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Morning Sun
  • SCHOOL YEAR IN REVIEW: Sports highlights

  • Girard freshman Drew Davied closed out the year by winning a state title in the high jump. Girard junior golfer Timbrelee McNair won the first Crawford County high school state title of the year in October. This victory culminated a three-year run for McNair and gave her the only m...
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  • Girard freshman Drew Davied closed out the year by winning a state title in the high jump.
    Girard junior golfer Timbrelee McNair won the first Crawford County high school state title of the year in October.
    This victory culminated a three-year run for McNair and gave her the only milestone lacking from her career. Plus, it earned her a spot in the Oct. 29 double issue of Sports Illustrated as one of the “Faces in the Crowd” — also featured in the issue were Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Collin Klein, Miguel Cabrera and the annual NBA Preview.
    Previous faces in the crowd include Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Fischer, Lew Alcindor (later and better known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Terry Bradshaw, Chris Evert, Bill Walton, David Thompson, Earvin Johnson, Jackie Joyner, Carl Lewis, Don Mattingly, Herschel Walker, Greg LeMond and Tiger Woods.
    McNair described her first reaction to being featured within SI.
    “It was kind of like unbelievable,” she said. “I never thought I would see myself in any magazine, let alone Sports Illustrated. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet just how cool it is.”
    McNair won nine straight tournaments her junior year, highlighted by a regional title on the home course and her Class 4A state title. At state, she matched her school record low round of 72 (+1) and beat Coffeyville freshman Anna Pool in a playoff, sinking a birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
    “My putter was definitely on that day,” McNair said. “It was kind of a bit of luck. A couple days before state, we changed the grip on my putter. If you’ve ever changed the grip on a putter, it’s so different when you first start out. It was really new. I was really nervous about my putting going into it. That was probably the most nervewracking part about it . . . but I putted great.”
    Other highlights from fall sports:
    • Frontenac and Girard ended losing streaks against Colgan in football — 1997 for the Raiders and 1999 for the Trojans.
    • Girard won its first Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League football since 1999 and finished league play 6-0. The Trojans outscored their CNC opponents 162-38 and pitched consecutive shutouts of high-powered offenses Southeast and Colgan, 42-0 and 29-0.
    • Colgan advanced the farthest in the state playoffs, reaching the 3A quarterfinals. The Panthers won a memorable home playoff game 63-28 against pass-delirious Humboldt — its quarterback Nathan Whitcomb attempted over 60 passes and threw for over 500 yards (three different receivers over 100 yards) but Colgan intercepted him eight times and six different Panthers logged interceptions.
    • Over consecutive weeks, Pittsburg scored 136 points against Parsons and Coffeyville — 69 against Parsons and 67 against Coffeyville. It is believed to be a school record.
    • Northeast ended a 19-game losing streak with a 34-14 win over Fredonia at Samuel J. Nicoletti Field. The Vikings went two full seasons and the first game of 2012 without a win.
    Page 2 of 4 - • Frontenac volleyball made its first 4A state appearance in its first season at that classification and defeated Pittsburg on its home court to earn the spot at state. Frontenac ended its season 35-7.
    • The Southeast Lancers earned their third consecutive 3A state tournament berth and won their first set in three state trips. Southeast finished its season 34-8. Both the Raiders and the Lancers dropped matches at state to eventual state champions McPherson (4A) and Hillsboro (3A).
    • With the success of Frontenac and Southeast, county volleyball teams combined for a 145-86 (.628 winning percentage) overall record — Girard 24-13, Pittsburg 24-16, Colgan 22-15 and Northeast 6-27.
    • Colgan senior Jonny Adamson finished third in the 3A state cross country meet, posting a time of 16 minutes, 32.10 seconds. Adamson finished behind Alex Conn of Beloit (16:15.80) and Cory Donley of Sacred Heart (16:03.50). Adamson won league and regional titles.
    • The Southeast Lancers finished 10th as a team in 3A — Steven Porter 26th (17:50.30), Trevor Johnson 42nd (18:09.80), Trevor Fleck 52nd (18:33.40), Tim Clausen 80th (19:23.80), Kenny Turner 101st (21:42.30) and Jake Zortz 104th (22:22.20).
    • Northeast sophomore Kaylee Bogina finished fifth in the 2A girls race, running her 4K in 15:43.30. Bogina won league and regional titles.
    WINTER
    Girard senior Hadyn Herlocker enjoyed an outstanding high school basketball career.
    She played on Girard teams with an overall record of 75-18 (.810 winning percentage) and at one point, Girard had a stretch of 50 consecutive Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League wins and 37 straight home wins.
    Herlocker, facing double and triple teams all season her senior year, averaged 21.4 points, 5.0 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game.
    She inked on the dotted line with Pittsburg State last November, won the Wendy’s Heisman recognizing two Kansas student-athletes (one boy, one girl), was selected to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA) All-Star Game this July and became the 14th Girard player (boys and girls) in school history to reach 1,000 points.
    Herlocker joined Brenda Rose (1982-1986), Amanda Davied (1995-1999), Morgan High (1996-2000), Mike Taylor (1970-1973), Jay Leigh (1982-1985), Gabe Evans (1995-1998), Nikki Pierce (2000-2003), Seth Newton (2001-2004), Marissa Poppe (2003-2006), Drew Cook (2004-2007), Tanner Poppe (2006-2009), Darian Kelly (2006-2009) and Carly Twarog (2007-2010). Herlocker crossed 1,000 in the Wilson County Classic against Erie.
