Category Archives: Ottawa

Ottawa’s Clarence Anderson chasing NFL dream

CLARENCE ANDERSON

Here’s my article on Ottawa wide receiver/return specialist Clarence Anderson trying to make his way to the pro football ranks – closing in on draft day he seems like he’s put himself in a spot to get a training camp invite as a free agent with an NFL team or wind up in the Canadian Football League. Arena Football, in my opinion, would be the third option at this point.

Anderson dominated at the NAIA level – 6,799 career all-purpose yards, 53 touchdowns & 3 NAIA playoff bids – but the two biggest knocks on him so far have been the lack of competition he faced in college and his size. The Wichita Southeast product is 5-foot8 3/4 inches and 169 pounds right now, but had trouble keeping weight on during his career and usually played at 155-160.

But that speed? It’s world class on a football field, no matter who he’s playing against. And that’s why he’s probably the only guy out of the KCAC in the last 5 years, in my opinion, with a legitimate shot of making an NFL roster. He made his name on special teams before becoming a great wide receiver and there’s spots for guys like that in the league.

With a guy like this, we’ve written about him quite a bit in his time at Ottawa:

-A big win over No. 18 Bethany his senior year

-A Run ‘N Gun on Clarence from 2010 – “10 reasons this man is smiling

-Clarence torching Friends in Wichita for the 2009 KCAC title

-…and doing it again in 2010

-Here’s a link to his highlight film – it’s about 14 minutes but you can get a good idea of everything the guy can do… mainly that speed I was talking about.

TA

PS. Oh yeah, there’s this. He sang at Carnegie Hall. 

Looking at Saturday’s NAIA playoff games

We’ve got not 1, not 2, but THREE Sunflower Slate teams playing in the first round of today’s NAIA playoffs. And I like our chances at a clean sweep.

Here’s a look:

No. 12 McKendree (8-2) at No. 6 McPherson (10-0), 2 p.m. - The Bulldogs host an NAIA playoff football game for the first time and bring a buzzsaw of an offense to the table against McKendree, the co-champion from the Mid-States Football Association. McPherson has averaged 53.8 points over its last seven games and quarterback Shane Mascarenas, the KCAC player of the year, lead the nation in passing with 362 yards per game. Mascarenas set the school single-season records in passing yards (3,419) and touchdowns (35).  The truth, that nobody wants to say yet, is that if the Bulldogs lose here this season is a wash. Sad, but true. Although they’re not going to lose. My pick: McPherson 35, McKendree 14

No. 11 Marian (9-2) at No. 8 Ottawa (9-1), 1:30 p.m. – The Braves rallied from 28 points down in the second half of last season’s NAIA playoff opener against Hastings for a 40-34 win, the first playoff victory in school history. Marian, an at-large bid from the Mid-States, is led by its defense, which is 11th in the country in rushing defense (104.5 yards) and 12th in scoring defense (16.8 points). Sophomore wide receiver/punt returner Shane Gimzo is second for Ottawa with 12 touchdowns and has been a great complement to All-American wide receiver Clarence Anderson. My pick: Ottawa 28, Marian 25

No. 17 Georgetown (8-2) at No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene (10-0) - The Pioneers won the Heart of America Conference by completing their second undefeated regular season in the last three years and are coached by former NFL quarterback Jonathan Quinn. My pick: MANU 14, G’Town 3

That’s all I’ve got for now. TA

Butler in national title game; McPherson, Ottawa to host first-round games

No. 1 BUTLER 48, No. 5 HUTCH 0

NO. 1 BUTLER 48, NO. 5 HUTCH 0

Butler is going to play in the national title game. Sunday’s 48-0 demolition of No. 5 Hutchinson in the Region VI title game made sure of that. We’ve all been assuming since about the beginning of October that the title game will be played, for the second straight year, in the Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg. And I still think that’s a lock. Now, who will they play?

