Preps notebook: Local athletes ink with colleges during early signing period

photo by: Courtesy photo

Lawrence High senior Trey Quartlebaum signs his national letter of intent to St. Francis Brooklyn College Wednesday morning.

It didn’t take long for Lawrence High senior Trey Quartlebaum to make it official.

Quartlebaum, a guard for the LHS boys basketball team, signed his national letter of intent to play at St. Francis Brooklyn College at the collegiate level. The signing ceremony took place nearly three months after he announced his verbal commitment in August.

“It feels good because now I can focus on basketball the rest of the year,” Quartlebaum said when he announced his verbal commitment. “It’s good, because I don’t have to worry about who is at my games and stuff like that. I can put all my energy into playing basketball and having fun.”

Quartlebaum has known St. Francis head coach Glenn Braica, who offered him a scholarship in July, for quite some time.

Braica was on the same coaching staff as Fred Quartlebaum, Trey’s father, at St. John’s University for eight seasons. Fred Quartlebaum is now the director of student-athlete development for the University of Kansas men’s basketball team.

Quartlebaum, who expects to play point guard at the next level, will begin his senior season on Dec. 1, when Lawrence High takes on Park Hill South at Liberty High School.

But Quartlebaum wasn’t the only local athlete to sign a national letter of intent to a D1 program during the early signing period this week.

Free State senior midfielder Emma Yackley signed to play soccer at Creighton University. As a junior, Yackley led the team with 11 goals and was the team’s most consistent scoring option. She beat opponents with her speed and technique, earning first team all-state honors last spring.

photo by: Chris Duderstadt

Free State’s Emma Yackley scores on a shot from 30 yards out in the 44th minute of the girls soccer City Showdown, which ended in a 1-1 tie on Thursday at FSHS.

In addition, FSHS senior Rowan Laufer nailed down his collegiate plans shortly after the high school soccer season ended. Laufer, who spent a year with the Sporting Kansas City Developmental Academy during his junior season, signed his national letter of intent to play soccer at the University of Central Arkansas.

A pair of Lawrence High swimmers also signed Thursday afternoon. Jamie Abernathy signed to swim at the collegiate level for Loyola-New Orleans, while Madelyn Dean inked her plans to compete for Southern Connecticut State University.

‘The Mayor’ announces collegiate plans

Not long after the football season ended, Free State senior Jaxson Webb put his sole focus on baseball.

Earlier this week, Webb announced via his personal Twitter account that he plans to play collegiate baseball at Fort Hays State University.

“What a journey this has been,” Webb wrote on his Twitter account. “I would like to thank my parents for supporting me and helping me get to where I am today. I would like to thank my family members, friends and teammates as well. I would like to thank all of my coaches who have pushed me and those who have had a positive impact on my career.”

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Free State player Jaxson Webb (11) slides in to third base on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Free State beat Olathe West, 9-4.

Webb has played baseball and football since transferring to Free State before his junior season.

As a football player, Webb demonstrated his versatility by seeing action as both a quarterback and a receiver. He contributed to the Firebirds posting a 10-1 record for the second consecutive season.

Webb will look to embrace a bigger role for the Free State baseball team, which was eliminated in the 6A quarterfinals last season.

City soccer players earn league honors

Laufer and Lawrence High senior Cole Shupert were both represented on the first team in the All-Sunflower League selections, which were announced earlier this week.

photo by: Chris Duderstadt

Lawrence High’s Cole Shupert surveys the field during the second half of Thursday’s City Showdown against Free State at FSHS. Shupert scored a goal in what ended up being a 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, Will Yanek of LHS and Drew Covington of FSHS were named to the second team after strong seasons.

For the Firebirds, Will Davis and Hayden Robinson were listed on the honorable mention. Ross Brungardt, Matteo Kalusha-Aguirre and Gary Schmidt represented the Lions on the honorable mention.

Preseason rankings released for winter sports

The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association released its preseason rankings Thursday afternoon for the 2018-19 season.

For Class 6A boys, Lawrence High enters the season at No. 2 in the preseason poll. Free State, which fell in the state championship game last year, comes in at No. 3. On the 6A girls side, Lawrence High was tabbed No. 9 after accumulating a 35-10 record over the last two seasons.

Baldwin’s girls basketball team is listed at No. 6 in Class 4A, while Bishop Seabury’s boys basketball squad comes in at No. 4 in Class 2A.

In addition, a pair of area teams were represented on the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association preseason poll. Free State is ranked No. 10 in Class 6A, while Tonganoxie is holding down a No. 5 ranking in Class 4A.

Senior Elijah Jacob is the lone Firebird listed at the top of his weight class, as he is ranked No. 1 in the 145-pound weight class. For the Chieftains, senior Korbin Riedel is ranked at the top of the 145-pound weight class in Class 4A. THS sophomore Connor Searcy is No. 1 in the 195-pound weight class.

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