Monthly Archives: August 2012

Looking at Saturday’s small-college football games


Here’s the link to my article on No. 2 Butler opening up El Dorado’s shining jewel – the $12 milliion BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. The Grizzlies take on No. 5 Blinn on Saturday – Jeff Lutz will cover for The Eagle.

The MIAA opened up Thursday night – with No. 1 Pittsburg State welcoming Northeastern State to the MIAA with a rout at Tahlequah.

Jayhawk Conference

No. 5 Blinn (0-0) at No. 2 Butler (1-0), 7 p.m. — Just like Butler, Blinn is a team with national championship aspirations, but the Buccaneers are young, with over 60 freshmen on the roster. Blinn won its last national title in 2009 with future Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton at quarterback, defeating Fort Scott in the Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg.

No. 10 Hutchinson (1-0) at No. 12 Navarro (0-0), 7 p.m. – Troy transfer Luke Barnes showed Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades picked the right quarterback after a three-way battle in training camp. Barnes threw for a school-record 459 yards in the Blue Dragons’ 58-26 win over No. 17 Coffeyville last week.

Other games

No. 16 Tyler (0-0) at Fort Scott (1-0), 1 p.m.

Southeast Texas Prep (0-0) at Independence (0-1), 1 p.m.

Highland (0-1) at Northeastern Oklahoma (0-0), 7 p.m.

Cisco, Texas (0-0) at Garden City (1-0), 7 p.m.

No. 7 Trinity Valley, Texas (0-0) at No. 17 Coffeyville (0-1), 7 p.m.

Dodge City (0-1) at Kilgore (0-0), 7 p.m.


Friends (0-0) at Evangel (0-0), 6 p.m. – Derby product Jeff Kontz is a four-year starter for Friends and one of the best defensive backs in the nation. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety was an All-KCAC pick last season with 59 tackles, five interceptions and five pass breakups and is a preseason All-American. This game should be a good test for the Falcons – Evangel is picked fifth in the Heart of America, but the first four teams are all ranked in the Top 25. The Crusaders also have a pair of preseason All-America linebackers in Jamail Randle and Taber Cheo.

Other games

William Penn (0-0) at Bethel (0-0), 11:30 a.m.

Kansas Wesleyan (0-0) at Cumberland (0-0), noon

Sterling (0-0) at Benedictine (0-0), 1 p.m.

Saint Mary (0-0) at Nebraska Wesleyan (0-0), 1 p.m.

Missouri Valley (0-0) at McPherson (0-0), 6 p.m.

No. 24 Bethany (0-0) at Southwest Assemblies (0-0), 6 p.m.

Looking at Thursday’s small-college football games



No. 1 Pittsburg State at Northeastern State, 6 p.m. — The Gorillas begin their national-title defense on the road against Northeastern, which is playing its first MIAA game. Pittsburg State junior linebacker Nate Dreiling, a national player of the year candidate, enters his third year as a starter with 299 career tackles and is the reigning MIAA defensive player of the year. Northeastern quarterback Johnny Deaton threw for 2,520 yards and 26 touchdowns last year, but faces a secondary led by Keeston Terry, who started 10 games for Kansas last season.

Nebraska-Kearney at No. 20 Washburn, 6 p.m. — It’s the first MIAA game for Nebraska-Kearney. The Ichabods must try to replace Harlon Hill Trophy runner-up Dane Simoneau at quarterback with redshirt freshman Mitch Buhler, a Rossville product.

Fort Hays State at Emporia State, 7 p.m. — Emporia State quarterback Tyler Eckenrode is the top returning passer in the MIAA, and an All-American safety in senior Derek Lohmann. The biggest talk about the Hornets in training camp was a water-balloon fight that ended up on YouTube.

Other games

Truman at Southwest Baptist, 6 p.m.

Central Missouri at No. 18 Missouri Western, 6 p.m.

Missouri Southern at Central Oklahoma, 7 p.m.

East Central at No. 3 Northwest Missouri, 7 p.m.


Southwestern at Northwestern (Iowa), 6 p.m. – Southwestern gets a tough test in its opener against No. 14 Northwestern, which went 9-2 last season. The Moundbuilders have two quarterback options in sophomore Brady May and senior Jordan Barrett, who has been an on-again, off-again starter since his freshman year but has battled injuries.

Cowley volleyball begins national title defense


Here’s my article that ran in Saturday’s Eagle – Cowley seems like they have a real shot to repeat as NJCAA D2 national champsFourth-year coach Jennifer Bahner has had one of the greatest starts to a career – in any sport – in Jayhawk Conference history. She finished as national runnerup in 2009, her 1st season, third in 2010 and won it all last season.



Looking at Saturday’s small-college football games


Here’s a look at Saturday’s small-college football games, with a full slate in the Jayhawk Conference, where they’ve moved their annual series with the SWJCFC teams to the second week of the season.


No. 17 Coffeyville at No. 10 Hutchinson, 7 p.m. – Gowans Stadium gets a marquee national matchup to open the season and the much-anticipated debut of Coffeyville coach Aaron Flores, who won three national titles as an assistant at Butler.

Each team will have a Division I transfer starting at quarterback, with Troy’s Luke Barnes getting the nod for the Blue Dragons after winning a three-man battle in training camp. Barnes, 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and set the Florida state high school passing records for career touchdown passes (51) and passing yards (5,810) at Fort Walton Beach High School, breaking the marks set by Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel.

Former Iowa backup A.J. Derby will start for Coffeyville. Derby was the backup for the Hawkeyes last season but transferred to Coffeyville in January after being moved to linebacker. Prediction: Hutch

Other games

No. 2 Butler at Dodge City, 7 p.m. — Yes, Butler should win easily, but it could be easy to lose focus with next week’s stadium-opening game against Blinn looming. Biggest question for Grizzlies is how new quarterback Billy Cosh will perform – Cosh transferred from James Madison (and Kansas State before that).

Garden City at Independence, 7 p.m.

Fort Scott at Highland, 7 p.m.


No. 18 Baker at No. 11 Ottawa, 6 p.m. – The Braves have two All-American candidates back on defense in defensive back Donald Anderson, a Wichita Southeast product, and defensive end Zach Van Deusen. Anderson had 53 tackles and five interceptions last season, with two returned for touchdowns. He also is a playmaker on special teams, where he blocked three kicks in 2011.

Baker has one of the top transfers in the country — on any level — in running back Dillon Baxter, a former five-star recruit who was kicked off the team at Southern California last October then got the boot at San Diego State in February. Junior quarterback Jake Morse, last year’s HAAC co-offensive player of the year, also returns for the Wildcats. Prediction: Baker

Other games

Southwestern at Northwestern (Iowa), 6 p.m.

Tabor at Bacone (Okla.), 7 p.m.



I’m at the Salina Country Club for KCAC media day. There’s been a couple of nice surprises leading up to their season-opening event, including the release of an All-KCAC preseason team and a football record book that’s still a work in progress – only has single season/individual game records but no career records yet. The amount of hard work that went into both is amazing.  I’ll do this just like the Jayhawk Media Day last week – updating as the different coaches speak – I’ve listed them here in the order they finished last season and updated with Wednesday’s stuff:

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