WRITER: Matt Tait

LHS, Free State football teams eager to kick off unusual 2020 season

Preparing for the start of any high school football season is always a challenge, but doing it in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tougher. After weeks of worrying, wondering and finding a way to get ready, the Free State and Lawrence High football teams open the 2020 season at 7 p.m. Friday, with LHS hosting Shawnee Heights and Free State welcoming De Soto to town. Both games will serve as ...

Woodland's 2-under in final round lands him tied for 33rd at BMW Championship

At an event full of rounds over par, former University of Kansas golfer Gary Woodland shot a 2-under 68 on Sunday to finish tied for 33rd at the BMW Championship in Olympia Fields, Ill. Sunday’s round was Woodland’s only sub-70 round of the tournament and he finished at 7-over for the event after shooting rounds of 75-70-74-68. After recording three birdies and a bogey on Sunday’s front nine, Woodland ...

Free State, Lawrence High announce football attendance plans

With opening night of the 2020 football seasons just four days away, Lawrence High and Free State released their attendance plans on Monday. Both schools will cap their attendance for home games at two spectators per student participant. Those spectators will be identified ahead of time and added to a pass gate list at the ticket booths. The cost for attendance will be $7 for adults and $5 for students K-12, ...

Fall sports preview: Kansas volleyball team driven by chance to compete during strange 2020 season

The upcoming Kansas volleyball season won't have an NCAA tournament berth on the line, but KU coach Ray Bechard said recently that you’d never know that from watching his team practice and prepare this preseason. “We’re just going full speed ahead until somebody tells us something different,” Bechard said in mid-August. In early August, the NCAA announced that all nonfootball fall sports ...

Fall sports preview: Kansas soccer counting on new faces in big roles in 2020

Replacing three key players from last season’s Sweet 16 team will be a stiff challenge for the Kansas soccer program, but coach Mark Francis isn't interested in making it harder than it needs to be. “There’ll be some new faces in the starting 11 just because there has to be,” Francis said two weeks into his team’s preseason practices. “Like I told the girls jokingly the other day, we’re not going ...

Hundreds of KU athletes, coaches, supporters stage Black Lives Matter march across campus

An emotional conversation inside the Kansas women’s basketball locker room on Thursday turned into a Black Lives Matter march of more than 800 KU athletes, administrators, coaches and supporters on KU’s campus Friday. “Our players deserve all the credit,” KU women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider said after the march. “Because they’re the ones who requested that we have a meeting. It was ...

Graham tops Mykhailiuk in "Shooting for the Stars" 3-point contest

Former Jayhawk Devonte’ Graham’s strong year continued Friday night when he outlasted all competitors to win the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic’s “Shooting for the Stars” 3-point contest. Friday’s event, which was shown on television sets throughout Kansas and online exclusively at KUsports.com, featured 10 of the top 12 3-point shooters in Kansas basketball history. And it came down to the only ...

KUsports.com will be your online host for Friday's "Shooting for the Stars" KU basketball 3-point contest

The Journal-World is excited to announce that KUsports.com will be bringing you an exclusive, commercial-free, online broadcast of Friday’s “Shooting for the Stars” 3-point contest put on by the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic. Beginning at 7 p.m. on cable networks across Kansas, our website will be the only place you can watch the shootout online. And, in order to pair up well with the TV broadcast, ...

LHS, Free State football to face off twice this fall

The Lawrence High and Free State football teams will get two cracks at each other this season, one at home and one away. LHS will host Free State in Week 3 on Sept. 18, and the Firebirds will welcome the Lions to their place in Week 8 on Oct. 23, which was the regularly scheduled date of this year’s football city showdown. “We wanted to move our game with each other up as early as we could,” LHS ...

Self: Early bonding a positive byproduct of KU basketball's return to campus

With the 2020-21 Kansas basketball team now into its fourth week of on-campus training this offseason, KU coach Bill Self has identified the team’s increased camaraderie as one of the biggest advantages of the current climate. “They seem to really be getting closer as a group because there’s nobody else to hangout with outside of their own little bubble, so to speak,” Self told the Journal-World on ...

