WRITER: Shane Jackson

Firebirds ready for start of winter sports season

Four Free State winter sports programs will begin competition this week after recently finding out that the high school sports season will go on as scheduled. Free State’s swim and dive program and the wrestling team will get started on Wednesday. FSHS boys basketball will have its season opener at home on Friday, while the girls basketball team will be in action in a road matchup on Saturday. Here is a look ...

Lions eager for start of winter sports season

Just a week after finding out that the high school winter sports seasons would go on as scheduled, four Lawrence High programs will jump into competition in the coming days. Lawrence’s swim and dive program and the wrestling team will kick off the 2020-21 campaign on Wednesday, though fans of all winter sports will not be allowed at games through at least Jan. 28, 2021. The LHS girls basketball team will ...

Perry-Lecompton falls to Andale in Class 3A state championship game

Perry-Lecompton’s football team will finish as the Class 3A runners-up for the second year in a row. PLHS suffered a 20-0 defeat to Andale during Saturday’s state championship game at Gowans Stadium at Hutchinson Community College. It marks the second consecutive state title for the Indians, who secured a 35-7 win over the Kaws a year ago. Andale, which finished the year with a 12-0 record and has won 25 ...

Perry-Lecompton prepared for rematch with Andale in Class 3A state championship game

When Perry-Lecompton head coach Mike Paramore first started watching game film of Andale in preparation for today's state championship game, he thought he'd made a mistake: This year's footage of the defending champs looked just like last year's. “They look the same," said Paramore, who has led Perry-Lecompton (11-1) for 20 years. "I almost wondered if I put the wrong tape in when I started looking at it. ...

Back-to-back trips to state title game have been years in the making for Perry-Lecompton football

Nearly a decade ago, a talented group of small-town football players from Perry-Lecompton were the underdogs in a huge game, but they found a way to win against a squad from a much bigger city. But this wasn't high school ball — this was a group of second and third graders in the 2011 Toy Bowl, when the Junior Kaws upset the Lawrence Hurricanes to win the Lawrence Youth Football League's big game for the ...

Preps notebook: Taylor Stuart named new Free State bowling coach

Free State will have a new head bowling coach for the 2021 campaign. The school announced on Tuesday via its website that Taylor Stuart will take over as head coach of both Free State bowling teams. Stuart will replace Burton Gepford, who was the head coach of FSHS bowling between 2013-17 and again in 2020. Chuck Law, the Free State boys golf coach, served as the head bowling coach in 2018 and ...

Kansas women's basketball beats Northern Colorado, 78-62, in season opener

It ended up being the perfect night for head coach Brandon Schneider, and not just because the Kansas women’s basketball team got the opportunity to play for the first time in nine months. During a 78-62 victory over Northern Colorado, Kansas put together two quarters of quality basketball to jump out to a commanding lead Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. Then, KU stumbled down the stretch to let the ...

KU women's basketball looking to build off first winning season under Brandon Schneider

With a talented group of newcomers and four veteran double-digit scorers, it’s easy to see why Kansas women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider is optimistic about his squad’s chances this year. The KU women tip off their season today, and four of the five players who averaged in double figures in 2019-20 — Aniya Thomas, Zakiyah Franklin, Tina Stephens and Holly Kersgieter — will be back in action, ...

KSHSAA allows winter sports to start on time, but with no spectators

The 2020-21 high school winter sports season will start on time, though there will be a longer break before competition resumes in January. And there won’t be any spectators allowed at these competitions until at least Jan. 29. During a meeting on Tuesday that lasted about four hours — and was watched live by more than 6,000 people on YouTube — the KSHSAA Board of Directors voted to start the winter ...

The case for freshman guard Bryce Thompson to be KU's fifth starter

About the only thing we know for certain regarding the 2020-21 basketball campaign is who will make up four of the five starting spots for No. 6 Kansas during its season opener. KU head coach Bill Self said as much during Monday’s media availability via zoom. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, Self expects to have Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun and David McCormack in the starting lineup for ...

