Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 SHUKC Football Preview: Quarterbacks

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

"The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary." - Vince Lombardi

Hopefully we have a group of quarterbacks in 2016 that are putting in the work this summer to shine this season.  I wanted to give a run down of some of the returning QB's and sneak peak at those that look to step up to All SHUKC status.  With Wykeen Gill, Connor Byers and Logan Koch all out of the picture the door is wide open for a young player to step up.  Again assumptions have to be made on my part in generating a list like this.  Things certainly can change.

Marcus Jones (Wyandotte)

Jones was able to get some valuable time at the position last year for the Bulldogs.  They didn't get many wins but the hope would be that Jones take a big step forward this year.  He certainly showed flashes if you check out his stats from last year.  The dual threat QB will be worth keeping an eye on in his junior campaign. 

Cole Oakes (Bonner Springs)

Speaking of valuable playing time the Bonner Braves got a sneak peak into their future when Cole Oakes stepped in for Connor Byers last season.  The Braves are hopeful that the now junior Oakes can fill in some very big shoes left behind by Byers.  There is a lot to be made up for on this offense with the graduation of Marcell Holmes and Micheal Amayo.  Oakes will benefit from having what I think will be one of the top outside weapons in the area in Jamison Jackson.  The thing we didn't see last year from Oakes is if he can run.  The Braves offense has relied heavily on production from the QB running the ball.

Justin Phillips (Basehor-Linwood)

Phillips certainly is not afraid to run with the football as he enters his senior season as Basehor-Linwood's QB.  Quietly he has helped get Basehor football back on the map with 2 playoff appearances in his first two years as a starter.  He is small but makes up for his size with a strong arm and a ton of heart.  He will have a strong returning RB and some intriguing possibilities outside. 

Adam Smith (Atchison)

Smith got beat out a few years ago at QB but should stand to get the nod with Wykeen Gill graduating.  Smith still found his way onto the field in many different roles and earned All SHUKC honors on defense.  Quite simply he is a football player and the Redmen will benefit having such a natural player at QB.  I expect a good year for Smith on both sides of the ball.

Braydon Soza (Schlagle)

6'5 QB's don't grow on trees and Soza certainly has the size to excite the Schlagle faithful.  He showed some good flashes last year as a sophomore and like the quarterbacks noted before will look to take that experience to the next level.  It is my humble opinion that if you get to play a considerable amount as a sophomore then that next year is your best chance at a significant jump in production.  The ceiling for Soza is very high in my opinion again focusing on his size.  We talked about Neil Ruff who will shoulder the load in the running attack.  This should create some opportunities for Soza to deliver in the passing game.

Brody Flaming (Mill Valley)

Speaking of shoes to fill how about Brody Flaming at Mill Valley.  Outside of mop up duty there was little opportunity to come in for Logan Koch who enjoyed one of his healthiest seasons.  His durability in his final year resulted in a state championship.  So one of the all time best QB's statistics wise leaves along with the Otis Taylor award winning wide receiver and a stand out baseball player in the slot and all that is asked is for you to help keep it going.  Yet to be seen how much of a struggle Mill Valley's entrance into the EKL will be but they have a trip to Bishop Miege this year that will be a bear.  Flaming will compete for the job heading into his junior year.

Mason Beach (Tonganoxie)

Jordan Brown filled in for Mason Beach after an injury shortened a productive season for Beach.  Tonganoxie has been rebuilding for a few years now and may have weapons in the back field to make them competitive and all of that will start with Beach.

Friday, July 8, 2016

2016 SHUKC Preview: Running Backs

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I have been kicking around some thoughts in my head about the upcoming football season.  After a very talented group of seniors graduating who are the next waves of talent that we can expect big things from.  The foundation for any good football team is the ability to run the ball so we .  Below is a look in no specific order the players to look for coming out of the back field.  I base this information off last years stats and the assumption that everyone is healthy heading into the 2016 season.

Parker Welch (Atchison)

Parker saw his yards and carries drop last season in large part due to the superb year from Wykeen Gill Jr.  I would expect to see Welch's carries go up dramatically this year for the Redmen.  He will be a part of what should be a good backfield with Adam Smith who I anticipate taking over for Gill.

Quinton McQuillan (Lansing)

If I were to put together a preseason All SHUKC then McQuillan would be near the top of the list.  With 1171 yards and 17 TD's McQuillan established himself as a real force for the Lions.  Those are tough numbers to match but Coach McFall has been incredibly dedicated to running the ball and the big man is going to get a lot of touches.

Neil Ruff (Schlagle)

Time goes by so quick because Ruff is heading into his senior season.  After a very solid sophomore campaign Ruff's numbers fell off a bit.  The Stallions had some issues up front that saw Ruff's YPC and TD's take a small hit in 2015.  He is however putting in the work this summer to come back stronger and faster.  If the Stallions improve on the offensive line then Ruff has a good chance of breaking out.

JJ Letcher (Piper)

Letcher should be set to see the ball a lot more this year after the reliable Sterling Owens graduated in 2015.  Letcher averaged almost 10 yards per carry last year which is an eye popping number.  The question would be who would provide a second threat to keep defenses from locking on him as an option.  He is one of the slickest runners as he has displayed in the kick return game.  His ability to catch the ball will make him a handful for defenses to stop.

