Category Archives: Friends

About last night: Newman & Friends



If you managed to pick up a copy of today’s Eagle (which I hope you did), you got a double-dose of state-college hoops with the Friends men beating McPherson as our display and another front-page story on the Newman men defeating Dallas Baptist. The Falcons moved to 7-0 in the KCAC with the win and took sole possession of first place and the Jets moved into a tie for first in the Heartland Conference with the win … and let’s get this out of the way right now: Friends forward Chris Jackson is making a serious case for KCAC MVP. My argument? He’s averaging almost 19 ppg, hit ‘em up for 26 in a game for first place last night and he’s shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc.

As far as Newman, this is really turning into a breakout season for the Jets, and a testament to Mark Potter as a recruiter. We knew Jaray Mathews, Chip Steven and Jake Darby were going to be good. What we didn’t know is that Keaton Schultz would turn into a star. The story of his transformation from an also-ran to The Man is really intriguing — dude played two years, redshirted on his own volition last season to work on his game and develop his body into that of a college player and now he might be his team’s second-best player. If you know anything about college sports, that type of patience is rare and, at Sunflower Slate, well thought of.

Now if Friends and Newman would only play each other …

Out. TA.

Ps. I stole that “About last night” tag from J. Mart. Thanks, J. Mart.

New home for Friends baseball



This seems like it works on all fronts — Friends will lease West Side Athletic Field as its new home. Here’s why it’s good — it saves the city money because Friends is responsible for maintenance and it gives the Falcons a true home stadium right up close and personal to their campus. Westurban was just too far away.

And on that note … what Friends has become over the last 10-15 years, to me, is amazing. It went from being an afterthought to — in my opinion — one of the most appealing schools in the KCAC as far as recruiting and appeal to the prep athletes that get on their radar. This speaks directly to that. I’ll be interested to see the WSAF after Friends gets to deck it out.

Here’ s the release from the school:

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Friends in NAIA tournament/Cowley plays for national title



Just got done writing my Friends volleyball story advancing tomorrow’s (Saturday) NAIA national playoff game at No. 14 Bellevue (Neb.) — kind of a cool side note to the whole goings-on is that the mothers of current Falcons Courtney McCune and Jessica Mullen played on the last Friends team to play at nationals … in 1984! Also came away impressed with how Friends coach Martin Ayin has built his team — mainly with local talent. Here’s the key when you recruit locally — you still need to get good local players to fill your roster. Ayin did that.

For Cowley — the Tigers are playing for the national title Saturday at Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., where they’ll take on Illinois Central in the championship match. It’s a 1 vs. 2 final — Cowley is 2 — and Ill. Central beat Cowley earlier this season in five games, although the Tigers are on a 19-match winning streak and beat Parkland 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13 in the semifinals.


Ps. You’re a Killers fan? Wow, me too! LOL — enjoy

Friends vs. Ottawa: Outlook & prediction



So the Big Game of the Year is tomorrow, right here in Wichita.

And I’ll be there, live and in living color. The last game I went to at Friends … wasn’t pretty. The Falcons got stomped by Northwestern Oklahoma State in the first round of the NAIA playoffs last season … although Friends won the game by forfeit later. But that’s another story.

So about tomorrow … forget about the tiebreakers for a moment, because if Friends wins, they’re in the playoffs. Which means Ottawa and McPherson sweat it out for an at-large bid. But don’t kid yourself, because there’s no way three teams from the KCAC make the playoffs. I think if Ottawa and McPherson both win, the Bulldogs are still going to be forced to sweat it out a little. Point blank: the KCAC doesn’t have much national respect when it comes to the postseason.

On the field, a lot of people think this game is gonna be won or lost through the air, with the key matchup being Ottawa wide receivers Clarence Anderson and Corey Schultz vs. Friends defensive backs Quinn Cunningham and Cole Perry. I think if Friends can find a way to put pressure on All-Everything QB Ethan Haller, then the Falcons can win. If not … they can’t get into a shootout with Ottawa.

I think that’s about enough from me.

My prediction: 42-28 Ottawa.

See you there.


Bucket/Zak Vanlooy/SOA



Don’t know if you caught my Jayhawk Conference previews, but in case you didn’t … here’s my men’s story on Garden City Community College coach Kris Baumann, and here’s my women’s story on Hutch shooting guard Heather Robben.

Impressions? Both came off well. Of course, if you’re ending up as our season preview story it usually means you’ve had some type of success. And with both subjects, they’re coming off Region VI titles … you get the point. And as for Baumann’s knickname, Bucket? He’s still not saying how he got it. Just the generic “my teammates and coaches gave it to me” line. Aside from that, I was happy with the story.

