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Tiernan Leaving Osborne For Solomon

8-Man coaching veteran Steve Tiernan has announced his resignation as the Osborne High School football coach and will be heading to Solomon High School for the same position pending approval from the Solomon USD 393 Board of Education.  Tiernan spent four seasons at the helm for Osborne, going 39-7, which included a 13-0 season and a 8-Man DI State Championship in 2013.  Overall in 13 seasons at Osborne and Baileyville B&B High School, Tiernan is 129-20 with six state championship game appearances, winning the state title in 2008 and 2010 at B&B.

Here at KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports, Dusty Deines had a chance for an exclusive interview with Tiernan to talk about the reasoning behind the move from Osborne to Solomon.  You can hear that interview below.

Solomon Valley Catbackers Event Held Monday

The Annual Solomon Valley Catbackers event was held at Beloit Country Club on Monday night. Many purple clad fans took part in the festivities , as Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jeff Mittie was the featured speaker.

K-State fans got to hear the latest on the Men’s Basketball team from Director of Basketball Operations Drew Speraw and the latest on the Wildcat football team from Defensive Coordinator Tom Hayes. University President Kirk Schultz was also in attendance.

Coach Mittie capped off the evening and here at KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports, we had a chance to catch up with Mittie ourselves. The K-State women’s basketball team went 19-14 a season ago and will look to improve on the mark in 2015-16. One of the topics that came up in our discussion with Mittie was the importance of homegrown Kansas talent on his roster with the likes of Shaelyn Martin of Salina and Wamego sisters Kaylee and Lanie Page.

For the full interview with Coach Mittie, check out kdcountry94.com. Our thanks to the Solomon Valley Catbackers for the chance to take part in this year’s event.

State Track & Field Begins Friday

The Kansas State High School Activities Association State Track & Field Championships will begin for area teams on Friday morning at Cessna Stadium in Wichita. Many area athletes will be competing for State Championships in their respective events.

The meet gets underway at 7:45 a.m. Friday with the 1A Girls 3200m Run Finals, followed by the 1A Boys 3200m Run, then the 2A & 3A 3200m Finals. Many field events will get underway at 8:00 a.m. The rest of the day Friday sees more field events and the running preliminaries for Class 1A through 3A begin at 9:00 a.m. with the 100m Hurdles.

There’s a long list of area athletes that have qualified for state, including 19 returning State placers from a year ago and two returning State Champions, as Clara Eilert of St. John’s in the 1A Girls 100m Hurdles and Caden Callaway of Pike Valley in the 1A Boys 3200m Run will both look to defend their titles in those events.

As far as teams are concerned, the Beloit Trojans boys and girls will both be well represented in Class 3A, as well as the Osborne Boys and St. John’s Girls in Class 1A and the Smith Center Boys in Class 2A.

Beloit won their home 3A Regional Championship in both boys and girls action last Friday. We had a chance to catch up with head coach Ryan Isbell, and he offered his thoughts on both teams chances at State against the rest of the 3A competition.

The Osborne Bulldog boys team was also a regional champion last week in Class 1A at Hays. They will send multiple athletes to Wichita, and their head coach Steve Tiernan discussed their chances in the 1A Boys ranks this weekend.

Again, the State Track & Field Championships start at 7:45 on Friday morning in Wichita. Fans can find a complete list of athletes competing from the KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 listening area at www.nckssports.com. Fans can also stay informed with what is going on at State Track & Field by tuning in for our reports beginning after 9:00 a.m. on KD Country 94 Friday, with reports each half hour until the early session finishes. Coverage continues just after 9:00 a.m. on Saturday as well with reports every half hour all day long.

Beloit High School Coaching Staffs See Changes

There will be a different look to two coaching staffs at Beloit High School in the 2015-16 school year.  Wednesday, it was announced that long time BHS assistant football coach Andy Niemczyk had resigned that post and it was also announced that he will be replaced by current Lincoln High School coach Nate Naasz, pending USD 273 Board of Education approval.  Naasz will also serve as an assistant to Niemczyk on the BHS wrestling staff and will be the Business teacher, as he comes home to Beloit, where he graduated in 2000.

Niemcyzk has been an assistant coach on the football team and the head wrestling coach at Beloit for 29 years.  He will continue his duties as the wrestling coach, but he felt it was time to step away from football, as he told KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports on Wednesday afternoon.

Naasz has been the head coach of the Lincoln High wrestling program for the past nine years.  He is excited about the opportunity to come back home to Beloit.

With Naasz leaving, Lincoln will look for a new wrestling coach.  Naasz had nothing but good things to say about his experience in Lincoln and said he will miss the Leopard program.

