Preps notebook: FSHS WR Tate Fanshier highlights top area athletes of first full week
photo by: Mike Gunnoe
A holding penalty on first down started Free State’s third drive on the wrong foot during its 45-19 win over Olathe West Friday night.
That’s when the Firebirds finally went through the air after notching two rushing scores on the first two possessions. FSHS senior quarterback Colter Maldonado dropped back and heaved the ball to his right.
Senior receiver Tate Fanshier, who was running straight toward the end zone, had to slow down on his route. The ball was underthrown, but Fanshier leaped above the Olathe West defensive back to snag the catch. Fanshier proceeded to run into the end zone to finish off a 47-yard touchdown connection.
“I trust him,” Maldonado said. “He’s making all those plays in practice. It was good that all the fans could see that.”
Replacing receiver Keenan Garber, who is now with Kansas State, is no easy task. He scored 20 offensive touchdowns during his senior season last fall. He even scored on 10 of his first 18 touches to begin the year.
Fanshier probably won’t score as frequently, but he did finish with two touchdowns on two catches Friday. One possession after that long touchdown pass, Maldonado went back to Fanshier in the red zone.
Maldonado lofted the ball to the corner of the end zone, and Fanshier jumped to catch the ball in traffic for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Fanshier’s final line ended up being two catches for 55 yards and two scores.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” FSHS head coach Kevin Stewart said. “I was more surprised that Colter looked his way and found him. I wasn’t surprised by the way he made the play and caught the pass. He’s been doing that all summer actually.”
But Maldonado, who was starting his first game at quarterback for the Firebirds, always knew he’d have complete faith in Fanshier.
“He’s a great kid,” Maldonado said. “We have been friends all throughout high school. We just have a good relationship and we stayed strong together.”
Fanshier was one of the many athletes to shine during the first full week of the high school sports season. Let’s take a look at the top area athletes from last week’s action:
Kanak Masten, LHS boys soccer
It was a 1-1 week for Lawrence High’s boys soccer team, but senior Kanak Masten spearheaded the offensive attack.
Masten scored all three goals for the Lions last week and now has all three of their scores through three matches. He delivered two scores in the team’s 2-0 road win over Topeka High and added one more in a 4-1 loss to Shawnee Mission East at home Thursday night.
LHS (1-2) will travel to Gardner-Edgerton at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Senior Henry Nelson and freshman Oona Nelson were both victorious in the first meet of the year for Bishop Seabury cross-country.
Henry Nelson, who is determined to capture a state title this fall, began his senior season with a first-place finish in the boys race Thursday afternoon at Basehor-Linwood. He ran a time of 16:37.8, which was 13 seconds faster than the next-best runner.
In the girls race, Oona Nelson took home first place in her high school debut. She ran a time of 20:44.3, finishing 14 seconds faster than Eudora senior Riley Hiebert. Free State senior Erin Fagan placed seventh in the same race.
Talia Gay, FSHS gymnastics
In her first meet of 2019, Free State’s Talia Gay was dynamic in multiple events. Gay, who was first in all-around at the state gymnastics meet last fall, placed second in all-around Saturday afternoon at Shawnee Mission Northwest.
Gay was first in vault and third in bars on the day. She was also fourth on the beam as well as the floor routine. As a team, Free State placed second in its first meet with 96.525 total points. The Firebirds finished fifth at the state meet last fall.
The Lions, who were runners-up in 2018, were led by Paris Spotted Tail this past weekend. Spotted Tail placed fourth in the all-around rankings after winning the floor routine. She also netted sixth in the bars and beam.
Cooper Cunningham, THS football
Running back Korbin Riedel might be gone, but Tonganoxie still has an explosive rushing attack.
Senior Cooper Cunningham stepped into a featured role and delivered during the team’s 49-28 home win over Basehor-Linwood Friday night. Cunningham ran for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries in the season opener.
As a team, the Chieftains accumulated 272 yards and four scores on 46 rushing attempts. THS will travel to Louisburg for the second week of the season.
Matthew Garber, Baldwin
There is simply no way to replicate last year’s showing on the defensive end for the Baldwin boys soccer team.
The Bulldogs allowed 18 goals in the regular season, which was the fourth-fewest scores surrendered in Class 4-3-2-1A. Senior Matthew Garber, who is replacing an All-Frontier league goalkeeper in the net, understands that more than anybody.
Last week, Garber notched a shutout during the team’s 2-0 road win over Bonner Springs. It came after the Bulldogs recorded a 3-2 win over Paola. If Garber continues to have that level of success in the net, though, Baldwin could be in for another strong season.
Baldwin (2-0) will host Basehor-Linwood at 4 p.m. Thursday.