OFFICIALS HONOR BOWDEN
Matt Mounts’ crew for the Conway Springs- at Trinity Academy game Friday will be wearing white pants to honor Rick Bowden, a retired Kansas State High School Activities Association assistant executive director who died in an accident on his farm near Waverly, Neb. on Sept. 27.
“He was adamant about wearing the white pants,” Mounts said. “He didn’t want to change to black. As long as he was in charge, we had white knickers.
“ A lot of the guys on my crew have officiated for 30 years and some. My umpire, Tim Clapp, knew Rick really well, and this gives us a way to pay tribute.”
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KINGMAN: IMPROVED OR GOOD?
When Kingman (2-1) plays at Hesston (4-0) on Friday night, Kingman coach Curtis Albin figures he will finally know whether his team is a good one or simply improved.
Kingman, which played Hutchinson’s junior varsity in its opener after Sunrise Christian dropped down to eight-man, has already matched its win total from 2012.
“There’s been indications that we’re getting stronger and better,” said Albin, whose team lost by seven to Smoky Valley. “We have a pretty good class of seniors and good complements in the classes below them. We’re starting to turn the corner a little bit.
“ Our umpire in our last game said that in his 15 years he’s officiated, this is the most physical team he’s seen other than Hutch High. His other compliment was that this offensive line is as good as he’s ever seen for this size of school.”
Kingman’s all-senior offensive line is led by Ryan Ibarra, a 265-pound center.
“He’s not terribly mobile, but he’s 265 pounds, and once he gets his hands on you, he’s probably going to get you blocked,” Albin said.
Kingman runs the double-tight wishbone belly option, using seven players, including quarterback Mitchell Packard. Running back Zach Andersen has a team-high 303 rushing yards on 30 carries.
Free safety Parker Maloney has three interceptions and is the team’s second-leading tackler.
Heights’ offense is designed to emphasize its running game, and it has successfully showcased six players who are averaging five or more yards per carry.
Heights’ running game has powered on ever after losing Curtis Whitten in the season opener to a medial-collateral ligament injury — he should return — and then Alan Garrett for the season to an anterior-cruciate ligament injury in the second game.
Darvin Batiste has a team-high seven yards per carry and is second with 280 rushing yards, while quarterback Trenton Autry has a team-high 300 rushing yards and a 4.5 yards-per-carry average, and Tre King has 228 rushing yards.
With such a strong running game, does it matter that Autry has completed is 1 of -for-16 passes passing for 19 yards and a touchdown?
Heights coach Terry Harrison doesn’t think so.
“We’re not going to throw it just to make people happy or be balanced. We’ll do what it takes to win,” said Harrison, whose team is 2-2 and plays host to West (3-1) on Friday. “Without having you on a whiteboard for two hours, we put pressure on every part of the field. That’s what teams that throw the ball do; we do it in a different way.
“ I feel totally comfortable throwing the ball. We’ve ran the ball really, really well. We have no need to put the ball in the air. Passing doesn’t cure fumbles.”
Injuries have depleted Garden Plain’s depth at quarterback so much so that coach Brad McCormick planned to turn to a receiver, Jordan Joplin, for Friday’s game with visiting Cheney.
Garden Plain has used Alex Becker, Grant Lehner and Troy Puetz at quarterback. All are out with injuries. Wyatt Lehner will probably see some time at quarterback, too.
“I think we’ll still have some success,” McCormick said. “We just need to rearrange and shuffle the cards a bit.”
THINKING PINK IN ANDOVER
There will be plenty of pink at Friday’s Andover Central-Andover game at Andover District Stadium.
The rivals are using the game as a way to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Each school has sold pink T-shirts with the slogan “A-Town Beats Breast Cancer” on the front and their school logo on the back.
“Our students have come together over the cause of breast cancer,” said Avery Niernberger, Andover Central’s senior class president. “ It’s such a big game, so instead of being negative about it, we’re using it for a good cause.”
There will be ways to donate money, and the proceeds from the sale of T-shirts, pink sunglasses and pink eyeblack, will go to the American Cancer Society.