-- steve rottinghaus col.
Lawrence High's athletic accomplishments in 1995-96 reached new heights with three state team championships for the second consecutive year and 10 Lions signing with NCAA Div. I programs.
The Lions' perennial contenders -- volleyball and football -- continued their dominance. In the fall, the LHS volleyball team won its 15th state championship and the football team claimed its 10th.
Last weekend, the Lions won their first state baseball crown.
Other top-three placings at state for the Lions came in boys swimming (second), girls cross country (third) and girls track (third).
The Lions claimed league titles in volleyball, boys swimming, girls swimming, girls track and baseball.
The 10 LHS Div. I signees were Garrett Attig (Southern Illinois track and football), Casey Cook (Kansas State baseball), Lindsay Gentry (Kansas golf), Jaunelle Hamilton (Auburn volleyball), Katy Kampschroeder (Missouri-Kansas City volleyball), J.D. Loudabarger (K-State baseball), Anne Murray (Dartmouth volleyball), Shannon Stanwix (Kansas softball), Shane Wedd (Kansas baseball) and Nick Wood (K-State baseball).
Here are the LHS athletic award winners for 1995-96, selected by a panel of one, me:
Team of the year: LHS volleyball. 44-0 in matches, 88-0 in games, nationally ranked, state champs. Enough said.
Top male performer: J.D. Loudabarger. You can't spell Loudabarger without L-E-A-D-E-R. He quarterbacked the state championship football team and was shortstop of the state championship baseball team. He also was the point guard for the Lions basketball team. Including his appearance in the '95 state basketball championship, Loudabarger is believed to be the first Lion to play on three state championship teams in three different sports.
Top female performer: Jaunelle Hamilton. She flat out dominated in volleyball, compiling 128 blocks, averaging 3.9 kills a game with a school-record 53 percent kill rate. She also led the basketball team in scoring and rebounding.
Junior of the year: Swimmer Jun Kuribayashi. He set four school records -- 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle.
Sophomore of the year: Hurdler Kizzie Ricks. She set the school record in the 300 hurdles at the Kansas Relays and finished second at state in the 100 hurdles.
Freshman of the year: Swimmer Kim Miller. The Central Junior High student won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly at league before winning the 100 fly at state.
Human highlight reel: Casey Cook hurled three no-hitters, including back-to-back gems in the regional final and first round of state. In basketball, he scored 34 points -- 20 in the fourth quarter -- in a win over Olathe East.
Best clutch performance: Garrett Attig. In his final meet, Attig broke the school's 22-year-old pole vault record with a 16-2 1/2 mark at state.
Coach of the year: Lynn Harrod. The lone coach in 11 years of LHS baseball, Harrod guided the Lions to their best season ever, a 21-4 record, a league title and state championship. Honorable mention: Joan Wells, Dick Purdy, Pat Grzenda.