Ike Valencia (Mill Valley)

There have been questions off and on about what I am going to do with Mill Valley on their exit from the KVL and the answer is nothing.  I really like talking and working with Coach Applebee and switching leagues doesn't change my interest in the school. 

I digress to say that Ike Valencia is coming off a great sophomore season in helping the Jaguars win a state title.  He will be thrust into a leadership role this year with Tristan Milne who should be set to come back healthy from last year.  I am hopeful to see both of these guys in the backfield for the Jaguars who will look to keep things going in the right direction.

Zac Morgan (Tonganoxie)

Morgan is small but ran hard in his junior season for the Chieftains.  He was able to shoulder a lot of carries toward the end of the season and had a couple of 100 yard games.  Running behind LeeRoi Johnson will certainly help Morgan and any Chieftain ball carrier. 

Chas Rollo (Basehor)

Rollo is coming off a season with 659 yards and 8 TD's helping the Bobcats in their deep run in the playoffs last year.  With players like Jahron McPherson graduating you have to think Rollo will get more carries in his senior campaign.  With a healthy 7.1 yards per carry average he will be a good partner for senior QB Justin Phillips to keep the Bobcat train moving.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Commentary: Dear Brother

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

Death is one of the most difficult things I deal within my life.  I have lost both sets of my grandparents and numerous people over the course of time that have left me very upset.  My wife's near death experience a few years ago really opened my eyes to just how short our time is on this earth.  A reality check of sorts to just how precious my family is to me.  Without question those few weeks wondering if my wife would survive were the hardest of my adult life.  My brother in law in one moment opened another door in my life that is challenging me still today.

I am not sharing this information to hunt for sympathy.  I do have two hopes in writing my feelings and what I have experienced through these last few weeks.  First and most importantly my hope and prayer is if I can use this audience and forum to reach just 1 person then it will be worth it.  The second is strictly to talk through the emotions of the pain left behind of a loved one that has made a grave decision.

I got a call at 4:00 AM Sunday June 5th.  My sister in law was hysterical indicating that my brother in law was at some park alone.  I don't know if I allowed her to say much else beyond this point because I instantly hung up and tried unsuccessfully calling him.  Within minutes I was on the road heading in that direction hoping that he would answer my call. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

SHUKC Spotlight - Ben Johnson (KU)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I got an opportunity to put together a highlight for one our 2012 Top Prospect Ben Johnson who plays for the Kansas Jayhawks.  I was just a little rusty on my highlight creation but it was fun to put together.  I am very proud of the work that Johnson has put in.  A lot of his plays are doing the dirty work to help make the offense go.  Check him out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 KCAL Baseball Team

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

2016 KCAL Baseball All League Selection:

Player of the Year:  Benjamin Miller and Jacob Flores

Pitcher of the Year:  James Boatwright and La’Quandre Williams

Coach of the Year:  Andrew Wright (Sumner Academy)


1st Team Selection:

  • Benjamin Miller (Sumner Academy)
  • Isaiah Vigil (Washington)
  • Jose Bustillos (Harmon High School)
  • Adam Smith (Atchison)
  • Marcus White (Wyandotte)
  • Leonard Green III (Sumner Academy)
  • Michael Whisler (Sumner Academy)
  • Matt Schrick (Atchison)
  • Stay’Jawn Hunter (Schlagle)

2nd Team Selection:

  • Dylan Bruno (Harmon)
  • Xavier Richardson (Sumner Academy)
  • Raymundo Aguiliar  (Washington)
  • Austin Bonnel (Atchison)
  • Kaleb Herman (Harmon)
  • James Boatwright (Atchison)
  • Anthony Atkins (Wyandotte)
  • Bryce Enzbrenner (Atchison)
  • Chris Hunter (Schlagle)

3rd Team Selection:

  • Damion Shaw (Schlagle)
  • Eric Terrazas (Sumner Academy)
  • Steven Jolly (Harmon)
  • Scyler Wallace (Washington)
  • La’Quandre Williams (Washington)
  • Trace Antonopoulos (Sumner Academy)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Gill headed to Manhattan

Wykeen Gill Jr (Atchison)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

Great news out of Atchison yesterday as 2 time All SHUKC Offense and Defensive (football) and 2016 basketball POY winner Wykeen Gill Jr has signed to walk on at Kansas State University.  This really makes my day to see a good character kid get an opportunity at my alma mater.  Congrats to you Wykeen on a fantastic high school career which earned you this opportunity.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mark Western Named SHUKC's "Vivian Jordan" COY

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

Schlagle girls head coach Mark Western claims our only named award.  Vivian Jordan was a long time coach at Washington High School that passed away during our first few seasons of following the area.  We named our girls Coach of the Year award in her honor.  Coach Western led his Schlagle team to their first state birth in many years and a share of the KCAL league title for a second straight year.  Western's impact at Schlagle has been incredibly positive and has the Stallions headed in the right direction.