Reigning Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year Taylor Robertson is entering her senior year at McPherson High School. And while her partner in crime Mandi Cooks will miss most of her senior year recovering from a torn achilles, the Bullpups are still expected to be dominant with Robertson at the helm.

The Bullpups are also loaded with strong junior and sophomore classes, and if Cooks is able to recover in time for the postseason, the Bullpups could very well find themselves back in the state championship game for the second year in a row.

“[Mandi] had surgery at the end of July and continues to work hard in rehab,” head coach Chris Strathman said. “Taylor is one of the best shooters in the entire country.”

Junior Jaycee Burghart is a returning starter from last year who is a pretty good shooter herself. Juniors Hannah Hageman, Riley Hett, Maggie Leaf, and Claire Yowell will all fight for starting spots and playing time as well.

Sophomore Lakyn Schieferecke was impressive last year as a freshman and looks to be in the mix for significant playing time. Six-foot-one sophomore forward Andrea Sweat will also have a big role on the team, especially with Cooks out for an extended period of time.

“We will look to incorporate some talented newcomers early on to see where we are, and to see which ones fit the best and have the best chance to help us in the postseason,” Strathman said. “That should make for some very competitive practices as there should be some excellent battles for playing time at certain spots.”

Like always, McPherson High will face a brutal non conference schedule to prepare for postseason play. Road trips to Bishop Miege, Andale, and Newton are all on the schedule, while the Mid America Classic will feature the best of the best as usual.

Within the AVCTL DIII, Circle looks to be the biggest threat to McPherson, who has won its last 10 division titles.

The Bullpups open up the season on the road on Dec. 1 at El Dorado.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at gmartin@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel