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Lions (of all kinds) prove they belong at state


Fans who wore red to the Class 6A state volleyball tournament on Friday had an excellent chance of enjoying a winner. Four of the eight teams in the 6A field donned red, and three of those four, including No. 8 seed Lawrence High, wore red and black. Joining LHS in wearing the color of choice were No. 2 seed Wichita Heights, No. 4 seed Blue Valley West and No. 5 seed Dodge City. Ironically, LHS played both BVW and Dodge City in pool play, falling to Blue Valley West (25-22, 25-16) and Dodge City (25-21, 26-24).The loss to the Jaguars certainly was nothing for the Lions to hang their heads about. West featured the tournament's best player, senior Caitlin Donahue, a 5-8 outside hitter who has committed to Kansas State, where she'll play libero. It's a shame that Donahue won't be swinging at K-State. Her hops and power were among the best I've seen in my eight years covering high school volleyball. In fact, had West not had Donahue - the KSHSAA state tournament program's cover girl - the Lions probably would have won.LHS nearly beat them any way and certainly should be proud of effort. Speaking of pride, the entire school and several members of the Lawrence community showed an enormous amount of pride on Friday. LHS had by far the largest crowd, including an advantage over hometown Washburn Rural, the two-time defending 6A champs. I'm sure Rural will have some more support on Saturday, but the LHS fans owned the gym on Day 1 and both the team and the fans themselves should feel great about that. Stashed in the northwest corner of the Kansas Expocentre, LHS fans decked out in red and black filled an entire section. And they were loud in doing so. Best things overheard from the LHS cheering section:"Here comes the dagger." Every time a Lawrence High hitter went up for a kill."Caitlin, you're amazing." Said by the LHS student section after many of Donahue's amazing kills. A handful of LHS students takled about getting Donahue's phone number between matches, and one student, LHS senior Tyler Bailey, had Donahue autograph his program. "Two more games, Lions. We want two more games." Said after LHS lost the first set to Dodge City, a clear sign that the fans enjoyed the ride the LHS volleyball team has taken them on the past two weeks. _"Student section swaying and singing LHS alma mater." _ This moment came after the Lions' loss to Dodge City and was as loud as anything all day. As for the volleyball, the Lions certainly looked like they belonged. They frustrated all three opponents at some point or another during their matches and, most importantly, looked like they were having a blast throughout. That's the kind of attitude and energy that earned the Lions a trip to state, and that's the kind of output the program should - and will - strive to match in the coming years. With five regulas (Mary Coldsnow, Jasmyn Turner, Carrie Clemencic, Lillian Schonewise and Kiely Mosiman) returning from this year's team, including three players who will just be juniors (Coldsnow, Mosiman and Schonewise) next season, the future looks bright for the LHS program. And now that Donahue's gone - she and LHS senior Tayler Tolefree will become college rivals - the position of program cover girl is there for the taking.Still searching for Hidden Heroes_Have you seen someone go out of their way to help make the local high school sports scene click recently? Have a story about a super fan, a player or a devoted parent who has helped any of the local high school teams in some extraordinary way? We want to hear about it._Check out The Dividing Line's [Hidden Heroes blog][1] and clue us in about the person you've seen who makes Lawrence's high school sports scene spectacular. [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/blogs/dividing_line/2008/oct/13/hidden_heroes/


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