MHS cheerleaders to have fundraiser

By Steve Sell
August 22, 2017

The McPherson High cheerleaders will have their annual “Paw Print” fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 9. They will paint “paws” on your driveway for a fee.

The costs are $20 for one large print, $15 for one small print, $15 for one large repaint and $10 for one small repaint.

Contact MHS cheer coach Raeann Southern at 623-209-4685 by Sept. 6 if you would like to be part of this fundraiser.

CCC women kickers scrimmage Hesston

By Steve Sell
August 22, 2017

Central Christian College women’s soccer coach Scott Fogarty realizes he has a short amount of time to get his Tigers ready for the upcoming season.

After just a couple of practices, his Tigers took to the pitch on Monday for a scrimmage with Hesston College, losing 1-0. 

“The ladies have been working hard,” said Fogarty, whose Tigers have won 32 matches over the last two years, including 20 in 2015. “We were given a very short preseason this year and so we've had to do a lot of preparation in a very small window. With the loss of some very crucial pieces from last year's team, we're still in the process of finding the right fits for everyone and the team. We used a system last night that we may not try again — or it may be our go-to system.”

There were some players who grabbed Fogarty’s attention.

“Rachel Meier had a good game for us. She looked dangerous almost every time she got on the ball in an attacking position,” Fogarty said. “Our goalkeepers, Goldie Bougher and Keely King, split time in net and both had a good showing. I thought our midfield and defense showed spirit and fight, despite our lack of match fitness at this point. We weren't really concerned with the result of the game since we approached it more as a chance to get some much-needed fitness. We only had two days of practice to get ready for this game.”

The Tigers, despite their considerable success under Fogarty, are going to have to earn the respect of the other teams in the Sooner Athletic Conference, which they joined this year. Despite their success of the last two years, they’re picked near the bottom of the preseason poll.

“I'm actually looking forward to competing in the Sooner Athletic Conference,” Fogarty said. “It obviously provides a strong challenge for us, given that we're 1-3 against SAC schools the past two years (compared to a 10-4 record against KCAC schools in that same time), but it will ultimately make us a better program. We're going from being a Top 2 team in the A.I.I. Conference to a conference where a bad season leaves you out of the postseason. With that, we expect to be a playoff team in November. We may have lost a little bit of athleticism from last year, but I think the chemistry with this team is stronger and we're going to need that if we're going to make a run and win some games.”

After another scrimmage Thursday against Barton County Community College, the Tigers open the season for real Aug. 29 hosting Bethel.

KCAC has its first-ever graduate transfer

By Steve Sell
August 22, 2017

The KCAC has its first graduate transfer ever and he’s not just any transfer.

The NAIA recently approved that former Bethany College football star Nate Ocran is eligible immediately to play at Kansas Wesleyan.

Ocran rushed for 1,039 yards last year for a Bethany team that was 3-8, later changed to 1-10 as it had two victories stripped for the use of an ineligible player.

According to The Salina Journal, Ocran received his degree in accounting at Bethany, but is working on his Masters. Kansas Wesleyan offers the graduate courses he needs and playing another year of football was just the icing on the cake as he still had one year of eligibility remaining. He is what a true “student-athlete” is all about.

Imagine Ocran in the backfield for a KW team that was 9-2 last year and chockfull of talent returning in 2017. There’s no telling what kind of numbers he’ll put up. The Coyotes already return one of the KCAC’s most dynamic backs in Demarco Prewitt and also have Tyler Welch and newcomer Jerrod Ferguson, who was the rage of KW’s spring game.

I have a feeling Ocran’s transfer will ramp up emotions in what already is the best rivalry in the KCAC. The conference actually has very few rivalries — Tabor-Bethel comes to mind though Tabor dominates in most sports — and while Bethany and McPherson College reside in the same county, if you ask any fervent Swede who their No. 1 rival is they’ll breathe fire and say  it’s the Coyotes.

It’s much like Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri. While you would think most Jayhawk fans think of Kansas State as their biggest rival, it’s actually Missouri. But the schools are now in different conferences and only meet if they are paired in postseason play.

I can only imagine the hype surrounding the KW-Bethany matchup, which will take place Oct. 28 in Lindsborg. The Coyotes, unless I miss the mark, will probably be undefeated in the KCAC going into that game if they can knock off Tabor the week before, though the game is in Hillsboro. Bethany is expected to perhaps be the sleeper team, the one most likely to make a surprising jump as some former talented players who were recruited by former coach Manny Matsakis have come back, including Rodney Mollette, who should be one of the KCAC’s top receivers.

This isn’t the first time Kansas Wesleyan has been buoyed by a KCAC transfer. Two years ago the Coyotes went from 2-9 to 10-2 as they were upgraded by the infusion of several KCAC transfers. Former McPherson College Bulldogs Miles Balthazor and Kelly Cordova played huge roles for the Coyotes, Balthazor as a running back and Cordova as a utility player. Balthazor had enjoyed a tremendous freshman season at Mac before transferring, while Cordova played some quarterback. Unfortunately, Balthazor’s career ended due to injuries while Cordova is battling for the starting quarterback spot this fall in his final year. He, too, has battled injuries in his KW career. 

KW in 2015 also was bolstered by two star defensive backs from Friends as well as some Bethany College transfers. That year signaled a turnaround for the Coyotes, who followed that season up by going 9-2 last year, but missed the playoffs when they were upset the final week of the season by Saint Mary. 

With the addition of Ocran, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Coyotes win the KCAC and make the playoffs, though it’s still hard to go against Tabor.

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Sell On Sports

KCAC has its first-ever graduate transfer

The KCAC has its first graduate transfer ever and he’s not just any transfer.

The NAIA recently approved that former Bethany College football star Nate Ocran is eligible immediately to play at Kansas Wesleyan.

Ocran rushed for 1,039 yards last... Read More

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