THS lands 10 on all-league teams
The Tonganoxie High School fall sports teams are represented on the 2011 All-Kaw Valley League teams by 10 athletes from boys soccer, volleyball and football.
“Obviously it’s great,” Brandon Parker, Tonganoxie athletics director and volleyball co-coach, said. “You get a lot of kids recognized, and we’ve got a lot of students that have worked hard for those rewards, whether as a team or individuals, and so it’s where hard work pays off.”
The boys soccer team led the THS fall sports teams with five players represented in the postseason league awards. Senior Matthew Briggs was a first-team all-league midfielder, junior forward Matthew Saathoff, senior defender Marcus Titterington and junior goalkeeper Keaton Truesdell were second-team selections and senior Tyler Bartholomew was named to the honorable-mention all-league team as a midfielder.
“I think ultimately what it does for those kids that are coming back, it gives them the drive … for being recognized for what they did, but also looking at those kids that are graduating, you know, looking at what they’ve done throughout their career to get recognized finally,” head soccer coach Brian Kroll said.
The Chieftains also had three soccer players make the state All-Northeast Region Team. Titterington was a first-team defender, Saathoff was a second-team forward and Zack Tallent was a second-team defender. This was the first time in the four years Kroll has been the coach that the Chieftains have had an all-region representative.
The Tonganoxie volleyball team had four all-league players, including one player, junior outside hitter Jenny Whitledge, who will return next year. Middle hitter Brooklyn Kerbaugh, libero Megan Hummelgaard and outside hitter Kailan Kuzmic, all seniors, were also named to the Kaw Valley All-League team.
“The girls did a great job this year, had a great year,” Parker said. “(They) came in every day ready to play, represented their school, our community every time that they went out there. They showed a lot of class, lot of maturity, and in that they produced 29 wins as well. Our girls have worked hard for what they get and so we’re proud of all their effort.”
Senior defensive lineman Ryan Lynch was the lone Tonganoxie football player represented on the all-league teams, earning a second-team nomination. The athletes were recognized with the awards at a banquet Monday.
The THS coaches nominate players for the all-league awards, but in order to make a team, players must receive votes from other coaches around the league as well. Kroll said what makes him the most proud of the awards is the players who make the all-league teams must also stand out and be remembered by opposing coaches for their play on the field.
“That means those players, in the eyes of the coaches of the teams that we played, made a difference and that’s huge to me,” Kroll said.
Kroll said he believes it is important to recognize individual athletes for their accomplishments, but what’s most important about the fall sports season can be found in big letters above the doors to the high school that read, “We Are Tongie.”
“I tell my boys all the time … the bottom line that these kids need to remember is regardless of the sport you’re playing, we’re all doing this for our town and for our school and for ourselves,” Kroll said. “And we should take pride in the fact that other teams that have kids that we go to school with, and that we are friends with, are finding success.”