Defense helping teams find winning ways
They say the best defense is a good offense.
It turns out they were wrong.
Believe it or not, the best defense is one that keeps the offense from scoring.
Which means the offense has an easier time of it because it doesn't have to score as much to win.
So, maybe the best offense is defense?
Maybe not all the time, but that's been the model that has lead to several recent victories for Tonganoxie High's football and soccer teams.
The soccer team blanked one of its opponents last week, both opponents the week before and has posted five shutouts this season.
The football team shut out Parsons Friday in its homecoming game.
It did the same to Desoto two weeks ago and only allowed Santa Fe Trail one late-game touchdown last week.
But can the teams continue to play solid defensive and win games?
Both teams began the season playing good defense. Early season losses were more the result of struggles toward team chemistry, than of struggling defenses.
Now that both teams seem to have found that chemistry, the defenses are playing even better.
Against Parsons, football coach Mark Elston said his team was mentally focused.
"We were making pretty good contact," he said.
Those solid tackles forced the Vikings to cough up the ball four times while in scoring position.
Senior goalkeeper Mark Gepner, who had 37 saves last week, leads the soccer team's stingy defense.
The team has held three of its last five opponents scoreless. It has only had two games in which the opponent has scored more than three.
After slow starts, the soccer team's record is now 6-6 and the football team's record is 3-3.
Little mistakes continue to disappear.
The teams are coming together.
Wins are taking care of themselves.
And smart, hard defense is leading the way.
Seventh-grade team ends year with wins
In its final tournament of the year, Tonganoxie's seventh-grade volleyball team dominated the competition last week in Lansing.
In the Oct. 4 tournament the A-team took second, and the B-team took first
The A-team played Basehor-Linwood in its first match, beating the team in two games while only allowing the team to score eight total points.
In its second game against Lansing, Tonganoxie picked up right where it left off with Basehor-Linwood, easily handling Lansing in two games. The games were 15-3, 15-12.
Clark was Tonganoxie's final opponent. Both teams were undefeated up to that point.
Things didn't go so well for Tonganoxie at first.
The team lost the first game 1-15, but regrouped and returned the favor, beating Clark by the same margin.
But the Warriors couldn't keep up with Clark in the deciding game, and lost it 7-15.
The B-team went undefeated in its tournament.
It beat Basehor-Linwood 15-4, 15-9; Lansing 17-15, 15-5; and Clark 5-15, 15-11, 15-7.