Preps notebook: Local football players slated to compete in Shrine Bowl next week

Three area football players will compete in the Kansas Shrine Bowl later this month: Thad Metcalfe and Hayden Robb of Perry-Lecompton and Branden Martin of Tonganoxie.

All three players will compete for the East team in the annual event, which is scheduled for June 26 at Hutchinson Community College’s Gowans Stadium. A local coach will also be part of the East team’s staff: Free State head coach Kevin Stewart.

photo by: Courtesy photo

Thad Metcalfe, Perry-Lecompton

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Hayden Robb, Perry-Lecompton senior

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Branden Martin, Tonganoxie senior

Both of the Perry-Lecompton players helped the Kaws reach their second straight state championship game in Class 3A during the 2020 season.

Metcalfe switched from running back to quarterback during his final season. He finished 2020 with 1,294 yards and 24 touchdowns on 216 rushing attempts, and he threw for 1,337 yards and 11 scores.

Robb played as both an offensive lineman and a linebacker. He recorded 139 tackles during his senior season, including 80 solo stops and 10 tackles for loss.

At Tonganoxie, meanwhile, Martin had 528 career tackles, 133 of which were during his senior season. He also forced three fumbles and recovered three fumbles in 2020.

Shrine Bowl participants will start working next week. The East team will have a camp from Monday through Wednesday at Ottawa University, and the teams will arrive in Hutchinson on Thursday.

The Shrine Bowl itself is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. June 26.

Free State pitcher commits to KCK

Free State right-handed pitcher Alexander Carrillo will continue his baseball career next season at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Carrillo announced his decision on Twitter earlier this week.

In Carrillo’s senior season, the Firebirds went to the Class 6A state tournament. Carrillo played in eight games in 2021 and made three starts. He struck out 10 batters and walked 14 over 10 total innings.

Free State alumnus earns all-conference honor

Free State alumnus Malik Berry, who is now a freshman linebacker at Butler Community College, was chosen as an all-conference honorable mention in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Free State cornerback Malik Berry (5) grabs an interception over Manhattan’s Robert Houston (33) during the state playoff quarterfinals Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, at Free State High School.

Berry, who graduated from Free State in 2020, began his college career with a six-game season in spring 2021. He had 53 tackles over those six games, including 32 solo stops. He finished with 2.5 sacks and one interception, as well.

In total, 14 players from Butler Community College received postseason honors.

Former Eudora player joins Free State hoops staff

Austin Downing, a former Eudora basketball player, will be coaching Free State’s freshman boys hoops team.

Downing is coming off of his lone collegiate season at Emporia State. He started all 23 games for the Hornets in 2020-21 and led the team in assists with 92. He averaged 13.5 points per game and shot 49.6% from the floor. Before attending Emporia State, Downing studied and played at Neosho Community College and Quincy University.

When Downing played for Eudora, he led the team in points per game with 15 and made the All-Frontier League first team.


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