (Photo, Everett Royer)

in either the 1A-I championship or semifinals the last three years, cruised to the 1A-I title. “Emporia was everything I wanted it to be,” Guhr said, referring to the 2A state site. “It was just a thrilling atmosphere. It was great volleyball. Great competition, which is all as a coach you ever want for your kids. You just want them playing at a high level and with good volleyball. The girls were somewhat miffed that they didn’t get an opportunity to play Centralia again. … It was really fun to do something different.” Goessel had three on the all-state tournament team: senior outside hitters Eden Hiebert and Leah Booton and junior setter Savanna Wuest. Hiebert finished with 502 kills and set the single season kill record by 16, besting her sister, Page, a senior on the ’15 state title team. Like Page, Eden has committed to Hutchinson Community College.

FIRST BANK KANSAS Academic Athlete of the Month

Kara Eilert of St. John’s-Tipton hammers home a kill against Waverly in the 1A-II state tournament. (Photo, Bill Millspaugh)

Hiebert also led the team with a .414 hitting average, 3.5 digs per set and was by far the team leading in serve-receptions. Guhr always tried to make sure Eden, who played libero as a freshman, was in the middle on any rotation so she could receive the serve. Sylvan-Lucas takes third Sylvan-Lucas opened the Class 1A, Division I state tournament with a 2-0 victory against Southern Coffey County. In the next match, Sylvan-Lucas lost its first set, 25-19, against Rawlins County. Atwood blocked senior Logan Batchman well on the outside. Then, the Mustangs changed their set on the outside and dropped their double block to a single block. Sylvan-Lucas won the next two sets, 25-22, 25-22, and clinched a spot in the semifinals. The Mustangs eventually finished third with a 25-14, 25-20 win against Pretty Prairie. Helped by a loud cheering section at state, SLHS finished 39-4 for the best finish in school annals. Batchman and junior Delaney Herold earned all-state all-tournament team. “We had a great support group behind us this year,” coach Linda Haring said. “Parents have been following us the whole season, and that really helps. That momentum is huge in volleyball.” SJB-Tipton earns fourth In Division II, St. John’s-Tipton had reached state four times in the previous five years but hadn’t reached the semifinals. On Day 1, the Blujays lost their opening match to Waverly, 2-1, and dropped the first set to defending titlist Axtell, 25-9. Before the second set, coach Marcy Kee had a message. “I said, ‘Girls, we’ve got to leave everything out on the court,’ ” Kee said. “We’ve just to go out and play ball, and if we come out on the losing end as long as you give it your all and play with heart, that’s all I could ask for,’ and they just responded and stepped up.” St. John’s won the next two sets, 25-8, 25-12, and then defeated Northern Valley, 2-0, to capture the pool. In the semifinals, BSJT fell to Otis-Bison and Wheatland-Grinnell by 2-0 scores to finish fourth at 32-12, still the top showing in Blujay history. Junior hitter Kara Eilert and sophomore setter Caitlin Strong collected all-tournament. “The emotions were high for me,” Kee said. “I have been here a lot of years and never made it to Saturday, so it was a great feeling. I am very proud.”

Drew Labertew, McPherson H.S. Drew is a senior at McPherson and participates in football (3 letters), basketball (3), track (3) and golf (2) for the Bullpups. As a junior, he was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-state as a safety, second-team as a kicker and honorable mention all-league in basketball. Drew carries a weighted GPA of 4.175 and belongs to the National Honor Society and FCA at school. He volunteers for PUPPS and McPherson Youth Football and is a Kansas Honor's Scholar and team captain for the football team. Drew plans to attend a four-year university and major in Business or Sports Management. Find us on Facebook! VYPE.COM | HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS | NOV 2017




Bullpups Loaded For Title Run,


McPherson senior Ben Pyle is one of five starters returning for last year’s Class 4A-I runner-up. (Photo, Tanner Colvin)

By Conor Nicholl VYPE North Central Kansas McPherson boys’ basketball coach Kurt Kinnamon has assisted with University of Kansas basketball camps since Roy Williams first came to Lawrence in 1988. Kinnamon has kept a strong relationship with current KU coach Bill Self, now in his 15th season. In early November, Kinnamon and his staff again traveled to KU and spent a few days with the Jayhawks, meetings that have long helped the Bullpup program. On Nov. 6, Kinnamon and Self conversed. Self said a high school coach had contacted him, asking how to get into college coaching. Self looked at Kinnamon and asked if he’d ever thought of transitioning to college. “Why would I?,” Kinnamon said. “I have the best job in the state.” “You kind of have the high school equivalent of the job that I have in college,” Self replied. Kinnamon, now his 23rd season as the head coach of the tradition-laden Bullpups, agreed. 20


“We have great support, we have tremendous administration, and we have great kids,” Kinnamon said. “Why would I want to do anything else? I think about that a lot.” Kinnamon (473-93 in his career) has captured six of McPherson’s 13 state titles. Three seasons ago, the Bullpups beat Bishop Miege in the semifinals en route to a 25-0 mark. The last two years, McPherson has finished second in 4A-I to Miege. McPherson returns 12 players with eight seniors and all five starters. The group includes senior Ben Pyle, a signee with Division I Western Illinois, senior point guard Mason Alexander, junior Jake Alexander, and seniors Drew Labertew and Thomas Diggs. The 6-foot-7 Pyle overcame severe burns from a work accident in summer ’16 to average 22.8 points and 9.2 rebounds. Mason Alexander (14.3 points, 4.3 assists) has received offers from William Jewell and Emporia State. “Those guys know the expectations and know what we want, and so consequently, we might be a little bit ahead at the beginning,” Kinnamon said. This year’s KU trip centered around the Nov. 7 exhibition game between Fort Hays State and KU. Kinnamon’s son, Kyler, is the Tigers’ point guard. McPherson met with KU director of basketball operations Brennan Bechard. He showed the Bullpups various clips and sets and discussed KU’s philosophy in different situations. McPherson viewed KU’s Fort Hays scouting meeting. “I saw a scouting report ‘this is what they think your own son is going to do,’ which is kind of cool,” Kinnamon said. This winter, Pyle set goals to reach the free throw line more frequently and be “more of a presence” down low. That echoed what the McPherson coaches heard from Self. He continually preached “take it downhill.” Last season, McPherson fell to Derby, Miege, and Andover before the holidays and lost to Andale on Jan. 10. In the season’s second half, McPherson improved in several facets.

Community Athlete of the Month Lane Griffin, Salina Central H.S. Lane is a sophomore at Central High School and earned a letter as a member of the Mustangs' cross country team this fall. He will also be participating in swimming and track this year after playing baseball as a freshman. Lane carries a 3.86 grade point average and volunteers for the Kids College at Cloud County Community College. He also made district choir and will be auditioning for state choir. Lane plans to attend Kansas State University and study Engineering.

