Free State

Preps notebook: City wrestlers shine in Leavenworth tournament

Both Free State and Lawrence High were in action this weekend at the 30th annual Leavenworth Challenger, held Saturday at Leavenworth High School. Free State's wrestling team placed fourth with a score of 139.5, while Lawrence’s squad came in 10th out of 12 teams with a mark of 31.5 points. ...

Noah Butler powers FSHS boys past Blue Springs

LIBERTY, MO – With each of Noah Butler's five dunks, DK Middleton would get just as excited as the Firebirds small traveling fan section. The two dominated the game, combining for 52 points to outscore Blue Springs by themselves in Free State’s 75-51 win in the 810 Varsity Tipoff Classic. ...

Free State girls roll past Blue Valley West in season opener

Free State’s girls basketball team had every intention of getting in the win column to start the year. Last season, the Firebirds did not record their first victory until Jan. 19, which came after seven consecutive losses. This time around, though, Free State took care of business in the ...

Preps notebook: LHS wrestling displays potential in home opener

In the first meet of the new season, Lawrence High’s wrestling team showed glimpses of its potential. Lawrence ultimately dropped a 54-27 decision during a dual with Gardner-Edgerton Wednesday night at LHS. Yet all three of the Lions’ ranked wrestlers recorded wins, while some unranked ...

Firebirds eager for start of winter sports

The winter sports season will be in full swing by the end of this week. Free State’s winter sports teams have huge expectations once again after a successful showing last year, which included a 6A runner-up finish for the boys basketball team. A pair of FSHS teams also enter the season with ...

Free State senior Jax Dineen nets top Sunflower League award

Few teams had an answer for Free State senior Jax Dineen throughout the 2018 season. That is why Dineen was ultimately named the Sunflower League player of the year, which was announced Monday. Dineen was named to the first team as both a running back and linebacker after leading the Firebirds ...

Preps notebook: Top 5 moments from 2018 football season

Eight state football titles will be on the line across eight different locations in Kansas Saturday afternoon. None of the area teams were able to make it that far, it was still a successful season for multiple programs. To close out the 2018 fall sports campaign, let's recap the top moments ...

Preps notebook: Former Lion earns conference honors at Baker

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 ...

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 ...