No. 2 Navarro beat Trinity Valley 57-22 on Sunday in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, so I presume that is the team Butler will face on Dec. 5. Bowl officials are having a news conference on Tuesday, around noon, in El Dorado to make it official. For the uninformed, Butler beat Navarro 16-10 in its season opener Aug. 26 at Cessna Stadium. And that’s the closest anybody has played the Grizzlies all year.

Final thought: If Butler can close this thing out, they’re the greatest BuCo team in school history.

You know I’ll be there.

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KCAC puts four players on CFSN Super 72

Yes, it’s almost football season. Less than a month from camps opening, if that makes you feel any better. Until then, we’ve got some big preseason honors for four of the best football players out of the KCAC as College Fanz Sports Network released its Super 72 recently. All four — McPherson running back Aaron Lafitte, Ottawa wide receiver Clarence Anderson, Ottawa linebacker Josh Hojje and Kansas Wesleyan defensive back Ken Mitchell — were first-team all-KCAC performers last season and all have legitimate shots of being (or repeating as) All-Americans this year.

Here’s a little breakdown on each of these studs:

Lafitte ran for 1,030 yards and 23 TDs lastsyear and was an honorable mention All-American. Helped lead Bulldogs to first postseason appearance in school history. Transferred to MC from Arizona State.

Anderson, a Wichita Southeast product, led the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,563 (1,699 receiving) as Ottawa advanced to the second round of the NAIA playoffs.

Hojje led Ottawa with 95 tackles last season — the second-highest single-season total in school history — and the James Madison transfer tied the school-record for sacks in a game with 3 against Kansas Wesleyan on Halloween.

Mitchell is the wild-card of the bunch in that his team hasn’t had the same success as the other 3 — but he might be the best defensive back in the league. Or is that Cole Perry? Can’t wait to see KM match up with Anderson this season. Should be something to see.

Out. TA.

 

Shaw leaves Ottawa to start women’s soccer at FHSU

CRAIG SHAW

CRAIG SHAW

Fort Hays State University won’t have women’s soccer until 2011, but they’ve already got a pretty good coach.

The Tigers nabbed Ottawa’s Craig Shaw on Thursday to lead its brand-new program after three years with the Braves. This seems like the right move for FHSU — Shaw just led Ottawa to the KCAC title by going undefeated in KCAC play last season and earned the school a trip to the national tournament. More importantly, he’s shown he can recruit Kansas and California very succesfully. But mainly Kansas. The high school girls soccer talent in our state is pretty fair and you can build a winner out of homegrown kids by throwing a few out-of-staters in the mix no problem. He’ll be at Ottawa until the end of the month and then head west?

The next question: Will he bring any of his kids with him? I can think of a few that would help…

TA.

KCAC puts three in NAIA preseason top 25

College Fanz Network has put out its NAIA preseason top 25 for football, which, of course, puts all other NAIA top 25s to shame. They do their homework up there in Grand Island, Nebraska, and put three teams from the KCAC in the top 25, and all in a row at that. Friends, winners of three of the last four league titles, checks in at No. 14. Last year’s champion Ottawa is at No. 15 and the league’s other playoff team from a year ago, McPherson, is at No. 16.

And that’s pretty much perfect placing. The KCAC gained a little bit of steam last season with Ottawa’s run in the postseason and a respectable showing from McPherson in a first-round loss. The Braves actually gave Lindenwood, the eventual runner-up, a pretty good fight which showed to me they were definitely one of the top 10 teams in the country. And Friends, incredibly, was almost the third team to make the playoffs out of the KCAC. With the Sports Regulation Initiative going into effect this offseason and KCAC teams able to play 11 games in 2011 after a full spring game I think this is going to be one of the more interesting seasons in the history of the league as far as having a template to see what the improvement is from this year to next.

