Today, prep student-athletes from across southeast Kansas embark on the fulfillment of state championship glory.

Today, prep student-athletes from across southeast Kansas embark on the fulfillment of state championship glory.
With six baseball and softball teams advancing to their respective state tournaments along with numerous area athletes set for the KSHSAA State Track & Field Championships, this stands as one of the busiest weekends in the prep season.
And, to think, after Saturday it all comes to an end.
Emotions, glory and agony of the regular season all boils down to just two days across the state of Kansas.
Needless to say, this area will be one of the best represented across the state.
Whether it be the black of Frontenac, the blue of Colgan and Riverton or the maroon of Girard, avid prep viewers will get a bold colorful look at close to 100 student-athletes from Crawford and Cherokee counties.
It is easy to say that all of these athletes make this community proud and that would be true.
However, what the number of athletes traveling to state competition should also speak to is the fact that southeast Kansas, at least for this season, has become a dominant force in high school athletics.
That does not even count the golf state tournaments that have already been held.
The St. Mary’s-Colgan boyss golf team captured state glory on Wednesday after winning the Class 2A state golf tournament by a whopping 10 strokes over WaKeeney-Trego Community.
A fitting sendoff for the seniors of that group that tried for four years to bring a state title home to southeast Kansas.
Individually, southeast Kansas also had medalists in Girard’s J.D. Heatherly, Frontenac’s Colton Lamborn and Pittsburg’s Jon Nichols.
At one point in time, in the not-so-distant past, southeast Kansas was long forgot about as producing state champions.
With the exception of football and, occasionally, basketball, southeast Kansas was never really looked upon by the rest of the state to be a dominant force in other prep sports.
I am one that hopes that attitude has changed after the last few years.
I would hope that other schools in central and western Kansas start to tremble with the thought of seeing a busload of student-athletes from various schools in southeast Kansas because of a new tradition of success in high school sports.
Long have we rested with the fact that our football tradition and that will continue to grow.
Now, however, our other sports such as baseball, softball, golf and track and field should be taken note of.
This area has the potential to crown several state champions in baseball and softball as well as numerous titles in track and field.
Regardless of whether you win a state title or not, we say good luck and you carry the hopes of a very proud community.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140. Follow Morning Sun sports at twitter.com/mssports.