WRITER: Shane Jackson

'We could relate on another level': Unique bond with KU assistant helped Clinton Anokwuru pick KU football

Ever since Kansas football started recruiting Clinton Anokwuru, assistant coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe knew he had a special connection with the three-star defensive end — the two men both belong to the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. “I knew he was in that tribe right away because of his name,” said Uzo-Diribe, who was promoted to KU’s outside linebackers coach in January. “There is a unique bond (among) us in ...

Spring sports spotlight: FSHS senior CF Haley Lockwood-Peterson turns attention to college career

There is no way of knowing now, but Free State’s softball team seemed poised for a third consecutive state title this year before the 2020 season was canceled due to the threat of coronavirus. The Firebirds brought back plenty of production from a team that went 23-2 a season ago to defend their Class 6A state crown. FSHS figures to be a contender once again next season, especially with a number of key ...

Early win totals released, KU has over/under of 3.5 wins for 2020 season

There is always something special about the first set of win totals released by the betting market. It gives fans an idea of what unbiased people think about their favorite team. With the entire sports world on pause for the time being, the early win totals for the 2020 college football season are even more meaningful. It provides a sense of normalcy, and perhaps there is reason to believe there will be ...

Bishop Seabury boys basketball recognized on SportsCenter after season was cut short

The Bishop Seabury boys basketball team got some national media attention Monday night after a dominant 2019-20 season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. On ESPN's SportsCenter, the Seahawks were among the teams honored by Scott Van Pelt as a part of his #SeniorNight segment, which was created to honor college and high school athletes around the country who didn’t get the chance to play their final ...

Spring sports spotlight: Tonganoxie seniors miss out on chance to leave mark on softball program

Before Tonganoxie’s softball season was canceled because of the pandemic, coach Stephanie Wittman went through the schedule with her team, marking off games she thought the team had a good chance to win with a green highlighter. By the end of the session, all of the games on the schedule had been marked off. “All of them were green, as in we could beat them,” THS senior Lauren Gray said. “That’s ...

Veritas girls basketball shows progress in 1st year back on hardwood

It took two years, but the Veritas girls basketball team finally returned to the floor for the 2019-20 campaign. Because it was the first year for the program since the 2016-17 season, though, the Eagles didn’t measure their success by their number of wins. Even though Veritas went 0-18, there were plenty of reasons for the team to be proud of what it accomplished both on and off the court this past ...

Veritas boys basketball aims to bounce back after 9-15 season

The Veritas boys basketball team has become accustomed to playing its best basketball at the end of the season, but that’s not what happened during the 2019-20 campaign. For the first time since 2015, VCS didn’t compete in the state championship game of the KCAA state tournament. After four consecutive trips to the title game, which featured two state crowns and two runner-up finishes, the Eagles were ...

Despite down year, LHS girls showed plenty of promise during 2019-20 campaign

The Lawrence High School girls basketball team may have gone 5-16 over the past season, but that record doesn't worry coach Jeff Dickson very much. In fact, the Lions' head coach said the team's struggles this year could lay the groundwork for more success in the years to come. “We never win as many games as we want to, because we want to win them all,” Dickson said. “But wins and losses is about seventh ...

Former Baldwin standout Abby Ogle to continue basketball career at West Virginia

All the hard work in the offseason ultimately paid off for former Baldwin girls basketball standout Abby Ogle. Following the conclusion of her best collegiate season at Hutchinson Community College, Ogle announced that she was going to continue her basketball career at West Virginia University. Ogle, who graduated from BHS in 2018, chose West Virginia over Kent State, Ohio and Texas State. “That’s where my ...

Journal-World 2019-20 Winter All-Area Teams

After each high school sports season, the Journal-World recognizes outstanding athletes with its All-Area Teams. Because of statewide precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the annual All-Area winter group photos were not able to be taken this year. The teams still were selected based on the regular nomination process. In an attempt to acquire photos of everyone represented, the Journal-World ...

