Monthly Archives: May 2012

Two Cowley softball players named 1st team All-Americans … and they’re both freshmen


Big postseason honors today out of Ark City, as Cowley CC freshman outfielder Laura Seeman and freshman 2B Haley Strawn were both named first-team NJCAA Division II All-Americans – capping a big year in which the Tigers won the Jayhawk East and finished 4th at the NJCAA D2 Tournament.

Strawn, who I wrote a feature about last month, led Cowley in batting (.505), home runs (20), doubles (29), hits (107), runs scored (82), total bases (196) and slugging percentage (.925). She also recorded a .991 fielding percentage in her first year playing second base – her natural position is shortstop. Cowley coach Ed Hargrove moved her to second after another player quit before the season.

Seeman, a Maize product, led Cowley in on base percentage (.551) and was second in home runs (15), runs scored (64), total bases (148) and slugging percentage (.846). She also was third on the team in hits (88) and RBIs (67).

The big question now, and I suppose this is a good problem to have, is if Hargrove will still move Strawn back to shortstop like he said he planned to.

Highland pitcher Zuzana Kudernatschova and Independence 1B Heather Lanphear were also first-team picks out of the Jayhawk.



Friends track caps record-breaking year with trip to nationals


Here’s my preview of the Friends University men’s and women’s track and field teams trip to the NAIA Championships at Indiana Wesleyan in Marion, Ind.

The gist is that the Falcons went a perfect 6-for-6 in KCAC titles this season in men’s and women’s cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field and have a pair of long-distance runners who have real shots at winning national titles – an incredible feat if you know anything about how the KCAC has scrapped the last couple of years to put its athletes in a spot where they could be competitive on this level. Senior Javier Ceja is the No. 1 ranked men’s marathon runner in the country and junior Jordan Arnold finished second in the nation in the women’s indoor 5,000 and has only lost to one NAIA runner all year.

Friends track coach Brad Peterson, only in his third year, has put together a real juggernaut, but it will be a few years before a team from the KCAC can compete on the national level. To understand it a little better: The Friends men are bringing seven male and six female athletes to the national meet. The schools that win usually have about 25-30 at the meet – something that could definitely happen for a KCAC team in the near future.



Cowley softball heads to NJCAA Division II Tournament


The Cowley College softball team is headed back to the NJCAA Division II Tournament – their first trip since 2009. Heres my article on the Tigers’ trip to Clinton, Miss.  that is up at and running in Wednesday’s Eagle.

Ranked No. 4 in the last national poll, the Tigers are the No. 5 seed and face No. 12 Mercyhurst on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

The Tigers are on the same side of the bracket as top seed and defending champion LSU-Eunice, but Cowley is as stacked as any team Ed Hargrove has brought to nationals in his 28 seasons. Two-year starter Taylor Hatfield (.421 BA, 5 HRs, 68 RBIs) has signed with Kansas and has been the Tigers starting catcher for two years.  Courtney Rash (1B), Haley Strawn (2B), Kelsey Overacker (OF) and Laura Seeman (OF) all were named All-Jayhawk East. The pitching duo of Taylor Parsons and Haleigh Sills matches up as a 1-2 punch with anybody in the tournament.

I’ll keep you updated on wins/losses for Cowley and Butler, which opens NJCAA DI play Thursday against Pima.



Kris Baumann leaves Garden City for Trinity Valley



The Wichita Eagle

Garden City Community College men’s basketball coach Kris Baumann is leaving the Broncbusters after six seasons, announcing Monday that he will be the new coach at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College.

Baumann went 120-65 in six years as the Broncbusters’ head coach, his crowning achievement being the Region VI title in 2009 – Garden City’s first Region VI title in over 50 years.

Baumann, who was hired by Newman athletic director Vic Trilli, made it to Wichita for the Region VI quarterfinals five out of his six years. He also spent one season as an assistant coach at Garden City.

Baumann met with GCCC athletic director Bob Larson on Sunday and GCCC president Dr. Herbert J. Swender on Monday.

