VYPE Kansas – SCK March 2024

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Andover’s Brooks Allen Mulvane’s Garrett Olson Valley Center’s Kaitlyn Gobel Bluestem’s Pilar Cox Derby’s Jaydon Carruthers
Kingman’s Laney Wood Wichita South’s Brandon Cato Wichita Heights’ Carson Smith Wichita Trinity’s Joaquin Sanchez









Russ Smith – Central-Burden HS

Russ Smith of Central Burden was an all-state baseball player last year, but because of an injury he occurred in football, he will not be able to play this season.

Smith suffered a separation to his AC joint in his shoulder and later found out he tore his labrum. He is now in the post-surgery process and trying to get his movement back.

“I have been doing everything I can (maybe more than I should) to try and get my range of motion back from the surgery,” Smith said. “I started physical therapy three days post-surgery and the pain was really bad but it has gotten much better since. My arm is

Losing out on his baseball season is a tough pill for Smith to swallow, but he believes in

“I can’t say I don’t miss baseball but I’m really trying to learn the game from another perspective and see this as an opportunity God is presenting me with,” Smith said. “I will do my best to better my teammates that I grew up with and help the team any way

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Ben Brown has the right combination when it comes to being an affective YMCA volunteer coach.

“I have always enjoyed working with kids and playing/coaching sports, so volunteering with the YMCA has been a perfect fit,” Brown said. “While I do have some experiences coaching and playing at higher levels, I appreciate the opportunity that the YMCA provides to meet kids where they are at.”


Brown started volunteering in 2021 and has coached soccer and basketball ever

“I learned very quickly that I couldn’t just be a dad on the sideline, especially when I observed some coaches who were either uninterested, or were not teaching the fundamentals well,” Brown said.

There is one personal memory that stands out to Brown.


“When coaching my daughter’s 5th/6th grade basketball team, it became apparent very quickly that we were the youngest, smallest, and least experienced team,” Brown said. “We lost our first five games, and more of them weren’t even close. But, as the girls began to build confidence, recognize their specific roles on the team, and worked hard for each other, they were rewarded in the final game of the season with a surprise victory over a team that had beaten them twice earlier in the

Brown admits that he is very competitive, but he has focused on skill development and growth over the wins and losses.

“The kids need role models who will love them, push them, and have fun with them,” Brown said. “If you can do those things, sign up ASAP.”

Winfield’s Emma Moore

Growing up in the water, Winfield’s Emma Moore has been swimming since she was about six years old, starting with the Winfield Swim Club.

“I started noticing my talent at about nine years old when I started qualifying for my first championship meets,” Moore said.

The senior is primarily a 100 and 200 freestyle swimmer with PR times of 53.91 and 1:57.99, respectively.

Winfield head coach Dustin Durbin has seen a lot of good swimmers and knows Moore is another one who will be a Viking great in the water.

“Emma is very dedicated to swimming,” Durbin said. “She invests a lot of time into training throughout the year. She works hard at practice, and she’s fiercely competitive in the water. She cares a lot about being her best.”

Despite some setbacks early in her career, the senior has now hit her stride and then some. She received a lot of college interest and ultimately committed to Northern State University, a Division II school in North Dakota.

“I have worked really hard the last few years with my mindset about the sport,” Moore said. “I struggled with burnout my junior year and being able to think positively about my future with the sport in college really helps me stay motivated. I chose my college because they have a really good program, and I connected really well with the team during my visit. I felt very welcome at the college in general.”

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Prep Performance of the Month

Mulvane’s Garrett Olson

Mulvane’s Garrett Olson has been looking forward to getting back on the field all offseason. As the first games of the season near quick, Olson feels ready for whatever the season may throw at him.

“To prepare for this season I began going to player-led hitting sessions beginning in mid January as well as starting an arm care routine as soon as the weather got warm enough,” Olson said. “Arm care is important for me because it helps prevent injury and makes you better throughout the season. This offseason I really focused on the consistency of my swing and being able to use the whole field effectively.”

This being his senior year, Olson is hoping to cross off every goal from this list, including the biggest achievement of making the state tournament.

“A personal goal I’m focused on is to be a leading contributor in the success of the team while also being a leader in batting average and on base percentage,” Olson said. “The ultimate goal is to make a state tournament appearance and win the whole thing. I’m really excited to see how far this team can go. I believe we have the talent and motivation to make a good run.”

With many memories to be made this year, Olson still remembers the feeling of victory from a few years back.

Merari Flores

Wichita Northwest

Wichita Northwest’s Merari Flores was constantly on the move throughout the o season, looking to build o her rst team all-league selection last season.

“During the o season, I played my last season of club soccer due to me being a senior with my club team Kansas Wichita Rush 2006,” Flores said. “We traveled across the states to play against competitive teams including playing in the State Cup and winning Nationals representing Kansas! I also have been working on my skills and athleticism by doing personal trainings and joining camps over the summer.”

The Grizzlies are a tight-knit group and Flores said that is one of the best parts about soccer season.

“This upcoming season is my senior year,” Flores said. “I am most excited to see how I perform and the competition I will face. I am also excited to be back in the pitch with my high school teammates, whose bond has made every season special.”

Last season, Flores scored 13 goals and assisted on 10 others, but she still felt like she had some areas of her game that needed improvement.

“An area I have been working on is improving my speed and athleticism, which my strength and conditioning Coach Daniels has been helping me improve on,” Flores said. “A few individual goals I have for the season are to beat my stats from last year, and as a team the goal is to win regionals and go compete at state.”

“My favorite memory from playing baseball at Mulvane is playing in and winning regionals in 2021 at McPherson at around 12:30 in the morning after hours of rain delays to make an appearance at state,” Olson said. “It was a really long day and the feeling of winning it and taking the long bus ride home with my teammates celebrating was amazing. We really just had fun and didn’t let the weather affect us.”

Olson is still unsure on his future plans after graduation, but is keeping his options open to multiple opportunities.

“At this moment I’m currently undecided on where I want to continue my education, but I have been looking into careers in the HVAC field as well as other careers in the trades,” Olson said.

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Derby HS Football Booster Club ASCENSION VIA CHRISTI

The Derby High School Football Booster Club is an asset to one of the top programs in the state.

From fundraising, to organizing weekly meals, to engaging the community and much more, the DHSFBC is just another layer to the success of the Panthers.

“The best advantage we can give the Derby Football program is to enhance the great work that is already occurring,” said president Cherie Schnelle. “We do this through three main aims: enriching our student athletes’ participation in our football program, promoting and supporting a culture of a united family. The Panther family includes everyone – student athletes, the coaches, parents, and the local community. We want everyone to feel like they have a place in our program and providing a stable financial base to assist with extra program costs.”

The offseason, which starts in January, begins with elections and setting to calendar and the recognitions season is in December, where they organize the awards banquet. So much happens in the 10 months in between.

“I can’t say for certain that we alleviate any stress for our coaches,” Schnelle said. “Continuing to elevate a strong program is likely stressful, in and of itself. However, I believe our efforts allow the coaches to focus more on our athletes –helping them to improve while we help take care of the rest.”


Collegiate’s Julia Herrman

Collegiate junior Julia Herrman has been one of the most consistent players in the state this season. Despite being on a team with only nine players, Herrman has made the most of it, leading her team in almost every category.

“This season has been one of the best by far,” Herrman said. “Although we don’t have a great record, our team is so close, and we all love each other.”

The team faced a lot of challenges but that didn’t stop them from playing hard game in and game out.

“I have learned how to face adversity this year, it is hard not to get the result you want when you put in so much time and effort,” Herrman said. “It has been hard to keep positivity and confidence, but I learned to power through and never give up.”

This way of thinking caught the eyes and ears of her head coach, Dylan Heath.

“Off the court, Julia is a natural leader who motivates her teammates and creates a supportive environment,” Heath said. “Her ability to communicate effectively and foster camaraderie contributes significantly to team unity. Julia’s presence in the locker room and during team activities promotes a positive culture, reinforcing the importance of teamwork and shared goals.”

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Wichita State

Wichita State University opens their 2024 baseball and softball seasons with Hellas as the Official Turf of the Shockers. Hellas installed Major Play® turf at Wilkins Softball Stadium in 2023 and will soon be installing turf as part of phase 1 at the team’s Indoor Practice Facility.

“Partnering with Hellas has been one of the best decisions for this program. Hellas has provided turf for our game field, hitting facility, and the new indoor facility. Between the customer service and quality of product we couldn’t be happier,” said Wichita State Head Softball Coach Kristi Bredbenner.

Since 2012, the Shockers softball team has secured three regular-season championships, two conference tournament titles and five NCAA regional appearances. The facility renovation will allow Wichita State to host NCAA postseason play and other national events according to Bredbenner.

