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

photo by: File photo

On the left, Bishop Seabury junior Zach Bloch goes up for a shot during a game this season. On the right, head coach Jonathan Raney calls a play during a game this season. Bloch was named the Class 2A Player of the Year, while Raney was tabbed 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 before the tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.

Bloch, a 6-foot-1 playmaking guard, led the team in scoring during the 2019-20 season with an average of 17.7 points per game. He also averaged 5.4 assists and 3.7 steals.

But if it were up to him, Bloch said, the entire boys basketball team would have been honored.

“None of this would have been possible without my team,” Bloch said. “I think the whole team should be players of the year, in my opinion. Any one of us could have got that award.”

That unselfish attitude is no surprise to Raney.

“I know he will give a lot of credit to his teammates, and deservedly so, but he earned every bit of this award,” Raney said. “All the intangibles he brings that rub off on his teammates sets him apart and made us the team we were this season.”

Raney, of course, also played a big part in Bishop Seabury’s successful season. Under his leadership, the Seahawks went out on a school-record 15-game win streak, capped by a 72-45 victory over Valley Heights in the opening round of the Class 2A state tournament.

BSA also set team records in average points per game (71.2) and total points scored in a season (1,171) during a 22-2 campaign. The Seahawks had an average margin of victory of 32 points, which was also a program record.

“To Seabury, it means a lot (to come away with both awards),” Bloch said. “No one else out here deserved it more than Raney. He put in more hours than any other coach out here.”

The Player of the Year honors were determined by a statewide vote of radio, newspaper and television sports journalists. Ten other players were finalists for 2A Player of the Year, including one other Seabury player: junior Stavian Jones.

• • •

For Bloch, in particular, the Player of the Year award is a testament to his determination.

Bloch was the only sophomore to be named to the first team in Class 2A last year by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, and expectations were high for him going into the 2019-20 season. But he fractured his knee before the season began, and he was only able to play in one game in the first month. Bloch then sprained his ankle in practice in January, an injury that hobbled him until the final month of the season.

“I think it had a lot of effect over the first 10-12 games,” Bloch said. “After it started to feel better, my 3-point percentage started to go up over the last 12 games. I think being healthy helped a lot.”

By the end of the season, Bloch had overcome the injuries completely, and he was playing the best basketball of his career. He scored 23 points in the sub-state semifinal against Mission Valley, allowing him to surpass 1,000 career points.

Bloch then poured in 27 points against Valley Heights in Bramlage Coliseum during the 2A quarterfinals. He also added seven assists and five steals in what would end up being Bishop Seabury’s final game of the season.

“It still hurts,” Bloch said of the season’s abrupt end. “I still think about it every day. We should have rings on our fingers, but we are even hungrier to come back better next year.”

After the season was cut short, Bloch took only one day off before getting back to work. He’s not able to be in a gym because of the pandemic, so he spends his time shooting at the park and dribbling and lifting weights at home. He hopes to improve his 3-point numbers during his final season with the Seahawks.

Bloch said he’s already caught the attention of a few college programs, including Utah State and the University of Illinois-Chicago. For now, though, he’s focused on improving as a player to go out the right way in his final high school basketball season.

“I’m hoping to win a ring,” Bloch said. “I have one more year to do it.”

Sports in Kansas selections

Coaches of the Year

6A boys: Chris Davis, Haysville-Campus

6A girls: Carter Kruger, Liberal

5A boys: Martin Shetlar, Andover

5A girls: Chris Strathman, McPherson

4A boys: David Birch, KC Piper

4A girls: Jon McLean, Nickerson

3A boys: Matt Meyr, Galena

3A girls: Hadden Hiltgen, Nemaha Central/Halstead’s Derek Schutte

2A boys: Jonathan Raney, Bishop Seabury

2A girls: Kody Kasselman, Garden Plain/Spearville’s Andrew Kempke

1A boys: Clint Kinnamon, St. John/Little River’s Wayne Morrow

1A girls: Pat Stiles, Central Plains

Players of the Year

All-Classes boys: Tamar Bates, KC Piper, Jr.

All-Classes girls: Emily Ryan, Central Plains, Sr.

6A boys: Sterling Chapman, Campus

6A girls: Katie Horyna/Machia Mullens, Liberal

5A boys: Xavier Bell, Andover Central

5A girls: Grace Pyle, McPherson

4A boys: Tamar Bates, Kansas City Piper

4A girls: Payton Verhulst, Bishop Miege

3A boys: Gradey Dick, Wichita Collegiate

3A girls: Kylee Scheer, Cheney

2A boys: Zach Bloch, Bishop Seabury

2A girls: Ehlaina Hartman, Spearville

1A boys: Jayden Garrison, Little River

1A girls: Emily Ryan, Central Plains


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.