Category Archives: Jayhawk

Sunflower Slate turns 5: THE GAMES

“…if sportswriting teaches you anything, and there is much truth to it as well as plenty of lies, it is that for your life to be worth anything you must sooner or later face the possibility of terrible, searing regret. Though you must also manage to avoid it or your life will be ruined. I believe I have done these two things. Faced down regret. Avoided ruin. And I am still here to tell about it.” 

-Richard Ford, “The Sportswriter” 

Sunflower Slate turned 5 years old last week, and I thought in honor of its birthday I’d take a look back at the last five years and the most memorable games, players and coaches I’ve covered over that time.

When I go back and read some of my posts from years past, sometimes I cringe (I really, really needed to chill with the LOST references), sometimes I laugh (I have an unhealthy obsession with movie trailers) and all of the time I’m thankful. This hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been a blast.

We’ll do games today, players tomorrow and coaches on Friday.

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Saturday’s MIAA, Jayhawk and KCAC football scores


No. 17 Tabor 21, No. 10 MidAmerica Nazarene 13 FINAL

Sterling 42, Culver-Stockton 30 FINAL

No. 15 Baker 41, Saint Mary 40 FINAL

Avila 41, Bethany 14 FINAL

Kansas Wesleyan 38, No. 22 Evangel 28 FINAL

No. 24 Benedictine 28, Friends 15 FINAL

No. 18 Ottawa 20, No. 2 Missouri Valley 6 FINAL best regular-season win in Kessinger era?

Peru State 44, Southwestern 21 FINAL

Central Methodist 38, Bethel 31 FINAL

McPherson 34, Graceland 0 FINAL


Washburn 54, Fort Hays State 17 FINAL

Missouri Southern 17, Northeastern State 14 FINAL

Lincoln 47, Grambling State 34 FINAL

No. 3 Northwest Missouri 28, Central Missouri 24 FINAL

No. 16 Pittsburg State 65, Central Oklahoma 24 FINAL

Lindenwood (1-0, 1-0) at Southwest Baptist (0-1, 0-0), 6 p.m.

No. 6 Missouri Western 63, Missouri S&T 3 FINAL


No. 11 Hutchinson (2-1, 2-0) at Dodge City 40, No. 11 Hutchinson 34 FINAL/OT … biggest Jayhawk upset since Highland beat Butler?

No. 4 Butler 79, Independence 0 FINAL

Coffeyville 62, Fort Scott 39 FINAL



MIAA, Jayhawk, KCAC football previews

We dropped our monster football section today — in print and at — and as always, there was a large state/junior college presence. That means features, conference capsules and pics from the MIAA, Jayhawk Conference, KCAC and even looks at the HAAC schools in Kansas. Here’s a rundown of what we cooked up, with lots and lots of links:

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KJCCC Media Day

The Jayhawk Conference held its annual media day on Friday at Newman University.Butler Community College, last year’s national runner-up, was picked to win the Jayhawk again and Hutchinson was picked second. All eight coaches, Jayhawk commish Bryce Roderick and supervisor of officials Craig Helser all spoke. The big difference this year is going to be the change to 20 out-of-state players on each team — up from 12. Here’s small tidbits on each team from Friday in the order they were picked to finish in the coaches’ preseason poll:

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The five best small-college football coaches in Kansas

When it comes to football, the Sunflower Slate/small-college beat encompasses, primarily, four schools from the NCAA Division II MIAA (Fort Hays State, Pittsburg State, Washburn, Emporia State), 10 schools from the NAIA-based KCAC (Friends, Tabor, Bethany, McPherson, Ottawa, Southwestern, Sterling, Bethel, Kansas Wesleyan, Saint Mary) and eight schools from the NJCAA-based Jayhawk Conference (Butler, Hutchinson, Independence, Garden City, Dodge City, Coffevyille, Highland, Fort Scott).

So that’s the framework for what I’ve done here, which is rank the Top 5 football coaches from those schools. I owe a big tip of the hat to Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel, who did something similar last week. Although Mandel did a Top 10 and Bottom 5 for Division I, which I won’t do, because making a Bottom 5 seems somewhat unfair to these coaches because their budgets and facilities are so vastly different, whereas with Mandel’s picks, those guys are all playing on a (somewhat) even playing field.

This Top 5 isn’t based on lifetime achievement (see Friends’ Monty Lewis not making the list) but instead on who the five best coaches are right now. A good track record over the last 2-3 seasons is the key, but the overall body of work is definitely taken into account.

