Getting warmed up for Tonganoxie winter sports
The winter season is coming.
Preseason practice got started Nov. 14 for Tonganoxie High basketball and wrestling teams.
It’s been full speed ahead for the teams, including a new tradition for the boys and girls basketball teams.
On Tuesday, the teams had an event similar to college basketball’s preseason kickoff to practices.
Instead of a standard Red/White scrimmage, festivities started at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday with activities such as a 3-point contest between the boys and girls teams, a half-court shooting contest, THS seniors vs. staff basketball scrimmage, fan giveaways and more.
THS wrestling returns with coach Ross Starcher hoping to build on last year’s state success.
The wrestlers open the season with the Wamego Invitational at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 in Wamego.
Abilene, Chase County, Concordia, Hayden, Herington, Ottawa, Rock Creek and Salina Central will be at the meet with Wamego.
The team then has the big Eudora tournament Dec. 9 and 10 in Eudora.
Atchison County, Bishop Ward, Buhler, De Soto, Fort Scott, Holcomb, Lansing, Lawrence, Louisburg, Ottawa, Piper, Rossville, St. Thomas Aquinas, Schlagle, Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission South, Spring Hill, St. James Academy, St. Marys, Sumner Academy and Wellsville.
Tonganoxie returns much of its squad last year, including three state medalists: junior Aidan McClellan (fourth), sophomore Korbin Riedel (fifth) and junior Gad Huseman (sixth).
For THS boys basketball, a new era begins.
Former assistant David Hillmon takes over for his first season at the helm. He replaces Shawn Phillips, who resigned after eight seasons last May.
Hillmon will lead a THS team that finished 4-17 last year.
The team gets the season started Dec. 1 with a home game against Baldwin and has another home game Dec. 9 against Ottawa.
Tonganoxie won’t see another gymnasium than its own until 2017.
The team is at home Dec. 16 against Piper for the final game of the 2016 portion of the schedule.
For the THS girls, this marks Matt Frost’s second season at the helm.
The Chieftains went 6-15 in Frost’s first season.
The team nearly advanced to the substate finals last year thanks to a furious second-half rally.
THS trailed by 24 in the first half, but tied the game in fourth quarter. Atchison eventually held on for a 67-61 victory, but Frost’s team starts fresh this season the same as the THS boys team: with three home games heading into winter break.
Tonganoxie takes on Baldwin on Dec. 1, Ottawa on Dec. 9 and Piper on Dec. 16.