Free State

Preps notebook: FSHS girls golf prepared for new format in state tournament

Free State’s girls golf team has been preparing for the state tournament all year, even if it didn’t realize it. The Firebirds have done a better job of getting more practice holes in on a daily basis this season. They have cut down their time on the driving range, working on specific ...

Free State junior Keegan VanPelt finishes fourth at state girls tennis tournament

Coming off a fifth-place finish at the 2018 Class 6A state girls tennis tournament, Free State junior Keegan VanPelt felt confident in how much she could improve in the offseason. “I noticed that (state is) really hard and that I have to keep working,” VanPelt said. “And I put in the ...

Free State cruises to 41-14 win over Shawnee Mission East on senior night

Just as Shawnee Mission East seemed to be getting back into the game, momentum swung once again in Free State’s favor, as Firebird junior running back Tyler Bowden broke off an explosive 80-yard touchdown down the left sideline. The reliable legs of Bowden and Free State’s opportunistic ...

Preps notebook: Colter Maldonado finding home at safety for FSHS football

Free State senior Colter Maldonado has had experience playing safety. And that has made the midseason position change much easier. Entering the year, Maldonado was taking a bulk of the reps at quarterback in the first year with Kevin Stewart at the helm. But an injury forced the Firebirds to ...

Hard work, chemistry help fuel Free State volleyball to Sunflower League crown

Free State’s volleyball team has known since last Thursday, but it waited until the end of Sunflower League play to officially say anything about it. On Tuesday, FSHS volleyball posted a team picture on social media to announce that it had won the Sunflower League title. The Firebirds, who ...

City Showdown between Lawrence High, Free State soccer ends in physical 0-0 draw

As soon as the final whistle blew at the end of the second overtime, it was clear both Free State and Lawrence High were gassed. “We had a couple (players) that started that came up with some cramps, so we needed people to step up off the bench, which they did,” Free State senior forward ...

Preps notebook: FSHS girls tennis claims runner-up finish at regional meet

Free State’s girls tennis team will be sending three athletes to the Class 6A state tournament. One singles player and one doubles team qualified for the final meet of the year for the Firebirds after a strong showing at regionals. FSHS claimed second place as a team Saturday afternoon at ...

LHS, FSHS and Bishop Seabury take on new-look cross-country course at Haskell Invite

The cross-country course at Haskell University may have been altered slightly, but that doesn’t mean any runners lost any familiarity. “Honestly it just feels like I know what to expect, which — even if it’s not true — it makes me feel like I have an edge on the competition,” Free ...

Photo gallery: Free State football pushes past Olathe South

Free State's football team notched its fourth win in a row, including third consecutive road game, by taking down Olathe South Friday night at Olathe District Activity Center. Photos by Carter Gaskins/Lawrence Journal-World

FSHS football races past Olathe South for 4th consecutive win

With temperatures in the low 40s on a frigid Friday night at Olathe District Activity Center, Free State bullied its way to a 28-7 win over Olathe South. The Firebirds leaned on their ground game behind a solid showing from an offensive line that overcame multiple injuries, while the defense ...

Preps notebook: Veritas volleyball rallies to earn 3-set win over Bishop Seabury

Even when the Veritas volleyball team was on the verge of losing, senior Emma Boulton wasn’t worried. The Eagles were coming off a two-set loss (25-22, 25-14) to Kansas City East Christian Academy and had even dropped the first set (25-23) in the final match of the triangular against host ...

Free State volleyball leans on seniors to defeat LHS in City Showdown

Even before Tuesday’s match started, the energy inside the Free State gym was palpable. That energy propelled Free State volleyball to a 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-13, 25-20) over Lawrence High in the City Showdown. “It definitely helped build a lot of momentum, especially when we went on long ...

Free State football cruises to 48-6 road victory over Sedalia Smith-Cotton

Free State junior kicker Joey Wood ran around the field with 1:45 left in the first half, seemingly in disbelief after the Firebirds recovered their own kickoff. They capitalized on the opportunity, too, with Free State senior quarterback Malik Berry finding senior wide receiver Tae Rainey for ...

Preps notebook: Junior RB Tyler Bowden thriving in prominent role for FSHS football

Free State head coach Kevin Stewart remembers being perplexed the first time he saw film of running back Tyler Bowden. At the time, which was two years ago, Stewart was preparing for the state championship game as the defensive coordinator for Blue Valley North. He was watching film on Derby, ...

FSHS and LHS tennis brave cooler weather in Sunflower League tournament

Even though it is October, a sudden drop into cooler weather made things a bit tricky at the Sunflower League girls tennis tournament Thursday. “Well, it’s definitely weird when I go to serve because I don’t have as much movement in my arms,” Lawrence High senior Lilli Derby said. ...

Preps notebook: FSHS volleyball maintains momentum with road sweep

Free State’s volleyball team picked up a pair of wins at Shawnee Mission West Tuesday night. The Firebirds swept both of their opponents, taking down Shawnee Mission West (25-17, 25-14) and Olathe West (25-17, 25-14) on the night to stay on a roll. FSHS (16-9) has now won eight of its ...