Jean Curry 2737 Belmont Blvd Salina, KS 67401 785-823-5129

Kelly Kitchener 216 W. Crawford Salina, KS 67401 785-825-6227

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Jordan, Knights Look to Stay Sharp By Matt Browning VYPE North Central Kansas The official Webster’s Dictionary definition of complacency is the feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievement. Perhaps more so than anything else, complacency might be the biggest obstacle for Class 2A state boys basketball defending champion, Sacred Heart. “All of these kids are winners, but I think becoming complacent is always a concern for a coach,” Sacred Heart coach Pat Martin said. “We have goals, but we know we have a bulls eye on our back. But I think the kids embrace that.” Over the past two seasons, the Knights have gone 50-2., with the two losses coming back to back. Sacred Heart won 25 consecutive games to open the 2015-2016 season, before falling to Jackson Heights in the 2A finals. The Knights lost to Hesston in last year’s opener, before winning 25 straight games, including the 2A title. This season’s schedule will be more of a challenge than the previous two seasons. Sacred Heart again opens the season against Hesston, this time on the road. They also play nonleague games against Central Plains and Council Grove. Add those with grueling league opponents like Southeast of Saline, Beloit and Ellsworth and the Knights will have to be focused night in and night out to accomplish what they have done in the previous two seasons. “The target gets bigger and bigger for us every year,” said senior guard Caleb Jordan. “Everyone is going to be gunning for us, but we approach it as motivation. When clutch time comes, we know we can perform.” Jordan, who has started since he was a freshman, will be the clear-cut leader for Sacred Heart and not only from a production standpoint, but also from an emotional prospective, too. “He came a long way as a leader last year,” Martin said. “He figured out that he did not have to do everything on the floor. He’s worked hard this past offseason to be even better this year.” It is not just Jordan for Sacred Heart, as the Knights return three other key players from last season. Junior Trace Leners will be Sacred Heart’s defensive catalyst and he also averaged seven points and five rebounds, while shooting 65 percent from the floor last season. Also back is senior, Grant Herrenbuck, who is the Knights’ purist shooter. Last season, he shot 62 percent from the field. 22


Senior guard Caleb Jordan has been a starter at Sacred Heart since his freshman season. (Photo, Mark Weaver)

Perhaps the key for Sacred Heart is point guard, Charlie Skidmore. He is given the task of replacing Stratton Brown, who averaged 13 points and shot 48 percent from three. “He would have been starting for any other team in the state,” Martin said. The Knights averaged 69 points per game, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor. Their scoring margin was over 20 points. Martin knows it will be difficult to replicate those numbers, but he does not get caught up in trying to forecast statistics and results. “I’m a one game at a time kind of a coach,” Martin said. “So for me, it all starts with Hesston.” Jordan said he has discussed expectations with the rest of the team. He thinks it is just implied that their goal is to be playing the final game in March. “Our goal in the end is sub-state and state,” Jordan said. “But e do try to take it one game at a time so that when the time comes for sub-state and state, we are ready.”

GO ! Prep Performance of the Month

Autumn Princ, Sylvan-Lucas H.S.

Autumn is a sophomore at Sylvan-Lucas High School and is now a two-time state cross country champion after her victory in the Class 1A state championships in Wamego on Oct. 28. Princ's time in the 3.1-mile race - 18:37.1 - was the fourth fastest overall among the state's six classes.

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BOYS TEAM CAPSULES Editor’s Note: Only those schools which sent preseason information to VYPE are included in the list below.

ABILENE COWBOYS Head Coach - Terry Taylor (11th year), League - North Central Kansas Last year - 21-4 (8-2, t-1st), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (1) - Tucker Robinson, 6-4, Sr. (7.6) Other Lettermen - Noah Wildman, 6-0, Sr. (5.3); Parker Gentry, 6-3, Sr.; Preston Boyd, 6-4, Jr.; James Mayden, 5-11, Jr.; Damian Hartman, 6-0, Jr.; Tim Barbieri, 6-3, Jr.; Wyatt Davis, 6-0, Jr.; Travis Beetch, 6-1, So.

BELOIT TROJANS Head Coach - Ryan Eilert (10th year), League - NCAA Last year - 14-8 (9-3, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (1) - Ryan Broeckelman, 6-1, Jr. (3.9) Other Lettermen - Hudson Smith, 5-9, Jr. (2.9); Tate Thompson, 6-6, Jr. (2.3); Vincent Palen, 5-9, So (3.0)

BENNINGTON BULLDOGS Head Coach - Curtis Pickering (3rd year) League - HOA Last year - 14-8 (6-3, tie 1st) Preseason Poll - 7th Returning starters (4) - JJ Allen, 5-8, Jr. (11.0); Josh Juenman, 6-10, Jr. (7.5); Devin Feil, 5-7, Jr. (9.0); Ryan Stanley, 5-7, Jr. (3.0). Other Lettermen - Skylar Piepho, 5-8, Jr. (1.0)

CANTON-GALVA EAGLES Head Coach - Shane Duncan (6th year), League - Wheat State Last year - 4-17. ,Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (3) - Dylan Wood, 5-10, Sr.; Jonah Sargent, 5-9, Sr.; Nick Pearson, 5-11, So. Other Lettermen - Dawson Minson, 5-11, Sr.; Landon Everett, 5-9, So.; Kinser Colgin, 6-0, So.

CHAPMAN IRISH Head Coach - James Bell (4th year), League - North Central Kansas Last year - 9-12 (4-6, t-4th), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (3) - Zack Loy, 6-0, Sr. (6.9); Brandon Colston, 6-2, Jr. (3.6); Izek Jackson, 6-5, Jr. (3.3) Other Lettermen - Anthony Wasylk, 5-8, Jr. (2.3); Lazano Lovett, 6-6, Jr. (1.3); Malik Watkins, 5-8, Jr. (1.0); Talor Warner, 6-4, Jr. (1.6)

CHASE KATS Head Coach - Mitch Light (10th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 8-13 (4-8, t-9th), Preseason Poll - 10th. Returning starters (2) - Brayden Moore, 6-3, Sr. (11.1); Lance Hinderliter, 6-2, Jr. (4.0)

Payton Froese of Inman helped lead his team to a 16-6 record last year by averaging 15 points a game.

CLAY CENTER TIGERS Head Coach - Drew Gruver (2nd year), League - North Central Kansas Last year - 3-18 (0-10, 6th), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (4) - Anthony Atkinson-Enneking, 6-5, Sr. (12.3); Nate Liby, 6-1, Sr. (8.4); Brigham Glaves, 6-1, Sr. (3.0); Connor Last, 6-2, Sr. (1.7) Other Lettermen - Gavin Siebold, 6-0, Sr. (1.8); Josh Haden, 6-3, Sr.; Evan Rosenow, 6-0, Sr.



CLIFTON-CLYDE EAGLES Head Coach - Jim Blackwell (1st year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 10-13 (5-7, t-5th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (2) - Zach Sorell, 5-9, Sr. (11.5); Bradley Koch, 6-2, Sr. (10.3) Other Lettermen - Jacob Stenberg, 5-11, Sr. (2.3); Austen Biery, 5-8, Sr. (2.3); Gavin Cyr, 6-0, Sr. (1.5); Nathan Ohlde, 6-1, Jr. (3.2); Christian Seifert, 5-10, Jr.; Gunner Coffman, 5-10, So.

