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.
Check out some photos from last weekend's awards show at The Legends Theatre in KCK!
Here's a look at Piper Pirates quarterback Tanner Eikenbary.
Despite missing nearly half the season, Mill Valley Jaguars running back Kendall Short finished with over 700 yards of total offense and 12 touchdowns.
By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
The Basehor-Linwood Bobcats and Bonner Springs Braves will be doing battle for the third time after both teams won in the first-round tonight.
BASEHOR-LINWOOD 92, Perry-Lecompton 51 - Basehor's offense was dominant all night, as the Bobcats jumped out to a 26-9 lead in the first quarter and just continued to add on to Perry's misery all night long.
Basehor scored at least 26 points in the first three quarters of the game, having 81 points through three quarters.
Five Bobcats scored in double-figures for Basehor: Ryan Murphy had 22, Colin Murphy had 21, Chase Younger had 12 and Ben Johnson and Brad Waterman each had 11 points a piece.
The Bobcats hit nine threes on the night and overall, 10 Bobcats scored on the night.
Basehor's now 18-3 on the season.
BONNER SPRINGS 44, Bishop Ward 33 - It wasn't as easy, but the Bonner Springs Braves ended up completing the four-game sweep of the Bishop Ward Cyclones.
Improving to 16-5 on the season, seniors Stevie Williams and B.J. Watson each scored 14 points for the Braves.
Ward rallied a bit, out-scoring Bonner Springs 12-5 in the third quarter to cut the game into single figures. Evan Brull, a sophomore for Bishop Ward, led the Cyclones in scoring with 11.
But it wasn't enough.
Bishop Ward senior C.J. Vallejo was held to just 5 points in the final game of his great career for the Cyclones.
Ward finishes the season 4-17.
You know the build-up, so I won't waste most of your time.
Sumner Academy begins its run for a third consecutive state title tonight against St. James Academy. The game will be played at 7 p.m. at Sumner Academy.
They met earlier this season at Sumner Academy. St. James Academy led after one quarter, but Sumner Academy eventually took the half-time lead and won by 13 points.
Here are some notes on the game.
1. St. James Academy committed 18 turnovers in the first game of the season between these two elite academies. If Sumner Academy's defense forces as many turnovers tonight, they win going away and without question. St. James Academy will need to limit the turnovers and I think they need to cut the number in half to win - or at least to have any chance of winning.
2. The star for St. James Academy is senior forward Clint McCullough. He's struggled a bit against Sumner Academy, but he'll have to be the work-horse tonight. He averages around 22 points and 9 rebounds a game and really has went under the radar all season long. Sumner's defense will have to manage him tonight and if they do, look for a double-figure win for the Sabres.
3. Another SJA player to keep an eye on if you're a Sumner fan: Tom Huppe. Huppe averages 8.5 points a game, but has hit the 20-point mark a few times this season. He shoots just under 40 percent from three and Sumner Academy would be wise to not allow him to get open looks. He's a quality shooter and can make them in bunches if he's called to do so. Huppe and McCullough are the two best three-point shooters on the team. Limit their damage or shut them down and Sumner Academy wins by 20.
4. The clash of tempos will be interesting to watch. St. James Academy is not like a Spring Hill or a team like that. They take the air out of the ball and with the advantage Sumner Academy has in terms of athleticism, that's the right strategy. St. James Academy must - and I usually never say the word "must" - keep the game in the half-court.
5. How will Sumner's younger guys come out tonight? While Benny Parker and Marcus Allen have been there, done that, there are some Sumner players who will have their first extensive sub-state action tonight. Deon Tripp played last year in the postseason, but tonight will be his first start. Reliable players like Alex Garvin and Jowell Daniels will have their first extensive time tonight. Garvin's been a clutch three-point shooter this year and Daniels has offered a nice boost off the bench. Last year, both Vernon Vaughn and Marcus Allen had absolutely no issue playing in their first sub-state games. How about this group, though? I think they'll be fine, but sub-state experience is always a question the first game of the season.
6. Both teams are playing much better than they did in December. St. James Academy started 0-5 on the season, but finished the year on a 10-5 run. Sumner Academy breezed through the second half of the season and have not lost since early January.
7. Will St. James play inspired for Connor McCullough after his death? Again, it's not fun to ask this question and I'm sure many of you think I'm a jerk for asking it. But you have to wonder how the team will respond to a death of a teammate. These are still teenagers, after all. They could come out fired up and inspired beyond belief and give the Sabres a battle. Or, they could just look forward to the season ending.