In 2020 Hellas installed Major Play turf at Tyler Field at Eck Baseball Stadium. The Shockers have enjoyed the playability of the Major Play Turf System specifically designed for America’s Pastime. Wichita State’s baseball field also incorporates Helix Technology, enhancing the structure and strength of each turf fiber. The monofilament fibers act like muscles, allowing them to bounce back after use. Helix technology improves the turf’s lifespan, making fields look better, hold infill, and eliminate fly-out. The Major Play turf installed at Wichita State softball and baseball offers high utilization, functionality, and performance throughout all seasons.

“One of the things we strive for in everything we do at Wichita State is providing a first-class experience for our student-athletes, and the turf provided by Hellas is a major part of that,” Wichita State Head Baseball Coach Brian Green said. “The surface drains exceptionally well, handles high amounts of traffic, and gives us the look of a truly top-notch college baseball facility.”


Hellas provides a complete scope of services for sports surfaces and amenities including manufacturing, design/build, construction, installation, service, and maintenance.


Southeast’s Duane Cornwell

Southeast’s Duane Cornwell ended his junior season proudly, but knew the work wasn’t over. As soon as last season ended, Cornwell was already preparing for the next year.

“We stop high school season in May, so over the summer and in the fall I was playing with some travel teams and tried to work on my form for catching,” Cornwell said. “I also lifted in the offseason trying to get as strong as possible so I can become a better all around athlete.”

Taking it one game at a time, Cornwell is hoping to improve his team, his stats, and himself all around.

“This year I am planning on taking my team to 6A regionals and if we can do that I will be happy with this year,” Cornwell said. “I would also like to get All-City honorable mention as a catcher and try to improve my batting average from last year.”

In a rival game last season, the Buffaloes were cheered on by the community, which gave Cornwell the excitement to play with everything he had.

“My favorite memory would have to be when we were playing Wichita Heights last year in game two of our double header,” Cornwell said. “A lot of people had showed up to cheer us on. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a crowd so big at one of my baseball games. That was just a fun game to play and it was a great night.”

After high school Cornwell will get to continue playing baseball at the next level at Tabor.

“This fall I will be attending Tabor College,” Cornwell said. “I was recruited by many NAIA schools in the KCAC, and eventually decided to play my sport at Tabor. I am planning on studying business there.”

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Belle Plaine’s Maddy Talbot

Maddy Talbot of Belle Plaine was a first team allleague and second team all-state softball selection for the Dragons last season. Besides softball, Talbot is involved in numerous activities at Belle Plaine.

“I have participated in volleyball, basketball, and softball all four years of high school,” Talbot said.

“I have been involved in Student Council all four years and I am Student Council President this year. Along with being in Student Council, I have also participated in FCCLA, FLC, Art Club, Letterman’s Club, SADD, NHS, and FFA.”

With playing a sport every season, Talbot feels prepared and ready for the upcoming spring season.

“Being active in volleyball and basketball has kept me in shape, along with going to the gym on the weekends,” Talbot said.

After last season’s accolades and spending the offseason training and staying in shape, Talbot has important goals heading into the year.

“My goal is to improve my OBP on offense and my ERA on defense,” Talbot said. “I also want to end the season with a batting average over .500.”

Hoping to make it to the state tournament this year, Talbot is thankful for the experience and moments she has with it from the past.

My favorite memory so far is making it to state my freshman and sophomore year and finishing fourth my freshman year,” Talbot said.

After high school Talbot plans to further her education in Hutch to head into the medical field.

“I plan on attending Hutchinson Community College to get a degree in Physical Therapy Assistance,” Talbot said.


Where the only thing missing is YOU!

Newton’s Isabel Sandoval

All the time, coaches will talk to players about finding their “why.” A lot of these high school athletes overthink it and don’t truly find the “why” that will make them play all the time. Newton’s Isabel Sandoval is a perfect example of a player who has found their “why”.

Two and a half years ago, Sandoval’s cousin, Kilar Gillespie, passed away. The young Gillepsie came from a great soccer house and was a great soccer player herself.

“She loved soccer, and it is one of the reasons I strive to work hard to be the best I can,” Sandoval said. “I would like to dedicate my final season to her.”

The four-year starter and team captain knows what it takes to win.

“She is a leader on and off the field,” Newton head coach Scott Janzi said. “Izzy is a key part of our success as a program. Her freshman year, she was one of three club players on the team. The strides she has made have been fun to watch.”

Sandoval has had quite a career with the Railers. The senior is a threetime team MVP, two-time all-McPherson tournament team, and a two-time first-team all-league selection. The senior has also won a President Cup Championship with her club team, Kansas Rush, in 2023.

With all of these accomplishments, Sandoval has been able to commit to Butler Community College, where she will continue her athletic and academic career.

Scan Me

Bishop Carroll’s Shane Holman

Bishop Carroll’s Shane Holman was one of the top pitchers in the Wichita-area last season. The Butler Community College commit had a 0.43 ERA last season in 42 innings, with 41 strikeouts and three walks.

“One area I’m wanting to improve on is my command of the zone,” Holman said. “As a pitcher, throwing strikes is a priority and another aspect is throwing all of my pitches for strikes. A way I worked on commanding the zone is locating my pitches in different spots during a lengthened bullpen. It helps me practice my command in those long innings when I might be fatigued.”

The Golden Eagles are the defending state champion and Holman has plans to get back there again.

“I am looking forward to make the run towards state again,” Holman said. “This team has the chance to repeat last year’s success and bring home another ring. More importantly I’m excited to play this last year with my friends. I’ve been playing with these seniors all my life and I am going to miss playing with these guys.”

Increasing his velocity was Holman’s primary focus this offseason.

“This offseason I have been focusing on getting bigger and stronger,” Holman said. “On top of that I’ve been going through velocity programs and thinking about the season ahead.”

Wichita Trinity’s Joaquin Sanchez

Wichita Trinity’s Joaquin Sanchez knows he is blessed to have the resources that help him improve his game on the diamond.

“This offseason I have dedicated a lot of my time to the weight room and finetuning my mechanics,” Sanchez said. “I have been blessed to have several firstclass instructors pour their time and attention into my improvements. I also attended several prospect camps and worked a lot on the recruiting side of things.”

Being able to locate his pitches is a strength for Sanchez, but now he want to add velocity to that.

“This offseason I worked a lot on building arm strength using a specified throwing program and intense weight training program,” Sanchez said. “I focused on strengthening my lower body while making my upper body more flexible and the results have been a four to five miles per hour increase.”

Last season, Sanchez had an 0.89 ERA, with 40 strikeouts in 39 innings on his way to be a first team all-league selection, but the statistics are not the things he is focusing on this season.

“One of my goals this season is to be a good leader for the younger guys,” Sanchez said. “I want to be a good example to the team on and off the field and leave them with a good path to follow in the next years as upperclassmen. Our main goal as a team is to go out and win a state championship. We believe that we have the guys to get the job done and have high expectations for ourselves.”

Derby’s Kyler Demel

Kyler Demel of Derby knows that this senior season will be a bittersweet one. Demel was a first team all-league and second team all-state outfielder last season.

“My biggest goal is to win a state championship for the last time I get to play with these girls,” Demel said. With other sports wrapping up, Demel took any moment she could to work and train on the field.

“I was very busy with basketball but I tried to always find time to continue to work on my swing and be consistent outside of the couple practices I could attend a week,” Demel said.

Ready to take on the competition this season, Demel still remembers the moment she sent the Panthers to the second round of state the year before.

“It was the first round of state last season,” Demel said. “We were playing Manhattan, it was the bottom of the seventh inning and we were down by one. I was up to bat, two outs, two balls, two strikes, and I hit a double to score a run and tie the game and we ended up winning.”

Demel plans to become a Grizzly in the fall and continue her softball journey for years to come.

“I plan to go to Butler Community College and play softball but my major is still undecided,” Demel said.

Bluestem’s Pilar Cox

Bluestem’s Pilar Cox broke two school records last season, as well as being named a first team all-state pitcher. Even with all the recognition, Cox is ready to continue on with her success.

“The goal I told my coach that I wanted to achieve was I wanted to be the best hitter I could be,” Cox said. “This would include breaking my own school records from last year with an even better one this year. Another goal would be to go to state and be the best I can be for the team by that day. This year is going to be tough because we had just switched from 2A to 3A”

In hopes to strengthen her weaknesses, Cox prepared physically and mentally for the season.

“Since last spring, I’ve been working with my travel team on Select Fastpitch,” Cox said. “I have also been powerlifting and doing off season workouts to make myself stronger. In the offseason, I’ve been working on all aspects of my game including hitting, pitching, and fielding by doing lessons and attending college camps. One of my weaknesses I wanted to improve was my mental game, by focusing on controlling what I can control. I have worked on this everytime the situation comes to me, on and off the field.”

