Category: Season Previews

Bluejay women lack numbers but not skills
Bluejay women lack numbers but not skills

Bluejay women lack numbers but not skills

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The Tabor College women?s soccer team will rely heavily on six returning starters in 2007. Pictured are: (from left) Sheena Ruzinsky, Erin Vance, Jessica Burden, Leigh Costello and Kelly White. Not pictured: Aubrey Whitehorn. Andrew Ottoson. Click image to enlarge

In the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll, the Tabor College women?s soccer team was picked to finish in last place.

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HHS will counter smaller size with strength, speed and talent
HHS will counter smaller size with strength, speed and talent

HHS will counter smaller size with strength, speed and talent

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Although Hillsboro coach Len Coryea lost a sizeable senior class from last year?s 9-4 team, he has 15 seniors and letter-winners as a solid foundation for his 2007 team. Pictured are: back row (from left), Andy Klassen, Daniel Roble, Tyler Lofton, John Hein, Ishamel Morris, Tyler Jones, Daniel Jost; front row, Mitchell Koop, Dustin Strunk, CJ Shaw, Michael Scheele, Zach Jost, Grant Schneider, Jacob Yoder, Spencer Brown. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press. Click image to enlarge

For most small-town high school football coaches, having a talented quarterback move to town with a couple of years of eligibility left is a dream that rarely if ever comes true.

But for Hillsboro High coach Len Coryea, it?s happened two years in a row.

Last fall, Spencer Brown stepped in as a junior from Minneapolis High and led the Trojans to a 9-4 record and an unprecedented three victories in the state-playoffs.

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Trojan seniors out to prove they can continue winning ways
Trojan seniors out to prove they can continue winning ways

Trojan seniors out to prove they can continue winning ways

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Hillsboro has nine seniors and letter-winners that will form the nucleus of this year?s volleyball team. Pictured are: back row (from left), Corissa Bartel, sophomore Dakota Kaufman, Chelsea Bebermeyer, Amy Neufeld, Samantha Heinrichs; front row, Amanda Bina, Jessica Klose, Bobbi Jo Carlson, Jenesa Klose. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press. Click image to enlarge

Followers of Hillsboro High volleyball can be forgiven for dwelling on key players lost from last season?s 35-3 squad that finished third in Class 3A.

Graduating two NCAA Division I signees (JuliAnne Chisholm and Tina Frick) and a league honorable-mention setter (Jenny Whisen?hunt) would be a significant loss for any Class 3A program.

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HHS returns six of seven runners from state-qualifying team
HHS returns six of seven runners from state-qualifying team

HHS returns six of seven runners from state-qualifying team

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The Hillsboro boys? cross-country team returns nine seniors and letter-winners from last year?s squad, while the girls return two letter-winners. Pictured above are: back row (from left) Lance Kliewer, Matthew Klenda, Johnathan Christian; middle row, Tyrel Blecha, Brandon McMillen, Nathan Vogel, Alex Jost; front row, Heidi Schroeder, Cody McMillen, Nicholas Mueller. Not pictured: Jessica Elliott. Don Ratzlaff. Click image to enlarge

With six of the seven runners who competed at the 2006 state cross-county meet returning for 2007, Hillsboro High coach Stuart Holmes see a bright season ahead for his boys? team.

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Eight seniors, including 1 state qualifier, will fuel HHS tennis
Eight seniors, including 1 state qualifier, will fuel HHS tennis

Eight seniors, including 1 state qualifier, will fuel HHS tennis

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Eight seniors will power coach Lynn Wiebe?s tennis team this fall. Pictured are: back (from left) Amanda Faber, Greta Wiebe, Courtney Fast, Anna Woelk, Julia Loewen; front row, Amber Loewen, Lauren Just, Maria Loewen.Don Ratzlaff / Free Press Click image to enlarge

With eight seniors on her 15-player roster, Hills?boro High girls? tennis coach Lynn Wiebe faces both a blessing and a challenge this fall.

Having that many players with program experience will make for competitive practice sessions that ultimately will strengthen this year?s team.

But the challenge will be providing adequate court time for eight athletes in a sport that has only six openings in a varsity lineup.

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Team experience gives PBHS potential for repeating success
Team experience gives PBHS potential for repeating success

Team experience gives PBHS potential for repeating success

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After a 6-4 season that put the Warriors second in their league, Peabody-Burns has a truckload of talent among 12 returning seniors and letterwinners. Pictured are: back row (from left) Alex Bengtsson, Andrew Loucks, Anthony Jones, Sean Corona; middle row, Adam Benson, Thomas McGee, Lukas Bambach, Nick Abramowich; front row, Ben Eldrigde, Nathan Bishop, Will Pratt, Trevor Hamm. Andrew Ottoson. Click image to enlarge

A 6-4 season put the Peabody-Burns High football team in a tie for second in the Heart of America League in 2006. Head coach David Pickens, in his third year, has nine returning starters on both offense and defense.

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PBHS runners eye state return
PBHS runners eye state return

PBHS runners eye state return

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The boys? cross-country team at Peabody Burns High School returns six seniors and letter-winners from a squad that came in fourth in Class 2A last year. The girls? squad returns three seniors. Pictured are: (from left) Aaron Topham, Jessica Rosine, Josh Klarmann, Ryan Wiebe, Duane Unruh, Erica Frederick, Ethan Riggs, Kendall Wiebe. Not pictured: Samantha Pickens. Andrew Ottoson. Click image to enlarge

While it may not be possible to replace two-time state champion Andrew Topham?s leadership and dedication on the Peabody Burns High School cross-country team, the returning Warrior boys are taking aim at holding on to their Heart of America League crown and making a return to state.

With Topham leading the way, the PBHS boys won their Class 2A regional and took fourth at state in 2006.

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Six returnees to lead Warriors
Six returnees to lead Warriors

Six returnees to lead Warriors

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The Peabody-Burns High School volleyball team has six returning seniors and letter-winners. Pictured are: (from left) Becky Morris, Danielle Savage, Bayleigh Clark, Julie Wedel, Tabby O?Neal.Andrew Ottoson / Free Press. Click image to enlarge

After posting a 10-20 record last season, the Peabody-Burns High School volleyball team has six players returning with varsity experience.

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Centre reloading after a winning volleyball season in 2006
Centre reloading after a winning volleyball season in 2006

Centre reloading after a winning volleyball season in 2006

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After graduating five starters and seven seniors, Centre volleyball will turn to a core of four seniors and letter-winners headlined by two-time all-league hitter Kylie Burhoop this fall. Pictured are: (from left) Samantha Jo Alvarez, Burhoop, Leann Pankratz and Amy Hajek. Andrew Ottoson / Free Press Click image to enlarge

Coming off a 19-13 performance in 2006, and having graduated of five of six starters, the Centre High School volleyball squad is entering a reloading year.

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Short-handed Cougars will use extra effort to be competitive
Short-handed Cougars will use extra effort to be competitive

Short-handed Cougars will use extra effort to be competitive

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With 13 seniors and letterwinners, the Centre High School football team is poised to build on the successes of a 5-4 season. Pictured are: front row (from left), Zach Antoszyk, Steve Antoszyk, Zach Slayden, Bryant Brunner, Ben Krause, Aaron Bowman; back row, Andy Carlson, James Weber, Ethan Forsberg, Ryan Richmond, Ty Remy, Nick Cole, Michael Kaiser. Andrew Ottoson.

In coach Kelly Steiner?s second year at the helm, the Centre High School football team hopes to build on the 5-4 record the Cougars posted last year in the 8-man Division I Eisenhower League.

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