Voorhees Steps Down As Thunder Ridge Football Coach

Jerry Voorhees announced on Friday that after 17 seasons overall of coaching and 9 years in Kensington, that he is resigning from his post as the head coach of the Thunder Ridge Longhorns football program.

In 9 years of coaching in Kensington, Voorhees compiled a record of 75-20, which included a 58-16 mark in the past seven seasons with Thunder Ridge. Also over his nine seasons, Voorhees took his teams to the playoffs six times, once with Kensington and five times with Thunder Ridge, while winning the State Championship in 8-Man DII in 2011 and finishing as the runner-up in 2012.

The Longhorns went 6-3 this season and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 in a very tough 8-Man DII District 7.

We had the chance to speak with Voorhees about his decision, and he explained his reasoning for stepping aside.

All of us at KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports send our best wishes to Coach Voorhees in his future endeavors and we thank him for all of his assistance over the past 9 years.

Legendary Smith Center Football Coach To Be Inducted Into Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

This weekend in Wichita, former Smith Center football coach Roger Barta will be inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.  Barta spent 35 seasons as the head coach at Smith Center, compiling a record of 323-68 and claiming eight state championships, three in 3A and a run of five straight from 2004-2008 in 2-1A.  During their dominant stretch in 2-1A, the Redmen had a win streak that stretched to 79 games, which is a Kansas state record for consecutive wins.  The only loss for Smith Center from 2004-2009 was in the 2009 2-1A State Championship in OT to Centralia.

Barta also holds the state record for career coaching win percentage and consecutive undefeated seasons with five from 2004-2008.

At KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports, we had a chance to talk with Barta about his upcoming induction and it’s no surprise that he will not take all of the credit himself for the honor.

Barta will be inducted with nine other new members who are all legends in the State of Kansas in their own right.  The other members include: DeLoss Dodds (Riley), Bill Freeman (LeRoy), Charlie Hoag (University of Kansas, posthumously), Caroline Bruce McAndrew (Wichita), Ed Nealy (Bonner Springs), Gene Stephenson (Wichita State University), Bill Tidwell (Kiowa), Walt Wesley (University of Kansas) and Chuckie Williams (Kansas State University).

Barta commented on being part of such a great Hall of Fame class in 2014.

The induction ceremony will take place at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at the Wichita Boathouse this Sunday at 4:00 p.m.  All of us at KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports send out our congratulations to Coach Barta for this well deserved honor.

2014 Northern Plains League 8-Man DI Preview

As the high school football season begins on Friday night, we’ve been previewing our area leagues this week on KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 Sports. Today, we wrap up our previews with the Northern Plains League 8-Man DI teams.

The team to watch in the league is the Osborne Bulldogs, the defending 8-Man DI State Champions. Osborne returns just three starters on offense and four on defense. The Bulldogs will also start their season with Cullen Riner roaming the sidelines as the head coach in place of Steve Tiernan, who continues to recover from his motorcycle accident over the summer. For Osborne, their top returners are QB Jake Tiernan, who completed 78% of his passes and threw for 1,653 yards and 28 TD compared to just 5 INT. Brandt Wolters is back after leading the team with 125 tackles from his LB position on defense and hauling in 14 receiving TD on offense. Osborne will have to replace four key players. Offensive Linemen Collin Berkley and Joel Simon helped pave the way for RB’s Kenton Ubelaker and Maverick LeRock. Ubelaker and LeRock combined for 2,889 yards and 52 rushing TD’s and a total of 4,365 all-purpose yards. The good news for Osborne is that they have some new players in. Richard Zeiters transferred from Logan-Palco and ran for just under 800 yards and 12 TD last season, and Matt & Malachi Pfannenstiel come over from Russell.

In talking with Cullen Riner, the Bulldogs are putting forth great effort as they look to begin the defense of their state title.

Osborne will open out the season with a tough road game at Thunder Ridge on Friday night, a game fans can hear on KD Country 94 and online at kdcountry94.com with pregame at 6:30.

Three other teams from the NPL play in the 8-Man DI ranks and all four of the DI teams are in District 4. Rock Hills is a team to keep an eye on this season. After making it all the way to the State Championship Game in 2012 and losing to Ness City, the Grizzlies struggled through the early part of the 2013 season with key injuries in their backfield. They ended with a record of 4-5. Rock Hills returns four starters on offense and three on defense, but they lose key players in QB Chance Copple and RB/LB Devon Freeman. Fortunately for Rock Hills, they do return RB Joel Broeckelman who broke his leg in Week 2 against Hanover. As a sophomore, Broeckelman ran for 1,343 yards and 32 TD and had 2,099 all-purpose yards. The Grizzlies hope he can return to that form in his senior season. Second year head coach Brock McMillan told us that he likes the way his experienced guys are taking on leadership roles for his team.