Only a junior with many more memories to come, Cox is grateful for the team and all the special moments they’ve shared.

“I have had many amazing memories with this team,” Cox said. “These girls have truly shown me how to love a sport. Transit rides with them are some of my best memories, but not as good as the times that we lift each other up.”

Cox hopes to continue playing softball after high school, but is keeping all of her options open.

“I am currently working on general college classes through Butler Community College at Bluestem,” Cox said. “My goal is to earn my associates at Butler before I complete high school. I plan to attend a two or four year college majoring in microbiology. I am not committed anywhere and I am going through the recruiting process for softball.”


Buhler’s Jeffrey Neil

Growing up as an athlete, you dream of having your parents coach you. For Buhler’s Jeffrey Neil, he has been able to have his dad coach him the past three years.

Neil made the most of it as he is the school record holder for most doubles in a season and one of the best pitchers on the team.

“He has always led by example and is a guy that we depend on to play a big role,” head coach John Neil said. “Jeffrey has hit in the middle of our order and has always been one of our top arms on the mound.”

Now as a senior, Neil had plans to continue his productive career and add to his respectable resume, but his plans stalled out after suffering a broken talus bone in his foot.

“I have had to take a new approach to leadership because I can’t be doing it on the field for a while, so I have been working on being a leader from the dugout,” Neil said.

Neil has been playing baseball since he was six, and he

knows that this will be an adjustment but knows it will help him in the long run.

“As his dad, I am extremely proud of his mental toughness and his commitment to doing the right thing,” Coach Neil said. “I look forward to seeing him progress in the game of baseball, as that will be the only sport he concentrates on.”


Kingman’s Laney Wood

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Coming off of a shoulder injury before her junior season, Kingman’s Laney Wood was forced to adjust. Wood finished the season batting .436, hitting five home runs and being named all-league first team and all-state second team.

Now, as a senior, Wood is one home run away from setting the school record, but that isn’t the only thing on her mind.

“I want to leave the team at the end of the season feeling accomplished, knowing I made the program better than it was before,” Wood said. “A team goal is to make it to State. We have very good athletes this year and can compete with any team.”

Wood has played all over the field during her time in the Eagle uniform, being named as an all-state recipient in both the infield and outfield.

“I foresee great things for her this season as she is now 100%,” Kingman head coach William Shelden said. “Laney Wood is not only an exceptional athlete but a quality individual, excellent student, and leader among her peers.”

As a senior, Wood not only wants to win a championship but also wants to lead.

“I will be the best role model I can be on and off the field,” Wood

said. “I have always strived to be a leader, but everybody will look up to the seniors this year. I will lead with a positive mindset and show up and put in 100 percent each day.”

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Andover’s Olyvia Pugh Andover’s Brooks Allen

Andover’s Olyvia Pugh knows a lot about putting in work over the offseason. The second team allleague athlete spent countless hours training for the upcoming season.

“I train all year round to push myself to be at my highest level,” Pugh said. “I would train throughout the week for Kansas Rush Wichita 05 and then I would train at Ultimate Academy two to three times a week. I also have been focusing a lot on strength training at Optimal Performance to work on getting stronger.”

While every athlete looks to grow and improve throughout the season, Pugh is also looking to bring it all home in the postseason.

“My biggest goal this season is to win state before I graduate,” Pugh said. “It’s my last chance and I really want to go out strong. I think achieving this goal starts with focusing on one game at a time. When it comes to stats I try not to get too tied up with them. Obviously I love scoring goals and I love assisting almost just as much, but I also love winning.”

Being a stud on the soccer field isn’t the only thing Pugh has accomplished at Andover.

“I played tennis for Andover my freshman to senior year,” Pugh said. “Freshman year was my first time playing tennis and I put in quite a bit of work that summer to prepare for tryouts. I think tennis is an amazing sport to pair with soccer because you have to have so much footwork.”

Pugh plans to continue her soccer career after graduation while also preparing to head into the medical world.

“I will be attending college at the University of Missouri Kansas City where I am going to play soccer and major in biology on a pre-med pathway,” Pugh said. “My career plan is to go into some area of medical research or engineering.”

Andover’s Brooks Allen has been preparing for his senior season for many months. The second team all-league second baseman is ready to hit the field with his friends for one more season.

“My favorite memory so far in baseball is probably playing baseball with the friends I go to school with,” Allen said. “In the summer a lot of us play with different teams against each other, so when freshman year came and we were all on the same team it was a pretty cool experience.”

During the offseason, Allen spent hours focusing on his weaknesses in the field, working to enhance and better his skills.

“Last season I was not super reliable in the field but in the off season I wanted to gain confidence back in my fielding,” Allen said. “In the offseason that’s what I did and now I feel a lot more reliable on defense.”

With a goal to make it far in the postseason, Allen hopes to bring home some hardware to Andover.

“This season I would love for Andover to be League champions as well as win a Regional Championship and make it to state,” Allen said.

Still deciding on whether baseball will be in his future or not, Allen plans to keep his options open for both athletics and academics.

“I want to study finance and if I do not play baseball in college I will probably either go to the University of Kansas or Fort Hays State University,” Allen said.

Andover’s Breckynn Pugh

Breckynn Pugh, a soccer athlete at Andover, was a first team all-league athlete for the Trojans last season. This year, Pugh is looking to help advance her team in the postseason.

“My main goal this season is to be a leader on the field and help advance my team to state,” Pugh said. “I think we have a lot of talented players and this is our year to do great things in the postseason. While I always want to top my goals scored from the previous year, it is more important to me for the team to be successful as a whole. I love the feeling of scoring a goal, but sometimes it feels even better to make the perfect assist.”

Pugh spent the offseason training and conditioning with other coaches and teammates in order to prepare for the upcoming spring.

“The technical piece of soccer has always been important to me but this past year I’ve been focusing on getting stronger to prepare for college soccer,” Pugh said.

Heading into her senior year, Pugh looked back on some of her favorite moments as a Trojan.

“My favorite memory of high school soccer was when we made it to regionals for the first time as a 5A school,” Pugh said. “I also have a lot of great memories of playing against my club teammates during the high school season.”

Pugh plans to continue playing soccer with her sister, Olyvia, at the next level after high school.

“I’m committed to play soccer at the University of Missouri Kansas City and plan to major in biology in hopes of going pre-med,” Pugh said.


Northwest’s Kia Stokes

Sometimes the ups and downs make or break a season, but for Northwest’s Kia Stokes, she wasn’t giving up. After a short break Stokes was able to jump right back into the sport with her teammates.

“I had to take some time off to heal my body and my mindset,” Stokes said. “For a moment I wasn’t sure if softball was my thing. After some time I started getting back into it. I really wanted to fix my swing and that was one of the things that I needed to work on most.”

While having statistical goals and accolades she hopes to accomplish, Stokes’ biggest hope is to be the best leader she can be for her team.

“Some goals I have for this year I want to leave a good impression on my underclassmen,” Stokes said. “I definitely want to have a higher batting average than last year as well.”

Going back and forth on whether softball was for her or not, Stokes couldn’t forget about all the funny or memorable moments she had with her team.

“My favorite memory from last year was during tryouts when one of the girls on the team hit a straight shot at the coach’s eye,” Stokes said. “Coach made the most of it and for the rest of the season he would wear this little girl’s face mask to protect his face. It was so funny at the moment but looking back on it I feel so bad because he had a purple eye for so long.”

Stokes plans to continue her education after high school and head into the medical field.

“My future plans are to go to college to become a physical therapist,” Stokes said.

Belle Plaine’s Mya Field

Mya Field of Belle Plaine did not intend on joining SCCDAT initially, but the way paths crossed has been incredible for her.

“I initially got involved because my friend Taryn and I were doing a STAR event for our FCCLA club at our school,” Field said. “We were doing the project on helping prevent and raise awareness towards destructive decisions, and drunk driving. SCCDAT heard about this project and we decided to bring the club back to Belle Plaine.”

Belle Plaine’s SCCDAT is involved year-round with the student body in order to talk about making smart decisions.

“SCCDAT provides a lot of learning opportunities and nice activities for our school throughout the year such as chalk to write positive messages on the sidewalks outside the school, Halloween candy and positive notes for Halloween, giving us hearts and candy to put on lockers during valentines, and providing us with easter eggs and candy for Easter,” Field said.

Not only does Field work with students at Belle Plaine, but she has met other students who are devoted to making a difference.


“SCCDAT also has a lot of connections and they help hook our school up weather it’s providing us with supplies, or recommending amazing guest speakers,” Field said. “If any student mentioned they wanted to join SCCDAT I would definitely recommend for them to.”

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Wichita Heights’ Carson Smith

Since he was three, Carson Smith has had a baseball in his hands thanks to his dad, who sparked his love.

