Preps notebook: Former Lion earns conference honors at Baker

photo by: Chris Duderstadt

Baker freshman and Lawrence High alumnus JD Woods looks for the open field after corralling an interception in the second half of the Wildcats' 36-33 loss to Georgetown (Ky.) in the first round of the NAIA playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at Liston Stadium.

Former Lawrence High running back JD Woods has had a stellar season with Baker University.

Woods was named South Division Offensive Player of the Year by the Heart of America conference, according to an announcement made Tuesday afternoon. Woods, a sophomore, was one of 21 Baker players to net league honors after leading the team to its fourth consecutive Heart of America South Division Championship.

This season, Woods has ran for a total of 1,457 yards on 239 carries. Woods has rushed for 100 yards in seven different games, eclipsing 200 yards in two of those contests. In a game against Missouri Valley, Woods accumulated 284 yards on 17 carries, which ranks seventh on the single game all-time rushing list at Baker University.

During his senior year of high school in 2015, Woods earned all-state honors after rushing for 1,933 yards and 34 touchdowns. He broke the program record for career rushing yards (3,909) and rushing touchdowns (58).

In addition, Cornell Brown was selected to the first team in his senior season with the Wildcats. Brown, who played at Baldwin High School, has 320 total receiving yards this year with his best game coming against MidAmerica Nazarene, when he had six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

Both players will be back in action this week in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. Baker (9-2) takes on the University of Saint Francis at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Baldwin senior thrived in two fall sports

Prior to the start of his senior season, Jacob Bailey made the decision to return to soccer.

After focusing on cross-country during his sophomore and junior seasons, Bailey wanted to make the most of his final year. He decided to play soccer and compete in cross-country, both of which are fall sports, during his senior season at Baldwin High School.

“This senior year, I just wanted to give it all for my friends,” Bailey said. “I wanted to help lead them to success.”

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

Bailey participated in both sports during his freshman season, but the schedule became too demanding to do that the next two campaigns.

This season, Bailey had a lot days where he practiced both sports. He would do cross-country practice in the morning and then head to soccer practice in the afternoon. His busiest day of the year was when he had a league cross-country meet and finished with a soccer game that night, in which he played all 80 minutes.

“It was really difficult at times,” Bailey said. “But it is always amazing to have support from your friends, family, teammates and coaches. All of them were just terrific in working with me.”

Bailey was crucial to both squads having success in 2018.

As a centerback for the soccer team, Bailey fueled one of the best defenses in the state. The Bulldogs, who were ultimately eliminated in the quarterfinals, allowed just 18 goals in the regular season. It marked the fourth-fewest scores surrendered in Class 4-3-2-1A.

Baldwin posted nine shutouts en route to a 12-6-1 record. Bailey was named to the All-Frontier League first team.

Meanwhile, Bailey placed seventh at the 4A state cross-country meet with a personal-best time of 17:13. He also placed third at the league meet and the regional meet. His lone win came during the Sabetha Invite.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better personally,” Bailey said. “I’m also super proud of my teammates. They kept improving as the year went on.”

City volleyball players help Kansas win all-star match

The season might be over, but the Lawrence High volleyball team is still managing to find ways to notch victories.

Kansas, which featured plenty of LHS flavor, took down Missouri with a three-set sweep during an all-star match at Avila University Sunday afternoon. Lawrence’s Stephanie Scarbrough served as the head coach of the Kansas all-star team, while LHS seniors Laura Willoughby, Lauren Maceli and Sammy Williams competed in the event.

All four members of the Lions were crucial in capturing the program’s first state title since 1995. LHS went 38-2 this season, capping the year off with a victory over Blue Valley in the 6A state championship.

Free State’s Rachel Hickman, a Kansas signee, also competed in the all-star match, along with the LHS players. Hickman finished her senior season with 304 kills, which ranked sixth in the Sunflower League.

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