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Archive for Tuesday, March 31, 1998

LHS SPRING ROUNDUP

March 31, 1998

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Weather permitting, four varsity spring sports at Lawrence High will open today.

The weather hasn't permitted much practice time for those sports -- track, baseball, softball and girls soccer.

The track team will try to open for the second time. Its original opener on March 19 was canceled because of inclement weather.

When the weather clears, look for LHS senior hurdler Kizzie Ricks to shine in girls track.

Ricks swept the 100-meter high hurdles and 300-meter low hurdles to help Lawrence High place second at last year's Class 6A state meet.

The Lions are scheduled to start today with a home dual against Leavenworth. The meet is set for 3:30 p.m. at the high school track.

Ricks holds the school record in both hurdle events, having been clocked 14.5 in the 100 hurdles and 45.53 in the 300 hurdles.

``She's certainly among the top three hurdles in the state,'' said Jerry Skakal, entering his fourth season as the Lions' head track and field coach. ``She's excited. She's a special person to coach. She's a hard worker.''

Ricks wasted no time getting to practice, reporting the first day following basketball season.

``She said, `I'm ready to start and it's time to get going,''' Skakal said.

Seniors Jerreme Jackson and Gabe Anderson are the top returning state placers for the LHS boys team, which tied Wichita Southwest for the Class 6A state championship last year.

``He was a surprise,'' Skakal said. ``He performed his best when he needed to. He did real well under pressure and hopefully that will carry over.''

Anderson placed fifth in the 110 high hurdles (15.26) and sixth in the 300 intermediate hurdles (40.89) at state last year. He also qualified in the pole vault.

Senior Dreux Dillingham, a state qualifier in the 100, is the team's top returning sprinter.

Sophomore Chris Williams, the Class 6A state cross country champion last fall, heads the team's distance runners.

Here are capsules on Lawrence High's four other spring sports scheduled to open today:

Baseball

Coach: Dirk Wedd, second year.

Notes: Finished 16-9 last year, losing 1-0 to Olathe East in the Class 6A state championship after winning the crown in 1996. ... LHS has qualified for the state tournament four consecutive years and eight times in its 12-year history. ... Senior right-hander Jeff Davis, a Kansas University signee, is the Lions' top pitcher after going 7-0, including five complete games, with a 1.39 earned run average as a junior. He struck out 41 and walked just 10 as Lawrence's No. 2 starter. ... Senior second baseman Todd Heitshusen last year batted .370 and led the team in home runs (four) and RBIs (32). ... LHS returns nine players who suited for last year's state final -- Kyle Cook, Simon Cordova, Davis, Ryan Hadl, Heitshusen, Derek May, Brett Thrasher, Wiedeman and Nick Wilcox. ... May is sidelined for at least a week with a stress fracture. ... Former LHS standout Adam Green is the varsity team's assistant, replacing Mike Hill, now at Free State.

Season opener: Today v. Shawnee Mission Northwest, 4:15 p.m., Johnson County 3 &2.

Softball

Coach: Reenie Stogsdill, third year.

Notes: Finished 11-11 last season, losing to state finalist Washburn Rural in a regional championship, and 13-8 in 1996. ... Sophomore Sommer Heiserman, 4-6 last season, will handle most of the pitching duties. ... Bulk of infield remains intact with third baseman Julie Gasper, shortstop Christyn Crane, second baseman Lesley Gammill and catcher Dani May back. ... Gasper led team with .397 batting average last season. ... Must replace entire outfield. ... Varsity squad consists of five seniors, three juniors and three sophomores.

Season opener: Today v. Olathe East, 4:15 p.m., Olathe District Activities Center, 4:15 p.m.

Girls soccer

Coach: Chris Bertrand, first year.

Notes: Combined for 5-26-3 record the past two years, including 2-13-2 mark last season. ... Varsity roster includes 17 seniors. ... Team has practiced outside twice because of cold March. ... Senior center-midfielder Kate Winter and junior striker Meghan Graham are expected to lead Lions' offense.

Bertrand on Kate Winter: ``She's one of the most technically gifted players I've seen in the area. She does some real pinpoint passing.''

Season opener: Today v. Blue Valley North, 3:30 p.m., YSI.

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