The two have had numerous games and practices in their backyard, preparing Smith to be where he is. Now, as a senior at Wichita Heights, the backyard work has paid off, as Smith is an extremely versatile piece for the Falcons.

Smith and his head coach, Mark McBratney, have a unique relationship from back to Smith’s middle school days when he was his summer coach.

“His dedication and passion for the game of baseball is something that a coach looks for in his players and team leaders,” McBratney said. “He never complains, is the first to finish running or team conditioning, and is typically one of the last to leave. He is a leader by example, and he does it with complete conviction, and he is a fierce competitor.”

The two have been through a lot together.

“It means everything to me for him to be coaching me for so long,” Smith said. “When I first met him, he was a hard-nosed and tough coach, and he will tell you how it is. I took that as a challenge to make me better. His way of coaching, I knew, was what was going to get me to the next level. And also learning that my dad played for his grandpa when he was my age is pretty awesome to think about, and it’s been the best years of my life playing for Mark.”

McBratney and Smith have had such a good relationship that his head coach has even said that if he had a daughter, he would want her to marry someone as good as Carson.

“Again, coming from Coach McBratney that means a lot,” Smith said. “I try to be the best person I can be both on and off the field. I pride myself on being a good person and good teammate.”


Campus’ Ava Baker

Campus’ Ava Baker has been involved in both the softball and golf teams, and she knows that they have impacted her for the better. Baker would suggest Campus High School to any athlete looking to find a great education while playing quality sports.

“I would recommend Campus and Campus sports because we are a 6A school, which means we get to compete against the best in everything we do,” Baker said. “Coach Stanley is a great softball coach too.”

Before spring sports practices started, Baker prepared by doing what she does best, playing the game against other talented club teams and athletes.

“To prepare for the upcoming season I’ve been practicing with my club team and we played in a tournament the weekend before school ball tryouts,” Baker said.

With the competition in 6A being so tough, a big win against a resilient Derby team a few years back had Baker and the rest of the team celebrating big time.

“One of the best games we ever played was against Derby my freshman year,” Baker said. “The best memory was winning that game.”

Baker will continue to play softball after high school, as well as further her education.

“I’ve signed with the Greyhounds to play softball next fall,” Baker said. “I plan to get my associates degree and become a dental hygienist.”


Campus’ Naomi Castellanos

Naomi Castellanos, a soccer athlete at Campus, knows a little about having to step out of your comfort zones for a sport. Working to improve her skills on and off the field, Castellanos is putting it all out there for the upcoming season.

“An area I’ve had to improve while playing soccer is my communication skills on the field,” Castellanos said. “For someone who doesn’t talk very loudly or much in general it has been a struggle, but it’s something I must overcome.”

With mental growth being a huge part of her goals, Castellanos is also looking to sharpen her physical skills on the field.

“Some ways I’ve been preparing myself is by conditioning after school and joining classes to keep myself in decent shape throughout the school year,” Castellanos said. “A weakness I wish to improve is my stamina, because speed is not everything in a game.”

Over the years of playing high school soccer, Castellanos learned that the connections she made with her teammates and coaches will be some of the best she ever makes.

“A goal I am wanting to achieve this year is to continue building a connection with my teammates old and new,” Castellanos said. “My favorite memories will always be the time spent on the buses and with the team before the games.”

Castellanos has aspirations to continue her soccer career when she heads off to Butler Community College in the fall.

“My future plans after high school are to go to Butler for my Gen Ed classes, tryout for their soccer team, then I’ll go over to Wichita State University to major in 3D Animation to later get a job in CGI,” Castellanos said.


Wichita West’s

Robert Diaz

Wichita West’s Robert Diaz has had a love for baseball ever since he could remember. After last season, Diaz knew exactly where his training needed to begin.

“This offseason I worked on my defense and my leadership role on the team,” Diaz said. “Last year I had an amazing year at the plate offensively but I lacked in defense and leadership. This year I’m a senior and my team needs someone that will bring them up when we’re down and that will be me.”

Being a senior leader comes with a lot of challenges, and Diaz plans to tackle one of the biggest tests head on.

“My goal for the season is to prove people wrong and get our program to host a regional and go to state,” Diaz said. “Not many believe that the West baseball program has what it takes but we will show them wrong.”

While getting to play the game of baseball is success on its own, having the support system throughout the journey is something Diaz will always be thankful for.

My family has been supportive and pushed me to be great since I moved here to Wichita, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them,” Diaz said. Diaz will go on to be a Tiger this fall, while furthering his athletics and education.

“I will be attending Cowley County Community College for baseball,” Diaz said. “Afterwards, I hope to get a D1 offer so I can fulfill my dream of playing at a D1 school.”


Derby’s Avery Kelley

Derby senior Avery Kelley will soon be graduating from high school, but her ambition to pursue big career dreams is just getting started. Kelley’s dream of working in the health industry has already begun. After completing her first steps in the medical field as a high school student by passing the certified nursing assistant class and boards, Kelley is now working as a CNA at the nursing home in Derby.

Following in her parent’s footsteps, both of Kelley’s parents work in the medical field. Kelley’s dad worked as a nurse, but now works in infection control. Kelley’s mom works as a dental hygienist.

VYPE Magazine asked Kelley why she has a desire to work in the medical field. She responded with how she is a people person and loves people. Kelley also has an interest in the human body and how it works. A perfect combination for someone entering into the medical field.

During Kelley’s years as a Panther, Kelley has spent her high school years active in a sport during every season. During the fall, Kelley competes in volleyball. In the winter season, she participates in basketball. Once the spring season arrives, Kelley spends her time on the softball field. She is also a member of NHS at the high school. Kelley shared how being a part of sports in high school and placing at state in multiple sports has been a highlight of her years as a Panther.

After graduation this spring, Kelley plans to attend Newman University majoring in pre-med biology. Kelley also plans on continuing her sports career at Newman on the volleyball court.

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Mulvane’s Teagan Garrison: KTA “Driving Change” Athlete Spotlight

Throughout her high school career, Mulvane’s Teagan Garrison was a defender on the Wildcats’ soccer team, but last year she was tasked with being more of a weapon offensively.

“One area I’m wanting to improve on is my shot and also forward abilities, as I primarily play defense but last year I had to step up to forward because that is where I was needed for the team,” said Garrison. “I will most likely have to step to that position again this year and have been working on this area in my trainings I do on Sundays with the mission soccer program.”

Garrison went to special training throughout the offseason in order to make her a better defender.

“This offseason I have been doing trainings every other Sunday with Nathan Paulus with Mission Soccer and we have been working on my technique and defensive skills,” Garrison said.

There are so many goals Garrison has for the season, but ultimately it’s her last ride as a Wildcat soccer player and she wants to embrace that.

“What I am most excited for on the upcoming season is to spend my last high school soccer career with my friends, to hopefully win regionals and go to state,” Garrison said. “Goals I have individually is to be first team all-league and to also be selected to first team all-state. Goals I have for us as a team is to hopefully take first in our league, win regionals, and to go to state.”


Goddard’s Cooper Glasscock: Military Family Spotlight

Goddard’s Cooper Glasscock has a long lineage of family serving the United States of America.

Glasscock’s oldest brother is serving in the Navy in Singapore, his second brother is in the Army National Guard and then Glasscock’s grandpa and uncle were veterans of the US Army and Air Force.

“Having family in the military has affected me in many different ways by being very proud of my family and my brothers,” Glasscock said. “It has also made me push myself to be as strong, brave and resilient like them.”

Being able to tell friends that his family has proudly served the country is one of the best advantages for Glasscock.

“I also get to say that my family served for this country,” Glasscock said. “Some disadvantages are obviously missing them because they are gone for so long and having to worry about them fighting in battles.”

While Glasscock has not ruled out the chances of being in the service, he’s going to take some time before he makes a decision.

“I do have a little bit of interest on going and joining the military because I want to follow in my brothers footstep,” Glasscock said. “But I also want to be something great and serving something greater than anything.”


Maize South’s Olivia Oenning

Maize South’s Olivia Oenning was a first team all-league and all-state midfielder last season for the Mavericks. This year, Oenning hopes to add on to all of her accolades.

“My own personal goals for this season would be to work on increasing my number of assists, making the All-State First Team, and continuing to all around prepare myself for college soccer,” Oenning said. “Outside of my individual goals, as a team I would love to end my high school soccer career with a state win.”

The offseason included training and conditioning with the team for Oenning, while also spending some time on her own to strengthen herself.

“In order to prepare for this season, my teammates and I spent a lot of time in the gym. Maintaining speed, agility and strength is important in the off season so you don’t have to work as hard to get back in game shape,” Oenning said.

“Something I wanted to really focus on working on before the season was also watching back old films from last year, specifically our state performance as a team to see what I could sharpen in the coming season.”