Three top Class of 2021 point guards make moves during busy week

It was a busy week for point guards in the 2021 recruiting class, with one top prospect coming off the board and two others including Kansas while trimming their lists of finalists. Nolan Hickman, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound from Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, committed to Kentucky on Saturday. The four-star guard who is originally from the Seattle area, is ranked No. 76 overall in the 2021 class by ...

New Rock Chalk Roundball Classic 3-point contest aims to crown KU's all-time 3-point king

Forced to adjust because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic will feature an unprecedented group of former University of Kansas sharpshooters. Like in years past, all of the proceeds raised from the event — which also includes a silent auction online that goes live on Monday — will go to benefit local families of children fighting cancer. Unlike previous years, however, ...

Free State, Lawrence High look for new football opponents after Johnson County schools suspend fall sports

The Lawrence High and Free State High varsity football teams are looking for new Week 1 opponents following Friday’s decision by the Olathe and Shawnee Mission school districts to suspend fall sports because of the spread of COVID-19 in Johnson County. LHS football’s season opener with Olathe East, scheduled for Sept. 4, will no longer be played, and Free State’s opener with Shawnee Mission Northwest on ...

Former LHS football standout Amani Bledsoe signs with Cincinnati

Former Lawrence High football standout Amani Bledsoe will get another shot in the NFL in 2020 after signing a contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. Bledsoe, who starred at LHS from 2013-15 and went on to play three years of college football at Oklahoma from 2016-18, spent last season on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad and was waived by the franchise on July 26 after spending the 2020 offseason with the ...

Jayhawks OK with sacrifices if it means there's football this fall

It’s easy, on Aug. 20, for anyone on the Kansas football team to say in a mostly empty room that they’re going to be smart and safe during the upcoming season so the Jayhawks can actually play football this fall. But it’s something else entirely to ask those same guys, and dozens like them, to do it after a Saturday night victory. However, to a man, the six Jayhawks who were asked about it on Thursday ...

'Spontaneity, luck' helped keep the KU-Coastal Carolina football series alive in 2020

When the Kansas football program announced last week that it would be playing Coastal Carolina on Sept. 12, that didn’t mean all the logistics of the game had been hammered out. In fact, because the kickoff time hasn’t been announced, Coastal Carolina Athletic Director Matt Hogue hasn’t even been able to lock down his travel plans yet. But he’s not really worried — charter flights and hotel rooms ...

Five under-the-radar names worth watching on the Kansas football roster

Everybody knows Pooka Williams, Andrew Parchment and Stephon Robinson. And, heck, you’ve probably even heard enough about quarterbacks Miles Kendrick and Thomas MacVittie to have a decent idea what each of those players can bring to the table for the Jayhawks this fall. But this Kansas roster, newcomers and all, has more than a handful of under-the-radar players who could play a huge role in how things go ...

What Kansas fans can learn from K-State's approved attendance plan for the 2020 football season

The Riley County Commission on Monday approved [Kansas State University’s plan for roughly 25% attendance capacity at football games in Manhattan this fall.][1] The Big 12 Conference is allowing schools to set their own attendance policies based on local jurisdictions, but it’s safe to say K-State’s plan and KU’s plan will have a lot of similarities. KU has not yet presented its plan to Douglas ...

College basketball already working to ensure the 2020-21 season and March Madness are played

As college football scrambles to salvage what it can of the 2020 season, several key college basketball officials are already working toward plans for the 2020-21 season and NCAA Tournament next March. Coaches, administrators and NCAA brass have engaged in discussions about what’s possible, what obstacles they must clear and what challenges must be addressed so that college basketball does not find itself in ...

Kansas planning to fill open dates on men's basketball schedule created by Pac-12 postponement

Schedules were in flux around the nation this past week after the Pac-12 Conference canceled its sporting events through at least the end of the year because of COVID-19 — and Kansas was no exception, with two Pac-12 foes on the men's basketball slate. But about 24 hours after the Pac-12's announcement on Tuesday, Athletic Director Jeff Long was already in discussions with head basketball coach Bill Self and ...