CONCORDIA PANTHERS Head Coach - Michael Roe (6th year), League - North Central Kansas Last year - 7-15 (3-7, 5th), Preseason Poll - 5th. Returning starters (3) - Garrett Lawrence, 6-4, Sr. (6.7); Billy Bechard, 5-11, Sr. (5.1); Dyelan Reed, 6-4, Jr. (10.8) Other Lettermen - Tyler Stupka, 6-2, Sr. (3.5); Corben Monzon, 6-2, Jr. (6.2)

ELL-SALINE CARDINALS Head Coach - Josh Burt (1st year), League - Heart of America Last year - 6-16 (1-8, 10th), Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (3) - Mason Farrell, 6-1, Sr. (9.6); Hunter Kindlesparger, 5-8, Sr. (8.4); Nathan Parks, 6-0, Sr. (4.0) Other Lettermen - Tel Phelps, 5-9, Sr. (3.5); Kaden Griffin, 6-0, So. (2.4)

ELLSWORTH BEARCATS Head Coach - Trevor Kuhlman (4th year), League - NCAA Last year - 14-8 (8-4, t-3rd), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (2) - Jordan Base, 6-0, Sr. (10.7); Remington Cravens, 6-3, Sr. (10.1) Other Lettermen - Chris Fitzgerald, 5-10, Sr. (0.8); Jaxson Windholz, 5-11, Sr. (0.3); Bransen Schulte, 6-1, Jr. (0.9); Grant Gwinner, 6-0, Jr. (0.7)

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES Head Coach - Zach Goodrich (2nd year), League - Wheat State Last year - 15-8 (5-4, 5th), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (5) - Tyler Thiessen, 6-5, Sr. (15.0); Aidan Fields, 6-2, Jr. (12.0); Caleb Froese, 6-4, Jr. (9.0); Tyler Huxman, 5-10, Jr. (4.0); Jaden Starburg, 6-1, Jr. (3.0) Other Lettermen - Kobe Neufeldt, 5-10, Jr.; Jackson Stone, 6-0, So.

GOESSEL BLUEBIRDS Head Coach - Curtis Guhr (7th year), League - Wheat State Last year - 7-14 (2-8)., Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (3) - Jordan Griffin, 6-2, Sr. (10.5); Carson Sterk, 6-2, Sr. (1.4); Dylan Lindeman, 6-3, So. (10.2)

HANOVER WILDCATS Head Coach - Kim Lohse (23rd year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 24-2 (11-1, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (1) - Carter Bruna, 6-0, Jr. (8.5) Other Lettermen - Kevin Diederich, 6-0, Sr.; Brennan Zabokrtsky, 6-0, Sr.; Daiken Stallbaumer, 6-1, Jr. (5.1); Pete Peters, 6-3, Jr. (4.6); Thomas Atkins, 6-3, Jr. (4.1); Cade Cohorst, 6-0, Jr.

HILLSBORO TROJANS Head Coach - Darrel Knoll (30th year), League - Central Kansas Last year - 15-8 (7-3, 4th), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (2) - Darian Ratzlaff, 6-0, Sr. (10.5); Elias Werth, 6-0, Sr. (10.2) Other Lettermen - Elliot Ollenburger, 6-2, Sr. (1.3); Brodie Rathbone, 6-2, Sr. (0.5); Joe Knoll, 6-2, Jr. (7.0); Wes Shaw, 6-2, Jr. (5.3); Caleb Rempel, 5-10, Jr. (1.6); Caleb Potucek, 5-9, So. (1.3)

INMAN TEUTONS Head Coach - Brett Froese (7th year), League - Heart of America Last year - 16-6 (6-3, t-2nd), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (2) - Payton Froese, 6-0, Jr. (15.0), Mason Thiessen, 6-7, Jr. (13.0) Other Lettermen - Nathan Enns, Jack Doerksen, Jordan Friesen, Ethan Stubbs



Head Coach - Joe Biggs (2nd year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 5-16 (5-7, 8th), Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (3) - Colin Obermueller, 6-1, Sr. (5.0); Sean Obermueller, 5-11, Sr. (4.0); Drew Biggs, 6-1, Jr. (6.0) Other Lettermen - Cody Behrens, 6-2, Sr. (2.0)

Head Coach - Bob Kyle (1st year), League - Wheat State Last year - 2-19., Preseason Poll - 10th. Returning starters (3) - Chance Elliott, 5-11, Sr.; Bryant Young, 5-7, Sr.; Tyler Entz, 5-10, Jr. Other Lettermen - Rocco Weerts, 5-9, So.; Jess Philpott, 5-9, So.; Jack Parks, 6-0, So.; Caleb VanCuren, 6-1, So.; Andrew Hauck, 5-9, So.



Head Coach - Jeremy Miller (7th year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 9-11 (5-7, t-8th), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (3) - Dillon Cooper, 6-4, Sr. (14.5); Tanner Spence, 6-1, Sr. (11.5); Evan Bott, 6-1, Sr. (8.5) Other Lettermen - Jace Schaefer, 5-10, So. (1.3); Daniel York, 5-9, So. (1.0)

Head Coach - Gary Loring (34th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 15-7 (10-2, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (4) - Anton Reeves, 5-9, Sr. (16.8); Heath White, 6-1, Sr. (11.1); Lane Peters, 5-8, Sr. (5.0); Davante Hammer, 5-8, Sr. (4.1) Other Lettermen - Ben Jensen, 5-10, Sr. (0.8); Michael Flavin, 6-5, Jr. (4.7); Brody Carlgren, 5-8, Jr. (2.5)

LYONS LIONS Head Coach - Brian Friess (18th year), League - CKL Last year - 1-20, Preseason Poll - 11th. Returning starters (5) - Terek Smith, 6-2, Sr.; Jonathan Gomez, 6-1, Sr.; Brayden Fundenberger, 6-3, Jr.; Alejandro Pena, 5-7, So.; Connor Minx, 6-0, So. Other Lettermen - Wlisses Landeros, 5-10, Sr.; Gage Reid, 5-10, Jr.

MARION WARRIORS Head Coach - Randy Skiles (2nd year), League - Heart of America Last year - 5-16., Preseason Poll - 10th. Returning starters (2) - Zachary Stuchlik, 6-3, Sr. (11.0); Noah Dalrmple, 6-4, Jr. (4.0) Other Lettermen - Colin Williams, 5-9, Sr.; Chase Stringer, 6-3, Jr. (7.0); Blaine Mermis, 6-5, Jr. (11.0); Sam Zinn, 5-11, Jr. (5.0); Evann Heidebrecht, 5-10, Jr. (4.0); Eli Hett, 5-10, Jr.

REPUBLIC COUNTY BUFFALOES Head Coach - Clay Mettlen (3rd year), League - NCAA Last year - 7-14 (2-12, 5th), Preseason Poll - 5th. Returning starters (3) - McKenzie Cromwell, 5-11, Sr. (9.8); Nick Allsman, 5-11, Sr. (5.9); Deon Dyke, 5-9, Sr. (3.4) Other Lettermen - Noah Springer, 6-3, Sr. (2.6); Carl Brunner, 5-9, Sr.; Logan Waite, 6-0, Sr.; Ethan Nutsch, 6-0, Jr.

ROCK HILLS GRIZZLIES Head Coach - Nick Mizner (1st year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 13-9 (7-4, 4th), Preseason Poll - 5th. Returning starters (3) - Tycen Higer, 5-10, Sr. (11.8); Jacob Spiegel, 6-2, Sr. (11.0); Brady Jeffery, 6-3, Sr. (8.6) Other Lettermen - Dereck Gillett, 6-3, Jr. (8.0); Austin Eilert, 6-1, Sr.


Mason Alexander, who averaged 14.3 points a game last year for McPherson, teamed with Ben Pyle to form one of the best 1-2 scoring punches in the state.

McPHERSON BULLPUPS Head Coach - Kurt Kinnamon (23rd year), League - AVCTL III Last year - 20-5 (10-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (5) - Ben Pyle, 6-8, Sr. (22.8); Mason Alexander, 6-1, Sr. (14.3); Thomas Diggs, 6-1, Sr. (4.0); Drew Labertew, 6-3, Sr. (3.8); Jake Alexander, 6-4, Jr. (12.8) Other Lettermen - Jayse Alexander, 6-1, Sr. (3.3); Wyatt Seidl, 6-4, Sr. (1.0); Jace Kinnamon, 5-10, Jr. (1.1); Kyler Hoppes, 6-1, Jr. (1.0); Gabe Hoover, 6-1, Jr.; Aren Trost, 6-5, Jr.; Cody Stufflebean, 6-4, So.