With many wins and losses throughout the years, Oenning finds that the best memories are spent with the team.

“One of my favorite memories from high school soccer specifically was going to state last year and the entirety of state weekend,” Oenning said. “The bus ride there was so much fun, the nerves and excitement we all had going into it. The hour before a game is always the best, listening to music and braiding each other’s hair. Even though we didn’t win that day we all walked across the street later that night as a team to get ice cream and our previous loss didnt feel as bad. I think everyone was just happy to be together and play one last game one last time with this specific group of people.”


Wichita South’s Brandon Cato

Wichita South senior Brandon Cato has been playing baseball for over 14 years, and now, as a senior, he is ready to leave it all on the field.

Cato plays all over the field but is primarily at shortstop, pitcher, or second and third base.

“Cato is a great kid on and off the field,” South High head coach Douglas Petty said. “He is a well-rounded ballplayer who can play anywhere, is hardworking and is reliable. Holds teammates accountable. I cannot say enough good things about him.”

The senior has a special type of urgency about him that separates him from a lot of players around the city league.

“As a player my ability to stay in the moment, block out nerves and focus on my task in my at-bat, in the field, or on the mound,” Cato said. “My coaches never have to worry about me because I go 110% every single day, and I know what I expect out of myself.”

Coming off of a year where the Titans struggled, Cato has some personal and team goals that he wants to check off his list.

“For our team, it’s us coming together every single day and getting better at practice every day, and if we do, we can make a deep playoff run and win a lot of games,” Cato said. “My goals are first team all-city and hitting over .400 for the year.”

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Bishop Carroll’s Cambell

Riordan: Old Chicago Athlete Spotlight

Bishop Carroll’s Cambell Riordan was a first team all-state and all-league softball selection last season for the Golden Eagles. After making multiple state appearances in high school, Riordan is hoping to win it all this year.

“My main goal is always to have fun and get better with my teammates along the way,” Riordan said. “This season I think we are all ready to compete and make it far in the postseason. After making it to state the last two years and then losing in the first round both times, we are very eager to get back on the field and compete.”

While waiting for spring season, Riordan spent her time off training and conditioning to strengthen herself as a player.

“My main goal for the offseason was to

hit the weight room hard and keep working on my swing,” Riordan said. “I definitely gained a lot of power in the gym and I am ready to see how it translates to the field. I’m very excited to add six more games onto the schedule, I feel like that will help us get better. One of my weaknesses was pulling outside pitches, so I worked on that every chance I could.” With every state appearance came the memories, good and bad, but winning it all a few years ago will forever stay with Riordan.

After high school Riordan plans to continue her softball journey at the next level.

“My favorite memory is definitely when we won state my freshman year and I face planted on the way to the dog pile,” Riordan said.

“I am going to Benedictine College to continue playing softball, and I plan to major in special education and teaching,” Riordan said.


Hutchinson’s Ethan Tippie

As a senior, Ethan Tippie finally got to experience something he sat out to do – make the state tournament.

“I would say the best moment for me would be the time I got to go to state for the first time,” Tippie said. “I remember I was super nervous and excited at the same time but it was a lot of fun to be able to go to state with my team.”

There was no hesitation from Tippie on what he improved on the most this season.

“I would say my release of the ball is where I improved the most within one year,” Tippie said. “All my teammates agree with me as well.”

Tippie made a long list of goals before the season and he was able to accomplish a significant number of them.

“I feel like I did meet most of my goals,” Tippie said. “Some of my goals where to make it to state and we did that. Another goal I had was to improve my swing and release a little bit and I did that as well. Some of my team goals were again make it to state and we did. A second goal I had for the team was to help people improve and we did also do that as well, so over all this year of bowling was a success.”

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Wendy Rusco attended Hutchinson Community College from 2003 to 2005 and was a basketball player for the Blue Dragons. She received her Associates Degree in Science.

“The support I received from great coaches, teammates, and my academic advisor played a significant role in my growth and success,” Rusco said. “Whether on the court or in the classroom, their guidance and encouragement pushed me to strive for excellence. Through the challenges and triumphs of collegiate athletics, I learned invaluable lessons in teamwork, perseverance, and time management.”

Not only were athletics key for Rusco, but she also had an academic support

system, which helped her pave the way to her successes now.

“My academic advisor provided invaluable guidance, helping me navigate course selections, career paths, and academic challenges, ensuring I stayed on track toward my goals,” Rusco said. “Together, these mentors and peers created a nurturing environment where I could flourish both academically and athletically.”

Wendy Rusco

Rusco said that any student who wanted to start their college career at Hutchinson would be wise doing so.

“The faculty creates an incredibly welcoming environment that makes you feel right at home,” Rusco said.

“Whether you’re pursuing academic aspirations, athletic goals, or both, Hutchinson Community College offers an enriching college experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact. I would choose to be a Blue Dragon all over again.”

Valley Center’s Kaitlyn Gobel

Kaitlyn Gobel, a Valley Center girls soccer player, received plenty of accolades last season, as she was an honorable mention all-league and all-state performer.

But Gobel has the desires to breeze past those honors in 2024.

“I want to make all-league, all-state and all-metro honors,” Gobel said. “As a team we want to win our tournament and have a good record to set us up to win a regional championship and hopefully to go state.”

Being a better player on offense is a specific area Gobel worked on throughout the offseason.

“The area I want to improve most about my game is getting more involved offensively,” Gobel said. “To work on that during the offseason I would take the ball up the field more creating open spaces for my teammates.”

Gobel has spent the better part of the offseason on the pitch, with her teammates not participating in a winter sport joining in.

the field every day to get some practice in,” Gobel said.

“I played two leagues of indoor soccer during the winter and for the last month and a half all the girls who don’t play winter sports have been going to

Next year, Gobel is going to play soccer at Butler Community College and study pre-med.



McPherson Baseball

After winning the class 4A State Championship and ending the season with a 21-4 record, and on a 12-game win streak, the McPherson Bullpups have put all their energy into repeating.

“We definitely have a target on our back,” head coach Heath Gerstner said. “I think we will get everyone’s best shot and won’t surprise anyone. We have some really good young players that have had the good fortune to watch how that 2022 and 2023 senior group went about their business.”

The Bullpups return senior right hand


pitcher and infielder Owen Fetsch, and juniors Carter Allen, Ian Razak, and Brock Richardson who all spend time on the mound as well as man the catcher and infield positions, respectively.

As for the rest of the positions, coach Gertner believes they have a lot of guys that will be ready to play for the Bullpups.

“We have a few guys that will need to play well for us to reach the goals we want,” Gertsner said. “I am excited about a couple kids that have zero varsity experience.

Junior Brody Seidl, should man a spot in the outfield and provide a spark at the plate and bases and then a sophomore,

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While a lot of people may have been satisfied, McPherson wasn’t and immediately got back to work.

“Our guys have worked their tails off for six weeks in the mornings at 6:15 A.M. and I have been impressed with how they get after it,” Gerstner said. “Obviously Coach Pav and Coach Harlin run our weights program through the school and all of our guys are involved there, too. It is truly key to our success.”

Cade Strathman that could make a splash on the infield. I think people will also be surprised by junior Logan Beede on the mound as well.”


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Bishop Carroll’s Brecken Hoy

Bishop Carroll’s Brecken Hoy played her first two years of high school soccer with the person she looked up to the most, her older sister. Now a senior, Hoy is looking to put it all out on the field like she did those first few years.

“My ultimate favorite memory as an Eagle was being able to play with my older sister, Destiny Hoy,” Hoy said. “We are very close in age because she is two years older than me and being able to play with her for two years was my favorite thing. As sisters we had an understanding of knowing each other’s next moves, so hearing over the speaker “Hoy to Hoy connection” of me assisting her goal is something I loved hearing and wish more than anything to hear again.”

After coming so close to a championship title last season, Hoy’s biggest goal is to bring it all home this year.

“The goals I am focused on this season are making it to state again and avenging our loss at the state finals last year,” Hoy said. “Our team this year has a unique touch, for there is a lot of talent that I am blessed to be with and the girls from last year who are just as motivated to seek revenge. Personally I just want to benefit the team in whatever area they are needing help with, and my goal is to increase the opportunities I create in front of goal in my finishing and assisting.”

After high school Hoy plans to continue her academic and athletic career at the next level.

“I am attending Johnson County Community College to play soccer,” Hoy said. “I was super excited when I first went on a visit there. I felt right at home because the coaches and players were all super welcoming and nice. They made me feel like I was meant to be there which made me feel right at home. I am planning to major in nursing.”

Maize South’s Camille Keeler

Maize South swimmer Camille Keeler has overcome ups and downs for such a critical sport. Even with barriers, Keeler has proved herself to be one of the best.

