Preps notebook: Top 10 high school sports moments of 2018

The Lawrence High volleyball team poses for a photo with the state championship plaque Saturday at Tony's Pizza Events Center in Salina. LHS notched its first state title since 1995 with a three-set win over Blue Valley.

It was another remarkable year for area high school sports teams.

A total of six teams won state titles in 2018, including a first-time state champion. Multiple squads finished as runners-up in their respective sport, while several individual athletes posted impressive campaigns, as well.

It was tough to narrow this list to just 10 accomplishments, but here is a look at the top 10 moments from the 2018 high school sports season:

LHS volleyball wins first state title in 23 years

Lawrence High returned to the top of Class 6A, defeating Blue Valley in three sets to secure its first state title since 1995. The Lions, who have now won 16 state championships in team history, went 38-2 behind a nine-person senior class: Hannah Stewart, Lauren Maceli, Michaela Cordova, Brooke Wroten, Laura Willoughby, Abby Monroe, Baylee Unruh, Cortney Hanna and Sammy Williams.

FSHS softball wins first state title in program history

Free State’s lone state crown in 2018 came from the softball team, which recorded an 8-3 win over Olathe Northwest in the state championship. Freshman Tatum Clopton, who appeared in just seven games before the state tournament due to shoulder soreness, recorded 25 strikeouts in 21 innings during the final weekend.

LHS girls track clinches 6A title

Behind a strong junior class, Lawrence scored 81 points to top the runner-up by 20 points and notch the program’s first state victory since 2015. Evann Seratte finished first in the 800-meter run, breaking a school record with a time of 2:16.09. The Lions’ 4×100-meter relay team of Ashley Wildeman, Amaya Harris, Bella Kirkwood and Asjah Harris also won a state title with a school-record time of 47.90.

Baldwin softball nets state crown

The Bulldogs, who were the sixth seed, beat Burlington, Girard and Galena High in the Class 4A-II state tournament. Baldwin, which finished the season with an 18-7 mark, had to beat a higher seed in four of its five postseason contests en route to capturing a state title.

Baldwin girls cross-country establishes dynasty

For the third time in the last four years, the Baldwin girls cross-country team collected a state title. Jana Landreth (ninth) and Ambrynn Stewart (11th) led the way, though none of the seven BHS runners finished outside the top-26.

Veritas boys win second straight championship

The Eagles continued their recent success by claiming a second straight state title in boys basketball. Veritas won its second straight KCAA state championship by earning a 65-57 victory over Sunrise Christian. In the championship game, then-junior Tucker Flory scored 22 points and Trey Huslig, also a junior at the time, added 17 points.

City swimmers claim individual titles

Several city swimmers won state titles in 2018, including a number of two-time champions. Stephen Johnson of LHS netted wins in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle, while Free State’s Evan Eskilson won a state title in the 100-yard backstroke. On the girls side, FSHS had five swimmers claim two individual titles: Claire Campbell, Payton Krug, Ainsley Krug, Ava Cormaney and Kasey Dunn.

Firebirds net a trio of runners-up

Free State claimed just one state title in 2018, but three teams finished as a runner-up in their respective sports. The boys basketball team advanced to its first state championship game in program history before falling to Blue Valley Northwest. The girls swim team and the boys cross-country team also claimed second.

Bob Lisher nets 10 wins in final season at the helm

The Firebirds netted 10 wins for the second straight season before ultimately falling to Manhattan in the 6A quarterfinals. After the game, Bob Lisher announced his plan to retire at the end of the school year. Lisher compiled an overall record of 148-85 in 22 seasons at the helm.

Bishop Seabury boys soccer posts nine-game win streak

Few teams were as dominant as the Bishop Seabury boys soccer during its nine-game win streak in 2018. After dropping the first two games of the season, the Seahawks rattled off nine wins in a row and outscored opponents by a 45-15 margin in the process.

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