Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 SHUKC Basketball Preview: Washington Wildcats

James McNeal (Washington)
by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

The Washington Wildcats, owners of 3 of the last 4 league titles in the KCAL come into the 2014-2015 season as the favorites to do it again.  They lose SHUKC POY nominee and All Star JT Bennett but return many weapons that will be a handful for any team to deal with.

James McNeal who was second team All SHUKC in 2014 returns for his senior campaign.  He averaged 16.1 PPG for Washington last year.  McNeal who has a small frame but a good ability to score the ball. 

He will be flanked by another retuning starter in the back court Jamarcus Dawn.  I don't follow the kids around to see how much work they are putting in but Dawn's workouts were being shared with me by Justin Richmond.  I can tell you first hand that Richmond will have Dawn moving and cutting better.  I am real excited to see if he is able to take his game to the next level.  Bennett's graduation means a lot of lost points for the Wildcats and Dawn will be one players I expect to pick up the slack.  Dawn will likely be the only underclassmen in the senior filled starting lineup for the Wildcats.

We don't know yet how Coach King will line up his starter but he will be able to feature 6'8 Trayvon Hards who was an All League performer in football this year.  We will see if that work on the football field translates to more power on the basketball court.  Getting back to King's decision, does he start William Jefferson along side Hards?  Jefferson who they have listed at 6'7" was fun to watch last year off Washington's bench averaging 9 points, 7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.  Kalem Harrison also averaged 9 points a game last year.  These three would make a very nice and athletic front line.

Washington has gone 36-3 the last 4 seasons in the KCAL and 2 of those losses were to the talented Sumner Academy teams and the Atchison Redmen last year.  The Wildcats avenged that loss in a big way in the return match up but will enter this season with a good bit of confidence that they can make another run to Topeka.

The Wildcats open their season at Topeka West and then will participate in the Leavenworth tournament Dec 11th - 13th.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

SHUKC Initiative: Schlagle Booster Club

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

Schlagle Alumni,

I would like to introduce a component of SHUKC I have been planning for quite some time.  I did not establish this sooner under SHUKC's name because I did not have 501 c3 status.  The mission is simple.  There are many alumni that attended Schlagle and the SHUKC Alumni association will be your means to give back to the athletic programs at Schlagle.  This will be a yearly membership which will help establish a higher standard at Schlagle.  I would like to see a bigger turn out for homecoming events as we help the current students understand the tradition and history at Schlagle.

I am going to reach out to coach Leslie and Western to discuss some items that the basketball teams could use and set some targets for our initial donations.  All details about Schlagle basketball and football can be found here at SHUKC.  I will provide a report of how much money has been raised and then provided to the programs.  100% of donations to the Booster Club will stay in the club.

I will be the first Platinum member of the group.  I have sent a donation of $150 to the program to help purchase team shoes for those who may not have the money to do so.  This will leave $100 for the initial balance of the SHUKC Booster club.  I will work on shirts and other items for the group but again need to get the group stood up and operating.  I am hopeful to have some members be a part of the leadership for the board.  All positions will be voted on from president based on the membership.  You have to be a member to vote on positions.

SHUKC Player Spotlight: Brison Cobbins (Arrowhead)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I shared yesterday that Brison Cobbins who is a 7th grader at Arrowhead is the winner of our Future Prospect award.  I got a hold of his highlight courtesy of his big brother Brian.  His efforts here remind me of Benny Parker when he ran for Sumner but this young man is different because of the power.

Check out Brison's 2014 highlights.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

SHUKC Player Spotlight: Sterling Owens (Piper)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I used some stern words at the beginning of the year in relation to Sterling Owens of Piper.  Vernon gave me a hard time for saying this was a make or break year for the junior RB.  I wasn't dealing in absolutes but my point was that if we were going to see anything from Owens it would be this season.  Owens a power lifting champion had issues working through contact as a sophomore but in 2014 the weight training really paid off.  Owens who is an All SHUKC offensive player this year at the RB position finished the season with 1025 rushing yards and 9 TD's.  The numbers are good but he accomplished in on just 112 carries.  9.2 is just a fantastic average over that many carries.  Owens will come into his senior year as a preseason pick for offensive POY for SHUKC.

Check out his 2014 highlights.


2014 SHUKC Future Prospect Award

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

For the first time giving this award SHUKC has selected a 7th grader.  

Over 1100 All purpose yards
19 TD's:
1 KR. TD
1 PR TD
2 FUMBLES RECOVERED FOR TD
2 INT returned for TD
5 REC TD
8 RUSH TD

This young man also participated in our middle school combine and showed very well as a 6th grader.  I try hard not to get too excited about players this young but if you get the opportunity to meet him and just shake his hand I promise you will understand why. 

The 2014 SHUKC Future Prospect is RB/LB Brison Cobbins (Arrowhead). 

Congrats to Brison as his award will be presented December 13th at the 2014 SHUKC Award ceremony at Faith City Church at 4:00 PM.

SHUKC Player Spotlight: Jonah Freese (Bonner Springs)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

Jonah Freese completed his senior season with 22 catches for 554 yards and 5 TD's for the Bonner Springs Braves.  Freese played a key role in the offensive game plan for the Braves stretching the field and allowing Thaddeus Glenn to excel on the opposite side of the ball.  Freese was named to the 2014 All SHUKC Offensive team for his efforts.  Thaddeus Glenn and Jonah Freese become the second set of team mates to both make the team in the same year.

At 6'2 175 pounds Freese is very aggressive to the ball and is not afraid to go up and get it.  He would make a fine piece to a college roster.  Check out his 2014 highlights and below that will be the interview we did with Freese earlier in the season.  An impressive and dedicated young man.

SHUKC Player Spotlight: Connor Byers (Bonner Springs)

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

2014 saw the emergence of junior Connor Byers at Bonner Springs.  He lit the area on fire through the air and was also very effective on the ground.  The student has definitely become the teacher for the Braves.  Byers who is a finalist for the 2014 SHUKC Offensive POY award racked up 1889 yards passing 20 TD's to just 5 INT's.  Byers averaged 15 yards per completion and you will see in the film that that it was on accurate throws down field.  You can build up some nice numbers throwing bubble screens for example but Byers showed good accuracy and precision this year.  Byers 4.7 yards per carry and 8 rushing TD's is nothing to sneeze at as well.

Byers put together an impressive 2014 highlight package.  Check it out below.