“As a year-round club swimmer for the Neptune’s, I’ve continued to stay active in my training and look forward to this high school season,” Keeler said. “I’m super hard working and love pushing myself, however over the past few months I have faced some challenges with my training and overall progression. It’s been frustrating to see my times rise when I’m putting in so much work and commitment into the sport I love, but having communication with my coaches and support from my teammates I’ve continued to push through those walls.”

Buhler’s Sammie Brooks

Sammie Brooks of Buhler knows a lot about hard work and accomplishing goals. Last season Brooks broke a record, and she’s hoping to break a couple more.

“I broke the saves per game school record last year and am looking to break the record of shut out games before my senior season is over,” Brooks said. “I strive for our team to win regionals, continuing into the postseason.”

A busy sports schedule has kept Brooks in shape and has helped prepare her for the long spring season ahead.

“I am a three sport athlete so focusing on just soccer was a struggle,” Brooks said. “However, I did participate in our weekly workouts as well as soccer tournaments this summer. I kept myself in shape with the two previous sports seasons I participated in and kept an excited and positive attitude towards the future season. A particular weakness I’ve wanted to improve on was ball placement in my goal kicks.”

A last minute lineup change threw young freshman Brooks into a game just minutes before start time, but it’s something that will go down in history and will be remembered for a long time.

“My favorite memory of soccer was during my freshman year,” Brooks said. “Our varsity goalie had gotten hurt and I was thrown into the game 10 minutes before the game started. We went on to win the quarter finals game and the celebration after the final buzzer is a moment I will never forget. The team stormed the field and formed a celebratory circle around me. We continued to the state championship game for the first time in school history and it was an honor to be an important part of that success.”

Wichita Trinity’s Aleca Howard

Wichita Trinity’s Aleca Howard has had quite the accomplishments as a swimmer for the Knights. The Swimmer of the Year has continued to train over the offseason to be the best swimmer she can be.

“I have physically prepared for this season by working hard everyday in practice before highschool season started, and I will continue to work hard at club and high school practice,” Howard said. “I try my best to show up every morning and afternoon with a positive attitude and try to improve small details that will make me a better swimmer. I also support and encourage my teammates by helping them be the best they can be in and outside of the pool.”

After placing at the state meet last season, Keeler is looking to have her best season yet and continue to break records and times.

“Swimming is a super demanding sport and I am learning how to balance all aspects of it,” Keeler said. “Mental and physical health are super important. Despite these obstacles I hope to have a great high school season and still aim high for my goals to break more school records for my team while competing again at state.”

Not only are the goals big for swim, but Keeler keeps a high ambition list outside of the water as well.

“I’m still debating whether I want to swim in college as well as where I want to go, however I have my eyes set on Aviation and have a huge passion for going down a route of Aeronautics or Aerospace Engineering,” Keeler said.

Howard’s favorite memories were spent with her teammates, both making memories together and her watching them cheer her on over the years.

“My favorite high school memory is when we went to Walmart the night before finals,” Howard said. “We all played Marco Polo, and we almost got kicked out. Also, seeing my teammates cheering for me and congratulating me after my two victories at state. They supported me all the way. I really hope we can improve as a team and have more girls qualify for state.”

The state champion has big goals for her future, including swimming at the top level.

“My future plans, as of right now, is to study pre-med,” Howard said. “My top colleges are University of Missouri Mizzou, University of Arizona, University of Texas, and University of Florida. I am not committed to a college right now, but my plan is to swim D-1. My dream is to get my Olympic trial cuts and swim on the USA Team.”


Derby’s Jaydon Carruthers

Derby’s Jaydon Carruthers carried a scoring average of 71.7 last season, which was one of the best in Class 6A. But Carruthers wants to go even lower this year.

“I really want to get my total average score down to under 70,” Carruthers said. “With that being said it is golf so it is hard to do, but really had to work on every single part of game.”

The Panthers will have all seniors this season, so Carruthers is ready to go to battle with teammates he has had for four years.

“Our Derby varsity has the possibility to be entirely seniors, so the thought of getting to go to every tournament with them and hopefully winning a few is exciting,” Carruthers said.

Carruthers has the right combination of course access and private coaching that has him setting the goal of consistently improving.

“Trying to get better each and every day is really the goal,” Carruthers said. “I have a coach I go to, combined with everyday that’s it’s possible to get out on the course, I try to make it happen.”

Last season at state, Carruthers finished in a tie for 15th and he is focused on improving that finish this season.

“My individual goal is to win state,” Carruthers said. “As a team I hope to win regionals and hopefully qualify for second day of state championship.”

Maize South’s Hudson Grizzell

Yes, he’s a junior on the Mavericks tennis team, but he is planning on graduating a year early, so this is his last go-around. There is a bittersweet feeling as the season nears.

“For the upcoming season, I’m most excited about the potential for a second team state championship during my high school career,” Grizzell said. “We have the potential to perform very well. That brings with it mixed emotions, but definitely includes excitement.”

Grizzell has devoted so much of his time becoming one of the top tennis players in the state and it culminated in a fifth place finish in the 5A doubles.

“Beginning in my seventh grade year, I devoted a huge amount of time to training and becoming better at tennis,” Grizzell said. “The summer before my freshman year was very intense and filled with individual and group training, camps, and tournaments. Several of us varsity players, my freshman year, set a goal to win state and didn’t stop until we achieved it. During the off-season my sophomore year and this year I have continued individual and group training. Training and match play during the off-season is crucial to success during the school season.”

Grizzell has a passion for doubles, so his offseason training was focused on being a better doubles partner.

“I love playing doubles, and something I’d like to improve on this season is my quickness, agility, and dominance at the net,” Grizzell said. “I’ve worked on this during group and private training, and I will continue to focus on this.”

Hutchinson Trinity’s Lincoln Barnes

Hutchinson Trinity’s Lincoln Barnes, fresh off a tied for 17th finish last season at the 2A Tournament, had some special help this offseason.

“This offseason I have been working with an All-American from Southwestern named Seth Bryan,” Barnes said. “He has helped me develop a good understanding of what I need to focus on when I am over the ball.”

From the moment the season ended, Barnes has had a specific focus on his game.

“Since the second day of state I have been working on getting more dialed in on my iron distance control so I can hit more greens in regulation,” Barnes said. “I have been working with Billy Bolin from Prairie Dunes CC on that and I have noticed a drastic improvement.”

Tying for 17th was a good start for Barnes, but he is seeking an even better finish at state this season. He was also the Heart of America champion and took third at regionals.

“A goal I have for myself is to place in the top five at state and win the regional golf tournament, as a team our goal is to place in state and also win regionals,” Barnes said.

Playing competitively in high school is not where Barnes wants his golf career to stop.

“My future plans are to play golf at the next level and to eventually enter into a professional golf management program,” Barnes said.

Augusta’s Logan Ruddle

While Augusta tennis player Logan Ruddle found time to work on variety of fundamentals during the offseason, it was playing other sports that he thinks might be the most important.

“I have been doing a handful of things during the offseason including being active in two other sports and staying active and conditioned,” Ruddle said.

Ruddle has several goals he would like to achieve this season, which is his final one as an Oriole.

“The main goal for this year is I want to win more meets and be better leaders for the entire team now that we are seniors,” Ruddle said. “My main goal for the team is I want everyone on the varsity team to qualify for state and then individual I would like to get top five in the state.”

Ruddle experienced success last season by going to the state meet and he is expecting for that plus more in 2024.

“My partner, Logan Pfiefer, and I placed eighth at state last year and we are determined to come back again this year,” Ruddle said. “The thing I am most excited about this upcoming season is definitely going to state and getting to play with my senior boys for our last year.”


Cowley College’s Luke Singleton & Shayne Roberts

With the spring sports seasons underway, Cowley College sophomores Luke Singleton and Shayne Roberts were recently named the school’s January Male and Female Athletes of the Month.

Singleton is a left-handed pitcher for the No. 17-ranked Tiger baseball team. Singleton is expected to anchor the Cowley pitching staff and has signed early with Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The environmental science major has a grade point average of 3.63.

Roberts is the starting centerfielder for the No. 20-ranked Cowley College softball team. After earning Second Team allconference and all-region honors as a freshman, Roberts leads the Lady Tigers with 12 runs batted in as Cowley has raced out to a record of 8-3. The liberal arts major has a GPA of 3.49.

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Class 6A

200 Yard Freestyle

Maize sophomore Zachary Rife finished third with a time of 1:44.27

Derby junior Jared Hays finished fourth with a time of 1:47.14

200 Yard IM

Wichita Northwest senior Brock Wallace finished first with a time of 1:51.51

Maize junior Kooper Johnson finished third with a time of 1:57.30

1 Meter Diving

Wichita Northwest junior Giani Benoit finished first with a score of 455.25

100 Yard Butterfly

Wichita South senior Miquel Boira Diaz finished fourth with a time of 52.52

100 Yard Freestyle

Maize sophomore Zachary Rife finished third with a time of 47.54

100 Yard Backstroke

Wichita Northwest senior Brock Wallace won another championship with a time of 50.54

Class 5-1A

Team Scores

Andover completes the back-to-back feat, defending their state championship with a team score of 374.