Former Sumner Academy star Neil Watson earns nomination for top Mississippi college basketball player award
By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
The C Spire Howell Trophy is awarded to the best college basketball player from the State of Mississippi. Three finalists were announced for the award this week.
Former Sumner Academy star Neil Watson, who plays for Southern Mississippi, is one of the finalists.
Watson leads Southern Mississippi in both scoring and assists, averaging 12.1 points a game and 4.6 assists each night.
Watson recently scored 27 points in a 73-71 loss to Houston the road, a game which he hit five three-pointers on just seven attempts. He also scored 23 points in a win on the road against Central Florida.
Probably his best overall game, though, came against Mississippi. He scored 18 points, but had a career-high 11 assists - Watson's first career double-double.
Percentage wise, Watson has actually been more dangerous from behind the three-point line. The sophomore is shooting 41 percent from three.
He's also an 88 percent free-throw shooter for the 23-6 Golden Eagles.
Southern Mississippi is currently sitting in second place in the Conference USA race. They are just one game behind the Memphis Tigers.
The Golden Eagles will likely have to win the Conference USA Tournament to earn a bid in the NCAA Tournament.
1. Lansing (17-3) vs. 8. Topeka West (0-20)
4. Washington (12-8) vs. 5. KC-Schlagle (7-13)
2. Emporia (14-6) vs. 7. Shawnee Heights (5-15)
3. Highland Park (14-6) vs. 6. Seaman (6-14)
BLUE VALLEY SOUTHWEST SUB-STATE
1. Mill Valley (12-8) vs. 8. Wyandotte (4-16)
4. Harmon (11-9) vs. 5. Turner (6-14)
2. Bishop Miege (12-8) vs. 7. Blue Valley (5-15)
3. St. Thomas Aquinas (11-9) vs. 6. Blue Valley Southwest (6-14)
By ALAN HOSKINS
Beginning this fall, KCKCC will become the 16th member of the Jayhawk Conference to offer a women’s soccer program.
Ruben Rodriguez, who will begin his third season as the men’s coach this fall, will be the full-time head coach of both the men’s and women’s team.
Abdulhamid (Honka) Zlitni returns as the men’s assistant while
Tait Einerson is the new assistant women’s coach. Both Zlitni and Einerson are working on a part-time basis.
The addition of the women’s program was made possible, in part, by the construction of a new turf soccer field scheduled for completion this summer.
“We’ve been wanting to add more women’s programs for several years and now we’re able to do it,” said KCKCC Athletic Director Dan Pratt.
“I’ve never had a home game so this is going to be a big, big advantage,” said Rodriguez, who was the Blue Devil assistant for three seasons before being named head coach. “I’m excited and really looking forward to the challenge, especially with the coaches I’ll be working with.”
Because the current soccer field is not regulation size, the Blue Devils played for at least three years at what at the time was the Wizards practice facility in Swope Park before moving to the Overland Park Soccer complex the last two years.
Both of Rodriguez’ assistants have a wealth of coaching experience in the Kansas City metro area. Einerson has 17 years of experience, six as an assistant at Liberty High School and the last 11 at Blue Valley West.
An assistant on both the boys and girls teams at Blue Valley West, he’s coached only the girls team for the last four years.
In addition, he coaches two club teams in the metro area, KC United, an 18 and under age team; and KC Select for youth 15 and over. A graduate of Park Hill High School, Einerson played soccer in high school and collegiately at Missouri Southern and Southwest Missouri State.
Einerson said he will begin recruiting immediately. With all schools in District 500 of Kansas City, Kan., and the Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley and Olathe school districts offering girls soccer, the potential for recruiting is outstanding. “We’ll start in our own backyard,” said Einerson.
Zllitnia has been coaching club teams for the last 15 years in the metro area and was coach at Maple Woods Community College for five years before coming to KCKCC a year ago.
Rodriguez, who is also being assisted on a voluntary basis by his younger brother, Carlos, has 37 years of experience as a player and more than 10 years of coaching youth and adult club teams. In 2001, he formed a Zamora Boys team that won four league championships and four major tournaments.
Rodriguez holds a BA degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Washburn University. A 20-year officer with the KCK Police Department, Rodriguez recently resigned that position but will remain a reserve officer.
With the late start in women’s recruiting, prospective athletes are invited to contact the KCKCC soccer office at 913-288-7255 or by e-mail to email@example.com.