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Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Weekly High School Sports Notebook

September 5, 2007

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Clayton OK

Free State High senior soccer forward Alex Clayton did not play in Thursday's 7-0 victory at Bonner Springs.

Clayton, who missed the game because of injury, scored three goals and had an assist in the season-opening 10-0 spread against Spring Hill and is expected to be in the lineup Thursday against Lawrence High.

Firebirds coach Jason Pendleton said Clayton is a fast, aggressive player who is critical to the Free State attack.

"Over short distances, he's as fast as anyone around," Pendleton said.

Swiss Miss

Free State's top girls singles tennis player this year, coach Jon Renberger said, might end up being junior Jessica Wuthrich, an exchange student from Switzerland. Many exchange students aren't eligible to participate in athletics, but Wuthrich will attend Free State for the entire school year.

Wuthrich will be in action today at the Lawrence Invitational, which starts at 3 p.m.

She's No Angel

Lawrence High senior tennis player Xin Liu recently elected to ditch the name she shares with the famous actress, Lucy Liu, who has starred in such films as Charlie's Angels and Kill Bill. The Lions' Liu, who has opened the season as Lawrence High's No. 1 singles player, said her friends always have called her "Lucy" but that she would prefer to be known - in print, at least - as "Xin," pronounced "Zen."

Worthy Heir

Free State High junior running back Chucky Hunter did a lot in Week 1 to help Firebirds fans get over losing Ryan and Brian Murphy to graduation.

In Free State's action-packed 34-27 loss to Olathe South last Friday, Hunter carried the ball 11 times for 123 yards, added 20 yards on four receptions and racked up 147 return yards.

At that rate, Hunter is on pace to finish the regular season with nearly 2,500 total yards.

Last year, Ryan Murphy led the Firebirds with 2,947 yards from scrimmage.

However, Hunter missed practice Monday for an undisclosed reason, though coach Bob Lisher said he was not injured.

Game On

While most of the city's fall sports teams opened play last week, the Lawrence High and Free State High volleyball teams were stuck in practice mode.

With the two gymnastics squads scheduled to open the season today at Shawnee Mission East, that leaves volleyball as the only sport yet to play a game.

Fortunately, the Lions and Firebirds won't have to wait much longer.

Both will open the season Thursday at Shawnee Mission North.

First-time recognition

Seabury Academy's boys cross country team entered the season ranked seventh in the Kansas coaches' Class 2A preseason rankings, marking the first-time in school history the Seahawks have earned such an honor.

Despite his team's rebuilding mode, coach Eric Nelson said he thought his team had a chance to live up to the ranking.

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