Archive for Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spring wasn’t short on thrills

May 29, 2012

I may have only been in Tonganoxie for a few months, but I’ve already witnessed plenty of excitement throughout the local sports scene. From a rare milestone on the basketball court to a state run on the soccer field, things have hardly been dull in 2012.

Not long after arriving in Tonganoxie, I got to witness a feat not often accomplished in the state of Kansas. Senior Dane Erickson surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career in a senior-night victory over Piper. The Chieftain girls also provided plenty of excitement on the hardwood, winning 16 games and coming within one game of a state appearance.

Speaking of state, let’s not forget the history-making campaign put together by the THS wrestling team. The Chieftains won their first league championship in more than 20 years and sent a school-record eight wrestlers to the state tournament.

The spring season started off with a bang, as the THS golf team opened the season with its first of five tournament wins. The team’s 2012 resume now includes the first regional championship in school history and a second-place finish at state.

Down the road in McLouth, the Bulldog softball team opened the season with state title aspirations. It looked up to the challenge throughout a 16-4 regular season, which included an 11-game win streak. MHS came up just short in its quest for a state bid, but several key players will be back with the same goal in 2013.

State hopes also existed among the THS soccer players, but enthusiasm seemed to fade after a 1-6-1 start to the season. However, the tables turned in a big way and the Chieftains closed out the year in record-breaking fashion. They went 6-2 to close out the regular season, then reeled off three straight postseason wins to earn their first-ever regional title and state bid.

The soccer team wasn’t the only group in action on state weekend, as 10 local track and field athletes squared off against the top competition Kansas has to offer. That group accounted for five top-10 finishes, including a pair by Chieftain junior Jenny Whitledge. Whitledge brought home her second consecutive state title in the high jump, making her the school’s first two-time state champ.

Needless to say, if the last few months have been an accurate preview of things to come, local sports fans should be in for quite a ride. Thanks to all the athletes, coaches and parents for making my first semester in Tonganoxie and fun one. You’ve all been great to work with and I look forward to seeing you again in the fall.

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