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.

Bonner Softball - 4/15/2012

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

The Braves ended their perfect record on Thursday when they lost a pair to DeSoto 3-0 and 3 to 9.

In the first game, all 3 runs for DeSoto were scored off of errors.  Geena Harris went two for three at the plate, while Shelbie Thornton went one for two. Those were the only three hits from the Braves in  game 1. DeSoto’s pitching was strong and kept the Braves off balance.

Geena Harris was on the rubber and helped keep the game in reach for the Braves. She had 5 strikeouts and limited DeSoto to 7 hits.
The second game was better offensively for the Braves, but the defensive again struggled.  The Braves had a total of nine hits in the game. Kylee Timberlake had two RBI’s in the game, with a triple to score Shelbie Thornton and Cassady Holloway.

The bats couldn’t make up for the five errors committed by the Braves. The difference in the game was DeSoto taking advantage of the opportunities to score while the Braves left six runners on base.

Good luck to the Lady Braves as they attempt to stay perfect in league at Lansing tuesday.

WRITING ON EMPTY: Supportive families essential ingredient to athletic success

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

Let me state the obvious.

For student-athletes at the high school level to get into college, they need to be pretty athletic, pretty skilled and well-rounded human beings.

If Michael Jordan couldn’t jump or couldn’t shoot the basketball, he would not be considered the best basketball player who’s ever walked Planet Earth. If Tom Brady could not consistently hit his wide receiver down the field in stride for a touchdown, his place in Canton would not exist down the road.

There’s no question that athletic ability and a good skill-set of a given sport are the two most important aspects of advancing a career in sports.

However, there’s a third important part of it – a strong support system, particularly from the family.

Don’t worry, this will not be a “two-parent, full family is the only way we can succeed” lecture. There’s a time to discuss social policy and political issues, but KCK Preps is not the location for that.

This is, however, to make a point that it’s more likely than not that an athlete will be successful if he or she has strong support from the family.

These can be the full-families with two parents living the stereotypical American Dream. This can be support from a family with two separated parents, though they still support the dreams and athletic mission of their kids. It can be a single mom or a single dad who’s always at the basketball game.

Regardless, of the dozens and dozens of signings I have covered for athletes in Wyandotte County and Basehor, there’s been a 100 percent rate of where you can tell the athlete’s family (in whatever form) was very supportive and strong.

It’s no coincidence that some of the best athletes in Wyandotte County also come from some of the best families.

Getting to know Vernon Vaughn’s family a bit the past few months, you can tell why Vernon is a great athlete and better person. His family is rock solid to the core and Vernon had a great support system during his high school career.

Beyond just saying hello once in a while at games, I don’t know the families of Benny Parker, Colin and Ryan Murphy too well. However, I’ve heard great things about them and I see them at all of their sons’ athletic events.

Again, these families strongly support their sons in their athletic careers. I know Parker’s family has traveled across the country to support their son in AAU tournaments, for example. Benny would have been a good player regardless, but his family being there and being open to what he wanted to do helped him land at a Division 1 program like Nebraska.

Out of personal loyalty, I have to mention my friend and mentor Derrick Estelle. Estelle was both a father and a coach to his son Adrian Goodlow, the Wyandotte guard who recently signed with Cowley Community College. I know Estelle very well and he was not afraid to be critical of his own son’s game. Fair criticism and interest from a father is so important. Goodlow would have still become a good basketball player, but there’s no question Estelle was an important part of his son’s life and basketball career.

Then there are the families in Bonner Springs. Bryan and Crystal Watson are wonderful parents to B.J. Watson and were to Neil Watson, the college basketball star who recently played in the NCAA Tournament. The Jackson brothers (Jordan and Johnathan) have a great family and Stevie Williams’ family is great.

Ben Johnson, the great tight end from Basehor-Linwood, will be playing football for the Kansas Jayhawks in a couple years. His father John Johnson is very supportive of Ben’s career and he’s been there for Ben during his career.

The Ming family (especially father Mark Ming) was so crucial in the success of their sons who thrilled many fans in Wyandotte County the past four years.

Same with the parents of T.J. Wallace and J’veyon Browning. Even though they signed last year, the Hibler Twins from Washington had a great, great family that had high expectations both academically and on the court for their sons.

(Those are far from the only great families I know in Wyandotte County and Basehor. However, I would be writing thousands and thousands of words if I mentioned every one. Don’t be offended if I did not include you. Please)

It’s not a coincidence the best athletes I have covered had at least one parent stand out strongly and very positively. Parents play such an underrated role in both the positive and negative in high school sports.

For any parents who may have athletes in middle-school, please welcome their potential high school athletic careers with open arms.

Athletics is a great way for them to attend college and to get their foot in the door. No matter what you hear, there's no shame in an athletic scholarship. It's an opportunity at a great education.

Plus, many studies have indicated that the average high school athlete has a better GPA than if he or she would not have played sports. Still stress academics, but please show great support in what your sons or daughters want to do.

The more parents who give support to their sons and daughters in athletics, the more success.

I can guarantee it.