WRITER: Braden Shaw

KU soccer wins first Big 12 Championship title in program history with 1-0 victory over TCU

Kansas City, Mo. — After a scoreless first half, Kansas soccer searched for one slight misstep from the TCU defense. And in the 55th minute, that came in the form of junior forward Mandi Duggan sneaking a shot inside the near post for a go-ahead goal. That lone goal was enough for No. 5 seed KU to secure a 1-0 victory over No. 6 seed TCU in the Big 12 Championship final Sunday at Swope Soccer Village. “I ...

LHS football falls to 'physical' Topeka High rushing attack in regionals 56-35

Set up at his own 49-yard line, Topeka High senior running back Ky Thomas took the handoff on fourth-and-1, exploding up the middle for a 51-yard touchdown to take the Trojans’ first lead of the game. The one-two punch of Thomas and senior quarterback Da’Vonshai Harden wore the Lawrence High defense down, as the Trojans (9-1) defeated the Lions (8-2) 56-35 in the regional round of the Class 6A state ...

Freshmen propel KU women's basketball to 84-72 win over Indiana State

Needing an offensive spark in the second quarter, freshman guard Holly Kersgieter found herself open on the wing. Fellow freshman guard Zakiyah Franklin promptly dished to Kersgieter for a 3-pointer to regain the lead for Kansas. “Shooting the ball was something that I’m very encouraged, if not yelled at, to do,” Kersgieter said. “So I did it, and it worked.” Amid a sloppy first half for both sides, ...

Quick adjustment period has helped Tristan Enaruna adapt to KU basketball team

It’s been a quick adjustment period for Kansas forward Tristan Enaruna after coming to KU from the Netherlands in May. “I feel my shots are falling way better than (they) did before,” Enaruna said. “I’m starting to understand the basics and the foundation and I’m starting to understand how Coach (Bill Self) wants to play, starting to know the teammates and how they play. “I feel like ...

Free State and LHS seniors race in 'emotional' state cross-country championship

As Free State senior Charlie Johnson hit the skyline portion of the course at Rim Rock Farm, he heard the familiar call in his head of former Kansas runner Billy Mills’ victory in the 1964 Olympic games. “I hear, ‘Look at Mills! Look at Mills!’” Johnson said. “I always think of that (near the finish), so that’s when I start going.” Johnson finished fourth (16:00) in the Class 6A boys state ...

Area cross-country recap: Seabury senior Henry Nelson wins state title

It hasn’t been an easy journey for Bishop Seabury senior Henry Nelson, but that didn’t stop him from securing a state title Saturday at the Class 2A cross-country state championship. “The plan was to just go out there, have fun and see what happens,” Nelson said. “The goal was to win (state).” Nelson has dealt with recurring health problems throughout his Seabury career. Granted, the only major ...

Bowden's record-breaking first quarter propels Free State to 34-12 win over Wichita South

It took just one quarter for Free State junior running back Tyler Bowden to break two school records and secure another multi-touchdown game. “We came out and we knew what we needed to do,” Bowden said. “We just tried to get it done quick.” Bowden’s explosive first quarter and Free State’s stifling defensive front pushed the Firebirds to a 34-12 victory over Wichita South in the first round of the ...

Free State boys soccer wins regional title over LHS in penalty kicks

As senior defender Hayden Robinson’s penalty kick sailed into the back of the net, pandemonium ensued on Free State’s soccer field, with players and fans alike swarming the team in celebration “When Hayden made that (last kick), I just wanted to cry,” senior midfielder Peter Boncella said. “I was so excited.” Free State outlasted Lawrence High to win the Class 6A Regional title Thursday night, in a ...

Even with added pressure, Jalen Wilson is comfortable with expectations of freshman season

Coming in as the highest rated recruit in the class of 2019 for Kansas — No. 47 according to Rivals — freshman forward Jalen Wilson understands the pressure placed upon him. “I’m used to high expectations in basketball,” Wilson said. “I mean, I knew that coming here to Kansas, such a respected program. You’ve got to step up to the plate even more.” Wilson, who decommitted from Michigan on May ...

Big 12 women's basketball coaches discuss strenuous conference slate

With turnover in college basketball becoming more prevalent with the addition of the transfer portal and players leaving due to graduation or turning professional, coaches constantly have to adjust. “I think even if you lose one player it still looks different chemistry-wise,” Texas women’s basketball coach Karen Aston said. “I just think every year you have to be prepared to sort of go with the flow ...

