Goessel volleyball wins state with perfect record

Goessel?s volleyball team celebrates the winning point at the Class 1A-Div. 1 state tournament in fall. The Bluebirds were a perfect 44-0 for the season.
Goessel?s volleyball team celebrates the winning point at the Class 1A-Div. 1 state tournament in fall. The Bluebirds were a perfect 44-0 for the season.
The Goessel volleyball team achieved the area?s only team state title in 2015?and did it in undefeated style.

Meanwhile, two area athletes achieved individual championships in their respective sports.

Kyle Palic earned Marion?s first state gold medal when he won the 220-pound weight class at the Class 3-2-1A tournament in Hays in late February. In spring, Hillsboro?s Marah Franz won the Class 3A pole vault title in Wichita.

On the college scene, Tabor?s men?s and women?s basketball teams won a KCAC championship and competed in their respective national tournaments.

In spring, the Bluejays claimed their fourth consecutive conference title in baseball and qualified for their second straight NAIA World Series.

In fall, Tabor?s football team won the KCAC title without a loss, then won the first NAIA playoff game Tabor has ever hosted before losing to the country?s top-ranked team.

January

The Hillsboro boys? and girls? basketball teams placed fourth and sixth, respectively, at the annual eight-team Trojan Classic tournament.

February

The Tabor men?s and women?s basketball teams clinched regular-season KCAC titles with wins over Ottawa. The men?s team completed the regular season with a six-game win streak, a 15-3 conference record and the Bluejays? first championship since the 2004-05 season. The women?s team posted a 15-3 record to win its first regular-season championship since 2005-06.

Seven of the 14 wrestlers Marion sent to the Class 3-2-1A regional tournament qualified for the state tournament by turning in top-four performances. They were Kyle Palic, Jarrett Johnson, Max Gerlach, Bryce Shults, Remington Putter, Adam Janzen, Cody Shipman.

Four Hillsboro wrestlers qualified for the Class 3-2-1A state tournament at the regional tournament in Russell. The qualifiers were Jon Carey, Travis King, Nathan Simhiser and Jesse Meier.

Marion boasted one state champion and one fourth-place finisher at the Class 3-2-1A tournament in Hays. Kyle Palic brought home the gold medal at 220 pounds to become the school?s first champion. He finished with a 49-2 season record.

March

The Tabor College men made an early exit from the 2015 NAIA Division II Men?s Basketball National Cham?pionship after losing to sixth-ranked Morningside (Iowa) in the first round, 86-79. Tabor led for about half the game, but the Mustangs benefitted from hot shooting in the second half to claim the win.

The Tabor women met their match in the quarterfinal round of the NAIA Women?s Basketball National Championship. After advancing to the elite eight for the first time in program history, Tabor?s run ended with a 62-53 loss to 19th-ranked Briar Cliff (Iowa), a No. 5 seed in Tabor?s quadrant.

When the final buzzer confirmed Centre?s 48-44 win over St. Paul in the third-place game of the Class 1A-Div. I tournament in Emporia, the team?s legacy was secure in the annals of Centre High girls? basketball. The team had qualified for four state tournament berths, but earned the first state hardware awarded to a Centre girls? team since 1973.

Two Tabor basketball athletes achieved All-America status. Tonisha Dean received third-team All-American honors and Andrew Thomas received honorable mention All-America honors.

April

The 10th-ranked Tabor College baseball team won the regular-season KCAC title for the fourth consecutive year by winning a four-game series with both McPherson and Saint Mary.

May

Area athletes achieved two individual state gold medals in 2015. Hillsboro?s Marah Franz wins the Class 3A pole vault title.
Area athletes achieved two individual state gold medals in 2015. Hillsboro?s Marah Franz wins the Class 3A pole vault title.
Two former Tabor athletes were inducted into the college?s Athletic Hall of Fame during the annual sports banquet May 16. Basketball standout Eugene Friesen and dual-sport athlete Tesha Werth joined 35 other individuals in the Hall.

The top-seeded Tabor baseball team survived an eighth-inning rally to win the KCAC tournament over Kansas Wesleyan, 12-7. It was the Bluejays? second consecutive tournament title, but Tabor did it having lost 12 seniors from last year?s World Series squad.

Hillsboro senior standout Emily Sechrist, competing on her home track for the last time, won gold in all three of her distance races and set one school record. Sechrist crossed the finish line in the 1,600 meters in 5:19.95, eclipsing her 2013 record of 5:22.02.

Tabor?s 9-4 victory over host Bellevue (Neb.) in the NAIA Opening Round tournament qualified the Bluejays for their second consecutive ticket to the NAIA World Series.

Tabor College senior Gar?rett Daugherty finished his career with a silver-medal finish in the men?s 800-meter finals at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Champion?ships in a school record 1:51.25, about half a second behind the first-place finisher.

