Archive for Thursday, December 30, 2004

The year in sports!!!

Closing year leaves behind wonderful memories for Basehor-Linwood sports

December 30, 2004

As the end of yet another year draws near, it's time to look back at the seasons that were in Basehor-Linwood high school sports.

From state contenders and state placers to heartaches and heartbreakers, 2004 provided a little bit of everything for athletes, coaches and fans in Basehor.

After careful consideration, The Basehor Sentinel sports staff has come up with the following five items that we considered to be the top stories of 2004.

5 - Sentinel reporter Andy Marso becomes ill:

Although he isn't from Basehor and he didn't graduate from Basehor-Linwood High School, few things rocked the 2004 athletic scene in Basehor like the news that the Bobcats' reporter had contracted bacterial meningitis. Andy, in just a few months, became one of the Bobcats' biggest supporters. He became ill during a softball double header in the spring. Hours later, the KU student was in the intensive care unit at the University of Kansas Hospital fighting for his life. The news of Andy's illness sent a scare through community, but once everyone realized the disease was not highly contagious, people began to show their true colors. Various members of the community stepped forward to see what they could do for Andy. Coaches and players visited him and sent him cards. Others offered prayers. Today, Andy is still in the middle of an intense rehab process, but he has been released from the hospital, lives in an apartment in Kansas City with his family and is making strides toward returning to his old self on a daily basis.

4 - Bobcats make it 2 in a row at The K:

For the second straight season the Basehor-Linwood baseball team defeated Bonner Springs in the annual Frank White Classic at Kauffman Stadium.

Again the team was asked to sell a certain number of Royals tickets to play the game, and again the community came through. On game day, the Bobcats jumped out to an early lead but saw the Braves climb back into the contest in the middle innings. That's when the young Bobcats seized an opportunity to take control, as they pulled out a win in the late innings to win, 7-4. The Bobcats will look to make it three in a row at The K when they take on Tonganoxie this spring.

3 - Alex Jeannin sets school's all-time assists record:

For four years, Basehor-Linwood basketball standout Alex Jeannin was the poster child for two things -- Lady Bobcat basketball and hard luck injuries. However, during her senior season, all of Jeannin's hard work paid off when she eclipsed the school's all-time career assists mark. Jeannin's senior season was not without injury, but because it was her last, the point guard pushed through the pain and enjoyed her final season in green and gold. During a Jan. 19 game against Fort Scott, Jeannin recorded five assists to move into first place all time with 201 career set ups. In setting the new mark, Jeannin passed Kara Reed, who had held the record for four years.

2 - New coaches make marks on BLHS:

The past year saw more turnover in the coaching fraternity at BLHS than any year in recent memory. But if the first season of these new coaches is any indication of what the future holds for the Bobcats, the coming years should yield plenty of success. New head track coach Leroy Scharnhorst helped coach some of the most successful individual track seasons in school history; newly named head baseball coach David Svoboda led the Bobcats to the brink of the state playoffs; new football coach Steve Hopkins guided the Bobcats to the playoffs for the first time in three years; and new boys hoops coach Mike McBride has his team off to a solid start this winter.

1 - Bobcat football team returns to the playoffs:

It was a hectic year for the Basehor-Linwood High School football team.

Gone was Paul Brown, a fixture on the BLHS sideline for the past several seasons. In to replace him was a man from Odessa, Kan., named Steve Hopkins. And in the minds of the players who would take the field for this new man, were the questions about whether this season would be the same as the past few.

That question was quickly answered, as the Bobcats delivered an impressive season-opening victory over their arch-rivals. Behind a spectacular game from Michael Armstrong -- one of many this season -- the Bobcats dominated Bonner Springs in nearly every aspect of the game. That win got things started on the right foot, and from there, BLHS rallied for enough wins to take home a district runner-up trophy and the memories of qualifying for the 4A state playoffs.

Armstrong led the team's offense nearly every game, but he was aided by the strong and steady running of Will Peterson and Josh Ishmael. In the team's toughest times, it was the BLHS defense -- particularly the linemen -- who answered the bell and brought a refuse-to-lose attitude to the field with them. High school football is alive and well again in Basehor.

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