    “This is a great milestone for Hadyn,” Girard head coach Brad Herlocker said. “She has worked very hard to become the player she is. She is also very lucky to be on some great teams with great players. I see this as a team accomplishment, not an individual one.”
    Other highlights from winter sports:
    • The Colgan boys made their 12th consecutive state tournament appearance and 17 of the last 18 years under veteran head coach Wayne Cichon. Out in Hutchinson, Colgan gave now three-time defending state champion Scott City a dogfight but came up short in a 61-48 loss. The Panthers reached state with a 74-54 substate final win over Riverton, a game where Dyson Dechant scored 21 points, Austin Commons 18, Luke Marquardt 10, V.J. Piccini seven and Conner Dayton seven, plus Riverton players Landon North, Chandler Underhill and Dylan Weaver all fouled out. The Panthers won on their home court officially as the road team and avenged a regular season loss to Riverton which cost the Panthers a league title.
    Page 3 of 4 - • After a dry spell of nearly a decade, the Frontenac girls basketball team won outright or shared a Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League title two years straight. The Raiders shared the CNC this past winter with the Baxter Springs Lions, as both teams finished 6-1 in league play. Frontenac handed Baxter its only CNC loss and Columbus upended Frontenac. The Raiders claimed their share with a 51-43 win over Girard in the final game of the regular season. Frontenac ended its season 18-5 and 4A substate runner-ups.
    • Pittsburg senior wrestler Gershom Avalos defended his regional title at 220 pounds and was the lone Purple Dragon wrestler to win a title on his home mat. Out at the state tournament in Salina, Avalos finished his prep career with a third place, pinning Austin Gates of Pratt in the first round for the medal. Avalos signed with junior college powerhouse Labette.
    SPRING
    The St. Mary’s Colgan baseball team peaked at the right time of the year, ending its season on a 12-game winning streak (counting regional bye) and Class 3A state champions.
    The Panthers won their state record 17th title, first solely in 3A after years of dominance at the 2-1A level. Colgan defeated Silver Lake 10-0 in six in the championship game, a clash between schools combining for 32 state baseball titles. Silver Lake ranks second.
    Pitching, defense, speed and timely hitting, plus a tough nonconference and Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League schedule, gave Colgan advantages over its state opponents.
    “It’s just a great feeling,” Colgan head coach Mike Watt said. “A great sense of accomplishment for the kids. It’s so nice to sit back and watch the jubilation and the families celebrate together because we put a lot of time in. I know a lot of teams do but it’s so nice for the kids to enjoy this and have this moment.
    “Our league is very competitive. Frontenac came up here last year and won the 3A title. Our league has been very good and you throw in our nonconference schedule in there, I would argue we play the toughest 3A schedule in the state. Our kids know that. I told them at the beginning of the year we’re going to take some lumps but we’re going to get better and it eventually paid off for us.
    “We got together right at the end and I said, ‘Guys, you know, we struggled early but we just gradually got better and better and better and now they’re 3A state champs. It’s something they’ll remember forever.’”
    Since 2002, schools from the CNC have won seven 3A titles in Manhattan — Baxter Springs in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007, Galena in 2010, Frontenac in 2012 and Colgan in 2013.
    Other highlights from spring sports:
    • Pittsburg head tennis John Seal reached career win No. 500 and in recent times, three Pittsburg-area coaches in three different sports have reached the 500-win milestone — Seal, Colgan boys basketball coach Wayne Cichon and Colgan baseball coach Mike Watt.
    Page 4 of 4 - • Frontenac baseball won its second consecutive CNC League title with a 14-0 mark but its undefeated run ended with a 4-3 loss in the 4A regional final to Coffeyville. The senior group of Matt Standlee, Blake Vail, Bryan Wade, Bryce Burdette, Blake Barto, Gus Brunetti, Ross Edge, Avery Coronado, Jacob Teats and Dylan Plouvier finished a two-year run 44-3 overall with a state championship (2012), a regional title and back-to-back league titles.
    • Frontenac softball returned to state after a one-year absence, winning league and regional titles. The Raiders ended their season 20-2 and the senior group of Lindsey Gorham, Jennifer Long, Nayna Fields, Sam Bonner, Libby Warrick and Ashton Alex finished their career 75-16 overall and 48-10 CNC.
    • Girard freshman Drew Davied (4A high jump) and Northeast sophomore Kaylee Bogina (2A 3,200-meter race) both won their first state titles; Bogina also finished sixth in the 1,600.
    • Pittsburg junior Chelsea Baker collected three medals — third in the triple jump, fourth in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 4x100.
    • Pittsburg senior Gershom Avalos placed fifth in the shot put.
    • Northeast junior J.T. Richardson won second in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump.
    • Colgan senior Conner Dayton finished fourth in the long jump, seventh in the 4x100 and eighth in the 100.
    • Colgan senior Jonny Adamson finished third in the 3,200 (school record 9:56.59) and fifth in the 1,600.
    • Southeast sophomore Ryan Rakestraw took fourth in the high jump.
    • Frontenac senior Taylor Johnson medaled at eighth in the pole vault.
    • The Pittsburg girls won a Southeast Kansas League team title on their home track during the first varsity track meet hosted by Pittsburg in two decades.
    • At the 3A state golf tournament, Colgan senior David Misasi finished second behind individual state champion Ryan Hoover of Phillipsburg. Misasi shot a 76 overall with a 37 on the back nine of the Spring Creek Golf Course in Seneca.
    • During her third appearance in the state swimming meet, Southeast junior Brytany Stewart finished seventh in the 100 freestyle and 10th in the 200 freestyle, earning Southeast 19 points in the Class 5-1A competition.
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