Five Lawrence ballplayers named All-Sunflower League

photo by: Chance Parker/Journal-World Photo

Free State sophomore Kyle Graves slides into home against Olathe Northwest on Monday, April 11, 2022.

The Free State and Lawrence High baseball teams landed a total of five players on the 2023 All-Sunflower League team at the end of the high school baseball season last week.

Here’s the rundown on this year’s Lawrence-area selections:

Kyle Graves (P), Free State — First Team

Free State got a huge lift on the mound this season from Graves. The Firebirds’ sole All-Sunflower League first-teamer went 5-1 this season with a 1.52 ERA and 49 total strikeouts.

Through 46 innings pitched this season, Graves played a key role in getting Free State back to the Class 6A state tournament. He led the Firebirds past Shawnee Mission East 10-0 in the state quarterfinal, allowing just five hits and four strikeouts in that game, and should be poised for a big senior season.

Sammy Stoll (1B), Lawrence High — Second Team

The son of LHS coach Brad Stoll, Sammy Stoll allowed zero errors through 81 chances at first base this season. Additionally, he finished the season with a .316 batting average on 18 hits, four doubles, a triple and nine RBIs.

Sammy Stoll will be one of 10 seniors on the LHS squad next season.

Brady Kern (OF), Free State — Second Team

Kern’s senior campaign with the Firebirds was plenty bright; he finished the season averaging .347 at the plate with a .515 on-base percentage. Kern racked up 14 RBIs, 14 runs and 15 walks and stole eight bases along the way.

Last week, Kern tossed his graduation cap, and he next will head to Kansas City Kansas Community College to continue playing baseball and study sports management science.

Connor Nowak (DH), Lawrence High — Second Team

Varsity newcomer Nowak broke onto the scene for LHS in his junior season, racking up 13 RBIs on 17 hits and six doubles as the team’s go-to designated hitter. Nowak finished the season with a .327 batting average.

Nowak will also be one of LHS’ 10 seniors for next season.

Brooks Jones (P), Lawrence High — Second Team

The Lions got 40 2/3 innings out of Jones during his junior season; he posted a 2-3 record and 2.41 ERA with 50 total strikeouts. He also fueled the Lions’ 10-1 romp over Free State in the City Showdown, striking out eight Firebirds and allowing a single hit through six innings.

Like Stoll and Nowak, Jones will be a senior for LHS next year.

Each year’s All-Sunflower League selections include a Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Coach of the Year, First Team and Second Team tiers. Find the complete All-League selections at


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