News and notes picked up from here and there...
• ROSE HILL QB NOT PLAYING — Rose Hill's Brett Bonar was expected to be the second-best quarterback in AVCTL Division III this season behind Buhler’s big-time talent Jace Williams.
But Bonar is skipping the season.
He was not listed on the Rockets’ preseason sheet that was passed out at AVCTL Media Day. A preview on the Rockets on the Varsity Kansas website indicated the Rockets are moving wide receiver Ross Nolan to quarterback for this season, again with no mention of Bonar being made.
According to a source, Bonar is concentrating on baseball as he was a key performer for a Rocket team that lost to McPherson High in the semifinals of the Class 4A Division I State Tournament in May.
That will definitely hurt the Rockets, who I had thought would be in the middle of the pack of the Division III football race this year.
The Rockets come to McPherson during Week 4 this season. The Bullpups escaped with a one-point win in last year’s meeting in Rose Hill.
• NO CAPUL AT ANDALE — Another standout football player who won’t be competing this season is Andale powerhouse running back/defensive lineman Anthony Capul.
The Wichita Eagle has reported that Capul, who would have been a cinch 1,000-yard rusher this season, is sitting out to heal a shoulder injury. He’s also a standout wrestler and wants to be 100 percent for that sport this winter.
However, the Indians still have Bo Knoblauch left in their deep stable of backs as he’ll step up and replace his brother, Shrine Bowler Hunter, who rushed for nearly 4,000 yards in his career despite sharing carries with a bevy of backs.
The Indians graduated 21 seniors off their state championship team from last year, but have only nine on their roster this year. However, they’re not expected to miss a beat. Their first game should be a litmus test as they open with Buhler. I'm going to pick the Crusaders in that game as I believe they're going to play for the state championship against Miege in November.
• SOUTH A 5A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER — One thing about McPherson High’s football team, it doesn’t back down from a challenge to open the season.
The Bullpups, who were wiped out by graduation and will have mostly all new starters, begin their season Sept. 4 hosting Salina South. From all reports, Cougar coach Sam Sellers has said this is his fastest team since he’s been at the school and it was plenty fast last year.
The Cougars, coming off a 10-2 season, have been ranked No. 3 in most preseason Class 5A polls behind Bishop Carroll and St. Thomas Aquinas. They have perhaps the state’s top 1-2 receiving duo in Dylan Becker and Jason Marcotte, who are augmented by dazzling running back DeAngelo Turner. If Jacob Yarochowicz can pan out at quarterback, the Cougars could have one of the state’s most explosive offenses.
MHS and South played a Thursday night game last year in Salina to open the season. In a wild shootout, MHS was down only 34-25 at the half before South exploded in the second half to win going away, 61-32.
• HUGE MEET TODAY — Today's Hesston Invitational is going to set the tone for the tennis season.
McPherson High and Smoky Valley help give the tournament a local flavor, and Buhler also will be there. MHS, Hesston and Buhler are all ranked in the Top 3 in their respective classes and Smoky Valley has two state qualifiers back.
Bullpup coach Tyler Brown said the team race should be quite a battle. All the teams have at least two or three good players, but the title will be decided by the complementary players.