Pirates football team leads the way in awards

Eight different Piper Pirates football players earned awards at last weekend's KCK Preps Awards Presentation. Head coach Chris Brindle and linebacker Colton Beebe took home two of the top three awards.

PHOTOS: KCK Preps Awards ceremony

Check out some photos from last weekend's awards show at The Legends Theatre in KCK!

Prospect Profile: Tanner Eikenbary (Piper)

Here's a look at Piper Pirates quarterback Tanner Eikenbary.

KCK Preps Prospect: Kendall Short, Mill Valley

Despite missing nearly half the season, Mill Valley Jaguars running back Kendall Short finished with over 700 yards of total offense and 12 touchdowns.

KCK Preps Player Spotlight - Chase Younger

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I made a statement a few weeks back that I will stand by today.  If Basehor is going to win state Chase Younger will have to play a major role in getting the job done.  You have 3 solid givens on Basehor's team in Colin and Ryan Murphy and Ben Johnson but don't forget about this fearless sophomore.  Chase adds a viable 4th option to this talented team.

When you have a star on your team it is always easy to defer to that player and step aside.  I simply do not see this from Chase.  I see as a sophomore the swag (yes I just dropped swag in an article) that every basketball player should have when they are on the court.  He has the confidence in his ball handling and shot making ability to take create and be a viable option on offense.  He is tenacious on defense as well.  A few more inches and some time in the weight room and this young man is a viable player at the next level.

I was very impressed when we saw him live against Turner.  Check out a few of his highlights and you will see why Basehor has a bright present and future.  He is definitely in consideration for the Newcomer of the Year team at the upcoming award ceremony.

KCK Preps Award Ceremony Announcement

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

Based on the success of our first award ceremony I would like to annouce that we we will begin preparing for our second award ceremony.  We intend obviously to have awards for boys basketball but my plan right now is to include some recognition for wrestling and girls basketball.  We obviously focus a lot of attention on the boys teams but I will answer the requests about other sports and the girls.  That answer is yes we will celebrate more than the main sports.  I will state right now that there will be a lot of focus on the boys basketball for a majority of the awards.  Please bare with us as we allow the site to grow and become revenue generating.

Our award ceremony will be for the 10 schools we cover here at KCK Preps.  Ward, Turner, Harmon, Sumner, Wyandotte, Schlagle, Washington, Basehor, Bonner and Piper.

Award categories
  • We will name a first and second team All KCK Preps team.  There will be 10 players named to this team.  Both Nick and I have named our top 10's at different points this season.  We will no doubt cuss and discuss this up until we submit for the engravings on the trophies.  Like football all trophies will be personalized marking the occasion.

  • All KCK Defensive Team

  • Coach of the Year

  • Player of the year - Not necessarily the best player but the player that displays leadership, dominates on the court and winning plays a big role in this award.

  • Game of the year - The winning team receives the award.

  • Play of the Year

  • New comer of the year - Requires you to be a freshman or sophomore making a significant impact on varsity.

  • We will present an All KCK Preps Girls Team.

  • Girls player of the year

  • Girls coach of the year.

  • Wrestler of the year

So as of right now we will be presenting 29 (unless my math sucks) trophies.  This obviously could change.  I was real happy with the setup at the Cinemark theater at the Legends and plan to head back there.  It made a nice situation to watch highlights and celebrate our young athletes.  The staff there was very flexible and helpful with allowing me to test and retest.  With that said we could be making this location the home of many of our award events.

I am going to be reaching out in earnest to organizations and to friends of this site for sponsorship.  I love the area and the young men and ladies we cover but it just isn't feasible to finance these events ourselves.  I will definitely be a sponsor myself on behalf of my family and business Sport Highlights Unlimited but again I would like to ask for financial support.  Sponsors are welcome to host an award or be a presenter at the ceremony.

Below I have linked the football award ceremony.  Take a look and if you are interested in being apart of our second award ceremony please let me know.

DiRenna Award Submission - Benny Parker

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com, written by Dan Parra - Head coach Sumner Academy

Benny is a true point guard that can do it all.  He’s a fantastic ball handler, passer, and finisher.  His biggest strength is his defense.  He’s amazingly quick and can guard anyone all over the floor.  Since he became our starting point guard his freshman year we have 38 wins and 2 losses in tournament play.  We have won back to back state titles with Benny running the point guard position.

Some of Benny’s accomplishments include the following.

Benny has scored 1380 points, 375 assists and 355 steals in his career at Sumner.  He has maintained a GPA of 3.5 and is on numerous clubs and extra curricular activities both at school and in the community.

