There’s a near-miracle occurring in Kansas high school golf that has gone mainly unnoticed throughout the state. Sacred Heart High School of Salina is the two-time defending champion of the 2A state championship, but that’s not the point.
On April 27, 38 teams among the best in the state, including Sacred Heart, competed in the state’s biggest high school tournament—the Hutchinson Invitational. Some of the 5A and 6A schools that participated included the following: Blue Valley North, Hutchinson, Manhattan, Salina South, Salina Central, Wichita East, and Wichita Kapaun.
Sacred Heart’s four-man team shot an astounding four-under-par 280, and shattered the tournament record. The Knights won by a remarkable 11 shots. Senior Grant Herrenbruck was the medalist, with a three-under par 68. He was followed by his younger brother Tate Herrenbruck and Kameron Shaw with one-under par 70’s. Cole Elmore completed the top four with a 72.
Sacred Heart Coach Eric Muninger deserves his share of the credit for such excellence; he has obviously taught his youngsters how to keep their poise and concentration during the pressure of big-time competition.
The big schools in the state should be relieved that Sacred Heart won’t be playing against them in the state tournament, which is a shame. The KSHSAA should make an exception this year and allow Sacred Heart to compete in the 6A state tournament. This is the best golf team in the history of high school golf in Salina; in fact, it just might be the best team ever in the state’s history.
This is the time of year that Kansas football fans should be brimming with excitement over possible improvement and the better players on the way up for the Jayhawks. But that won’t work this time around.
When Dr. Douglas Girod took over as rookie chancellor, it was widely anticipated that he would make necessary changes in the moribund football program. Instead Chancellor Girod made a public statement that no changes were forthcoming and that he was convinced the present staff and athletic director were “doing things the right way.” By implication, it would seem he meant the other nine members of the Big 12 are “doing things the wrong way” because—compared to Kansas—all of them have far-superior football programs.
Coach David Beaty is starting his fourth year at KU with an abysmal 3-33 record and no improvement is in sight. His four recruiting classes at Kansas have all been substandard.
AD Sheahon Zenger has hired two coaches during his tenure at Kansas and their combined record is 10-62; that’s the worst six-year won-loss record in the history of KU football. That earned Zenger a contract extension from departed chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. And that’s a perfect example of the type leadership KU football fans have had to endure down through the years from their presidents.
Beaty didn’t have enough offensive linemen to hold a regular spring game after four years of recruiting. That says it all. What a terrible mess.
Kansas State basketball is knocking on the door to be included among the top 15 teams in the nation for the 2018-19 season. Coach Bruce Weber returns all five starters from the 2018 Elite Eight team. That doesn’t include guards Cartier Diarra and Mike McGuirl who played stellar basketball at the end of last season.
Experience is invaluable in today’s college game and K-State is loaded in that area. Equally important is guard play; the Wildcats have point guard Kamau Stokes, shooting guard Barry Brown, and small forward Xavier Sneed returning. And forward Dean Wade is back for his senior season and should compete for All-American honors.
Two players that will provide key depth and even more with significant improvement are forwards Makol Mawien (6-9, 215) and Levi Stockard (6-8, 250). Stockard has a huge frame and showed signs of being special last season; he could help propel Kansas State back to long-gone national prominence.
Weber added one key recruit during the offseason: power forward Austin Trice (6-7, 230). Trice averaged a double-double last season in JUCO. Weber said, “The worst thing we did last year was rebound . . . we were last in the league. We started looking and saw that Austin led the country in rebounding. I’m not sure how many statistics translate from junior college, but I think one stat that has a chance to translate is rebounding.”
If Trice turns out to be a big-time rebounder, look out for the Wildcats. That would give them the ability to compete favorably with all the one-and-done freshmen teams that aren’t ready for intense competition.
The only thing that could derail this outlook for a terrific team would be Dean Wade leaving early for the NBA. Another year at K-State would benefit him greatly before he tries to take on the frontline giants in the NBA.