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Archive for Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Time to play the spring sports ratings game

May 9, 2006

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Like everyone else in the Journal-World sports department, I've been so busy answering the phone and telling people I have no idea where Darrell Arthur will play college basketball next season, it's a minor miracle I'm actually getting any real work done.

Yet, somewhere in Slim Shady's foggy haze, I've managed to develop a few opinions about the spring high school sports season, which, hard as it may be to believe, is almost over.

Here's rating some of the things that have taken place since the flowers started to bloom:

¢ A thumbs-up to the Free State High baseball team, which made it four straight Sunflower League titles with last week's victory over Shawnee Mission East.

¢ A thumbs-down to the Kansas State High School Activities Assn., which has created a postseason setup where league success doesn't even matter and therefore isn't much of a source of pride anymore.

¢ A thumbs-up to the Seabury Academy girls soccer team, which, despite an assortment of obstacles that comes its way as a small private school playing an independent schedule, won three games last week and continues to show signs of progress under coach Gunar Harmon.

¢ A thumbs-down to Flint Hills Christian, which faces many of the same hurdles yet decided during the second half of a game last month it would rather forfeit against the Seahawks than share the same field with a team that had a player - gasp! - curse during the game.

¢ A thumbs-up to the heated competition between Lawrence High and Free State as the battle for the inaugural Journal-World Cup enters the stretch run with the Firebirds clinging to a slim 14-10 lead.

¢ A thumbs-down to the naysayers who originally boo-hooed the idea of such a competition, failing to realize the athletes themselves get a kick out of having one more thing to play for in this "perfect" rivalry.

¢ A thumbs-up to groundskeepers, who have been kept busy this spring keeping fields playable with the persistent wet weather that has settled over northeast Kansas the last two months.

¢ A thumbs-down to Mother Nature, who, with the ever-present cloud cover and threat of rain, created a quagmire where a number of spring sports teams won't be able to finish a full regular-season schedule before the start of postseason play later this month.

¢ A thumbs-up to local track and softball coaches, who have done a bang-up job submitting statistical information for this page each week and thereby ensuring their hard-working players receive the accolades they deserve.

¢l A thumbs-down to local baseball coaches, who, with the exception of Eudora's Dirk Kinney and Perry-Lecompton's Jay Mastin, couldn't have been worse in that same area.

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