Tuesday morning, he was cleaning out his office at the Perryman Athletic Complex and preparing to drive down to Athens, Texas.

“(Garden City) has been home for me for a long time now and never in my wildest imagination did I think I would spend six years here,” Baumann said. “Garden City is a special place to coach because of the legacy of coaches and the way the community supports the school and the teams … on the junior-college level, it’s remarkable.”

Texas JuCos have a distinct advantage over Kansas JuCos – specifically in basketball – when it comes to recruiting. In Texas, schools get 12 full scholarships and a lot of times. Baumann, who starred at Idaho in the late 90s, will also have access to the Dallas metroplex to recruit – just an hour drive from Trinity Valley’s campus.

“The biggest difference between (the Jayhawk) and Texas is the scholarships,” Baumann said. “And that frees up some money in other places, like with the operating budget.”

Baumann also spent three years as the head coach at Lamar (Colo.) Community College.

Here’s our November 2009 profile of Baumann after winning Region VI and headed into the 09-10 season.

Here’s the Athens Daily Review story on Baumann’s hiring.

Reach Tony Adame at 316-268-6284 or


All about the Butler CC softball team’s Region VI title



Kelsey Berlin, a freshman right fielder for Butler Community College, was back at practice on Thursday after four days of unexplained absence from her teammates –  Kelsey’s father, Tim, died last Wednesday. After having a heart attack on Sunday in Wichita, he survived four days on life support. Here’s my story on what happened and how that fence at Wichita State’s Wilkins Field got the hole in it during last weekend’s Region VI Tournament, which Butler won to advance to next week’s NJCAA World Series in St. George, Utah. The story will run in Wednesday’s Eagle.

Read More »

Former Friends star Erik Nott receives nation’s top military medicine honor


Here’s my article on Air Force Maj. Erik Nott, MD, receiving the Heroes of Military Medicine Award from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation on Wednesday night in Washington DC – arguably the nation’s top military medicine award. Nott, a Wichita Northwest/Friends/KU med grad, was awarded the Purple Heart last November – here’s the story on the events in Afghanistan that led to him receiving the Purple Heart. Wednesday, Nott was able to meet the Air Force, Army and Navy surgeon generals along with the chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff. Heady stuff.

Nott was a three-sport star at Northwest – football, basketball & track – and was an All-State pick in basketball for the Grizzlies in ’94 after finishing as state runner-up his final two years (full disclosure – we were teammates in football and hoops – he was a couple of years ahead of me in school). At 6-foot-7, he played in a frontcourt with Shawn Rhodes, a 6-10 forward who went on to play for K-State, and some of the battles between those guys and South – with BJ Williams (KU), Darren Williams (WSU) and Manny Dies (K-State) – were epic. That was a heyday for big  men in the City League – East had Korleone Young at the same time while Southeast had Lavell Manuel and Mike Palmer.

At Friends, he was an All-KCAC honorable mention pick as a junior, first team as a senior and played for Ron Heller.

Don’t know what else to say. These have been fun stories to write. Dude is an in-the-flesh, American war hero. Feels good to know guys like him are out there.


Bethany softball rolls into KCAC Tournament


The Bethany softball team has put together the greatest season in school history – so far – and hopes to keep that run going as it begins KCAC Tournament play Wednesday at 2 p.m. against the winner of 10 a.m.’s Saint Mary-Sterling game at Fun Valley Softball Complex in Hutchinson.

Here’s my feature on the team that’s running at and in Wednesday’s Eagle – the Swedes are 40-7 overall and 17-1 in KCAC play, good enough for their second straight KCAC regular-season title. They’re also ranked No. 24, the first appearance in the Top 25 in school history.

The job Esses has done recruiting with the Swedes is nothing short of amazing – only four native Kansans on the roster. The team is dotted with talent from everywhere but, it seems, with the focus on targeting players from states without as extensive higher-education systems as Kansas, where small colleges and jucos are in abundance.

You can follow along with results from the KCAC Tournament here.