Chat with 6Sports anchor D.J. Whetter
July 31, 2006
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
D.J. Whetter's got the local sports scene covered. If you have any questions from KU football to Tonganoxie girls basketball, go ahead and ask away.
Hi and welcome to our chat today. I'm Andy Samuelson the online sports editor for KUsports.com and I will be today's chat moderator. Today we our joined by 6Sports anchor D.J. Whetter. Thanks D.J. for taking time this afternoon to join with our 6newslawrence.com, ljworld.com and KUsports.com readers.
Anytime Andy...Before we begin, let's give a shoutout to the Lawrence Raiders who are playing for their fourth straight state title in Salina this afternoon. Other than that, fire away with the questions.
Hi D.J., I have been a fan of Mark Mangino since his Oklahoma days. Do you believe that he can turn put K.U. on the national map like what happened at Kansas State and Oklahoma? Thanks
Good question jhawkjunkie. Coach Mangino is certainly on his way to making KU a yearly contender in the Big 12 North. And that is a great first step. As far as contending nationally, the Jayhawks have a chance to do that in the coming years. First of all, the football offices and practice facilities that are in the works should go a long way to help get top-notch players on campus. Secondly, Coach Mangino has assembled a staff that has done a great job with some young talent. If this staff stays together, watch out for KU down the road.
Who's going to be better at football, LHS or FSHS? And why?
The Godfather puts me in a tough spot. Free State will have an improved team from a group that put together a run to the state playoffs last year. We all know about the three kids from Coach Lisher's team that are headed up the hill next year, Christian Ballard and Ryan and Brian Murhpy. With those three, the Firebirds offense will be amazing. As for LHS, they lose Brian Heere at QB and Nolan Kellerman in the backfield. Tough blows for a group that advanced to the state semis last season. But Chance Riley, and his 6-foot-5 frame should be great under center, and Nathan Padia and Tony Williams will be stars when the ball gets in their hands. As for which team will be better, we'll find out October 20th.
How realistic are Free State's chances of repeating as baseball state champions?
Thanks for the question cwrist. Truthfully, it will be tough. Most importantly, as long as the state tournament is a single elimination tournament, too many fluky things can happen to great teams. Ask any of the prep baseball coaches about the playoff system, and they will tell you how troublesome it is. That being said, Free State dominated this year because of a solid offense, and unbelievable pitching. Consider that seven of their eight seniors will play college ball next season. That's a lot to lose. Coach Hill's group will still be good, but a second straight state title will mean some younger arms step up in a big way.
Will 6 broadcast high school soccer this fall? Free State went to Quarterfinals last year and lost to State Champion Olathe East (5 - 2). If the defense can rebuild, they should have a decent team. LHS should have many good, younger players. A replay on TV of the FS v. LHS game would be appreciated by the soccer community. (and give me less of an opportunity to harrass you.)
Hepburn...the harrassment is justified. The two soccer teams in the area are on the rise. One only has to look at some of the U-17 rosters to see that there will be some good futbol in Lawrence. As for televising the game...unfortunately that is not my decision. Keep the emails to key people in the company coming and we'll see what happens. Sorry I can't be of more help.
D.J. has time for one final question.
Which players do you think are going to make the largest impact on the KU football team this year? Who are the unexpected players we should all keep our eye on?
Thanks for the question bball42. One of the best parts of my job is doing the sideline reporting for the KU Football replay on Ch. 6. And I think this season is going to be a good one for Mangino's boys. On offense, the obvious newcomer who has to shine is red-shirt freshman QB, Kerry Meier. If the Spring Game is any indication...he's maturing quite nicely. Another guy to watch out for is Angus Quigley in the backfield. He bulked up in his red-shirt year in '05, and should get some yards backing up Jon Cornish this season. On defense, there will be 8 new starters. The secondary is the real question mark, where Darrell Stuckey is a guy who could fill in nicely at safety. The red-shirt freshman is a favorite of our LJWorld Football Writer, Ryan Wood. Hope that helps bball42.
That's going to do it for our chat today with D.J. Whetter, 6Sports anchor. Thanks a lot D.J. for the time today, we'll talk to you soon. You can check D.J. out on Sunflower Broadband Ch.6 at 10:00 p.m., or also see many of his sports packages on KUsports.com. Also a big thanks to all the readers of 6newslawrence.com, ljworld.com and KUsports.com.
Thanks for the questions everyone.