Kansas Pregame takes a look at a few noteworthy stories from recent high school sports action
Check out a few noteworthy stories from recent Kansas high school cross country, football and volleyball action, and head to Subway for pre- or post-game meals, catering or Footlong Faves starting at $4.99. Order online at Subway.com.
Central Christian quarterback Caleb Lambert continues to pile up stats
Hutch-Central Christian senior quarterback Caleb Lambert continues to amass impressive statistics for the explosive Cougar offense.
In last week's 62-18 win over Stafford, Lambert rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns on just six carries and added 72 yards and three more scores on 5 of 9 passing. Senior wide receiver Adam Hall caught two touchdown passes for 39 yards and added an interception return for a touchdown and senior fullback Garrett Burns added a 75-yard kickoff return for yet another TD.
The Cougars improved to 6-1 with the victory and Lambert now has over 1,000 combined passing and rushing yards and 23 total touchdowns accounted for in only six games this season. Burns leads the team with 71 total tackles through seven games and Hall and Deonis Coon lead the defense with three interceptions apiece, followed by junior linebacker Dawson Urwiler with two.
In his first fall with the Cougars last year, Lambert delivered a massive offensive season. Since returning to KSHSAA in ’16, CC is 32-7 and averages around 60 points a game.
Lambert passed for 2,055 yards with a 38/7 TD/INT ratio, and led the team with 106 carries for 798 yards and 22 scores for a 7-3 squad.
Lambert’s play extended to basketball where he earned Most Inspirational Player of the team’s midseason Burrton tournament. Normally those awards go to high scorers, but Lambert was an excellent defensive player and leader for coach Adam Clark.
“That’s what I’ve just been raised as ever since a kid,” Lambert said. “Even if you are not the best athlete on the court, you can always be the hardest worker and always make your teammates better around you, help your teammates out and just encourage them, so that’s what I try to do everyday.”
John Baetz & Conor Nicholl
AVCTL Division I, II League Cross Country wrap
*Note: AVCTL Division I and Division II ran together at Salina South last Thursday. The scores and times were then separated.*
In Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division I, the Derby girls outlasted Maize for the team title.
Even though Maize’s Zoie Ecord won the league title with a time of 19:54.75, a pair of Panthers finished second and third. Vivian Kalb (20:03.00) and Abigail Monaghan (20:06.14) were Derby’s highest finishers. Along with Kalb and Monaghan, Derby had three top-10 finishes as Ashlyn Struble finished seventh.
Maize also had three top-10 finishes. Ecord, a sophomore who finished 12th in 5A last year, led the Eagles, but Aria Sheldon (sixth, 20:17.06) and Anna Reimer (10th, 20:55.70) also aided Maize.
Derby finished with 46 points compared to 50 for Maize. Individually, Hutchinson’s Chloe Inskeep (20:10.13) and Jenna Ramsey (20:15.96) rounded out the top five.
Like their female counterparts, the Maize boys finished second in DI as well. The race for first was even closer on the boys side, as Newton finished with 43 points - two points less than Maize - for the win.
Hutchinson’s Noah Cole continued his impressive senior season with a first-place performance at league. Cole finished with a time of 16:22.7. League runner-up Isaac Oquendo of Campus finished with a time of 16:49.80.
Newton had the sixth, eighth, and ninth-place finishers, while Maize had runners finish fifth, and seventh.
However, each team’s highest finisher tied for third. Newton’s Erik Jantz and Maize’s Kadyn Dohlman each finished with a time of 16:49.98. The tie went to Dohlman, as it was determined that his time was 16:49.971 while Jantz’ time was 16:49.980.
The AVCTL DII girls race belonged to Maize South, who is currently ranked fourth in 5A. The Mavericks had three top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes, including league champion Alexa Rios.
Rios had the best time of Division I or Division II, winning the DII league title with a time of 19:29.33. Bowi Sargent was third for the Mavericks with a time of 20:09.09. Britton Kelly gave Maize South its third top-five finish, finishing fifth with a time of 20:24.27.
Individually, Goddard-Eisenhower’s Jadyn Pavlik was second with a time of 20:00.82 and Andover’s Elizabth Vetter was fourth with a time of 20:23.72.
The story of AVCTL DII on the boys side belongs to Andover’s Ryan Kinnane. The senior had the best time of anyone, winning league with an impressive 15:52.54.
Kinnane finished fourth in 5A last season behind three graduated seniors.
Kinnane led the Andover boys to a second-place finish at league with 44 points, as Maize South held a slight edge and finished with 39.
For Andover, Samuel McDavitt finished fifth with a time of 16:43.02 and Gabe Maki was sixth with a time of 16:47.30.
For Maize South, Trey Rios led the way with a time of 16:19.00, which was good for third place. Jackson Wedge (16:52.57) and Jayce Meyer (16:58.77) finished seventh and eighth for the Mavericks.
