• PLAYOFF SOCCER ATMOSPHERE – OK, so McPherson High’s boys soccer team won’t go undefeated this season.
The pressure of an undefeated season was lifted Tuesday when the Bullpups lost a 3-2 double-overtime decision to Newton in a game that had late October-like atmosphere.
I believe the Bullpups will get more out of this game than had they opened the season with a 10-0 blasting of an overmatched opponent.
Newton will be heard from in Class 5A. It is quick and physical, though the slighter-built Bullpups didn’t back down. MHS coach Chris Adrian liked the fight in his team, which by his stats won 75 percent of the 50-50 balls, which is an indicator of a team’s hustle.
The Bullpups turn around and play defending Class 4-1A state champion Rose Hill here Thursday. The Rockets also lost in their season opener, 4-2 to Coffeyville.
The Bullpups will be just fine. They will be in every game simply by the presence of Andric McGill and Patrick Munsey, as fine a duo as there is.
The MHS defense also has a lot of potential, led by Devin Cape, Hadley Hageman and Darrius Armstrong. Tanner Rose made some really nice saves in goal in his first high-leverage situation as Newton peppered away at him with 11 shots.
The offense will need more than just McGill and Munsey, and Adrian believes he has some players who can help shoulder the load.
Adrian, as he has done in the past, isn’t afraid to play freshmen. There were as many as five who logged important minutes on Tuesday and they didn’t look as though they didn’t belong.
• MHS SPIKERS NOW 6-2 — Since losing back-to-back matches in the Hutchinson AVCTL Preseason Tournament, McPherson High’s volleyball team has reeled off five wins in a row to move to 6-2.
MHS coach Christy Doile cautioned before the season it might take her team a little time to gel. She had to replace a tremendous senior class, five players who combined for a lot of minutes last year.
The Bullpups won twice on Tuesday in El Dorado and Doile said it didn’t fold when the vociferous Wildcat student section was in full throat. Winning on the road is a true test of team’s character and early on the Bullpups are going to be road warriors.
• TOUGH LOSS FOR ROYALS — When the Kansas City Royals get teams into a bullpen game, they win more often than not.
But the formula didn’t work on Tuesday as the New York Yankees scored a run in the 10th to hand the Royals a rare August loss, 5-4.
Kansas City showed a lot of grit by coming back from a 4-0 deficit, but it had to be kicking itself for letting so many golden opportunities get away.
The Royals still have a chance to get a series victory tonight, provided they can get the game in. A lot of rain is hovering over the Midwest and it delayed last night’s game about an hour.
The Royals probably will welcome Thursday’s day off. The bullpen has been used heavily the last few games and hopefully it can be rested for the huge weekend home series coming up with Detroit.