So here you go:

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Catching up with the MIAA, KCAC, Jayhawk and Newman


Apologies for my absence — I’ve been gone the last 3 weeks as part of The Eagle’s NCAA Tournament coverage team, which we all know by now took a pretty wild turn when Wichita State ended up in the Final Four for the first time since 1965. I spent a week in Kansas City with K-State and KU, the next week in Dallas with KU and finally to Atlanta with the Shockers.

But now I’m back, so let’s take a look at some of what I missed while I was gone:

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Region VI semifinals

I’ll post updates from the games as the results come in.

At Hartman Arena, Park City

Women’s semifinals

No. 3 Hutchinson 60, Butler 59 FINAL — Hutchinson’s Chrisstasia Walter led all players with 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Butler had to play the final 10 minutes without All-Jayhawk West guard Jamillah Bonner, who injured her ankle.

Cowley 68, No. 12 Garden City 52 FINAL — Cowley rolled to the win over a depleted Garden City squad.  Cowley’s Tonisha Walker led all scorers with 28 points, including 13 of 14 at the free-throw line. Deni Jacobs led the Broncbusters with 16 points. Cowley plays Hutch at 5 p.m. Saturday for the Region VI title.

Men’s semifina

No. 24 Barton 70, Seward County 64 FINAL — All-Jayhawk West guard Algie Key scored 22 points to lead Barton to a win over the defending Region VI champions. Wichita native Kaheem Ransom led Seward with 14 points.

No. 9 Hutchinson (29-3) vs. No. 2 Coffeyville (31-1), 7:30 p.m.

Scouting the Region VI semifinals


Everything goes down beginning tomorrow at Hartman Arena — two women’s semifinals followed by two men’s semifinals.

Here’s a look at the teams, but first …

My picks

I filled out brackets for the Region VI Tournament. I went 4 for 4 in the women’s semifinals and 3 for 4 in the men’s semifinals. The only team I didn’t pick to make it in? The Barton men.

And yes, I got a “3 out of 4 ain’t bad!!!” e-mail from Barton coach Craig Fletchall on Wednesday morning.


No. 3 Hutch (31-1) vs. Butler (26-6), 1:30 p.m. – The Blue Dragons are the defending Region VI champions and lost in the NJCAA championship game last season. Butler has never won a Region VI title. Hutchinson’s sophomores have more wins — 67 — than any other two-year run in school history. Last titles: Hutchinson (2012), Butler (n/a).

No. 12 Garden City (29-3) vs. Cowley (28-4), 3:3o p.m. -- The Broncbusters are responsible for Hutchinson’s only loss this season – 64-62 on Feb. 6 at Garden City. Garden City sophomore forward Tamara Jones leads the Jayhawk in scoring (20.5 points) and is second in rebounding (10.2 rebounds). Montia Johnson leads Cowley in scoring at 12.2 points per game. Last titles: Garden City (2003), Cowley (1989).


Seward County (25-7) vs. No. 24 Barton (26-6), 5:30 p.m. – Barton sophomore Algie Key does a little bit of everything, leading his team with 17.7 points, 1.8 steals and 4.1 assists per game. The Saints are the defending Region VI champions. Kaheem Ransom leads Seward at 16.6 points. Last titles: Seward (2012), Barton (2001).

No. 9 Hutchinson (29-3) vs. No. 2 Coffeyville (31-1), 7:30 p.m. – It’s tough to draw an attention away from the madness that is is the Kansas state high school basketball championships. This game does it. Coffeyville has a pair of surefire Division I players in 6-7 freshman forward Montel James (17.6 points, 8.8 rebounds) and 6-3 freshman guard Earl Peterson (12.5 points). Last titles: Hutchinson (1997), Coffeyville (2011).

I’ll be covering all four games tomorrow from Park City – will post updates here and on Twitter.





Washburn well-represented in Super Bowl (and so is the Jayhawk … again)


You read it right.

Washburn, an NCAA Division II school in Topeka, will be well-represented on the field when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around. Our friends over at did a great job of breaking down the careers of Baltimore defensive back Cary Williams and San Francisco linebacker Michael Wilhoite.

Wilhoite is in his first season on the roster for the 49ers after spending a season on the practice squad. If you’ve watched the Ravens’ playoff run, or the NFL in the last decade, you probably know who he is already.

And of course the Jayhawk is well-represented in the Super Bowl once again with San Francisco defensive back and former Coffeyville Red Raven Dashon Goldson.



College basketball previews/behind the stories


We put out our college basketball preview on Sunday, including features and capsules on the MIAA, KCAC, Jayhawk Conference and Newman. Here’s links to our stories and capsules plus a few behind-the-scenes bits on each story – click the name of the league for the jump to capsules – Newman women are a folo on the main feature:

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