RB Tyler Bowden ends career with a pair of rushing records for two local teams

For as long as he can remember, Tyler Bowden has been told that he isn’t big enough. But what he might lack in size with his 5-foot-8, 165-pound frame, the talented local running back makes up for in other ways. Bowden is faster than most players on the football field and can slip away from several tackle attempts. It all helped Bowden prove doubters wrong in the end, as he broke a pair of rushing records at ...

Former KU lineman Hakeem Adeniji making most of opportunity with Bengals

Despite making back-to-back starts for the Cincinnati Bengals, rookie offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji won’t allow himself to think about what could be at stake over the final seven weeks of the 2020 campaign. Adeniji, a former Kansas standout tackle, has made the most of his opportunity as of late while the Bengals have been dealing with injuries along the offensive line. Adeniji has played 100% of ...

Behind special senior class, Lions developed 'expectation of winning' during 9-1 campaign

Lawrence High's football season might have ended on a low note this year — with a loss to Derby in the Class 6A quarterfinals — but coach Steve Rampy says that shouldn't take away from all the team accomplished in 2020. The Lions went 9-1 during Rampy’s third year at the helm, in a year when many other teams had their seasons significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were ranked No. 1 for ...

Perry-Lecompton returns to state championship after 22-9 win over Holton

For the first time in program history, Perry-Lecompton’s football team will make back-to-back trips to the state title game. Perry-Lecompton, which finished as the Class 3A runner-up a season ago, secured a 22-9 victory over Holton at PLHS during the semifinals on Friday. The Kaws are now headed to the Class 3A state championship, which is slated to take place in Hutchinson on Saturday, Nov. 28. Holton (9-2) ...

Resilient Kaws ready for rematch with Holton in Class 3A semifinals

Perry-Lecompton is slated for a 3A semifinals matchup with Holton on Friday, and Senior Thad Metcalfe still remembers what happened the last time the teams met. In the regular-season meeting between these two teams, which occurred in Week 3, senior quarterback William Welch went down with a season-ending injury. Welch sustained a knee injury on a pass play, where he tried to make something happen during the ...

Hornets don't expect Devonte’ Graham's role to change after selecting LaMelo Ball with No. 3 pick

The Charlotte Hornets took arguably the most well-known prospect in this year’s class when they selected point guard LaMelo Ball with the third pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night. From a Kansas basketball perspective, though, it was hard not to wonder what that meant for Devonte’ Graham when Ball’s name was called that early in the night. I know that was my immediate thought at least, given ...

Dominant defense leads Perry-Lecompton back to Class 3A semifinals

Perry-Lecompton’s football team is one win away from making program history. A win over Holton in Friday’s Class 3A semifinal matchup would advance PLHS to its second consecutive trip to the state title game. The Kaws, who were a Class 3A runner-up a season ago, earned a 28-14 road win over Holton on Sept. 18. Kickoff for the rematch is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at PLHS, and Perry-Lecompton is well aware ...

Three KU players who have stood out entering home stretch of 2020 campaign

The Kansas football team is officially entering the home stretch of the 2020 campaign. Following its final bye week of the season, Kansas is still seeking its first win of the year even though that might be easier said than done at this point. The Jayhawks (0-7, 0-6 Big 12) will likely be big underdogs in each of their final three games. In fact, KU opened as a 29.5-point underdog against Texas (5-2, 4-2 Big ...

Area football roundup: Perry-Lecompton advances to Class 3A semifinals with win over Prairie View

Perry-Lecompton was in front all night of its 49-14 win over Prairie View on Friday to keep the 2020 season alive. The Kaws are now one win away from a second consecutive trip to the state championship game. Perry-Lecompton (10-1) will play host to Holton (9-1) in the Class 3A semifinals next Friday. In its sub-state victory, PLHS scored 22 points in the second quarter to pull away from Prairie View. ...

Free State senior Georgia Rea signs to play softball at Western Illinois University

To say it was a good week for Free State senior Georgia Rea would be an understatement. The softball standout actually had the best week. Rea, who is a catcher, signed her national letter of intent to play DI softball at Western Illinois University on Wednesday from her home. She then celebrated a birthday on Friday. The former was probably more significant for Rea, who printed out the official letter Tuesday ...