June

Hillsboro?s road to a Class 3A state softball title hit a wall in the championship game against defending champion Silver Lake. Megan Deiter, the Eagles? pitcher, held Hillsboro hitless while striking out 19 Trojans in a 5-0 game. Despite the disappointing finish, the team could take solace in achieving the best win-loss record in the 18-year history of the program at 24-2. Six departing seniors?Allison Weber, Julie Sinclair, Kennedy Lucero, Emily Jost, Madison Klein and Bradli Nowak?spearheaded an 88-13 career record, including three state appearances, a 3A championship in 2012 and two state-runnerup finishes?in Class 2-1A in 2014 and 3A in 2015.

Hillsboro pole vaulter Marah Franz claimed the Class 3A gold medal by clearing 10 feet, 6 inches. The vault exceeded the school record of 10-3 set by Hannah Marsh in 2007.

Emily Sechrist, the best female distance runner in HHS history lowered two of her school records by placing third in the 3,200 meters in 11:30.05 and fourth in the 1,600 in 5:19.74. She finished ninth in the 800 in 2:27.19.

Trojan senior Grant Knoll, who lowered his personal-best time in the 3,200 by 19 seconds to 10:15.34 with an eighth-place finish. He then earned a state medal by placing seventh in the 1,600 in a personal-best 4:40.66.

Hillsboro girls? 4×800 relay team of Brittany Schale, Karyn Leihy, Kennedy Klein and Abby Sechrist combined for a season-best time of 10:48.10.

Tabor College women?s tennis standout Jessica Emoto received NAIA honorable mention recognition for her performance this season. A freshman from Gresham, Ore., Emoto was named KCAC Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous pick for the All-KCAC first team.

July

Kyle Palic was a member of the West squad at the 42nd annual Shrine Bowl at Fort Hays State. The East defeated the West, 21-0. ?It?s eye-opening,? Palic said of the experience. ?It?s a lot different than 2A. Everyone?s so much bigger.?

Volunteers gathered at Warrior Stadium in Marion to tear down the old two-story press box. The new single-level press box will cover a space 10 feet deep by 50 feet long.

August

Area athletes achieved two individual state gold medals in 2015. Marion?s Kyle Palic wraps up the 220-pound class at the Class 3-2-1A wrestling tournament at Hays.
Area athletes achieved two individual state gold medals in 2015. Marion?s Kyle Palic wraps up the 220-pound class at the Class 3-2-1A wrestling tournament at Hays.
Two schools accepted invitations to join the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, marking the first change in membership since the addition of Saint Mary in 1999. Oklahoma Wesleyan University and York (Neb.) College are in varying stages of transition.

October

The Marion volleyball team clinched the regular-season Heart of America league title by sweeping Ell-Saline and Berean Academy at Inman.

The Goessel volleyball team did what few are able to do: They never lost. The Bluebirds capped a 44-0 season by winning the Class 1A- Division I state championship over Centralia. ?It?s a dream come true,? coach Crysta Guhr said.

The following runners competed in state cross-country races Oct. 30: Jonathan Hiner?man and Abby Driggers, Hillsboro; CJ Thompson, Centre; Julia Nightengale, Jen Meysing, Lauren Rymill, Saskia Clostermeyer, Edel Miller, Maddy Meier and Sarah Wagner Goessel girls? qualifying team; Freddy Scheffe, Devon LeRoy, Zach Wiens, Nate Impson and Leighton Wagner, Goessel boys? qualifying team.

Hillsboro?s gutsy football team, comprised mostly of underclassmen with no seniors, finished 0-9?the first winless season for a Trojan team since Hillsboro finished 0-8 in 1950.

November

The ninth-ranked Tabor College football team completed a perfect KCAC campaign with a 26-17 win over Bethel. The victory gave Tabor a 9-0 record and the Bluejays? first KCAC title since 2005.

In a battle between two defensive teams, 8th-ranked Tabor College defeated visiting 9th-ranked Doane, 16-14, in the first round of the NAIA Football Champion?ship Series. It was the first time Tabor has hosted a playoff game in Hillsboro. Tabor?s season ended the following Saturday in a 51-6 loss to top-ranked Morning?side (Iowa).

December

Tabor College volleyball player Tena Loewen received honorable mention All-America recognition from the NAIA Volleyball All-America Selection Committee. The junior outside hitter, a Hillsboro High alum, was a first-team All-KCAC selection this fall.

Three members of Tabor College?s 11-2 team have received All-America recognition. Senior defensive end Dylan Delk, a Hillsboro High alum, was one of 25 athletes nationwide to be selected to the AFCA-NAIA Coaches? All-America first team. Senior offensive lineman Jess Croley and senior defensive lineman Derrick Law?rence were named to the second team.