“We, coaches and our seniors, did feel pressure to repeat,” Andover swim head coach Kelsie Biebighauser said. “We knew it was doable if everything worked the way it was supposed to, but the nerves are always there. It definitely felt like a weight was lifted and we were full of joy when we won. The joy was immense, and we definitely had tears from coaches and athletes.”

Wichita Collegiate finished second with a score of 278.

Kapaun Mt. Carmel finished third with a score of 216.

200 Yard Medley Relay

Wichita Collegiate’s Karim Sandid, Nathan Lynch, Derek Yang and Paul Mines finished first with a time of 1:37.10

Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s Henry Studnicka, Frank Alberti, Rob Richardson and Nathan Thengvall finished second with a time of 1:39.82

Andover Central’s Ethan Finney, Ayden Fooshee, Jackson Lee and Tyler Voros finished third with a time of 1:41.07

Andover’s David Gott, Clark Young, Luke Neugent and Eric Witt finished fourth with a time of 1:41.84

200 Yard Freestyle

Andover Central senior Jackson Lee finished second with a time of 1:45.25

200 Yard IM

Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Frank Alberti finished first with a time of 1:55.56

Andover sophomore Eric Witt finished third with a time of 1:57.87

Wichita Collegiate junior Nathan Lynch finished fourth with a time of 2:01.72

50 Yard Freestyle

Wichita Collegiate senior Derek Yang finished first with a time of 20.79

Andover senior Eli Conard finished second with a time of 21.49

1 Meter Diving

Andale freshman Gage Cooper finished second with a score of 402.80

Andover junior Braden Larson finished third with a score of 384.15

100 Yard Butterfly

Wichita Collegiate senior Derek Yang finished first with a time of 50.75

Andover Central senior Jackson Lee finished second with a time of 52.53

Andover senior David Gott finished third with a time of 53.45

100 Yard Freestyle

Andover senior Eli Conard finished first with a time of 46.95

Andover senior Ian Diefenbach second with a time of 48.18

Andover Central sophomore Tyler Voros finished third with a time of 48.72

500 Yard Freestyle

Andover freshman Clark Young finished second with a time of 4:55.21

Wichita Collegiate junior Harry Ling finished fourth with a time of 5:00.42

200 Yard Freestyle Relay

Andover’s David Gott, Brett Ziser, Ian Diefenbach and Eli Conard finished first place with a time of 1:28:16

Wichita Collegiate’s Luke Cremin, Paul Mines, Harry Ling and Derek Yang finished second with a time of 1:28:91

100 Yard Backstroke

Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Frank Alberti finished first, winning another backstroke championship with a time of 50.45

Kapaun Mt. Carmel sophomore Henry Studnicka finished second with a time of 54.53

Andover senior David Gott finished third with a time of 54.92

100 Yard Breastroke

Wichita Collegiate junior Nathan Lynch finished first with a time of 58.87

Andover sophomore Eric Witt finished third with a time of 1:00.31

Maize South sophomore Riggs Patterson finished fourth with a time of 1:01.09

400 Yard Freestyle Relay

Andover’s Brett Ziser, Eric Witt, Ian Diefenbach and Eli Conard finished first with a time of 3:12.94

Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s Henry Studnicka, Nathan Thengvall, Rob Richardson and Frank Alberti finished second with a time of 3:15.39

Andover Central’s Tyler Voros, Ayden Fooshee, Ethan Finney and Jackson Lee finished fourth with a time of 3:16.34

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Wichita North’s Cecilia Solis

Last season, Wichita North’s Cecilia Solis was a first team allleague forward and this season she would like to combine her awards and accolades with being a better leader.

“I want to improve on becoming a better leader for the team,” Solis said. “Throughout the past three years I have been quiet when it comes to team talks but I believe that I can speak up and help the team a lot if I just use my voice to lift them up and motivate them.”

The Redhawks have a talented roster that Solis feels can compete at the highest level this season. I’m excited about ending my senior year with an amazing team full of talented girls,” Solis said. “My goal this year is to become a leader on and off the field and to

help lead the team into winning a city league championship with a great record. My goal for the team is to create a bond that no other team can have.”

Throughout the offseason, it was all soccer, all of the time for Solis. She learned many valuable lessons while playing with her club team.

“During the offseason I play and train with my club team and I also really dedicated my time training with ICT Aztecs Indoor Semi Pro,” Solis said. “I learned many things not just from the coaches but from my teammates. Many may believe that working in the heat doesn’t have advantages to anything but if you asked me I would say It got me through games that were extremely hot.”


Goddard’s Coltin Watkins: “Call of the Wild Spotlight”

It all started for Goddard’s Coltin Watkins when he was just seven years old. That’s when he knew that hunting and fishing were going to be a passion.

Watkins hunts deer, turkey and duck, while fishing for catfish.

“I started really hunting and fishing when I was about seven years old. My dad was the person that really got me into hunting because he would always take me out to our land and teach me how to do the things needed to be a good hunter.”

Being outside and not having to worry about anything is part of the appeal of being an outdoorsman to


“I like being in the outdoors especially in a tree stand because it’s just you and you really get to clear your mind and just be alone,” Watkins said

Much like any other accomplishment, Watkins has not forgotten the first time he shot a deer. It was even more special because of who he got to share it with.

“My favorite memory hunting would probably be shooting my first deer with my dad because it was a big deer and it’s something myself nor my dad will ever forget,” Watkins said.


Remington High School

Remington SAFE advisor Jodi Janzen has been fortunate to have so many quality students on her staff throughout her time serving the club and this year is no different.

“I have been blessed to have wonderful students running my SAFE team each year and this year is no exception,” Janzen said. “These students have been terrific role models for their peers. I really appreciate their hard work and willingness to present to students in our district.”

This year’s team is comprised of seniors seniors Brianna Hochstetler, Kara Sommers and Gianna Van Zelfden and juniors Edison Jarvis, Kole Klaassen, and Laila McCormick.

Throughout the course of the school year, the Remington SAFE team is involved with events and activities at the school as well as across the state.

“They have all been members or officers of our YAACL (Young Adults Advisory Council to the Library) since they were freshmen,” Janzen said. “The students are considered for the SAFE team if they have been active in YAACL during their high school years, as well as being good role models for other students in our school, and of course they have to always wear their seatbelts.”

“To promote seatbelt usage, the Remington SAFE team brought in Think Fast Interactive this February to have an all school assembly,” Janzen said. “Our group has also participated in the 2023 Teen Safety Conference in Manhattan, used posters and displays to encourage seatbelt usage and provided donuts and other prizes to students for wearing their seatbelts.”

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Butler Community College’s Dr. Kim Krull

After years of dedicated service to the students, faculty, staff and constituents of Butler Community College, President Dr. Kim Krull has announced her plans to retire.

Krull made the announcement following the February meeting of the Board of Trustees. She will finish her contract, which runs through June 30, and has agreed to serve month to month until a replacement and transition plan are finalized.

“It has been the privilege of my career to serve as Butler’s president. I owe a huge thank you to Trustees Ted Dankert, Ted Albright, Ron Engelbrecht, Dr. Greg Joyce, Jim Howell, Candace Kunkel, Tom McKibban, Sara Hurd, and Jim Wilson for trusting in me in 2013,” said Krull.

Inducted as the fifth president of one of the state’s largest community colleges, Krull oversaw the successful completion of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation visit last year. The HLC’s findings last fall claimed the college’s operations to be outstanding and designated Butler as a highly mature institution; one of the highest functioning colleges related to teaching and student assessment.

an “open pathway” institution, a privileged status among institutions. This provides Butler greater freedom to pursue improvement projects that meet current needs and aspirations.

The successful HLC report extended Butler’s designation as

Krull was chosen due to her passion and focus on student success, which never wavered. During her tenure at Butler, she made decisions and led projects that kept student success at the forefront, and in 2021 was named a Wichita Business Journal Executive of the Year.

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Northwest’s Jalil Cooper

Wichita Northwest’s Jalil Cooper is one of those kids who has a need for speed.

Cooper’s two older sisters run track for Butler and Wichita State, and he will be the next sibling in the family to join them as he plans to run collegiately next year.

In the fall, the senior plays football for the Grizzlies, which has had a lot of success. Right after that, he moves into his primary sport, track, where he runs indoor track to prepare for his outdoor season.

“Coop is one of the hardest working kids on the track I have ever worked with,” head coach Steve Martin said. “He is poised to have a big year in the sprints. We have to back him off. He is always pushing himself and had a great offseason in the weight room to be able to maintain that speed to finish races this year.”