Head Coach - Adam Sobba (1st year), League - Wheat State Last year - 16-7 (7-2, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (1) - Dawson Worrel, 6-1, Sr. (7.0) Other Lettermen - Eli Flemming, 6-0, Sr. (2.3); Josh Sandow, 6-4, Jr. (2.3)

SACRED HEART KNIGHTS Head Coach - Pat Martin (11th year), League - NCAA Last year - 25-1 (12-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (3) - Caleb Jordan, 5-10, Sr. (15.3); Grant Herrenbruck, 6-3, Sr. (5.3); Trace Leners, 5-11, Jr. (6.6) Other Lettermen - Cole Elmore, 6-3, Sr. (3.2); Blake Palen, 6-0, Sr. (1.3); Charlie Skidmore, 6-0, Jr. (5.1); Ben DelReal, 6-4, Jr. (1.2)

MINNEAPOLIS LIONS Head Coach - John Darrow (3rd year), League - NCAA Last year - 5-16 (1-11, 7th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (4) - Tre-Vaughn Thomas, 6-0, Sr. (11.8); Trent Brubaker, 5-8, Sr (4.0); Isaiah Sherbert, 5-8, Sr. (3.9); Kaden McCullick, 6-2, Jr. (7.8) Other Lettermen - Cooper Berry, 5-11, Jr. (1.7); Hunter Allison, 5-11, Jr. (1.0); Derek Pieschl, 5-9, Jr. (1.0); Gaton Heald, 6-2, Jr.; Derek Freel, 6-0, So. (2.0); Jonah Ausherman, 6-1, So.

Senior Grant Herrenbruck, who has signed a golf letter of intent for Kansas, figures to be Sacred Heart’s most improved player this season.

MOUNDRIDGE WILDCATS Head Coach - Vance Unrau (31st year), League - Heart of America Last year - 13-9 (6-3, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (2) - Noah Eichelberger, 6-3, Sr. (14.6); Jared Kaufman, 5-10, Sr. (3.1) Other Lettermen - Dillon Vogts, 6-0, Jr. (4.1); Brady Helms, 6-3, So. (1.2) VYPE.COM | HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS | NOV 2017



ST. JOHN’S-TIPTON BLUJAYS Head Coach - Lance Bergmann (9th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 22-1 (12-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (0) - None Other Lettermen - Ty Brummer, 6-0, Sr. (2.9); Adam Bates, 6-0, Sr. (2.5); Garrett Darnell, 6-1, Sr.; Kail Dubbert, 5-10, Jr.; Ben Towner, 5-9, Jr.

SALINA CENTRAL MUSTANGS Head Coach - Doug Finch (14th year), League - AVCTL I Last year - 20-3 (11-1, 1st), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (3) - Sam Shaffer, 6-0, Sr. (10.6); Ethan Speer, 6-3, Sr. (7.1); Harper Williams, 6-1, Jr. (7.2) Other Lettermen - Jack Atherton, 6-5, Sr.; Mark Grammer, 6-2, Jr.; David Grammer, 6-2, Jr.; Ben Driver, 6-1, Jr.

Head Coach - Jeff Wells (4th year), League - NCAA Last year - 20-6 (8-4, t-2nd), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (1) - Hunter White, 6-0, Sr. (10.3) Other Lettermen - Grant Tillberg, 5-10, Sr. (2.0); Damon Douglas, 5-11, Sr. (1.4); Jake Huffaker, 5-10, Sr. (0.7); Nick Montgomery, 6-3, Jr. (2.7)

STERLING BLACK BEARS Head Coach - Derek Schneider (9th year), League - Heart of America Last year - 14-8 (6-3, t-1st), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (5) - Kenan Comley, 5-9, Sr.; Blake Richter, 6-1, Sr.; Lucas Briar, 6-4, Sr.; Trent Jones, 6-0, Sr.; Brady Myers, 6-0, So. Other Lettermen - John Schweizer, 6-5, Sr.; Conan Bell, 5-9, Jr.; Max Dutton, 5-11, Jr.; Caleb Lambert, 5-8, So.

SYLVAN-LUCAS MUSTANGS Head Coach - Mark Spears (1st year) League - Northern Plains, Last year - 15-5 (9-3, 3rd), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (3) - Dylan Streit, 6-4, Sr. (10.4); Caiden Rivers, 5-8, Sr. (3.3); Tyler Barrientes, 5-10, Jr. (5.2) Other Lettermen - Darren Ammon, 6-2, Sr.; Owen Krueger, 5-8, Sr.; JC Huehl, 6-0, Jr.

Sam Shaffer’s scoring average of 10.6 points a game is expected to go way up this season for the Salina Central Mustangs.

WAKEFIELD BOMBERS Head Coach - Rich Steppe (5th year), League - Wheat State Last year - 11-11 (5-4, 4th), Preseason Poll - 5th. Returning starters (2) - Nathan Jackson, 6-3, Sr. (11.1); Justin Carver, 5-4, Sr. (2.4) Other Lettermen - Noah Ghent, 5-10, Sr. (6.0); Dustin Rose, 5-7, Sr. (0.7); Jack Krueger, 5-11, So. (1.3)

SALINA SOUTH COUGARS Head Coach - Jason Hooper (4th year), League - AVCTL I Last year - 8-14, Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (1) - Elex Banks, 6-5, Jr. (8.2) Other Lettermen - Joey Wilson, 6-1, Sr. (3.9); Brady McAfee, 6-0, Sr. (1.0); Isaac Mitchell, 6-5, Jr. (4.0); Conner Munsell, 5-6, Jr. (0.3); Luke Streit, 5-8, Jr. (0.5)

SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS Head Coach - Doug Schneider (7th year), League - Central Kansas Last year - 15-8 (8-2, 3rd), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (3) - Nick Reinert, 5-11, Sr. (16.2); Brett Heitschmidt, 6-2, Sr. (11.4); Jacob Adams, 6-4, Sr. (9.0) Other Lettermen - Ben Weldy, 6-3, Sr. (4.5); Zach Able, 6-0, Sr. (2.1)

WASHINGTON TIGERS Head Coach - Robert Smith (2nd year), League - Twin Valey Last year - NA., Preseason Poll - 8th. Returning seniors and juniors - Carson Talkington, Sr.; Noah Goodwin, Sr.; S cuyler Zenger, Sr.; Riley Moore, Sr.; Ryan White, Sr.; Tyler Roepke, Jr.; Luke Gauby, Jr.; Wyatt Bentz, Jr.; Pepe Cardenas.

WILSON DRAGONS Head Coach - Kenroy Wilson (2nd year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 13-10 (7-5)., Preseason Poll -7th. Returning starters (2) - Jayden Bess, 5-9, Sr. (12.0); Collin Hoeffner, 6-3, Sr. (7.0) Other Lettermen - Brody Mermis, 6-0, Jr. (6.0)

SOLOMON GORILLAS Head Coach - Andrew Johnson (1st year), League - Wheat State Last year - 14-7 (9-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning Lettermen - Jacob Burdine, Sr. (9.4); Jake Harmon, Sr. (7.3); Andrew Capsey, Sr. (2.0); Kade Shirack, Sr. (1.0); Zach Baier, Sr. (1.0); Matthew Smith, Sr. (0.7); Lucas Graybeal, Sr. (0.7); Braden Nielson, Jr. (18.7); Jobe Fowles, Jr. (1.0)

SOUTHERN CLOUD WARRIORS Head Coach - Larry Mall (9th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 6-16 (4-8, 9th), Preseason Poll - 8th. Returning starters (5) - Joe Cool, 6-3, Sr. (6.1); Lane Martin, 6-2, Sr. (4.4); Blake Gumm, 5-10, Jr. (7.6); Ryan Paillet, 5-9, Jr. (7.2); Kaury Stout, 6-0, Jr. (6.8) Other Lettermen - Carson Bellows, 6-0, Jr. (1.6); Jackson Burch, 6-0, So. (1.4)

of Salina Inc. 26

Nick Reinert led a young Smoky Valley team to the 4A-Ii state tournament, averaging 16.2 for the season.

