Free State

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

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 ...

FSHS senior Rachel Hickman signs to play for KU volleyball

Free State senior Rachel Hickman knew Wednesday was different when she woke up in the morning. Hickman has known since September of 2016 that she would eventually be playing collegiate volleyball at the University of Kansas, as that was when she announced her verbal commitment. Hickman has ...

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

‘It is that time:’ Free State eliminated by MHS in Bob Lisher’s final game

Free State coach Bob Lisher was overcome with emotion in the moments following a 41-19 loss to Manhattan High Friday at FSHS in the 6A quarterfinals. During his postgame speech with the team, Lisher officially told his players that he plans to retire at the end of the school year. It meant ...

Preps notebook: Free State prepares for postseason battle with Manhattan

This week’s opponent figures to be unlike any Free State’s football team has faced thus far. Free State (10-0) welcomes Manhattan High (9-1) at 7 p.m. Friday for a quarterfinals matchup in the 6A west playoff bracket. The Firebirds, who have rolled over nearly every opponent this year, are ...

Firebirds advance to quarterfinals with 51-27 win

Aside from just seven plays, Free State’s football team handled another opponent with ease during its perfect season. Free State coughed up a few turnovers, but were seemingly always in control during a 51-27 win over Haysville-Campus Friday at FSHS. The win gave the Firebirds (10-0) a ...

Preps notebook: Shane Skwarlo continues to anchor FSHS offensive line

Shane Skwarlo is certain he never won a test of strength with his two older brothers growing up. In fact, Shane Skwarlo recalls that his only win over Sam Skwarlo and Stan Skwarlo came on the basketball court. Still, the Free State senior guard admits that his athletic career has been shaped ...

Preps notebook: Former LHS player leads team to first title in 23 years

After the Lawrence High volleyball team took a 17-12 lead in the third set of the 6A state championship match, Blue Valley elected to call a timeout. LHS head coach Stephanie Scarbrough clinched both fists in celebration, as she could sense how close the team was at that point. Scarbrough ...

Shryock excels; FSHS boys finish as runners-up at state cross-country meet

It’s been a wild couple of months for Free State freshman Ben Shryock. Before August, he hadn’t ran a race at Rim Rock Farm, or anywhere for that matter — Shryock never ran cross-country prior to high school. But on Saturday, Shryock led the Firebirds to a state runner-up finish at the ...

Free State rolls past Wichita North in opening round of football playoffs

On its second offensive drive, Wichita North was faced with third and 26 after a holding call and a Free State sack. Instead of trying to advance the ball, the Redskins decided to punt on third down to pin the ball inside the 20-yard line. It was somewhat effective, as that was just one of ...

Preps notebook: FSHS receiver makes explosive plays look routine

Even by Keenan Garber standards, the touchdown was absurd. In the second quarter of last week’s City Showdown, Garber scored on a 30-yard touchdown to add to Free State’s lead. The senior receiver ran a flat route to the FSHS sideline, as junior quarterback Malik Berry hit Garber near the ...

Preps notebook: Lions remain motivated ahead of state tournament

Everything about this year’s trip to the state tournament just feels different for the Lawrence High volleyball team. Last season, LHS notched its first state berth since 2009 before eventually being eliminated on the opening day of the 6A state tournament. This year, though, the Lions are ...

Preps notebook: FSHS cross-country qualifies for state meet

Free State’s cross-country program continued its impressive postseason during its regional meet Saturday in Manhattan. The boys cross-country team won the meet, while the girls cross-country team placed second. Both teams qualified for the 6A state meet, which takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday ...

LHS claims runner-up at state meet, FSHS places 5th

OVERLAND PARK – After four years in high school, Lawrence High senior Josie Hickerson hadn’t flipped a Yurchenko Pike onto a hard surface since she was in eighth grade. And after she landed it for the last performance of her high school career, Hickerson was surrounded with several people ...

Free State holds off LHS in City Showdown

Regardless of the records, the City Showdown has a tendency to live up to the billing. Free State, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, has eased past most of its competition for much of the season. Lawrence, a team starting nine sophomores, had lost all but one game entering the season ...

Preps notebook: City Showdown highlights last week of regular season

Lawrence High defensive end Sam Bart knows the entire Free State offensive line all too well. In the week leading up to the City Showdown, LHS coaches are calling FSHS players by their respective numbers during practice and film sessions. Yet the Lions, unlike most weeks, know the names of the ...

Firebirds’ caveman mentality blends well with team speed

Sure, glamor has its part in the Free State High football program. A 7-0 record. No. 2 ranking in the state. Stylish uniforms with blends of white, silver and hunter green. Terrific skill players. But reaching the essence of this football team that dominates opponents on a weekly basis ...

Preps notebook: City teams focused ahead of state gymnastics meet

Following the conclusion of the 2017 season, Lawrence High gymnasts Josie Hickerson and Eden Kingery formed the plan. Hickerson and Kingery, who are now seniors at LHS, came up with the idea to make the most of their final week of practice. As a result, the duo created several different themes ...

City rivals to team up for toy drive at football game

Free State High School and Lawrence High School students will put aside their rivalry to join forces on a toy drive at Friday’s football game between the two schools. Student teams from FSHS and LHS will be collecting new and unopened toys at the game, which starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the ...