Friends redshirt freshman center Zak Vanlooy — a 7-footer from Michigan — is the subject of Tuesday’s KCAC men’s preview and UMKC transfer Jessica Halsig, who should be the man for Friends this year — is the women’s subject. Newman on Thursday.



McPherson did what?!?!?!



So yesterday was a furlough day for me — which means a day off and also means no checking e-mail, no nothing as far as work. So I get home circa 2 a.m. and I log onto good ole and … I probably re-read the score twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.

Yes, people, McPherson beat No. 9 Friends on Saturday night.

I knew it was going to be a little rocky for the Falcons with the transition to a new QB — but this one is on the defense and on the o-line, I think. Friends only ran for 67 yards. This is a team that always leads the conference in rushing and they got smoked. And the D? Holy cow. On paper this team looked really good. Still shocked.

As far as the Bulldogs, the win brought me back to a conversation I had with head coach Brian Ward at Media Day. We were going over their recruits and who they had coming back and I said something to the effect of “hey, you guys might sneak up on people,” and it seemed like it was all part of his bigger plan. Like no big deal. Like he was surprised more people didn’t think that. And now he’s got a star QB in Shane Mascarenas (338 yards, 4 Tds) and they’re ready to roll.

Remember, dynasties start with little seeds. Victories like this can be the catalyst for something … bigger. Do I think McPherson is going to run the table in the KCAC? No way. But if you say you know who is going to win the whole thing right now, well … like Joe Wilson said, YOU LIE.

(On that note — Wilson is a jerk. So is Kanye West. Being impolite never flies)

And as far as Pittsburg State … again? Really?

Out. TA

Brett Steven to Friends



Just got off the phone with Friends men’s basketball coach Dale Faber, who confirmed that former Bishop Carroll standout Brett Steven is headed to play for the Falcons after one year as a walk-on at WSU. That’s big for Friends and Faber, who weren’t in the KCAC picture last year after a nice run (they finished tied for sixth). I’m sure you see the connection here, with Faber the boys coach at BC back in the day and the Stevens one of the great athletic legacies at that school. Steven — 6-foot-2, 170 pounds — will add immediate depth to their backcourt and … just putting this one out there … isn’t he already as good as any QB on Monty Lewis’ roster?

I’m just saying. Check Friday’s Eagle for the whole story.


Friends hires Garcia-Bebek as women’s soccer coach



Friends has got a new women’s soccer coach, reaching across Kellogg to grab Newman men’s assistant Victor Garcia-Bebek. What’s it mean? It means that Alan Shepherd, while still the busiest dude around, can take a deep breath. Here’s the release below, from Scott Robinson.

out. ta.

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VinZant, Leeker, KCAC snubbed

Feel free to weigh in on this … but the NAIA All-American teams came out today without a single KCAC player. That means that Friends, with a national ranking, with a win at the NAIA Tournament, and with KCAC player of the year Megan VinZant and pitcher of the year Brandi Leeker, didn’t get a spot. One or the other would have been great, but nothing. How did this happen? I’ve got a theory — the KCAC, as a league, gets zero┬árespect on the national level in almost all sports they compete in. The exception is probably women’s basketball. Is this fair? Not really, but it usually derives from performance at national tournaments. In that aspect, the KCAC comes up short. The amount of teams waters down the competition level and doesn’t prepare them adequately for the national tournaments in most sports — although there are some exceptions, like I said. Not many.

But as far as VinZant and Leeker … they got robbed. I had one of them pegged as a first team picked and the other as an honorable mention. I’m not saying which. Here’s a link to their stats. Feel free to peruse and let me know what you think.


Friends loses heartbreaker/Cowley wins, delayed

Friends lost a heartbreaker today at the NAIA National Tournament in Decatur, Ala., falling 2-1 to Hastings (Neb.).

Here’s the situation: Up 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, five outs from setting up a winner-take-all game against No. 1 Cal Baptist on Saturday, Friends gives up 2 runs and is batting in the top of the seventh. Runners on second and third with two outs and the Falcons couldn’t come up with a run. That’s the short of it.They also outhit Hastings 10-4. They’ll still play CB Saturday at 1. Tough loss.

In Normal, Ill., at the NJCAA Division II Tournament, Cowley beat Illinois Central 4-0 behind sophomore Jacey Juden’s 13 strikeouts and saw its second game against Blackhawk Community College suspended in the top of the second with the scored tied 0-0. They’ll finish that one Saturday.

I’m out. -TA