721 West Diamond Dr. · Salina, KS 67401 785-827-2287 ·


Good Luck Salina Central!

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BY EXAMPLE Athlete of the Month

Keetan Munsell, Salina South H.S.

Keetan is a junior at Salina South High School and participates in cross country, diving and track for the Cougars, lettering three years in cross country and two in track. He has qualified three times for the Class 5A state cross country championships, finishing 34th (junior), 20th (sophomore) and 31st (freshman). Keetan carries a 4.0 grade point average and belongs to STUCO at school. His plans are to enter Physical Therapy school after high schol and is excited about next year's cross country team at South.


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Robertson’s Career Is


Taylor Robertson will take her game to the University of Oklahoma next year. (Photo, Kendall Shaw) 28


By Jim Misunas VYPE North Central Kansas The decorated history of McPherson High School girls basketball has delivered eight state championships and eight Division 1 players. McPherson guard Taylor Robertson has rewritten the school’s storied record book in virtually every category from scoring, 3-pointers and shooting percentages. She was 6 years old when she informed her father that she wanted to focus on becoming a basketball player. “I would describe myself as an unselfish, hardworking, and very competitive player,” said Robertson, who chose the University of Oklahoma from 10 college offers. “What I like most about basketball is winning and making a good pass to someone who scores.” McPherson coach Chris Strathman calls Robertson one of the purest shooters in the country. Her numbers last year are eye-popping — 57 percent on threes, 62 percent from the field and 91 percent from the free throw line. “Taylor is the most skilled offensive player that I’ve coached,” Strathman said. “She’s an outstanding shooter with great form. I would put her up against anyone in the country with her ability to shoot and handle the basketball. Her high basketball IQ helps get herself in position to score the basketball and create for her teammates when she draws attention.” Strathman said Robertson’s shooting accuracy exceeds virtually every statisical measure. A composite “180 shooter” will shoot 40 percent on threes, 50 percent on twos and 90 percent on free throws for a 180 number. Robertson improved her composite accuracy to 213.5 last season. “She almost reached 190 her freshman year, about 200 as a sophomore. As a junior she reached 213.5 — a number that is just ridiculously efficient — especially since she is such a focal point of every defense,” Strathman said. “There aren’t many that have achieved 180 for a season.” Robertson said her main goal is to achieve high success as a team. The Bullpups lost 66-59 in the 4A-Division 1 state finals to Bishop Miege last year. McPherson teammate Mandi Cooks, a Texas-San Antonio recruit, is sidelined with an injury, but is expected to return during the season. “All of my major goals every year are for team success,” said Robertson, who also holds school records for points (43) and 3-pointers (9) in a game. “Our goal is a state championship and it was really disappointing last year to fall short.” Strathman said Robertson’s ability forces opposing teams to try and limit her effectiveness with a variety of defensive schemes. “You name it and we’ve seen it,” he said. “We don’t have perfect answers, but we can attack things pretty well. The players get accustomed to all the looks. We try to get Taylor touches and shots. We get a good feel for where our shot opportunities will likely come from for everyone else.” What makes the 5-foot-9 Robertson unique is she might be a more gifted passer than she is a sharpshooter. “The main thing when passing is I just think about putting my teammates in a good position to score,” Robertson said. “It takes focus and practice to be able put the ball exactly where you want it to go.” An assist is her gift that keeps on giving.

Come see us at the Mid America Farm Expo in Salina Kansas! Carlie Barleen, Concordia H.S.

Colton Bradford, Minneapolis H.S.

Carlie is a senior at Concordia High School and participates in rodeo and also softball in the spring for the Panthers. She carries a 3.70 grade point average and belongs to the Future Farmers of America, Kansas High School Rodeo Association and North Central Kansas Saddle Club. Carlie also volunteers for the Future Farmers of America and is on the officer team for her FFA Chapter. She has been around horses her entire life and has been riding for 13 years. She has participated in the Poles, Breakaway, and Barrel events at Kansas High School Rodeo Association championships. After high school, she plans to attend Kansas State University to study Agriculture.

Colton is a freshman at Minneapolis and participates in rodeo, along with football, wrestling and baseball for the Lions. He was named the Player of the Week during Week 7 after eight tackles, one forced fumble and one recovered fumble in a varsity game. Colton carries a 3.70 GPA and participates in rodeo year-round. He has qualified to represent Kansas on the national team in Bull Riding & Bareback for three consecutive years, which is a huge accomplishment. He was the 2016 KJHRA Reserve Champion in Bull Riding & Bareback, a four-time invitee to the American Royal Invitational and has qualified to compete at the Wrangler Youth World Finals.

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Expectations Still High For Central

By Joanna Chadwick VYPE North Central Kansas The Salina Central girls have a well-established winning culture. The Mustangs have advanced to the Class 5A tournament four times over the past six seasons, finishing fourth each of the past two. They have averaged 18 wins in that span, winning at least 19 games four times, including the past two seasons. “We have that mentality,” senior Elisa Backes said. “We come in the gym every day and we work really hard to get that record…. It’s a great tradition.” Salina Central graduated six from last season, but that culture and tradition hasn’t disappeared. “A lot of people will see it as a big blow,” Backes said. “It is. We lost a lot of scoring and bodies. But we’re really excited to get back out there…. This is my last year, and I want to have a really competitive season.” “... We’re just really versatile. I hope that people don’t expect much from us. That’s when we do our best.” Second-year coach Chris Fear envisions success with his team. 30


“We still have really good players, and we have some younger players that will get an opportunity to step forward. And they’re talented kids,” he said. “They lack a little bit of experience. But I’m excited because I think we have a talented group.” Fear will push the Mustangs to live up to that potential. He spent 20 years coaching men’s college basketball, and his expectations are high. “We’re always trying to get better,” he said. “What might be different is how you push. I would say that’s probably a little bit different (coaching high school). I think that college men, they may be triggered by some other things. I would say that absolutely you push just as hard.” Backes, who signed to play with Nebraska-Kearney, plays a critical role. At 6-foot-1, she can score in the post and rebound, but where she excels most is on the perimeter with the ball in her hands. “She’s really versatile,” Fear said. “She can play on the block, but she’s probably more comfortable playing away from the basket, facing up. She’s probably our best passer.

Elisa Backes averaged 10 points and six rebounds a game last year for the Mustangs. (Photo, Kelly Ross)

“I’ll use that versatility. She’ll handle the ball some for us and initiate some of our offense. That’s her best trait -- being able to play both offensively and be just as good on the defensive end.” The Mustangs will look to Selah Merkel inside. She’s 5-9 and strong. “She’s another versatile player,” Backes said. “She will just drive straight down the lane and no one can stop her. I don’t like guarding her.” Sophomore Kadyn Cobb will play a key role, but she tore an anterior cruciate ligament during the summer and may not return until January. Salina Central is especially strong at guard. Senior Myah Ward is a strong three-point shooter; she hit 100 threes as a sophomore. Fear described her as a “pure catch-and-shoot” player. “If we can get her into positions where she can be open, she’ll score,” he said. With strong guard play, Fear wants to play fast. “We want to put some pressure on people defensively, whether it’s in the full court or even in the half court,” he said. “We want to be really aggressive defensively, and turn some defense, hopefully, into some easy baskets or open shots.”


