A brief season outlook on a few of the state championship contending teams in McPherson County.
The McPherson High School boys soccer team officialy opened up the 2016 fall season in style at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning.
The boys ran a two mile fitness test to welcome back sports in Kansas, as practice officially got underway in what should be an excellent year of McPherson County sports.
The Mac High boys soccer team has a potential state tournament run in them, in part to seniors Andric McGill and Patrick Munsey. McGill and Munsey combined to score 50 goals last season, and were both named to the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) All-State First Team.
The Bullpups ended last season 14-4, with a painful regional championship loss to Wichita Trinity. The Pups do lose a few notable seniors, but the key parts to this team are still intact.
“I really like how we are going to have a strong spine of returning players all over the field,” head coach Chris Adrian said. “I feel this team is motivated and set to make a strong post season run this year.”
Multiple teams have eyes on a state championship prize. No more than the Smoky Valley boys cross country team.
“We are looking for a state championship as a team, as well as for Calvin Shannon,” Smoky Valley cross country coach Holly Lindquist said. “Logan Windholz will be in that top mix as well.”
Lindquist is right to be confident about her team.
Shannon is one of the best runners in the entire state, while Windholz is a premiere runner in 4A. The Vikings have a strong cast of other runners with state cross country experience.
Look for the Vikings to improve off their fourth place finish a year ago, and possibly bring a state championship to Lindsborg.
The McPherson High girls tennis team is also fresh off a fourth place showing at state, but have a more reasonable chance at a state championship with their doubles team of Ellea Ediger and Rachel Ivers.
The duo marched through regionals undefeated, and made it all the way to the state championship match, before succumbing to a 6-1, 6-4 loss to a senior doubles team from Wichita Collegiate last season.
Ediger has been to state her previous three seasons, and seems primed to cap her senior year off right.
“Dont’ get me wrong, I would love to see (Ellea) win one, because I do believe she is one of the best female players to have gone through MHS,” head coach Tyler Brown said. “Some players are truly fotunate and just seem to be in the right place at the right time; championship or no champioonship, she is one of the best to go through the program.”
Although the Pups should be in contention for a 4A State Tennis Championship, defending champions Wichita Collegiate have a strangle hold on 4A.
Yet, over the years the Spartans have frolicked between 4A and 3A, and winning a state championship becomes a lot easier without Wichita Collegiate in your classification.
WCS is on the border once again, so the Pups will just have to wait to see their competition when KSHAA comes out with the classifications in late September to early October.
Volleyball should be a strength for both McPherson High and Canton-Galva. The Bullpups made another trip to the state championship match, before falling to Shawnee Mission-Bishop Miege 25-14, 25-16. However, the Bullpups lose quite a bit of star power from a 38-8 season a year ago.
The star power will be replaced with athleticism and youth, molded by head coach Christy Doile entering her 11th year at the helms.
“We will have an entirely different look,” Doile said. “We are excited to have vocal returners that will lead the way and take on larger roles.”
The Eagles are coming off a modest 20-15 season, but return five of six starters. With four seniors leading the way, lookout for Canton-Galva in 2A this year.
School doesn’t officially get started until Wednesday, but the 2016 season is nearing closer and closer. Football kicks off the first Friday in September, while the majority of sports will begin their season in late August.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel