Bobcats having high wrestling hopes
It's hard for a high school wrestling coach to expect his team to be full of state champions.
It's another thing, though, to be disappointed if it's not.
Such is the case at Basehor-Linwood this season, as coach Scott Neil returns five state qualifiers from last year's squad.
Of those five wrestlers, Scott said he fully expects all of them to reach the state finals if they wrestle to their potential. Motivating them shouldn't be a problem.
"The kids go out and expect to win," Scott said. "Losing's not even in their minds."
And it probably shouldn't be. Led by senior Matt Dukes, who finished second in Kansas in his weight class last season, the Bobcat wrestlers are talented, experienced and determined to improve on their performances from last season.
The Bobcats will open the season tonight against rival Bonner Springs. Louisburg will also be at the dual, but the Bobcats will be focusing on Bonner Springs they haven't beaten the Braves yet.
"I think the kids theirs and ours are looking forward to it," Neil said. "It should be a great night of wrestling."
Call it starting over again.
For the third straight season the Basehor-Linwood boys' basketball program will enter the year with a new head coach. First-year coach Bruce Courtney is taking the helm of a team that lost all five starters from the 2000 squad. Courtney, though, has been at BLHS for seven years and as he gets set to begin his eighth year, he said the path he's taken was one he envisioned years ago.
"I thought I'd kind of hang around until coach (Don) Hills (BLHS's coach of two seasons ago) was ready to move on and then I'd step in and take over the program, Courtney said. "It came a little quicker than I expected, but I'm excited that it's here."
The Bobcats return three letter winners from last season's 16-5 team that finished tied for second in the Kaw Valley League.
Last season the Basehor-Linwood girls' basketball team was one-dimensional pound the ball down low to Jackie Horn and let her go to work.
Horn's gone this season now coach Mardy Robinson is looking for a way to replace her presence. So far, Robinson thinks she's found it.
Once tryouts were finished, the Bobcats began installing a new offense, one that will get more players touching the ball.
The new offense somewhat resembles the Chicago Bulls' infamous triangle offense, which moves the ball around, allowing for three and four options on every set.
BLHS gets the season under way Friday at nearby rival Bonner Springs with a game Reed called, "probably the biggest of the season."