Rock Hills opens their season in Miltonvale on Friday night against Southern Cloud.

The Lakeside Knights will begin their season on Friday night at home against fellow NPL member Pike Valley. The Knights hope to make improvements off of last season’s 0-9 finish. The Knights, who just three years ago went 11-1 and were just one win away from the state championship game, went 2-16 in the last two seasons. Drew Duskie takes over the program after being an assistant for Kody Tegtmeier the past two years. Lakeside does return five starters on offense and eight on defense, including speedy back Shayne Renken, LB/RB Tristen Winkel, QB Dawson Johnson and offensive lineman Tyron Gruwell and Jaden Flower. Duskie likes the experience that he has back on this year’s team.

Finally in the NPL, the Lincoln Leopards will look to improve off a 4-5 finish a season ago. They return just three starters on each side of the ball, headlined by QB Zac Walter and OL/DL Matt Davied. Walter had a solid season as a sophomore last year, rushing for 1,545 yards and 24 TD and passing for another 841 yards and 12 TD, while also leading the defense with 140 tackles. Davied registered 67 tackles last season and will anchor the offensive line this year. Lincoln head coach Garry Lowry is looking forward to another season getting underway.

The Leopards open the season on Friday night at home against Tescott.

This concludes our look at the area leagues for 2014 in high school football. If you missed any of our previews, you can find them all at www.kdcountry94.com.


2014 Northern Plains League 8-Man DII Preview

The 2014 high school football season kicks off in the area on Friday night, and throughout the week, we have been previewing the area leagues. Today, we take a look at the Northern Plains League 8-Man DII schools.

St. John’s/Tipton and Thunder Ridge are two schools in our area that are looking to do big things in 2014. They are both coming off of solid seasons a year ago, in which both teams were eliminated from the playoffs by Sharon Springs. Thunder Ridge lost just one other game, and that was a thrilling 42-38 game against St. John’s/Tipton in Beloit last September. This season, both teams are in nearly everyone’s Top 5 going into the season, with some media members picking either team as the #1 team in the State. Interestingly enough, in the end, one of the teams may be staying home for the postseason, as they are in a stacked District 7 in 8-Man DII that also includes Victoria.

St. John’s/Tipton returns four starters on offense and three on defense from last season’s team that went 11-1. Trey Dubbert is the top returner, as he will begin his third full season as the starting QB for the Blujays. Dubbert threw for 1,354 yards last season with 20 TD and only 4 INT.   Also back on offense is Junior Parker Gates, who racked up 1,304 all-purpose yards last season. Riley Gates and Andrew Eilert are back to anchor the offensive line. The Blujays will need to replace Luke Eilert, Connor Eilert and Caleb Brummer from last year’s team. All three were solid skill players, but they may find out that replacing them on defense will be more difficult, as the trio combined to be the top three tacklers on the team with a total of 413 tackles and 35 tackles for loss between them.

Keith Kresin, the head coach of the Blujays, does like what his offense looks like so far in practices this season.

St. John’s/Tipton will open out their season on Friday night in Hill City on Z 96.3 “The Lake”. Pregame coverage begins at 6:30.

On KD Country 94, the Thunder Ridge Longhorns open up against defending 8-Man DI State Champion Osborne. Thunder Ridge returns five starters on offense and three on defense, led by RB Trent Rietzke, who ran for over 1,300 yards last season. Dylan Bretton is back after spending a few games as the starting QB last season in coach Jerry Voorhees’ run first offense. The Longhorns also bring back one of their top tacklers on defense in Larame Boyle. Thunder Ridge will rely on their size up front to help guide the running game. Voorhees is excited about this year’s group.

Also in NPL 8-Man DII, Sylvan-Lucas looks to bounce back from a tough 3-6 year, in which they needed just one more win in the final week against Otis-Bison to qualify for the playoffs. They ended up losing that game by two points, which leaves a bad taste in the mouths of their four returning offensive and five returning defensive starters. Sylvan-Lucas does lose key players from last season, but they return starting QB Collin Herold and backs Tim Schulteis and Ty Heenan. Mustangs head coach Ben Labertew is hoping to find the right pieces to fit in with the experience he has back.

Sylvan-Lucas opens their season at Natoma on Friday night.