Maize South is currently ranked second in 5A with Andover Central not too far behind in fourth. Both teams are looking up to top-ranked and defending state champions St. Thomas Aquinas.
Little River wins own regional
Fifth-ranked Little River won its regional on Tuesday and will now advance to Sub-State at Kiowa County High School in Greensburg.
With the top two teams from each regional advancing to sub-state, Little River knew it had a good chance of advancing with the top seed and a first-round bye. Little River took care of business in its first match, which turned out to be the semifinals, with a straight set win over Chase.
In the championship, Little River defeated St. John 25-15, 25-23.
St. John had to battle through Hutch-Central Christian in the semifinals and Fairfield in the first round to make the finals.
St. John entered with a 17-14 record and was matched up with a Fairfield team that finished the regular season 2-29. The match went three sets as St. John prevailed 25-10, 20-25, 25-14. In the semifinals, St. John Hudson edged Central Christian 25-19, 26-24.
Both Little River and St. John will advance to sub-state. Little River, now 29-9, will face Attica (32-8) in the sub-state semifinals. If Little River can survive Attica, the winner of Minneola (30-8) and Meade (24-14) will be waiting with a trip to state on the line.
St. John will face South Gray (28-9) in the sub-state semifinals. The winner of that game will face the winner of Cunningham (33-6) and Kinsley (20-17) in the sub-state championship.
Lincoln wins regional volleyball title, ties best record in at least 21 seasons
Lincoln upset St. John's Beloit-Tipton in two sets (25-22, 25-21) in Beloit Tuesday night to win the regional title and qualify for one of two 1A sub-states to be played Saturday in Centralia. SJBT was ranked fourth in the Week 6 KVA 1A poll, but fell to ninth this week after the loss to Lincoln and a loss to Thunder Ridge in the NPL Championship on Saturday.
The Leopards also beat Sylvan-Lucas (25-23, 25-22) in the semi-finals and Rock Hills (26-24, 25-4) in the first round.
The Leopards are now 25-12 under first year head coach Shaylyn Krone, which ties Lincoln's 1998 team for the best win total in at least the last 21 seasons and is only the third season with 24 or more wins since 1992.
Krone was proud of her team's effort after winning the championship.
"Winning the regional championship was absolutely awesome," Krone said. "These girls were aware it was going to be difficult, but they took the challenge on with a lot of confidence and took care of business."
Krone, who was an assistant at Lincoln last year, said having so much success in her first year as a head coach has made the season extra special so far.
"I'm very proud and excited as a first year head coach," Krone said. "I knew going into this year that we had five returning starters, which helps create a successful program in any sport. Having that much varsity experience makes success a lot easier to achieve."
Lincoln is the fourth overall seed in the Centralia Sub-State and will face five seed Frankfort (23-14) in the second match of Sub-State #1 Saturday afternoon.
Frankfort finished 1-2 in pool play at a loaded Twin Valley League Tournament last weekend and did not advance out, but the Wildcats got wins over Washington County and Hanover in regional play Tuesday before pushing Clifton-Clyde to three sets in the regional final (25-21, 17-25, 26-24).
The regional championship loss leaves SJBT with a tough road as the six seed overall. The Blujays face a battle tested Clifton-Clyde team in match two of Sub-State #2. The Lady Eagles' 27-11 record includes multiple losses to powers Centralia, Valley Heights and Thayer Central (Neb.).
Check out the Leopards final point in their second set win over SJBT courtesy LHS athletic director Nikki Flinn:
John Baetz, Dusty Deines & Landon O'Hare
Torrance Lovesee, Bluestem volleyball, earns UTEP offer
Bluestem has posted a 10-20 record in Class 2A, but junior Torrance Lovesee continues to play at an elite level and has emerged as a Division I recruit. Lovesee announced Oct. 14 on her Twitter account that she earned an offer from University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP).
The 5-foot-10 outside hitter has 254 kills (4.5 per set) and carries a .288 hitting percentage. No other Bluestem player has more than 46 kills. Additionally, she has 60 aces, a team high, and has one of the stronger ace percentages in Kansas at 27.6 percent. She paces the squad with 33 blocks and 190 digs.
In her career, Lovesee has 629 kills, 601 digs, 167 blocks and 181 aces with a .236 hitting percentage. As a freshman, Lovesee led Bluestem volleyball to its first-ever state tournament.
Last year, Bluestem posted a 25-12 mark. Bluestem will host a Class 2A sub-state this weekend. Lovesee’s season has included all-tournament team selections at Douglass and Kingman. In early September, Lovesee carried her younger sister, Taytum, off the volleyball court after she suffered a devastating injury.