Journal-World’s 2019-20 All-Area boys basketball team

Player of the year: Zeke Mayo, Lawrence High Mayo was the best player on the court on a nightly basis during his junior campaign. He was a well-rounded player, leading the Lions in scoring, rebounds and assists this past season. Mayo averaged 16.0 points per game to go along with 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest. LHS won a share of the Sunflower League title for the second-straight season and advanced ...

Journal-World’s 2019-20 All-Area girls basketball team

Player of the year: Harper Schreiner, Eudora Emerging as one of the better players in the state, Schreiner averaged 15.6 points per game to go along with an average of 4.2 assists, 4.0 steals and 5.7 rebounds per outing during her sophomore season. Schreiner was named to the All-Frontier League first team and was tabbed the MVP of the Tonganoxie Invitational this season. The Cardinals advanced to the Class 4A ...

Journal-World’s 2019-20 All-Area girls wrestling team

Wrestler of the year: Madyson Gray, Free State Gray became the Journal-World's first girls wrestler of the year after a monumental year in the inaugural season of sanctioned girls wrestling. Gray, a sophomore, became Free State’s first-ever girls wrestling state champion this winter. She won all 34 of her matches, clinching a league title, regional title and state crown in the process. First-team ...

Journal-World’s 2019-20 All-Area boys wrestling team

Wrestler of the year: Connor Searcy, Tonganoxie The encore by Searcy was perhaps even more impressive. After making history by becoming the program’s first state champion along with another teammate last year, Searcy defended his title to cap off his senior campaign. Searcy went 44-1 and secured a state crown in the 220-pound weight class to become the first back-to-back champion in program history. Coach of ...

Senior Noah Watkins etches name in Eudora's record books by taking charges

Eudora senior Noah Watkins etched his name into the record books more than once to close out his career on the hardwood. He set the single-season record for charges taken in his final campaign with 21, while also setting the career record for drawn charges with 36. And for four days, that last number actually stood as a state record. Last Monday, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame tweeted out that Watkins was a ...

Seabury junior Zach Bloch named Class 2A Player of the Year; Jonathan Raney wins Coach of the Year

Bishop Seabury’s top-ranked boys basketball program may not have had the chance to make a postseason run, but its coach and one of its players earned the top honors in the state on Monday. Junior guard Zach Bloch was named Player of the Year in Class 2A by Sports in Kansas, and Jonathan Raney was named Coach of the Year. The Seahawks were the No. 1 team in Class 2A all year and made it to the state semifinals ...

'It’s home for me': Lawrence High's 2-sport standout Devin Neal plans to play for Kansas

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there hasn't been a lot of positive news as of late. Schools have been forced to move online, sports have been canceled and social gatherings have been limited to 10 or fewer people. For a brief moment, at least in the city of Lawrence, Devin Neal changed all of that with a single tweet late Friday night. Neal announced his verbal commitment to the University of Kansas to ...

Former area standouts react to missing out on 2020 college baseball season

Nebraska freshman pitcher Ethan Bradford was sitting alone in his room when he found out that the 2020 season was no more due to the threat of coronavirus. About two hours earlier, Nebraska’s road series with Wichita State had been canceled just before the team was about to get on the bus. But Bradford, who graduated from Free State a year ago, fully expected to play baseball again at some point this ...

Lawrence High junior Devin Neal commits to play 2 sports at KU

Lawrence High’s two-sport standout Devin Neal will be staying home at the next level. Late Friday night, Neal announced his verbal commitment to the University of Kansas via his personal Twitter account. Neal, who graduates in 2021, plans to play both football and baseball for the Jayhawks at the collegiate level. “Both of them are my passion and my love,” Neal told the Journal-World Friday afternoon. ...

Ryan Goodwin believes Baker baseball was about to 'make a run' before losing 2020 season

The season hadn’t gone as well as Baker baseball coach Ryan Goodwin would have liked, but he believes his team was just about to hit its stride before the threat of coronavirus cut the 2020 campaign short. Baker finished the year at 7-16, but was also coming off a sweep of Grand View University on March 8. With just over a month left in the regular season, the Wildcats had plenty of time to turn things ...