Southern Cloud had some success a season ago, going 6-4, but losing in the first round of the playoffs to eventual State Champion Baileyville B&B. The Warriors have experience back in RB’s Justin Pelkey and Austin Pelkey and TE/DB Trey Bellows, but they will need to replace QB/DB Ryan Perkins and fellow 8-Man All-Star Lance Heller. Perkins threw for just under 1,200 yards and ran for another 800, but will be tougher to replace on defense, as he finished his career with 481 tackles. The Warriors open their season in Miltonvale against Rock Hills on Friday.

Pike Valley moves down to 8-Man DII this season. Don Melby enters his 33rd season as head coach of the Panthers and has three starters back on offense and six on defense. Jacob Field and Dawson Carlgren return in the backfield after combining for 1,426 yards rushing and 25 TD. The Panthers will need to replace their QB, as Titus Vignery is now at Minneapolis. Pike Valley opens the season on the road at Lakeside Friday night.

Four other teams from the NPL play in the 8-Man DII ranks. Natoma is in the same district as St. John’s/Tipton and Thunder Ridge and returns four starters on offense and five on defense from a team that went 5-4. Triton Frye is back at QB after throwing for over 800 yards and 17 TD last year.

Wilson went just 1-8 last season, but they return six starters on both sides of the ball, so they are much more experienced than they were a season ago.

Tescott went 3-6 last year and returns four starters on offense and three on defense. Senior QB Joel McCosh is the top returner for Daymon Walker’s squad.

And finally in the NPL 8-Man DII Ranks, Chase will be one of the more experienced teams in the league, as they return seven starters on each side after going 3-6 last season. QB Brendon Clark and RB Mikey Brown are the top returners for the Kats.


2014 North Central Activities Association Football Preview

The 2014 high school football season opens on Friday night for our area schools and all this week, we will be previewing the area leagues. Today we take a look at the North Central Activities Association.

The Beloit Trojans have won four consecutive league titles and 24 straight regular season league games. Last season, Beloit had their best season since 1996, as they made it to the 3A State Championship in Hutchinson, before falling to Silver Lake 82-38. This year, they have to replace a host of starters from a season ago, include 4-year starting QB Payton Vetter, running backs Bowe Behymer and Tanner Niemczyk and All-State OL and Shrine Bowl participant Bryce Black, among others.

In all, Beloit returns four starters on offense and seven on defense from last season. The top player returning is Senior FB and Air Force commit R.J. Jackson. Jackson spent the early part of last season playing TE, but due to injuries he moved to FB and flourished there, rushing for 357 yards and 4 TD. Senior Elliot Kimminau anchors the line for the Trojans on offense and defense and has started on the offensive line for three full years and part of his freshman season. The Trojans do lose some solid players, but they hope to continue their tradition of winning. Head coach Greg Koenig is looking forward to the season and seeing if his staff has found the right pieces to be successful again.

Beloit will open their season on Friday night against Concordia on the road.

Elsewhere in the NCAA, Southeast of Saline looks to improve off of a 7-3 season a year ago. They return five starters on offense and four on defense. Leading the way for the Trojans is QB Cody Schlesener, as he threw for over 900 yards and 14 TD last season. Southeast also returns skill players Kyler Sager at an End and Kayden Besher at RB.

Sacred Heart went 8-2 a season ago and moves down to the 2-1A ranks this year. The Knights return just one starter on offense and four on defense, so they will look to find new players to step into bigger roles this season.

Minneapolis and Ellsworth both went 3-6 a season ago and will look to make improvements. The Lions have a new head coach in Jhon Haehn, who steps in after previous coach Jeff Giles passed away tragically during the wrestling season. Minneapolis brings back eight starters on both sides of the ball, including skill players in QB Josh Macy and Gage Mortimer and Jake Fleming in the backfield. Quentin Clark will anchor the offensive and defensive line for the Lions.

Ellsworth doesn’t return a lot from last season’s team, but they do have QB Takota Anderson back after he threw for 994 yards and ran for another 846, while combining for 19 TD’s. The Bearcats hope his experience can help lead to improvement this season.

Russell went just 1-8 last season with their lone win over Republic County. The Broncos return quite a bit of experience, as they bring back eight starters on offense and nine on defense for new head coach Jeff Brull. The Broncos will rely on experienced starters in the backfield in QB Reshean Holloway and backs Chase Prester and Kiefer Craig.

Republic County struggled through another 0-9 season last year. The Buffaloes have lost 32 consecutive games, with their last win coming on September 24 of 2010 against Sacred Heart. Travis Johnson is in his 2nd season as the head coach for the Buffs and believes that the program will be able to turn itself around with hard work.

In the end, for the fifth straight year, the NCAA looks like it is Beloit’s to lose. As the season goes on, we’ll find out if anyone in the league is up to the challenge of taking down the Trojans.