Freshman Year

•    Kansas City Kansas Defensive Player of the Year
•    1st team all Defensive Team
•    Newcomer of the Year Kansas City Kansas
•    2nd Team all KCKL
•    Our team won the Blue Valley Tournament
•    Our team won the Spring Hill Tournament
•    League Champs
•    Substate Champs
•    Our record was 21-4

Sophomore Year

•    1st team all KCKAL
•    1st team all defensive team
•    KCKL Defensive player of the year
•    Honorable all state
•    Honorable mention all metro
•    Class 4A State Champs
•    League Champs
•    Won the Blue Valley Tournament
•    All tournament team Blue Valley
•    Record was 22-4

Junior Year

•    1st Team all Kansas City Metro
•    1st team all KCKAL
•    1st team all state
•    1st team all defensive team
•    Won Spring Hill Tournament
•    Won Blue Valley Tournament
•    All tournament team Spring Hill
•    All tournament team Blue Valley
•    KSHB Channel 41 Player of the week
•    Kansas City Star Player of the week twice
•    Record was 23-3

Senior year

•    Kansas City Star player of the week
•    Channel 41 player of the week
•    Won Spring Hill tournament
•    All tournament team Spring Hill
•    All tournament team Blue Valley
•    Our record so far is 16-3.

Benny’s individual stats

                   PPG    APG    Steals PG     3Point %    FG%   FT%
Freshman    7.5       3.8              4.2           32%          58%     68%
Sophomore  12.3     5.3             4.1            37%          49%     72%
Junior          19.8     5.9              4.8          40%           51%     78%
Senior          24.8     6.2             3.9            45%          53%      77%

Sumner's Parker, Basehor's Murphy deserve serious DiRenna consideration

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

Last year, I campaigned hard for Washington's Tra'Vaughn White and Schlagle's Rozell Nunn to receive a lot of consideration for the DiRenna Award, an award given out to the best basketball player in the Kansas City metro area.

White was named a finalist, but ultimately lost the award, meaning that my campaigning skills are not too good.

Oh well.

True competitors never quit and I'm here to offer the Kansas City high school basketball coaches two candidates for this year's award.

Sumner Academy's Benny Parker and Basehor-Linwood's Colin Murphy.

I'll start with Parker first.

What hasn't he done during his four-year career? He's started basically four full years at Sumner Academy.

Though I don't have stats for Parker's career, he has to be around the all-time leading scoring mark and all-time leading assists mark for Sumner Academy's basketball history.

Parker has been huge in getting two titles for Sumner Academy and he was the leader of last year's team.

This year, he's been well into the 20's several times. He had a 41-point outburst against Spring Hill during the Spring Hill Invitational.

He's improved his game quite a bit even after last year. His three-point shooting is dangerous now, not just average like it was his sophomore and early into his junior year. Parker's shooting is a lot better and he's become so dangerous from anywhere on the court. 

His speed and ability to put pressure on the ball defensively makes him one of the best overall players in the metro area.

Even with the loss of Vernon Vaughn, Sumner Academy will still likely finish the regular season 17-3 (I don't see them losing to Schlagle).

The credit for Sumner Academy not falling off is directly with Parker. He's put Sumner Academy on his back throughout the year, though Marcus Allen has displayed special abilities too.

Parker's the unquestionable leader for the Sabres and he deserves a ton of love for the DiRenna Award.

Let me head west to Leavenworth County for our next candidate.

This is no disrespect to Ryan Murphy and Ben Johnson, but Colin Murphy has been the best player on that team most of the year.

Those three guys are good to great players, but Colin Murphy has been the difference maker all season.

Like Parker, Murphy is someone who can score from anywhere on the court. He's a good post player and has improved his toughness and tenacity in terms of scoring inside.

He's also a lethal three-point shooter - he knocked down five straight threes against Sumner Academy earlier this year.

Murphy's defensive abilities have also been underrated.

David Brox mentioned to me shortly after the Sumner-Basehor game how important Murphy's defense on Parker was at points in that game. Murphy, despite being a forward, is often placed on guards by Basehor's coaching staff on defense.

More often than not, Colin Murphy has been the leading scorer for the Bobcats this season, especially in the important games.

Colin was huge against Sumner Academy, scoring 25 points off of six three-pointers. He had 29 points against Lansing at home earlier this season and had 20 points on the road against Lansing last Friday night. Lansing's a great defensive team that often does a good to great job shutting down a team's best player.

That didn't happen with Colin Murphy this year.

When the games have mattered most, Colin Murphy has played his best.

(Sidenote: Considering how dominant they were in both football and basketball, I'll always believe the Murphy Twins never got the respect and due they should have received from the big boys in the media. They are legitimate Division 1 prospects in football, or they should be at least. They are very good basketball players, each scoring 1,000 career points. They are a great story and it's one that was not told enough by the Kansas City press during their careers at Basehor-Linwood. Colin was one of the best quarterbacks I've ever covered. Ryan Murphy was outstanding at the wide receiving position. The Murphy Twins are winners. Talking to some Bonner Springs fans and parents of players after the game, they agreed with me about how the Twins were mostly snubbed. And you know how fierce that Bonner Springs-Basehor rivalry is. Bonner Fan isn't exactly the type to endorse Basehor athletes.)

