Free State

Gymnast Rainbolt ready for next level at Utah St.

As Free State senior Natalie Rainbolt approaches the pinnacle of her club gymnastics career, she has also set her eyes on the mountains out west to compete collegiately at Utah State University in the fall.Rainbolt signed her letter of intent with the Aggies on Thursday in the Free State ...

Firebirds have been successful on the road

Free State High football players found a way to survive and advance in the first round of the playoffs last week. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t get any easier. The Firebirds will go on the road for the second round of the playoffs to face Junction City at 7 tonight at Al Simpler Stadium. ...

Firebirds hope to avenge ’08 loss

The last time Free State High’s football team faced Junction City, it was the biggest game in program history — the 2008 Class 6A state championship. The Firebirds led by one point early in the fourth quarter, but fell one drive short in a 19-14 loss. It was the best finish for the ...

Free State’s Caldwell signs with N.C. State

Free State swimmer Courtney Caldwell has some big goals in mind for her senior season, but she took some time Wednesday to solidify her plans after high school as she signed her letter of intent to North Carolina State University in the FSHS library.“It became a possibility last year around ...

Nancy Hopkins retiring from FSHS volleyball

Free State High’s athletic program will be without one of its most familiar faces next year. After 18 seasons, FSHS volleyball coach Nancy Hopkins announced she was retiring from coaching on Monday afternoon. She coached for 42 years in Lawrence, including her time at West Middle School, when ...

Free State’s Venters 11th at Nike Cross Nationals

Sioux Falls, S.D. ? Free State High cross country runner Emily Venters placed 11th overall in the girls championship division of the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional on Sunday.Venters clocked in with a 5,000-meter time of 18:04. Kiran Cordes placed 50th in 18:49.40.Free State’s Ryan ...

Big plays carry FSHS past Wichita Northwest

The state playoffs are all about survival, and that’s exactly what Free State High did in a 27-16 football victory over Wichita Northwest on Friday at FSHS. Free State’s offense had five fourth-down conversions. The Grizzlies (7-3) had the ball six times inside Free State’s 25-yard line, ...

Firebirds’ win streak comes at right time

Before Free State High’s football team started its current four-game winning streak, the Firebirds were trounced at home by Shawnee Mission East. After that game, Free State’s starting offensive linemen sent text messages to each other in a group text that they needed to raise intensity in ...

Streaking Firebirds take district title

Topeka ? There was a time earlier this season when Free State High’s football team was bogged down with injuries to several starters and had a losing record. Not anymore. The Firebirds are Class 6A District 5 champions after proving they can compete with some of the best teams in the state. ...

Free State’s Venters repeats as state CC champ

Free State sophomore Emily Venters had not lost a race all season entering Friday’s state championship meet at Rim Rock Farm, and she was not about to let anyone keep her from defending her Class 6A title.Venters won the state meet with a 4,000-meter time of 14:52.20, distancing herself from ...

Free State’s Venters repeats as 6A girls champ at state cross country meet

Free State High sophomore Emily Venters wrapped up a storybook season by winning her second straight Class 6A state cross country title on Friday at Rim Rock Farm. Venters, who won every race she entered this year, won the state meet by nearly eight seconds with a time of 14:52.2, a ...

Firebirds look to clinch home-field advantage

Free State High football players aren’t just satisfied by clinching a spot in the state playoffs after last week’s victory over Manhattan. They’re focused on getting a top seed and home-field advantage. To complete all of those goals, the Firebirds will have to go on the road and beat ...

Free State soccer falls in regional final

Free State High boys soccer players entered the regional championship on Thursday mentally prepared to upset top-ranked Olathe East. They just couldn’t execute their plans. The Firebirds dug themselves into an early deficit and couldn’t climb out in a 4-0 loss at the CBAC in Olathe. After a ...

State awaits FSHS runners

None of Free State High’s cross country runners can explain it, but every year they seem to hit their peak around regionals, turning in their best times of the season. The Firebirds will hope to keep that momentum at the state meet, after both the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams took ...

Free State’s Liston builds confidence

Fresh off of winning Sunflower League and regional championship titles, Free State senior Ryan Liston will toe the line with the FSHS cross country team for the last time today as the Firebirds compete at the Class 6A state meet at Rim Rock Farm.“I really think as a team especially that we ...

Firebirds’ Bermel tapped all-league

Free State High senior golfer Emily Bermel earned first-team All-Sunflower League honors for her play this season. Bermel finished second at league this year, and took 30th at state. FSHS senior Karen Campbell also picked up a honorable mention.

FSHS grad Katy Davis honored by MIAA

Free State High product Katy Davis earned MIAA Specialist of the Week honors, the league announced Monday.Davis, a 5-foot-7 sophomore setter at Central Oklahoma, had 94 assists as UCO claimed to victories on the road last week. She had 43 assists, eight digs, a kill and two assisted blocks in a ...

Free State blanks Lions in soccer regional

Free State High boys soccer players were pumped when they won the first chapter of the City Showdown a few weeks ago. That was nothing. Playing against Lawrence High in the first round of regionals Monday meant so much more. The intensity was raised. Every play had so much riding on it.With all ...

Firebirds repeat at state gymnastics

Overland Park ? People say the toughest thing to do in sports is to defend a championship. Free State High’s gymnasts learned of the difficulties during the regular season, when they just coudn’t find a way to beat Olathe East. But when it mattered most and the lights shined the brightest, ...

FSHS-LHS soccer paired at regional

Free State High’s boys soccer team beat Lawrence High a few weeks ago, but the next City Showdown will have much higher stakes. The Firebirds (8-7-1) earned a No. 9 seed in the Class 6A Northeast regional, and will go on the road to face the eighth-seeded Lions (8-6-2) at 6:30 p.m. on Monday ...