Jackson Heights volleyball continues turnaround
Jackson Heights has enjoyed a big turnaround under coach Denise Visocsky. JH was 10-26, 20-18 and 20-17 before a breakout 31-3 season this fall. The Cobras were ranked 10th in Class 2A in the latest Kansas Volleyball Association poll. JH has won nine in a row and is 11-0 overall in road matches. The Cobras’ last defeat was a 2-0 loss to Centralia on Oct. 5. The Panthers are ranked second in 1A.
Senior Kylie Dohl has enjoyed a huge season with 243 kills (3.3 per set) and a .270 hitting average. Dohl has errors on just 7.2 percent of swings. Overall, Jackson Heights has 10.1 kills per set and a .223 average with errors on 11.2 percent of swings.
Last year, Dohl led with 310 kills, 178 more than any other teammate. She hit .241 with errors on 10.3 percent of swings in ’18. JH had errors on 13.8 percent of swings last fall.
This season, Dohl has 289 digs (3.9 per set), 80 more than any teammate. She paced the squad with 309 digs as a junior.
Junior Sarah Marshall has 111 blocks (1.5 per set), sixth-best in the state according to MaxPreps’ statistical lists. Overall, JH has three blocks per set, up from 2.6 last year. The Cobras rank 11th in Kansas in blocks per set.
The 5-foot-10 Dohl is closing on 1,000 career digs with 970 digs and 811 kills. Jackson Heights leads the Jefferson County North sub-state. JCN is second at 29-8, and Oskaloosa stands third at 27-9. JH and Oskaloosa have split two meetings this year. Maranatha Academy is 18-14 and features Addi Pelham, a NCAA Division I Lipscomb commit.
Ava TeStrake, Olathe West volleyball freshman, leads turnaround
Amy Hoffsommer has enjoyed a big turnaround in the third season of Olathe West’s volleyball program. OW finished 3-32 in its first year of existence in ’17, and 10-25 in ’18. The Owls are 21-12 this year and have been in the Class 6A rankings.
Six-foot-three freshman outside hitter Ava TeStrake leads with 255 kills (3.3 per set) with a .291 hitting percentage, 50 points higher than any other player. She also leads with 50 aces. TeStrake ranks third with 27 blocks and 150 digs.
Six-foot-one junior Madalyn Ehlers ranks second with 240 kills and 47 blocks. Overall, OW averages 11.6 kills, 12.8 digs and 2.6 aces per set with a .204 hitting percentage. TeStrake has competed on USA volleyball teams.
Among Kansas freshmen, she ranks third in hitting percentage, third in kills per set and fifth in total attacks.
Beloit senior Carson Cox emerges as rushing threat
Beloit senior Carson Cox has spent the majority of his high school football career as one of the leaders of the Trojan defense, amassing more than 230 tackles, including more than 30 for loss.
Starting with in a Week 4 21-20 loss to Colby, Cox also added workhorse running back to his resume. Against the Eagles, Cox carried the ball 27 times for 175 yards and a touchdown. A week later he added 95 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in a dominant win over Goodland and the next week he piled up 161 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in an upset 28-13 victory over Scott City. Last week the Trojans were stunned, 34-24, when Concordia scored 34 straight points after Beloit had taken a 16-0 lead, but Cox still tallied 123 yards on 18 carries with a 65-yard touchdown.
The Trojans will look to rebound this week against Russell and Cox is sure to continue to carry the load.
Minneola football continues six-game win streak
Minneola finished 4-5, 2-4 in Eight-Man, Division II, District 8 play last year. This season, the Wildcats have enjoyed a nice turnaround to 6-1, 5-0 and have clinched District 8 with last week’s 58-14 road win versus Ingalls in a contest that was delayed by weather. Minneola opened the season with a 34-18 home loss to Kiowa County and has won six straight, all by at least 26 points.
In Week 5, Minneola earned a quality 40-14 road win versus Otis-Bison. It marked the Cougars’ first district loss since a 36-30 road defeat versus Dighton on Oct. 14, 2016.
Versus Ingalls, Minneola led 14-0 after the first quarter and 36-8 at halftime. Senior Tuck Lang had 36 carries for 299 yards and six touchdowns. The Wildcats recorded 61 carries for 414 yards and eight touchdowns.
Minneola’s only pass attempt was incomplete. Lang has at least 125 yards in every game with 161 carries for 1,479 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns. Minneola has averaged 49.7 points per game and allowed just 16.3 points a contest. Last year, the Wildcats delivered 39.1 points per contest and allowed 44.4 a game.
Coaches, athletes, fans and parents, are you aware of an interesting story about your favorite high school team? Email us details for future releases of the Subway Sports Spotlight, and head to Subway for pre- or post-game meals, catering or Footlong Faves starting at $4.99. Order online at Subway.com.