Important week for McPherson High sports

By Steve Sell
May 07, 2018

It’s getting down to nitty-gritty time for the McPherson High sports teams.

Bullpup teams are either wrapping up the regular season, competing at league meets or in one instance, going to state.

Here’s a look at an important week for Bullpup Nation.

• Baseball — The Bullpups are hosting Wellington today at 2:00 at Grant Complex, then take on Goddard at 6:00 as part of the triangular. This completes the regular season.

MHS is hoping to complete a perfect 8-0 run at home. It has swept Andale, Rose Hill and El Dorado at the friendly Grant Complex confines.

MHS coach Heath Gerstner said last week these games are critical. MHS, Hays and Buhler are battling for the No. 1 seed for next week’s regional. The Bullpups, 12-6 on the season, would dearly love to open regional play with Ulysses, the fourth team in the field.

• Softball — The Bullpups unburdened themselves from a 12-game losing streak last week by sweeping El Dorado. They are home today at Grant to take on Wellington in a 4:00 doubleheader that signals the end of the regular season.

It’s been a tough year for the 4-14 Bullpups, who at times have been highly competitive, but errors have been their undoing. If they can play cleanly in the field, they could surprise come postseason play. At this point, no team in the regional has a winning record as the four teams are a combined 19-55.

• Golf — The Bullpups are hosting the league meet Tuesday at Turkey Creek and will remain at home next Monday for the regional meet.

The Bullpups are a long shot in both meets, but playing at home gives them a huge advantage.

• Girls soccer — The Bullpups can put the finishing touches on a 14-1-1 regular season with a victory over Salina Central on Thursday at McPherson Stadium.

The Bullpups are one of the state's highest-scoring teams. They enter Thursday with 95 goals on the season and have been on a tear having gone 10-0-1 over their last 11 games and have authored eight straight shutouts. They have outscored their opponents, 95-6.

MHS is assured of spending most of the postseason at home and if it can make the Final Four, it would only have to travel down the road to North Newton as Bethel College is serving as the state host.

• Boys tennis — It's State Week for the Bullpups, who are the No. 1 team in Class 4A. They have qualified their entire team and it's expected to come down to MHS and Wichita Collegiate for the championship.

MHS' Jarrod Nowak and Andrew Snell are both candidates to make the semifinals in singles. The Bullpups' doubles team of Nolan Schrader and Kaden Stewart will be back to defend their titles and Schrader is looking for his fourth straight appearance in the title match. He won the championship as a freshman with Gallagher Martin, and finished second as a sophomore with Kento Aiawa.

Sophomores Jackson Schrader and Rhett Edmonson could hold the key at doubles as their points could be the difference in what is expected to be a photo finish with Collegiate.

State begins on Friday in Winfield, with the semifinals and finals on Saturday.

• Track and Field — MHS makes the short trip to Buhler for the league meet. The Bullpup girls will be favored to win the title and the boys should definitely make a run. 

MHS goes to Andale next Thursday for the regional meet.

• Girls swimming — The Bullpups won't have the team they have had the entire season as they co-op with Smoky Valley and Moundridge as those swimmers are not eligible for the league meet.

Yet, MHS should still do well at the league meet on Saturday at El Dorado and they have qualified multiple performers for state. In swimming, there are standard times set by the state and swimmers qualify during the regular season.

MHS had won or finished second in all nine of its meets this season.