Free State junior Keegan VanPelt finishes fourth at state girls tennis tournament

Coming off a fifth-place finish at the 2018 Class 6A state girls tennis tournament, Free State junior Keegan VanPelt felt confident in how much she could improve in the offseason. “I noticed that (state is) really hard and that I have to keep working,” VanPelt said. “And I put in the work this (past) summer and earlier this year and it all pays off.” And as she had hoped going into the 2019 Class 6A ...

Free State cruises to 41-14 win over Shawnee Mission East on senior night

Just as Shawnee Mission East seemed to be getting back into the game, momentum swung once again in Free State’s favor, as Firebird junior running back Tyler Bowden broke off an explosive 80-yard touchdown down the left sideline. The reliable legs of Bowden and Free State’s opportunistic defense led the Firebirds to a 41-14 victory over SM East on senior night. “This game we really just played as a unit ...

Douglas County Special Olympics team ready to compete in Nebraska flag football tournament

Ten Douglas County Special Olympics athletes will take their talents to York, Neb., this weekend for the Special Olympics Nebraska State Flag Football Tournament. While most of the 21 teams in the tournament are from Nebraska, the 10-man Douglas County Jayhawks squad and one other Kansas team — the New Hope Bulldogs from Pittsburg — will also be making the trip. The tournament will take place Saturday and ...

City Showdown between Lawrence High, Free State soccer ends in physical 0-0 draw

As soon as the final whistle blew at the end of the second overtime, it was clear both Free State and Lawrence High were gassed. “We had a couple (players) that started that came up with some cramps, so we needed people to step up off the bench, which they did,” Free State senior forward Ashton Owen said. “But (it was) just a hard-fought game.” And after 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, Free State and ...

LHS, FSHS and Bishop Seabury take on new-look cross-country course at Haskell Invite

The cross-country course at Haskell University may have been altered slightly, but that doesn’t mean any runners lost any familiarity. “Honestly it just feels like I know what to expect, which — even if it’s not true — it makes me feel like I have an edge on the competition,” Free State senior Charlie Johnson said. “I’m pretty familiar with the twists and turns.” “I actually always like ...

LHS defeats Shawnee Mission South 40-21 to remain undefeated

Just after the Lawrence High defense forced a three-and-out, LHS junior quarterback Jackson Dooley connected with junior wide receiver Tre’ Jackson for an explosive 70-yard touchdown. That catch and run tied the game and gave LHS much-needed momentum in a 40-21 come- from-behind victory over Shawnee Mission South Friday night. “I’m proud of the way we battled,” LHS head coach Steve Rampy said. “We ...

Free State volleyball leans on seniors to defeat LHS in City Showdown

Even before Tuesday’s match started, the energy inside the Free State gym was palpable. That energy propelled Free State volleyball to a 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-13, 25-20) over Lawrence High in the City Showdown. “It definitely helped build a lot of momentum, especially when we went on long runs,” Free State senior Kaitlyn Hamilton said. “Just having that crowd there to back us up really helped push ...

KU looks to young guards for leadership this season

With losing nine players — including seven seniors — from the 2018-19 team, Kansas women’s basketball has emphasized filling gaps this offseason. “This has been a critical offseason for us, dating all the way back to when they reported in June,” KU coach Brandon Schneider said at media day Monday. “We’re relying heavily on the leadership of our returners, while also trying to quickly develop some ...

KU falls flat in 45-20 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma

Facing a Heisman trophy contender and a top-10 team is no small feat, meaning Kansas had its hands full before the game even kicked off. When the game did finally kick off after a brief weather delay, KU didn’t quite match up in a 45-20 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma. Initially, it looked as though the Jayhawks may have a fighting chance, taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a touchdown pass from senior ...

Free State football cruises to 48-6 road victory over Sedalia Smith-Cotton

Free State junior kicker Joey Wood ran around the field with 1:45 left in the first half, seemingly in disbelief after the Firebirds recovered their own kickoff. They capitalized on the opportunity, too, with Free State senior quarterback Malik Berry finding senior wide receiver Tae Rainey for an 18-yard touchdown. “I’ve got to be honest, the only thing that was going through my head was I was disappointed ...