It was a good day for the McPherson Middle School football and volleyball teams as they finished the day with seven victories and just three losses. The seventh and eighth-grade volleyball teams 6-2 for the day, while the eighth-grade football team scored a win and the seventh-grade football team took a loss.

Seventh-grade volleyball unbeaten on Thursday

The McPherson Middle School seventh-grade volleyball teams both went unbeaten on Thursday as they hosted Abilene and Salina Lakewood.

In the ‘A’ game, the Lady Junior Pups took down Abilene in three sets, 25-16, 21-25, 15-12, before sweeping Salina Lakewood in straight sets 25-18, 25-19.

“Our serving was much better than on Tuesday with Alexsa Casebeer, Alex Romero, Karter Alvord, Olivia Cheatham and Macy Rinker all serving the ball well,” according to Head Coach Shelley Bohme. “The girls adjusted well to a slightly different line-up with the addition of a libero. Reanna Eilrich played this position for the first time and did an amazing job stepping up on the back row. We struggled a little with serve receive in set two against Abilene, but I was so proud of how well the girls regrouped to come back for the win. Against Lakewood, they showed a lot of toughness when they had to come from behind. I liked the aggressiveness we showed at the net.”

The ‘B’ matches were nearly identical with the ‘A’ team as they also went three sets before beating Abilene 25-21, 18-25, 15-8, and then taking Salina Lakewood in straight sets 25-16, 25-12.

“The girls did such a great job of playing together as a team tonight,” noted ‘B’ team Head Coach Abby Bradstreet. “We had some great saves and they all showed so much hustle tonight. They communicated well and did an amazing job at keeping their energy up throughout both matches. We need to work on setting up more, but have come such a long way in a short amount of time.”

The seventh-grade volleyballers will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 8 when they travel to Chapman for the Chapman Invitational.

Eighth-graders spikers split with Abilene, Salina Lakewood

SALINA—Both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ eighth-grade volleyball teams finished a road trip to Salina with a split in matches with Salina Lakewood and Abilene on Thursday.

After taking down Salina Lakewood in straight sets, 25-13, 25-22, the ‘A’ team were swept by Abilene 12-25, 18-25. The split leaves their season mark 3-5.

“We simplified the rotation a little and I feel like it made an improvement overall,” said Head Coach Jacque Colgrove. “We continue to get better at communicating on the court and playing smart volleyball. We had several aggressive swings against Abilene that just didn’t go our way, but I was proud of our hitters for trying to go for the kill and not take the easy way out.”

The ‘B’ team bounced back from a first set loss to gain victory over Salina Lakewood in three sets, 17-25, 25-16, 15-13, before losing the front and back ends of a three-set loss to Abilene, 6-25, 26-24, 9-15.

“For giving the girls a new rotation the day before, I thought they did a tremendous job adapting,” noted ‘B’ team Coach Stevie Stockham. “The girls fought hard in both matches, taking each to three sets. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The eighth-grade volleyball squads will return to the court on Monday, Sept. 10 when they travel to Emporia for a triangular with Newton and host Emporia.

Eighth-grade football team gets second shutout

NEWTON—Despite playing with a low number of players, the eighth grade football team scored its second shutout of the young season by defeating Newton 20-0 on the road Thursday.

Hadley Backhus tossed a 28-yard scoring pass to Sam Becker for the first touchdown of the day, while Jaytin Gumm scored the two-point conversion. Gumm found the end zone again for a short, one-yard score before Tucker Pelner finished out the Junior Pup scoring with a two-yard touchdown run.

For the game Gumm ran for 59 yards on 16 carries, while Backhus completed five-of-eleven passes for 101 yards. While Becker caught the scoring pass, Mason Miller grabbed the other four passes while gaining 73 yards.

“The low numbers makes it a balancing act of playing the kids both ways and trying to make sure they stay healthy and can last the whole game,” noted Head Coach TJ Jackson during his coach reflections. “We have a very tough group of kids who just keep finding ways to work together, cover each other when we need them to and finish games stronger than the other team. While the first half was rough, our defense stuck it out with an interception to end the half 0-0. The second half was a different story as we scored on three of our four drives and the offense capitalized on the defense creating multiple turnovers.”

Next up for the eighth-grade Junior Pups will be on Thursday, Sept. 13 when they travel north to play Salina Lakewood.

Seventh graders loss to Newton:

It was a tough day on offense for the McPherson Middle School seventh grade football team in their 12-8 loss against Newton on Thursday as they gained just 200 yards for the game. Of that, 170 came through the air and just 25 on the ground. The loss leaves the team at 0-2 for season so far.

The lone score for the seventh grade Junior Pups came on a 12-yard scoring strike from Kreighton Kanitz to Jayce Schriner. Kanitz then hit Jayvn Alexander for the two-point conversion.

Alexander and Blaise Hoover led the offense with 73 and 55 yards receiving respectively, while Alexander and Eli Clarke led the defense with each gaining credit for eight tackles.

“It was a tough loss today,” noted Head Coach Brandt Busse. “But I was very proud of the way our guys fought. We have a few things to work on and I have no doubt our guys will get it turned around.”

The seventh graders will be looking to get their first win of the season next Thursday, Sept. 13 when they play host to Salina Lakewood. The game will be played at the Grant Sports Complex.