Free State

Free State tennis coach resigns

Free State High boys and girls tennis coach Oather Strawderman resigned last month at the end of the school year. Strawderman coached the Firebirds for six seasons, leading the boys to third place at their regional in May and fourth in the Sunflower League meet. He also coached Alexis ...

Column: New rule could distract high school football recruits

An early, extra letter-of-intent signing window of three days in mid-December could be voted into existence as early as today or Wednesday for college football recruits. As it stands, football signing day is the first Wednesday of February.Lawrence High coach Dirk Wedd, for one, doesn’t like ...

KSHSAA ends football districts

Starting in 2016, regular-season high school football games will become much more important. The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced in May that Class 6A and 5A schools no longer will be assigned football districts, beginning in 2016. Instead, football teams will play an ...

Lions’ Taylor on all-state softball team

Lawrence High junior shortstop Sophie Taylor earned Class 6A first-team all-state honors, and three city softball players were placed on the second team by the Kansas Softball Coaches Association. LHS seniors Morgan Byrn (infield) and Jolona Shield (utility) were selected second-team all-state, ...

Lions, Firebirds enjoy chance to make contact

After a week of practices in only helmets, Lawrence High and Free State football players were thrilled to put on pads and start hitting this week. Both schools played at Kansas University’s team camp on Monday and Tuesday at Memorial Stadium, scrimmaging against several Sunflower League and ...

First volley: Fresh start excites Firebirds, new coach

First-year Free State High volleyball coach Amy Hoffsommer admitted she was a little nervous for the first day of team camp on Monday afternoon. She just didn’t want to forget anything. Hoffsommer, a former Lawrence High assistant who was hired after Nancy Hopkins retired last November, ...

Former Free State standout Lewis helping Maryland in NCAA play

Last weekend Free State High’s baseball team won a Class 6A state championship. This weekend one of the program’s alumni has a shot at advancing to the College World Series.Senior Maryland left fielder Tim Lewis helped the Terrapins knock off the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, ...

Firebirds make most of summer work

High school basketball coaches love taking advantage of the summer to get a head start on the winter season months ahead of time, as camps, leagues and practices allow players and teams to evolve and improve.Imagine how Free State girls coach Bryan Duncan felt 12 months ago, when his star ...

Local players earn baseball honors

Four city baseball players earned first-team all-state honors from the Kansas Baseball Coaches Association, and Free State High coach Mike Hill was named the Class 6A Coach of the Year after leading the Firebirds to their second state championship in school history. Free State seniors Joel ...

New boys basketball coach holds first FSHS camp

Free State High’s boys basketball camp has featured several new faces this week, including first-year head coach Sam Stroh.Stroh, who was hired in April to take over the program after Chuck Law stepped down, made his style of play apparent Wednesday when he emphasized boxing-out on the ...

Camp brings excitement for Firebirds

With so many skilled, experienced players returning for Free State High football, getting fired up about this week’s five-day summer camp came pretty easily for the Firebirds. No one on the FSHS field, though, could match the elation of senior Sam Skwarlo.“I’ve never been more excited for ...

Column: Firebird Carter javelin natural

He had not advanced beyond the junior varsity three years into his baseball career at Free State High, so Tye Carter decided to go out for track with the modest goal of earning a varsity letter.He and friend Tanner Pfortmiller went with the sprints coach on the first day of practice, when ...

Free State’s Bermel, Lions’ Byrn to play in all-star softball game

Free State High senior Emily Bermel and Lawrence High senior Morgan Byrn were both selected to play for Kansas in the MO-KAN high school softball all-star series. The three-game series will be played on June 15 at the Shawnee Mission District Softball Complex, starting at 5 p.m. Kansas leads ...

Column: FSHS senior Karlin gives his take on champion baseball team

Going in the numerical order that they were listed on page 42 of the official state championship program, Free State High senior second baseman Cooper Karlin agreed to say the first words that came to his mind about each teammate and his head coach, a day after the Firebirds won their second ...

FSHS girls, boys bag second-place finishes

Wichita ? It was a day of mixed emotions for Free State High’s boys and girls track and field teams.The Firebirds boys entered the last event of the day in a tie for first with Manhattan, but neither squad had a team in the 4x400 relay finals.Olathe East, which trailed FSHS and Manhattan by ...

LHS, FSHS claim four state track titles so far

Wichita ? For someone who was finishing his first and last season of throwing javelin, Free State High senior Tye Carter looked like a seasoned veteran on Day One of the Class 6A state track and field championships Friday at Cessna Stadium.Carter won a state title with a throw of 191 feet, 9 ...

Column: Free State wins arms race to take state

Before Free State High’s 2015 baseball season began, coach Mike Hill thought he and his assistants had some dependable, useful players they could put on the field and expect to compete. He didn’t necessarily have a gut feeling on whether the roster would turn out to be one of the state’s ...

(Free) State champs! Firebirds flyin’ high after taking state baseball crown

With two runners on base and the tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh inning of the Class 6A state championship Friday, Free State High senior pitcher Casey Hearnen was in his comfort zone. The Firebirds’ closer thrives under pressure. Hearnen grabbed a one-bounce comebacker off ...

Firebirds eyeing state track title

Free State High’s girls track and field team hasn’t had many opportunities to compete at full strength this season. There’s been a number of injuries. Some athletes missed meets because of college visits or a variety of other reasons.But the Firebirds still have the same goal they usually ...

Spain, seniors spark FSHS

The last time the Free State High baseball team made an appearance at the Class 6A state tournament, current FSHS senior Joel Spain was a seventh-grader who spent the spring looking up to Free State studs like Cody Kukuk, Colin Toalson, Tim Lewis, Ryan Scott and others.That was in 2010. On ...