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Archive for Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ruder, Weinmaster score unique double

Free State linemen earn All-Sunflower League football honors on both sides of the ball

November 28, 2006

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Free State High linemen Mikel Ruder and Kyle Weinmaster pulled a rare double on the All-Sunflower League football team.

Ruder and Weinmaster were the only players to earn first-team berths on both offense and defense on the mythical squad chosen by league coaches.

Neither Ruder nor Weinmaster, both seniors, are regarded as major-college prospects, although Ruder has an offer from Wyoming and plans to visit Colorado State.

"Ruder is 6-4, weighs 255 pounds, and they think he's undersized," Free State coach Bob Lisher said. "But he's a very good football player."

At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Weinmaster fits into the same undersized category, but Lisher noted that the son of Kerry Weinmaster, a former All-Big Eight nose guard at Nebraska, possesses one important uncoachable trait.

"Kyle is a tough, tough football player," Lisher said. "He made play after play for us."

Other members of the Firebirds - who won their first 11 games before falling to Shawnee Mission West, 31-14, in the Class 6A state semifinals - to make the first unit were Ryan Murphy (quarterback), Christian Ballard (tight end) and Andy Petz (linebacker).

The 5-10, 175-pound Murphy was the offensive ringleader on the best football team in Free State High's 10-year history, leading the Sunflower League in total offense with 2,947 yards and accounting for 32 touchdowns.

Murphy also led the league in total offense as a junior last year, but settled for honorable mention behind Olathe East's Derek Miller and SM West's Tyler Lawrence.

"Ryan is very deserving," Lisher said, "and I thought he deserved it last year after leading the league in offense."

Three seniors on Lawrence High's 6-5 team also earned first-team honors - running back Tony Williams, wide receiver Nathan Padia and linebacker Nick DeBiasse.

Williams rushed for 1,303 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, Padia caught 33 passes for 782 yards with 12 touchdowns and DeBiasse earned a first-team spot for the second year in a row. As a junior, DeBiasse was an all-league offensive lineman.

"All three are very deserving," Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said. "Nathan was one vote shy of being unanimous and there was only one unanimous selection - (SM) West's Blake Lawrence at defensive back."

DeBiasse was tapped even though he missed three league games with a knee injury.

"That tells you something about him," Wedd said.

Free State running back Brian Murphy, wide receiver Craig Rosenstengle and linebacker Jimmy Bruce earned second-team berths as did Ryan Murphy, who also played free safety for the Firebirds.

The Lions' Williams and Padia were also two-way performers and they earned second-team slots for their work in the secondary.

Of all the city players who earned first- and second-team honors, all were seniors except Rosenstengle, a junior.

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