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Kadin is a sophomore at Salina South, participates on the bowling team and has earned one letter. As a freshman, he was a member of the Cougar team that finished sixth in the Class 5-1A state tournament. Kadin volunteers at All-Star Lanes and also for 8 For 8. He has a high game of 236 and high series of 616. Kadin hopes to help his team qualify for the state tournament again this season and be selected for the All Kansas Team.

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grandparent of the month Sara Regier, North Newton

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I have been blessed to have all eight of my grandchildren grow up here in Newton. Besides their various academic, art and musical interests, they have all been involved in varsity sports and track at Newton High School. This year, my youngest granddaughter, Asha Regier, a freshman, continued in the tradition of her two older sisters, Lauren and Emily, playing varsity volleyball. She is an outside hitter, a strong team player and helped Newton High make it to state tournament again this year. It is a joy to see her grow in both her athletic skills and academic interests. I take pleasure in seeing the team spirit and friendships that develop as the team bonds together to face the challenges of a competing team and their exuberance when they win. In spite of some physical limitations, my family has put forth extra effort to make it possible for me to attend high school games and travel to Lauren and Emily’s games at Pittsburg State. - Sara Regier


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Be Elite Athlete of the Month Blake Sullivan, Goddard H.S. The Sharp Performance Athlete of the Month for November is Blake Sullivan. When you talk about the best high school football players in the state of Kansas this season, Blake is near the top of everyone’s list. He has totaled over 1,000 yards through the air with 15 touchdowns and he was close to the 1,000 yard mark on the ground with 21 touchdowns. Sullivan’s stats are somewhat video game-like. Given his size, speed and great decision making, add to that he has only thrown two interceptions all year and led his team to an undefeated regular season, he draws distinct comparisons to the likely Heisman winning QB at Oklahoma, Baker Mayfield. With solid 4.6 40 yard dash speed and a low 4.2 pro agility, this 6-foot, 195 pound quarterback looks to flourish in any program willing to give him a shot. Blake has been with Sharp Performance since the very beginning dating back to his middle school days training around various parks in Wichita. Blake is the son of Rick and Suzanne.


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Good Luck To All Area Athletes!


Salina · Bennington · Minneapolis · Lucas · Sylvan Grove · Wamego

GIRLS TEAM CAPSULES Editor’s Note: Only those schools which sent preseason information to VYPE are included in the list below.

ABILENE COWGIRLS Head Coach - Molly Burton (1st year), League - North Central Kansas Last year - 16-7 (8-2, t-1st), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (0) - None Other Lettermen - Emma Bathurst, Sr. (1.3); Jensen Roth, Sr. (0.8); Sydney Burton, Jr. (2.7); Hannah Willey, Jr.

BELOIT TROJANS Head Coach - Shauna Remus (1st year), League - NCAA Last year - 15-7 (10-2, t-1st), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (2) - Sydney Johnson, 6-2, Sr. (11.4); Sydney Barrett, 5-7, Jr. (8.6) Other Lettermen - Kalista Hubert, 5-5, Jr. (1.6); Trinity Wagner, 5-7, Jr. (0.7); Breezy Schroeder, 5-6, Jr. (0.6); Karson Brown, 5-5, Jr. (0.1); Shea Larson, 6-0, So. (5.9)

BENNINGTON BULLDOGS Head Coach - T.J. Trout (3rd year), League - Heart of America Last year - 2-19 (0-9, 10th), Preseason Poll - 8th. Key Returners - Tacey Kaiser, Sr. (7.0); Alexis Watson, Sr. (6.3); Meghan Stanley, Sr. (1.0); Claudia Trout, Jr. (3.0); Chloe Stanley, So. (7.4); Jordan Murphy, So. (3.2)

CENTRE COUGARS Head Coach - Alan Stahlecker (14th year) League - Wheat State Last year - 12-10 (5-4, t-3rd) Preseason Poll - 8th Returning starters (2) - Kate Basore, 5-10, Sr. (9.3); Kelsey Hett, 5-6, So. (8.0) Other Lettermen - Emily Schlesener, 5-9, Sr. (3.1); Janel Dones, 5-3, Sr. (0.4)

CHAPMAN IRISH Head Coach - Nick Evans (4th year), League - NCKL Last year - 5-16 (0-10, 6th)., Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (4) - Brianna loy, 5-6, Sr. (5.6); Riley Davis, 5-8, Sr. (3.0); McKenna Kirkpatrick, 5-9, So. (10.0); Ashlynn Bledsoe, 5-8, So. (10.0). Other Lettermen - Peyton Suther, 5-8, So. (2.0); Alison Crigger, 5-8, So. (2.0); Lindsey Anderson, 5-6, Sr. (1.0).

CONCORDIA PANTHERS Head Coach - Michael Wahlmeier (6th year) League - North Central Kansas Last year - 16-6 (8-2, t-1st), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (3) - Cydney Bergmann, 5-8, Sr. (15.3); Peyton Reynolds, 5-6, Sr. (3.0); Jessica Williams, 5-8, Sr. (2.4) Other Lettermen - Katlynn Miller, 5-5, Jr. (4.5)

ELL-SALINE CARDINALS Head Coach - Jeff Vogt (5th year), League - Heart of America Last year - 9-13., Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (2) - Lexi Kochanowski, Sr. (3.0); Ashton Travis, So. (5.0)


Head Coach - Ken Cravens (16th year), League - NCAA Last year - 16-6 (9-3, 3rd), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (4) - Kolby Davis, 5-10, Sr. (16.8); Paige Talbott, 5-4, Sr. (7.3); Jenna Hasse, 5-4, Sr. (5.0); Jeanae Brungardt, 5-9, Sr. (2.4) Other Lettermen - Sydney Wilson, 5-5, Jr.; Jaide Talbott, 5-5, So. (3.7); Lakyn Tenbrink, 5-11, So. (1.4)

ELYRIA CHRISTIAN EAGLES Head Coach - Greg Fields (5th year), League - Wheat State Last year - 10-12 (5-4, 5th), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (3) - Melea Redenbaugh, 6-0, Sr. (9.8); Christin Vetter, 5-11, Sr. (7.2); Bailey Unruh, 5-7, Sr. (7.0) Other Lettermen - Audra Boerger, 5-5, Sr. (2.6); Makenzie Archer, 5-1, Jr. (0.6); Anna Shultz, 5-7, Jr.; Brekken Anderson, 5-1, Jr.; Claire Adamyk, 5-7, So. (0.6)

GOESSEL BLUEBIRDS Head Coach - Ryan Hoopes (11th year), League - Wheat State Last year - 19-4 (8-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (3) - Eden Hiebert, 6-0, Sr.; Brittney Hiebert, 5-11, Sr.; Kara Burkholder, 5-6, Sr. Other Lettermen - Abby Hannon, 5-2, Sr.; Leah Booton, 5-11, Sr.; Savanna Wuest, 5-6, Jr.; Stephany Meyer, 6-0, Jr.

Eden Hiebert of Goessel, one of the top all-around smallschool athletes in the state, is a returning starter from last year’s 19-4 Bluebird team.