Ottawa’s biggest question mark this year, by far, will be who replaces All-American Ethan Haller at quarterback. For McPherson, it’s going to be seeing how the team plays without the architect of their playoff run in coach Brian Ward, who took a job at North Dakota State. For Friends, it’s just whether or not they can get back on top after winning three straight titles from 2006-2008.

We’ll get it all figured out a month from this coming Tuesday at KCAC Media Day in Salina.

Out. TA.

Early honors for Washburn’s Pierre Desir & Ottawa’s Clarence Anderson

PIERRE DESIR

PIERRE DESIR

It’s never too early to talk football … or pick All-American teams.

Washburn sophomore cornerback Pierre Desir and Ottawa junior wide receiver Clarence Anderson, a Wichita Southeast product, both picked up some early 2010 honors in the last week. Desir was named a first-team NCAA Division II All-American by Consenseus Draft Services and Anderson was named a first-team NAIA WR by Sporting News. Both were All-Americans last season, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as both were arguably the best at their positions in both the MIAA and KCAC last year. Here’s the release on Desir from Washburn and on Anderson from Ottawa. You can see the full lists of both teams on those links, too. Washburn offensive tackle Bill Boyer (6-foot-4, 312 pounds) was on the honorable mention team, as was Pittsburg State safety Alex Kuhlman. Anderson was the only player from the KCAC named to the Sporting News team.

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NAIA FB playoffs — Mac loses … OTTAWA WINS

First-round NAIA playoffs

MidAmerica Nazarene 40, McPherson 24 (final) — Aaron Lafitte runs for 115 yards and 2 TDs in the loss … Bulldogs up 24-23 headed into fourth quarter.

Ottawa 40, Hastings 34 — Ottawa rallies from 34-6 down to win game behind school record 13 catches for 291 yards and 4 touchdowns from sophomore wideout Clarence Anderson — a Wichita Southeast product.

It’s Clarence’s world and we’re just living in it.

Out. TA

FULL PLATE: Fort Scott wins Region VI/Mac, Ottawa in NAIA playoffs

THE LAW FIRM OF HITEM, STICKEM & BEATEM AKA FORT SCOTT COACHING STAFF

THE LAW FIRM OF HITEM, STICKEM & BEATEM AKA THE FORT SCOTT COACHING STAFF

My plate is full this evening, with Fort Scott pulling out the 13-12 Region VI win over Butler and the KCAC getting two bids to the NAIA playoffs with undefeated, No. 5 Ottawa hosting Hastings (Neb.) andNo. 12 McPherson traveling to MidAmerica Nazarene for the first playoff appearance in school history. That’s 87 years, if you’re counting. Here’s the full NAIA playoff schedule, if you’re interested.

I covered the Ottawa-Friends game yesterday and I’ll tell you what … Ottawa looked really, really good. Like they got up 42-0 in the first 16 minutes good. And as far as finally getting to see Ethan Haller play? Dude could start for most of the teams in the MIAA, no doubt. He’s that good. Their defense? Not so much. And as far as Friends — if they would have finished that comeback, as one of our page designers told me — that’s the kind of thing you could go 40 years as a sportswriter and never see. Just nuts.

So … Fort Scott. Brooks Seeley covered that game today and yes, it was cold, and yes, he whined the whole time (LOL) but he got to see a great one. And because No. 3 Blinn beat No. 1 Navarro on Sunday in the SW Region title game, that means, no matter what, the Greyhounds are gonna be No. 1 in the next poll and get to play for the national title at the Citizens Bank Bowl in Pittsburg on Dec. 6 — let’s just hope they can get the No. 2 team to come play them, whoever that may be (Likely Blinn). Couldn’t have set itself up any better for Fort Scott.

I’m out. TA.

PS. I’VE BEEN SAYING ALL YEAR … HE’S NICE!!!

Friends vs. Ottawa: Outlook & prediction

WHERE WE LAY OUR SCENE...

WHERE WE LAY OUR SCENE...

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.

TA