NEWS FLASH: BLOGGING WHILE ON VACATION — ONLY IF YOU’RE JOANNA CHADWICK. IT’S JUST NOT FOR THE EASILY DISTRACTED. LIKE YOURS TRULY.
With that out of the way, it’s really good to be back.
I was on vacation out West and missed a lot while I was away (Butler lost, L. Page blew up, Arica Shepard is still really good) so please consider this an abbreviated version of what will be next week’s first full edition of ROLL CALL. For the newbies, RC is basically a rundown of the MIAA, KCAC and Jayhawk standouts from the previous week’s games, and usually runs on Monday or Tuesday. But since I’m popping in the office for the first time this week on a Thursday, let’s try something different.
Oh, and as far as the man in the pic up top … he’s headed to the ESU Hall of Fame. And nobody deserves it more. Congratulations to Mr. Shay. He’s in my top 10 — any level. Dude was fun to watch. BTW that trophy in front of him is the Harlon Hill.
Now let’s do this:
It’s tough to get excited about all four of our Kansas schools — Fort Hays, Emporia State, Washburn and Pitt State — winning their season openers, if only because I’ve seen this play out before. But that being said, it was still pretty cool to go 4-0. FHSU’s CJ Lovett grabbed MIAA special teams player of the week honors ina 45-17 win over Western (Colo.) State, amassing 253 yards on 3 punt returns and 2 kickoff returns while returning a kick (95 yds) and a punt (78 yds) for TDs. Oh, and CJ also blocked a field goal. Yowza. And as far as ESU running back La’Darrian Page … yes, I did a feature on LP before their first game last Thursday, a 48-17 win over SW Oklahoma. And yes, LP blew up to the tune of 153 yards rushing and three TDs. But more importantly he had girls in the stands wearing his jersey!
Considering that was LP’s first game ever for ESU, that’s some serious pre-planning on the part of those two ladies.
Last two things — Washburn linebacker Zach Watkins had nine tackles in a win over Colorado School of Mines and No. 5 Pitt State beat No. 16 Central Oklahoma to set up this week’s showdown between PSU and No. 7 Chadron State. Should be fun.
As far as volleyball — No. 3 Emporia State rolled out of the sack and started the season 4-0 behind MIAA player of the week Arica Shepard. In four games, Shepard had three kill-dig double-doubles at the Nebraska-Omaha Showcase. So what happened in the fourth game? 13 kills and nine digs.
Hey, Arica, don’t get too down on yourself, okay?
Butler lost. What does it mean? Maybe a lot, maybe not a whole lot. The top-ranked Grizzlies dropped a heartbreaker to No. 5 Blinn (Texas) College for the second year in a row … but didn’t they do that last year and still win the national title? Yes they did. But here’s the thing — I don’t think you can gauge this loss for a couple of months, or until Butler loses again in the regular season. Biggest disappointment from the weekend? Gotta be Coffeyville getting WAXED by Cisco. Not good.
As far as Hutchinson — they went on the road and blew out NEO. And Chris Clay ran for 231 yards and 2 TDs. And Sunflower Slate fave Dorrian Roberts had seven tackles and a pass breakup. Next up for the No. 13 Blue Dragons? Sitting at home. They’ve got a bye before returning Sept. 12 to play Highland. They get Dodge City the week after that so expect them to be 3-0 pretty easily.
Ottawa opened up last Thursday with a win over McKendree — on just 12 days of practice. My preseason pick for offensive player of the year — Ottawa QB Ethan Haller — threw for 437 yards and 4 TDs. Haller can really play. McPherson should roll at Haskell on Saturday, but we don’t get to see the full slate until Sept. 12. Look for my KCAC preview coming out Sept. 10. It’ll be a doozy.
Let’s see … I got nothing else. Did it feel so empty Without Me?
Back from the West Coast -TA.