Kansas Pregame looks at a few notable stories from last week's Kansas high school sports action
In this weekly feature Kansas Pregame writers will take a look at a few notable sports stories from across the state.
Blue Valley Northwest runner shows inspiring determination
Blue Valley Northwest junior Liam Thurlby is legally blind, but that doesn't stop the Huskies' Cross Country runner from crossing the finish line.
He set a personal record at a meet at Raymore-Peculiar (Mo.) school on Saturday where he ran with former Blue Valley Northwest runner Shane Friedrichsen, a 2018 graduate, leading the way.
"Liam has worked his way up from C-Team all the way up to varsity status this year," BVNW XC/T&F Twitter read Sunday morning. "His work ethic, humor, and heart have earned him the respect and admiration of his teammates for three years now. We’re proud of all he’s done and all he continues to do! Go Liam!"
This inspiring moment was captured by photographer Greg Hall and shared on Twitter.
Mill Valley sophomore medals after summer open heart surgery
Thurlby's wasn't the only inspirational story of the weekend, Mill Valley runner Logan Pfeister earned a medal in her first race of the season and did so while sporting a scar from open heart surgery on July 2.
After a series of tests in February of this year doctors discovered Logan was born with Atrial Septal Defect, or in simpler terms a hole in her heart. Doctors hoped to fix the problem non-invasively but it was determined open heart surgery was required.
"She was bedridden most of July," Mill Valley cross country coach Chris McAfee said. "We didn't think she would be able to run at all this season. She is tough."
A photo of Pfeister on Twitter shows the young runner glowing with her medal, her scar from the surgery a permanent reminder to all of her desire and strength.
Olathe North Twilight Meet earns rave reviews from runners and coaches
The overwhelming majority of cross country meets in Kansas are held in the early afternoon on weekdays or a weekend morning, but last Saturday's Olathe North Twilight Meet welcomed hundreds of runners from Kansas and Missouri to the Olathe District Activities Center (ODAC) for an evening of distance running.
The event kicked off with C-Team Girls at 6:00 p.m. followed by C-Team Boys at 6:45, JV Girls at 7:25, JV Boys at 8:00, Varsity Girls at 8:30 p.m. and Varsity Boys wrapped up the night at 9:00 p.m.
Mill Valley's girls won the varsity girls event followed closely by Olathe North. Missouri's Blue Springs South won the varsity boys event with Mill Valley and St. Thomas Aquinas finishing second and third in the team standings.
KS Mile Split photographer Alycia Diskra shared this gallery from the Twilight Meet:
She also shared these clips from this unique event:
Oakley improves to 2-0 behind big night from Abell
The Oakley Plainsmen beat Syracuse 44-14 and got a big night from junior running back Ethan Abell. A week after scoring three times in the first half of a 31-6 win over Sublette, Abell tallied five total touchdowns in just one quarter against Syracuse. Abell scored on rushing touchdowns of 63, 62, 46 and 24 yards and added a 27 yard pass reception from quarterback Eric Cain for his fifth score.
After rushing for 198 yards Friday, Abell now has 307 yards rushing and six touchdowns through two games with four catches for 68 yards and two more scores. Cain has been efficient in the passing game completing 14 of 23 passes for 266 yards with four touchdowns and one interception through two games. Linebacker Jonathan Temaat is leading the way defensively for the Plainsmen with 11 total tackles, three for loss and two fumble recoveries in two games.
While it's an excellent start to the season for Oakley, the Plainsmen will get a better idea of where they stand in the Mid-Continent League pecking order after their game with Class 2A Norton this week. While the Bluejays are 0-2, those losses have come to the top two teams in 1A, Smith Center and Plainville.
The Plainsmen were in a similar situation a year ago and lost a heartbreaker to Norton, 26-24.
