Preps notebook: Top-10 moments of 2018 fall sports season

photo by: Shane Jackson

The Lawrence High volleyball team celebrates after defeating Wichita Southeast in the substate championship on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at LHS. The Lions are headed to the 6A state tournament for the second straight season.

It was an impressive fall season for plenty of area teams in 2018.

A pair of programs took home state titles, while many other squads finished the year with some sort of hardware. It was tough narrowing this list to just 10 accomplishments, given how many programs thrived this year. This list does not include any football-related feats from the 2018 campaign.

Here’s a look back at the most memorable moments from the fall season.

LHS volleyball returns to top of 6A

It makes sense to start with the Lions, who ended a 23-yard drought by capturing their first state title since 1995.

LHS (38-2) lost just nine of its 90 total sets behind a stellar nine-person senior class of Lauren Maceli, Hannah Stewart, Michaela Cordova, Brooke Wroten, Laura Willoughby, Abby Monroe, Cortney Hanna, Baylee Unruh and Sammy Williams.

Head coach Stephanie Scarbrough, who has been at the helm for 12 season, guided Lawrence to its return to the top of Class 6A. Scarbrough was actually a player on the team that won it all in 1995.

Bulldogs come home with state title

Behind a total team effort, Baldwin girls cross-country won its third state title in four years.

It marked the second consecutive year that the Bulldogs finished at the top of Class 4A. None of Baldwin’s seven runners finished outside the top-26. Freshman Jana Landreth and sophomore Ambrynn Stewart each finished ninth and 11th, respectively. Freshman Riley Smith claimed 16th, while senior Natalie Beiter registered 17th.

Needless to say, Baldwin appears poised to continue its recent success in 2019.

FSHS boys cross-country finish second at state meet

photo by: Andrew Rosenthal

Free State freshman Ben Shryock races with the top pack at the state cross-country meet Saturday at Rim Rock Farm.

The Firebirds saved their best performances for the end of the season.

FSHS won its first and only meet of the season at 6A regionals before following that up with a second-pace finish at the 6A state meet. Freshman Ben Shryock led the way with a fourth-place finish, while Charlie Johnson placed 19th and Ethan Sharp took 21st. FSHS did not qualify as a team in 2017.

LHS gymnastics finishes runner-up at state meet

photo by: Andrew Rosenthal

Lawrence senior Josie Hickerson perfoms her floor routine at the State Gymnastics Meet, Oct. 20, 2018, at Shawnee Mission South.

Since the start of the season, Lawrence High’s gymnastics team was determined to net some hardware at state.

The Lions won multiple meets during their impressive run through the regular season before notching second at both the Sunflower League meet and the state gymnastics meet. Senior Josie Hickerson placed fifth in the all-around rankings at the state meet to lead the way for LHS. Eden Kingery and Paris Spotted Tail finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Eudora girls cross-country notches 2nd at state meet

A pair of runners finished in the top-eight to help Eudora’s girls cross-country team clinch runner-up behind Frontier League foe Baldwin at the 4A state meet.

Junior Riley Hiebert was the team’s top runner all season, claiming third at the final meet of the year. Reagan Hiebert placed eighth to help propel the Cardinals to some significant hardware. Kate Erpelding (27th) and Melia Martin (31st) also posted impressive performances.

Tonganoxie boys cross-country takes 3rd at state meet

After starting the 2018 campaign with a loss, Tonganoxie’s boys cross-country team got the last laugh by the end of the year.

The Chieftains finished third in Class 4A at the state meet, as Calvin Morgan managed to earn a medal by placing 14th. Jake Edholm (21st), Jacob Foley (24th) and Dylan Graham (26th) were not too far behind Morgan either. THS also won its regional meet during a solid stretch in the postseason.

FSHS girls tennis nets 4th at state meet

Free State sophomore Keegan VanPelt returns a ball during the 6A state tournament Saturday at College Boulevard Activity Center. VanPelt placed fifth in the singles bracket to help the Firebirds finish fourth as a team.

Free State sophomore Keegan VanPelt paved the way for a fourth-place finish at the 6A state tennis tournament.

VanPelt captured fifth to close out her first season as a singles player. As a freshman, VanPelt placed sixth in the doubles bracket of the state tennis meet. On the doubles side this year, seniors Kate Piper and Gabby Gorman notched seventh in their first year as doubles partners.

Meanwhile, Andie Veeder and Anna Peard placed 12th as the No. 2 doubles team for FSHS.

Bishop Seabury athletes post remarkable individual campaigns

photo by: Andrew Rosenthal

The Veritas volleyball team celebrates a point in a match against Bishop Seabury, September 11, at the East Lawrence Recreation Center.

It was an impressive fall season for Bishop Seabury, particularly for a trio of student-athletes.

Junior Henry Nelson dominated the cross-country season before ultimately placing third at the state meet. Junior Faith Hedges, who won a state title as a freshman, claimed third at the state golf tournament. Senior Lindsey Hornberger capped off an illustrious volleyball career, in which she accumulated over 1,000 kills in her four seasons with the Seahawks.

Baldwin soccer advances to quarterfinals

Baldwin coach Matthew McCune talks to senior Jacob Bailey during a quarterfinals match with Kansas City Christian Tuesday at BHS.

Behind a memorable senior class, Baldwin’s boys soccer team made a deep run in the postseason.

Seniors Jacob Bailey, Dylan Jamison, Ezra Steinshouer and Matthew Jackson contributed to the program’s best record since 2013, which ended with a 12-5-2. The Bulldogs, who only allowed 18 scores all year, were eventually eliminated on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

Seahawks storm through regular season

photo by: Andrew Rosenthal

Head cocah Ivo Ivanov (left) walks off the field with a Bishop Seabury senior. The Seahawks lost 6-0 to Trinity Academy.

No area team went on a run like Bishop Seabury’s boys soccer team did this fall.

After losing their first two matches, the Seahawks went on to win their next nine contests and did not lose a game during the entire month of September. Over that span, Bishop Seabury outscored its opponents by a 45-5 margin.

The Seahawks were short-handed due to injuries by the postseason, however, falling to Trinity Academy in the first round to end a promising season.

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