Both Benny Parker and Colin Murphy are prime candidates for the prestigious DiRenna Award. Every word I've said about them above does not do each player justice in terms of how important and good they are on the court.

The bad news is the fact I'm campaigning for them now.

Based on my track record, both players will likely lose the award to someone with lesser stats and lesser importance to a team's success.

I hope I'm wrong.

Why Sumner Academy won the KCAL title

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

So, after being knocked off the top of the Kansas City - Atchison League hill for a year, the Sumner Academy boys basketball team won another league title after crushing Washington Friday night.

How did the Sumner Academy Sabres win another league title?


1. They have the best player in the league - and he plays the most important position in KCK.

Benny Parker will be my Kansas City Kansas-Atchison League Player of the Year and he displayed why throughout the year. When he needed to score and takeover games, he did.

When he thought that he needed to dish off and let his supporting cast exploit other teams' weaknesses, Parker allowed that to happen.

He's also one of the fastest human beings I've ever seen and while it's not impossible to defend him (any player can be defended, even Michael Jordan was a few times), it's very tough to.

I hope Parker's abilities will translate well to the Big 10. The Big 10 is a competitive, yet a conference that lacks organized offense at times. Nebraska has a great guard on the way.

Parker is at his best when he's allowed to push the tempo up.

He should be on anyone's shortlist for the DiRenna Award, which will likely go to a Johnson County player anyway.   

2. Marcus Allen not only was a reliable Robin, but he turned into Superman to Benny Parker's Batman.

The Batman-Robin analogy for basketball has picked up since the Miami Heat's Big 3 joined together a couple of summers ago. Earlier this year, I wrote that Allen needed to be a bit more consistent. He was and then more.

He's put together quite a string of 20-point games during league play and again, his rebounding is underrated. He was my Newcomer of the Year last year and he proved me right with his excellent senior season.

On some nights, Allen was awesome. He had 31 points an 11 rebounds against Hogan Prep. Scoring 20 points a night was almost routine for him.

3. Sumner Academy's juniors, Deon Tripp and Alex Garvin, grew up quickly this season.

They might not have scored the points the Allen and Parker did, but both scored timely points when it mattered. I think Tripp will breakout offensively next year and Garvin's three-point shooting ability is tremendous. 

4. Sumner's team had great structure to it and it was the only group of players in the league who collectively knew their roles. 

Tripp, Garvin, Marcus Edwards, the Falcon brothers and other supporting staff knew they would not have to score 15 points. They did not want to score 15 points. They did not need to score 15 points a game. Sumner Academy is the only league school since the late 1990s that's never had a selfish team.

A challenge - can you recall any Sumner Academy team in the past few decades or so that has been selfish?

There may have been a little ego for some individual players, but as a team, you can never call Sumner Academy selfish. It's unbelievable, but that team has never been selfish dating back to my time as a student there.

Perhaps it's the academic backbone Sumner's athletes develop at a college-prep school. Perhaps it's the character of the players and the families involved. I don't know, but there's never been a Sumner team where selfishness crashed their season. While I will never calls individual players out, let's just say that the league's other teams were not as lucky this year. 

5. Washington could never find identity or chemistry. 

There would be some nights during the league where I thought Washington could win playing tough defense, ala Lansing in the Kaw Valley League. They held Harmon to well under their scoring average. They held several good teams to under 60 points a game.

At the same time, however, when a team wanted to play up tempo and put pressure on, the players got suckered into it. With a big man like Dominique Wilson, running was not the most ideal offense. They ran into trouble with that in the Topeka Tournament and they did against Sumner Academy in round two. This Washington team could never find an identity at all. Last year's Washington team had great identity and chemistry. You knew what Washington wanted to do each night of the week - push it and allow Tra'Vaughn White to take over.

On that note, they never found good chemistry with each other on a consistent basis. Players being hurt, disciplined and ineligible did not help. But Washington's guards did not work well enough with Dominique Wilson this year. Period. There would be three or four minute stretches when Wilson never touched the ball this year. That is inexcusable. And to be fair, I thought Wilson could have been a much better passer when he got two or three guys on him. I expected Washington's offense would click this year due to Wilson's presence and the likelihood of open shots developing. It never did during the regular season.

If Washington has any hope of shocking some teams and making a run at state, developing chemistry is a must. Good luck with that this late in the year, though. 

6. Harmon blew it. 

I won't get into this right now because this post should be about mostly about Sumner. But Harmon should have been better than they were and they missed a golden opportunity. After Vernon Vaughn's injury, they had arguably the best starting five in the league and they missed their shot at a league title.

More on that this week.

PHOTOS: Basehor-Linwood vs. Ottawa

PHOTOS: Basehor-Linwood at Bishop Ward