Tennis title, soccer highlight ‘05 in Bonner Springs
It was a memorable year in the world of Bonner Springs High School sports.
Several teams picked up trophies during 2005 and others turned in their best seasons in school history.
Every season of every sport is special to different people for different reasons, but here are our top headlines from the past 12 months.
Kerl and Mortensen Win State
Bonner Springs tennis players Matt Kerl and Josh Mortensen had waited all of their lives to become champions. Bonner Springs tennis coach Bill Scott waited all of their lives and then some. But in 2005, the wait ended for all three or them, as the Braves' top doubles team won the 4A state tennis championship in Wichita.
The state title capped a magical year for the two seniors. In addition to playing the best tennis of their lives and reaping the rewards from the hard work they put in during the offseason, the two made history.
They became the first Bonner Springs Braves tennis players to bring home a state title and they did so while being perfect.
Kerl and Mortensen finished the season with a 28-0 record.
The trophy, the special memories and the countless numbers of handshakes from friends and strangers were great, but the victory was so special for the town of Bonner Springs that the duo actually had an entire day declared Matt Kerl and Josh Mortensen Day.
Bond Issue Means Improvements for Athletic Facilities
In September, sports fans in the area received some great news, when it was learned that the voters in the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville school district passed an $18.7 million bond issue.
Typically, bond issue votes are about much more than athletics. And this one was, too. Most of the money set aside by the bond will go toward the construction of a new elementary school, as well as much-needed improvements to the district's four existing schools. But athletics played a larger role in this bond vote than it does in most.
Included in the bond issue was the installation of field turf at the football field at Bonner Springs High School.
In addition to adding turf, a luxury that will allow soccer and football teams to play year-round regardless of rainy weather, the bond issue included improvements to the BSHS baseball field, as well.
In late October, crews began laying a grass infield and improving the warning track at the field. In December, around the same time construction crews began tearing up the grass at the football field, a new pitcher's mound was installed at the baseball diamond.
Once completed, the improvements to the district's athletic facilities will put Bonner Springs in the upper echelon of districts with the best sports programs.
The turf is expected to be installed in time for athletes to take the field during the first football and soccer games in 2006.
Big Year for Bonner Soccer
The Bonner Springs High School boys soccer team turned in the best season in school history, finishing with a Kaw Valley League championship, a WyCo Tournament championship and a No. 1 seed in the postseason playoffs.
The team's impressive run left it one game shy of qualifying for the state semifinals in Topeka and one game further than any previous BSHS team had ever advanced.
In addition to racking up an impressive 15-4 record, the Braves landed several players on the all-league teams and saw a couple more earn all-state honors. It was without question the best season to date for the BSHS soccer program, as they finished with their best record, picked up the school's first wins over both Mill Valley and De Soto and had three players named to the postseason all-state team.
Seniors Jon Baxter (first team) and Eric Nielsen (second team) led the way, and they were joined on the prestigious squad by junior Derrick Babcock (second team).
Although Baxter dominated the way people expected him to, several other players on offense and defense stepped up this year to give the Braves the season to remember.
While the boys were busy with their best year ever, the girls were celebrating. That's because in March, the girls got word from the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville school district that the high school would field a girls soccer team for the first time in 2006.