CHASE KATS Head Coach - Brent Clark (7th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 6-15 (4-8, 9th), Preseason Poll - 11th. Returning starters (4) - Mackenzie Oberle, 4-11, Sr. (5.0); Jasmine Weatherman, 5-4, Jr. (10.7); Rachel Janda, 5-6, Jr. (2.2); Taylor Lattimer, 5-3, So. (6.1) Other Lettermen - Audrey Clark, 5-8, Sr.; Maggie Schneider, 5-4, Jr.; Jasmine Savage, 5-6, So.


Cydney Bergmann of Concordia averaged 15.3 points per game last year for a Panther team that tied for the NCKL title.

Head Coach - Jeff Edwards (4th year), League - North Central Kansas Last year - 20-3 (8-2, t-1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (3) - Hannah Ferguson, 6-0, Sr. (10.0); Sydney Callaway, 5-8, Sr. (10.0); Addy Mullin, 5-5, Jr. (9.0) Other Lettermen - Hailey Franson, 5-6, Jr.; Erin Hammel, 5-6, Jr.; Zoe Auld, 5-9, Jr.; Lexi Liby, 5-5, So.; Jayden Crimmins, 5-7, So.



Head Coach - Nathan Hiebert (10th year), League - Central Kansas Last year - 5-16 (0-11, 11th), Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (2) - Sienna Kaufman, 5-8, Jr. (5.9); Abby Sechrist, 5-11, Jr. (4.8) Other Lettermen - Trinity Malm, 5-8, Jr. (2.1)

Head Coach - Kieran Wurtz (5th year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 13-10 (7-5, t-5th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (2) - Emily Coffman, 5-9, Sr. (7.5); Jaysie Bowser, 5-5, So. (6.5) Other Lettermen - Maycee Callihan, 5-8, Jr.; Adria Girard, 5-6, So. (2.0)



Head Coach - Chuck Beikmann (2nd year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 24-2 (11-1, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (2) - Claire Zarybnicky, 5-6, Sr. (5.4); Macy Doebele, 5-11, Jr. (15.3) Other Lettermen - Taylor Klipp, 5-7, Sr. (4.0); Tasha Bruna, 5-6, Sr. (3.2); Tianna Lohse, 5-9, So. (7.4)




Head Coach - Bill Maurer (6th year), League - HOA Last year - 7-14 (2-7), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (4) - MaKayla Michael, 5-10, Sr. (10.5); Baylie Jo Ediger, 5-4, Sr. (4.2); Olivia Clark, 5-10, Jr. (7.6); Macy DeWitt, 5-7, Jr. (3.2). Other Lettermen - Kamryn Herren, 5-9, Jr.; Lauren Maurer, 5-9, So.; Ashtyn Schroeder, 5-5, So.; Rachel Harmon, 5-11, So.

Head Coach - Chris Strathman (13th year), League - AVCTL III Last year - 21-4 (10-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (3) - Taylor Robertson, 5-9, Sr.; Mandi Cooks, 6-0, Sr. (injured); Riley Hett, 5-5, Jr. Other Lettermen - Jaycee Burghart, 5-7, Jr.; Hannah Hageman, 5-9, Jr.; Maggie Leaf, 5-10, Jr.; Claire Yowell, 5-8, Jr.; Lakyn Schieferecke, 5-8, So.; Andrea Sweat, 6-1, So.



Head Coach - Steve Crist (19th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 5-17 (3-9, t-10th), Preseason Poll - 10th. Returning starters (3) - Allison Crist, 5-10, Sr. (6.4); Brianna Wilson, 5-6, Sr. (1.9); Carson Walter, 5-9, So. (4.1) Other Lettermen - Mackenzie Lyne, 5-10, Sr. (2.0); Lainie White, 5-6, Sr. (1.7); Mikayla Breneman, 5-2, Jr. (3.0)

Head Coach - Bryan Weatherman (10th year), League - NCAA Last year - 5-16 (2-10, 6th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (2) - Faythe Korinek, 5-11, Sr. (6.3); Karisma Vignery, 5-4, Jr. (7.8) Other Lettermen - Courtney Walker, 5-6, Sr. (0.9); Zoie Shupe, 5-6, So. (2.0); Kersti Nelson, 5-5, So. (1.5)


LINN BULLDOGS Head Coach - Ron Smith (2nd year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 13-10 (7-5, 5th), Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (1) - Shelby Ohlde, 5-10, Sr. (10.0) Other Lettermen - Kaylee Oehmke, 5-7, So.

LITTLE RIVER REDSKINS Head Coach - Trey Look (3rd year), League - Wheat State Last year - 8-14 (3-6, 8th), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (4) - Melanie Renken, 5-11, Sr. (12.0); Madison Loder, 5-8, Jr. (4.0); Emma McBride, 5-8, So. (7.1); Emma Wright, 5-6, So. (2.0) Other Lettermen - Jacie Porter, 5-6, Jr.; Michelle Loder, 5-8, Jr.; Isabell Eberle, 5-11, So.; Morgan Konen, 5-10, So.; Jaylie Bergkamp, 5-7, So.; Mackinze Barta, 5-8, So.; Abbie Hudson, 5-10, So.

Kolby Davis of Ellsworth led the Bearcats to a 16-6 record last year by averaging 16.8 points per game.

Head Coach - Brian Holloway (3rd year), League - Heart of America Last year - 18-5. , Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (2) - Bethany Stucky, Sr. (10.0); Kassidy Kaufman, Sr. (7.0)

PEABODY WARRIORS Head Coach - Scott Bauer (3rd year), League - Wheat State Last year - 1-20 (1-9, 10th), Preseason Poll - 10th. Returning starters (1) - Tori Pickens, 5-7, Jr. (4.6) Other Lettermen - Precious Kerr, 5-4, Sr. (0.7); Sydney Hodges, 5-7, Jr. (0.9)

PIKE VALLEY PANTHERS Head Coach - Allison Carlgren (1st year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 9-13 (5-7, 7th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (4) - Tiana Sothers, Sr.; Leslie Stenson, Sr.; McKenna Reeves, So.; Jessica Jensen, So. Other Lettermen - Brailyn Carlgren, Jr.; Jentry McGregor, Jr.; Shea Mikesell, Jr.; Kinzey Langston, Jr.

REPUBLIC COUNTY BUFFALOES Head Coach - Colton Grove (1st year), League - NCAA Last year - 12-10 (6-6, 4th), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (0) - None Other Lettermen - Lynnae Benyshek, 5-6, Sr.; Jaycee Blazek, 5-5, Sr.; Alexis Hansen, 5-5, So.

RURAL VISTA HEAT LYONS LIONS Head Coach - Leanne Hollinger (8th year), League - CKL Last year - 7-15 (5-7), Preseason Poll - 8th. Returning starters (4) - Bailey Hollinger, 5-8, Sr. (10.0); Kristina Head, 6-0, So. (9.0); Liberty Belote, 6-0, So. (5.0); Karime Vargas, 5-6, Jr. (1.0). Other Lettermen - Daci Stover, 5-8, So. (3.2); Alexis Villanueva, 5-6, Sr. (1.0); Ashley Fierro, 5-5, Jr.

Head Coach - Kane Hensley (3rd year), League - Wheat State Last year - 18-6 (7-1, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 2nd. Returning starters (4) - Lauren Campuzan, 5-9, Jr. (14.9); Jessyka Barten, 5-4, Jr. (2.4); Hannah Riedy, 5-8, So. (8.9); Holly Brockmeier, 5-8, So. (6.8) Other Lettermen - Jordyn Sanford, 5-6, Jr. (2.7); Macy Elliott, 5-9, Jr.; Jamie Beck, 5-4, Jr.; Aubrey Smith, 5-4, Jr.; Kelci Sly, 5-4, So.

