Archive for Wednesday, June 30, 2004

THS football hitting 7-on-7 summer circuit

June 30, 2004

Tonganoxie players tasted their first football action of the summer with a 7-on-7 tournament earlier this month at Anschutz Sports Pavilion on the Kansas University campus in Lawrence.

The Chieftain team finished with a 2-4 record in the 34-team field. Tonganoxie faced teams from Shawnee Heights, Highland Park, Kansas City-Washington, De Soto, Wichita-Mount Carmel and Olathe Northwest.

"We did very well for being as green as we are," said Tonganoxie coach Mark Elston said.

The Chieftains return this fall after losing a large senior class, including quarterback Justin Walker and running backs Billy Baska and Tim Hopkins.

Elston, however, is encouraged by a roster that could total about 70 and a freshman class of between 20 and 30 players.

"That will be a big plus," Elston said.

Entering his fifth year at Tonganoxie, Elston has compiled a 23-15 record, but this will be his youngest team so far.

After watching the KU tournament, Elston noticed some encouraging performances.

"Garrett Palmer did really well," Elston said about his senior-to-be. "I think he got one quarter of action last year at the varsity level. With not having more time on the field than he had, I was impressed with how he moved."

Incoming senior Ross Starcher also performed well at quarterback, Elston said, while Zach Ditty, Sam Mitchell and Kaleb Lawrence, who all had considerable playing time last year, are having good summers.

Defensively, Elston said Brandon Willis and Clay Lamb were solid, while Tyler Miles was catching well as a receiver.

The Chieftains next will be in 7-on-7 action July 10 in McLouth. Elston then will have the annual summer camp July 26-31 in Tonganoxie.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.