Here's a gallery of photos from Friday's win over Syracuse from Carrie Towns Photography:
Andover Central getting it done with defense
Heading into the season it appeared the Jaguars would have numerous weapons on offense for new head coach Derek Tuttle including the likes of quarterback Shomari Parnell, wide receiver Xavier Bell, running back Ty Herrmann and wide receiver Matt Macy to name a few. While the defense was expected to perform well, we're not sure anyone saw them surrendering only nine total points with one touchdown through two games.
The known defensive commodity heading into the season was senior linebacker Trey DeGarmo, and he is thriving with 26 total tackles, four for loss and an interception through two games. Senior safety Bridger Warrington trails DeGarmo closely with 23 tackles while senior defensive end Brigdon Stupka has added nine total tackles, two for loss and a sack to lead the way up front. Herrman is also a big piece of the Jaguar secondary with eight total tackles, and last week recorded two interceptions in the 30-2 win over Eisenhower.
Andover Central will get their stiffest test of the year this week when they host 4A second ranked Goddard.
Here's a look at a great gallery of images from Andover Central's win over Eisenhower:
Dilliner has huge night in Anderson County's blowout of Parsons
It appeared first year head coach Logan Pegram would have an immediate impact at Anderson County, and even though the Bulldogs lost their opener to Wellsville it was a far more competitive loss than in past contests with the Eagles. But Week 2 would see Pegram's impact take the Bulldogs to new heights with a 44-15 win at Parsons. The Vikings took a 7-0 lead over the Bulldogs after one quarter before Anderson County erupted for 22 points in the second quarter. AC added eight more points in quarter three and outscored the Vikings 14-8 in the final stanza to cruise to the surprising victory.
Anderson County junior quarterback Bo Dilliner would post one of the state's most impressive stat lines of the night in the win tallying 353 yards rushing on 28 carries with four touchdowns and four two-point conversions. Austin Edens added 84 yards for 13 carries and two more touchdowns as the Bulldogs went over 500 yards of total offense on the night.
And AC didn't just get it done on offense, Ryland Wright and Garrett Edens each added interceptions for the Bulldog defense while Tanner Spencer caused a fumble.
The Bulldogs will face a tough Santa Fe Trail squad in Friday's home opener. The Chargers are 1-1 after pounding Osawatomie last week 41-12 and opening with a 35-15 loss against what appears to be a good Prairie View team. Friday's match-up will feature two of the Pioneer League's top quarterbacks in Dilliner and SFT senior Andrew Berckefeldt.
Here's a clip of Dilliner getting into the end zone Friday night via the Anderson County Activities Twitter:
Sedgwick volleyball hosts Goessel Tournament following floor concerns
Sedgwick opened the season as the third ranked team in the Kansas Volleyball Association's 2A rankings, just ahead of defending state champs Garden Plain who started the year in fourth. That order was quickly reversed, though, as the Cardinals opened the year with a loss to Garden Plain in a Sept. 5th triangular that also included Bluestem. After dispatching Bluestem in two sets with relative ease (25-13, 25-15) the Cardinals won the first set with Garden Plain 25-21 but the Owls stormed back to take the final two sets 25-15, 25-16 to give Sedgwick their first loss of the season.
The Cardinals have since been dominant in wins over Cedar Vale/Dexter (25-10, 25-9) and Central Christian (25-10, 25-11) while earning more competitive wins over Inman (25-12, 25-23) and Sterling (25-21, 25-17).
Sedgwick was scheduled to travel to Goessel for the annual Bluebird Invitational Tournament on Saturday, but floor concerns in the district's second gym led the Cardinals to host the event. The Cardinals took advantage of the venue change and won the tournament to continue the season with the Garden Plain loss the only blemish.
After a 34-4 season a year ago that ended with a loss to Garden Plain in the sub-state championship the Cardinal team, which returns all its starters for veteran head coach Karen Stucky, will look to hone their craft during the regular season in hopes of making a run at a championship later on down the road.
Coaches and parents, are you aware of an interesting statistic, a cool tradition, or a heartwarming act of kindness by your 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.