The offseason work has always been crucial for Cooper, but working daily with strength and conditioning coach Rashad Daniels has prepared the senior to end his career the right way.

“I’m very dedicated and disciplined in track,” Cooper said. “I cooperate and communicate well with the coaches and my teammates.”

With every intention to go out the right way, the senior currently runs a 10.76 in the 100m and a 22.13 in the 200m dash and isn’t satisfied just yet.

Augusta’s Isaiah Blackwell

The high jump, long jump, and the 100 and 200m dash are the four events in which Augusta’s Isaiah Blackwell thrives in.

Blackwell is a senior who has been high jumping since he was a sophomore. He currently holds a PR of 6’5, which gave him a second-place finish at the state track meet a season ago.

High jumping hasn’t always been easy, though.

“My first year jumping, I couldn’t even clear 5’10, and now that I’ve stuck with it, I’m jumping 6’5 and hopefully more this season,” Blackwell said.

The senior’s work ethic is exactly what separates him from the rest of his competitors.

“Isaiah is a very competitive athlete,” Augusta track and field head coach Steve Reichardt said. “He expects the best of himself in everything he does. He is a hard worker and can’t stand to lose.”

“All my life, I’ve always been a very competitive person,” Blackwell said. “I never want to let my teammates or parents down, so I get so hard on myself to work harder to make them proud.”

The senior is also an outstanding sprinter to top that off. Showing his versatility when he currently runs an 11.02 in the 100m and a 23.2 in the 200m.

Maize’s Parker Bender

For Maize High School’s Parker Bender, she is all about winning on and off the track.

Bender is a sprinter who has been running since seventh grade and is the current defending AVCTL-1 champion in the 100m dash with a time of 12.25, the 200m dash with a time of 25.13, and a champion in the 4x100 and 4x400m relay.

The senior knows she has an image to uphold as she leads her team and doesn’t stop working hard, whether that is staying after for practice or running extra on her own. The senior has to be great.

“My personal goals this season are to set new personal records and make it to state again,” Bender said. “My team goals really are just to have fun and work hard as a team.”

Through her winning, the senior has also been an excellent leader for the Eagles’ track team.

“I like to set the example of doing everything to your best ability but also focus on respecting your teammates and coaches,” Bender said.

After a really solid junior year that led to a third-place finish in the 200m and a fourth-place finish in the 100m dash, Bender has plans to go out with a bang and stand even higher on the podium this year.

Attica’s Cady Hemphill

Cady Hemphill from Attica is one of the best long distance runners in the state as only a sophomore. Being a three-sport athlete, Hemphill has thrived in Cross Country, Basketball and Track.

The young Hemphill impressed her head coach last season and turned a lot of heads while at it, setting the mile and two mile record with times of 5:27 and 12:05.

“Cady is a very strong runner we had her running the 1600 and 3200 last year and she set school records in both of those events, I had put together a 4x800 relay team right before Regionals last year and she was the anchor, she ran a 2:18 800 at one of the meets so I know she could be a 800 runner as well,” head coach Monte Miller said.

The sophomore showed a lot of grit and talent that was just as impressive as her ability to lead and be coachable even at such a young age.

“My strength as a runner would have to be my endurance and the mentality that I have,” Hemphill said. “What my coach means about being coachable is that I listen to all that he has to say to me during my workouts, meets, etc. I do all that he needs me to do because he knows what’s best for me during my workouts and meets.”


championship with a score of 3722.

Class 6A Girls Bowling

Wichita Northwest’s Kalee Stockstill finished first with a score of 705.

Wichita East’s Bella Lumbreras finished second with a score of 663.

Campus’ Allie Gentry finished fourth with a score of 657.

Wichita Heights’ Tai Level finished fifth with a score of 654.

Campus’ Riley Emerson finished seventh with a score of 631.

Derby’s Morgan Henning finished eighth with a score of 626.

Class 6A Girls Team Scores

Campus won the team’s state championship with a score of 3255.

“The emotions were all over the place,” head coach Kenny Fulkerson said, who is retiring this year. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing as we have been this dominant for a decade. Every time my girl’s team laced up their shoes I think they are going to

win. I have been very lucky to have such outstanding girls I just can’t explain it.”

Class 5A Boys Bowling

Goddard Eisenhower’s James Duty finished fourth with a score of 677.

Hutchinson’s Brody Ummel finished fifth with a score of 674.

Maize South’s William Winkelbauer finished seventh with a score of 671.

Class 5A Boys Team Scores

Goddard Eisenhower finished fourth with a score of 3302.

Class 4A Boys Bowling

Cheney’s Cameron Eastman finished third with a score of 681.

Mulvane’s Kameron Blevins finished fourth with a score of 657.

Cheney’s Andrew Phelps finished fifth with a score of 649.

Wichita Tinity’s Justin Ritterbush finished sixth with a score of 649.

Wichita Trinity’s Croix Wright finished seventh with a score of 645.

Wichita Trinity’s Connor Jahn finished eighth with a score of 639.

Class 4-1A Boys Team Scores

Wichita Trinity won the team championship with a score of 3377.

“The team was pretty motivated after finishing the season as the runnerup in 5A,” head coach Dalen Rosiere said. “The focus has been wrapped around the goal all season, and as we got closer to the postseason, it was definitely building momentum. We went into the day with the mindset of not focusing on the prize but really just focusing on making the next shot. If we were able to manage that, the prize would take care of itself, and their focus paid off.”

Cheney finished second with a score of 3210.

Andale finished fourth with a score of 3108.

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State Wrestling Recap

Class 6A


Derby’s Jayden Grijalva finished first after a win over Garden City’s Braydon Pacheco.


Maize’s Ayden Flores completes his undefeated season with a first place win over Olathe Northwest’s Caleb Sharp.

Class 5A


Valley Center’s Braxton Moody finished first after a win over Baeshor Linwood’s Jet Millison.


Valley Center’s Aiden Shields finished first after a win over Newton’s Lucas Kaufman.


Goddard’s Kolton McElwain finished first after a win over Salina Central’s Jase Adam.


Andover’s Luke Potter finished first after a win over St. James Academy’s Will Burchard.


Andover’s Adam Maki finished first after a win over Maize South’s Joshua Kerr.


Goddard’s Jacob Goodwin finished first after a win over Great Bend’s Cooper Liles.


Andover’s Bradley Trimmell finished first after a win over Hutchinson’s Kade Smith.


Goddard’s David Sample finished first after a win over Newton’s Keon Edwards.


Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s Omari Elias finished first after a win over Goddard’s Preston Hagel.


Valley Center’s Dai`mont Mucker finished first after a win over Lansing’s Elijah Mathis.

5A Team Scores

Goddard won the team state championship after a score of 178.5.

“It was truly one of the most satisfying seasons as a coach due to the adversity faced by these young men, and they never wavered every day working hard with the faith that each teammate would do what they needed to do to get ready for the State tournament and as a group they would win a State Team Title,” Goddard head coach Brett Means said. “It was a great run this season, but none of it was possible without Goodard High School administrators, and teachers supporting these young men to help them reach their goals.”

Class 4A


Rose Hill’s Samson Whitted finished first over Scott Community’s Trenton Frank.


Rose Hill’s Johnny Leck finished first over Winfield’s Owen Suttles.


Rose Hill’s Damon Ingram finished first over Independence’s Kohen Wright.


Andale’s Owen Eck completes his fourth state championship after a first place finish over Abilene’s Tucker Cell.

The senior becomes the first wrestler ever in Andale history to win four times.

“There’s not many things in wrestling that are easy but to be honest coaching Owen has been pretty easy, he’s talented, he works hard and he has a passion for the sport,” head coach Trent Cox said.

Eck’s hard work, cochability and mentality are exactly what got him to the stage he is on.

“After he won his final match I just remember feeling so proud of him,” Cox said. “All the years of practice, the thousands of shots and drills, all the traveling for camps and competition. Everything he had put in to it over the years. Winning four consecutive state titles is not an easy thing to do. Each year there was obstacles. Weight management, injuries, sickness, nerves, you name it and he was able to battle through it all and come out on top each year.”

Eck will continue his wrestling career at the University of Oklahoma.

Team Scores

Rose Hill win the class 4A team state championship with a score of 157.5.


Class 6-5A


Derby’s Amara Ehsa caps off her career as a threetime state champion with a first place finish over Washburn Rural’s Molly Spader.


Kapaun’s Jayla Johnson finished first over Hays’ Lexi Burton.


Maize South’s Meya Howell finished first over Gardner Edgerton’s Karen Rodriguez.

Class 4-1A


Circle’s Alexis Wall finished first over Abilene’s Charlie Elliott.


Wellington’s Aubrey Hunt finished first over Winfield’s Abby Brenn.

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