MARION WARRIORS Head Coach - Kelly Robson (6th year), League - Heart of America Last year - 15-7 (5-4), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (3) - Kourtney Hansen, 5-8, Sr. (14.5); Sam Richmond, 5-5, Sr. (5.1); Courtney Herzet, 5-4, Sr. (2.9) Other Lettermen - Alli Molleker, 5-9, Sr. (5.6); Jessi Lewman, 5-10, Sr. (2.0); Corin Parmley, 5-4, Sr. (2.0); Corrina Crabb, 5-6, Jr. (0.3)



GIRLS TEAM CAPSULES Head Coach - Shauna Smith (2nd year), League - NCAA Last year - 4-16 (4-8, 5th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (2) - Karis Calahan, 5-7, Sr. (6.4); Emma Fear, 5-9, Sr. (1.0) Other Lettermen - Molly Chitty, 5-9, Jr. (7.7); Morgan Kaniper, 5-5, Jr. (3.5); Keely Orr, 5-8, So. (2.0)

STERLING BLACK BEARS Head Coach - Jill Rowland (11th year), League - HOA Last year - 14-8, Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returnees - Taya Wilson, Sr. (15.0); Aniston Ramsey, Sr. (4.0); Camille Schweizer, Sr. (7.0); Alley Rowland, Sr. (1.0); Grace Rowland, Jr. (3.0); Kaylie Zimmerman, Jr.; Deb Schmidt, Jr.; Morgan Simpson, Jr.; Kinzie Comley, So. (4.0).


lauren Campuzan of Rural Vista scored 14.9 points a game last year for a Heat team that qualified for the Class 1A-I state tournament.

SACRED HEART KNIGHTS Head Coach - Arnold Schmidtberger (10th year), League - NCAA Last year - 3-19 (1-11, 7th), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning Lettermen - Anna Ivey, 5-10, Sr. (5.9); Catherine Marak, 5-6, Sr. (4.7); Haylie Rodriguez, 5-4, Sr. (1.8); Ally Cochran, 5-6, So. (5.4); Hannah Goetz, 5-7, So. (1.6); Amber Palen, 5-6, So. (1.5)

ST. JOHN’S-TIPTON BLUJAYS Head Coach - Keith Kresin, League - Northern Plains Last year - 19-2 (12-0, 1st), Preseason Poll - 1st. Returning starters (2) - Avery Gates, 5-6, Sr. (7.4); Kara Eilert, 5-11, Jr. (11.7) Other Lettermen - Elle Eilert, 5-11, Jr. (1.8)

SALINA CENTRAL MUSTANGS Head Coach - Chris Fear (2nd year), League - AVCTL I Last year - 19-6 (8-4, t-3rd), Preseason Poll - 4th. Returning starters (2) - Elisa Backes, 6-0, Sr. (10.3); Selah Merkle, 5-9, Jr. (6.2) Other Lettermen - Myah Ward, 5-10, Sr. (4.3); Ellie Cobb, 5-8, Sr.; Holly Sanderson, 5-11, Jr. (1.0); Delaney Nash, 5-10, Jr.; Kyah Arcayan, 5-6, Jr.; Kadyn Cobb, 5-6, So. (2.0)

Head Coach - Craig Batchman (1st year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 8-14 (3-9, t-10th), Preseason Poll - 8th. Returning starters (5) - Kerstin Decker, Sr.; Logan Batchman, Sr.; Cheyenne Meyer, Sr.; Taeyen Walter, Jr.; Aundrea Haberer, Jr. Other Lettermen - Aleah Wehrman, Sr.; Dharma Couse, Jr.; Hannah Wolting, Jr.

WAKEFIELD BOMBERS Head Coach - Adam Keating (6th year) League - Wheat State Last year - 3-18 (1-8, 9th) Preseason Poll - 9th. Returning starters (4) - Gabi Nelms, 5-5, Sr. (8.9); Mary Williams, 5-6, Sr. (1.5); Shawna Trumpp, 5-8, Jr. (4.3); Tea Copenhaver, 5-7, So. (2.6) Other Lettermen - Louisa Casuas, 5-4, Sr.; Isabella Cullip, 5-10, Jr.; Mariah Stewart, 5-8, So.

WASHINGTON TIGERS Head Coach - Jay Kearn (12th year), League - Twin Valley Last year - 18-5 (10-2, 3rd), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning starters (3) - Tess Cecrle, 5-10, Sr. (10.0); Holly Delay, 5-7, Sr. (6.0); Lauren Wyatt, 5-6, Sr. (4.0) Other Lettermen - Grace Otott, 5-6, So. (4.0); Aundrea Bruna, 5-8, Sr

SALINA SOUTH COUGARS Head Coach - Ryan Stuart (5th year), League - AVCTL I Last year - 7-14 (2-10, 6th), Preseason Poll - 6th. Returning Lettermen - Allie Valdez, 5-10, Sr. (5.4); Jacie Marcotte, 5-8, Sr. (4.6); Sydnee Connell, 5-10, Sr. (3.9); Angie Hall, 5-11, Sr. (3.4), Regan Weathern, 5-9, Sr. (1.4); Gretchen Cox, 5-9, Jr. (4.8); Camdyn Schreiber, 5-10, Jr. (2.9); Jadyn Zamecnik, 5-7, Jr. (0.9)

SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS Head Coach - John Bellah (3rd year), League - Central Kansas Last year - 7-14 (4-7, t-7th), Preseason Poll - 7th. Returning starters (2) - Jordan Otto, 5-8, Sr. (5.2); Amanda Behanna, 5-6, Sr. (3.9) Other Lettermen - Jacque Hulse, 5-8, Sr. (1.5); Lindsey Gerlach, 5-7, Jr. (2.0); Kira Haxton, 5-6, Jr. (1.5)

SOUTHERN CLOUD WARRIORS Head Coach - Tyler Williams (6th year), League - Northern Plains Last year - 19-4 (11-1, 2nd), Preseason Poll - 3rd. Returning starters (4) - Sienna Gray, 5-10, Sr. (6.8); Jacey Fowler, 5-11, Sr. (3.9); Kaitlyn Morris, 5-5, Jr. (11.4); Logan Cool, 5-8, Jr. (2.3) Other Lettermen - Ashton Cooper, 5-3, Jr. (2.4); Makenna Comstock, 5-3, So. (3.1)



Taya Wilson of Sterling averaged 15 points a game for the Black Bears last season, leading them to a 14-8 record.

CALL OF THE WILD To nominate a student athlete that loves the outdoors, contact VYPE at 316.218.3579.

Devin Feil, Bennington H.S. Devin is a senior at Bennington where he has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. He is a four-year participant and multiple athletic letter winner in football (3), basketball (3) and baseball (4). Devin plays quarterback for the Bulldog football team, shooting guard for the basketball team, and shortstop/pitcher for the baseball team. He has earned numerous local and all-league honors in his high school career. Devin has been recognized by the Heart of America League baseball coaches as first team shortstop as well as first team utility player. When he is not involved in sports, Devin enjoys fishing and the outdoors. In August, he landed a 9-pound, 8-ounce (25 inches) largemouth bass, which now has a permanent home on his bedroom wall. Devin's future plans are to attend college and play baseball.

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Bennington Bulldogs Class 2A, Cross Country


Autumn Princ, Sylvan-Lucas Class 1A, Cross Country

St. John’s-Tipton Blujays Class 1A, Cross Country

Halle Johnson, Bennington Class 2A, Cross Country

Taylor Briggs, Chapman Class 4A, Cross Country

David Lutgen, St. John’s-Tipton Class 1A, Cross Country

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