Wristen: Lansing makes statement in 2005
Lansing has had its share of successful years on the sports field throughout history, but few, if any, quite compare to the dominance displayed by the Lions in 2005.
LHS was among the top teams in the Kaw Valley League in almost every sport, and it won four league championships. Not bad for one year's work. It may be cliche to revisit teams' successes at the end of the year, but it's worth doing this year in Lansing because the successes were so great. So without further adieu, here's a glance back at the top 10 sports stories of 2005:
¢ Ron Averill collects 200th win. Averill, Lansing's wrestling coach, collected his 200th career dual victory Jan. 20 when LHS hammered Hiawatha, 72-3. On the same night, in the same building, Silver Lake coach Harry LaMar reached the same milestone.
¢ Kyle Grape wins state title. At the beginning of the season, the then-sophomore stated that his goal for the year was to be a state champion. Grape made good on his proclamation as he dominated Bishop Carroll freshman Tom McDonald in the 140-pound championship match. The end result was a 15-9 victory that made Grape just the third individual state wrestling champ in LHS history.
¢ Girls soccer wins NEKSL title. Lansing High has had a dominant girls soccer program since it began in 2002, and year No. 4 was no different for the Lions. They posted a 13-4 record and captured the Northeast Kansas Soccer League championship.
¢ Takeisha Jenkins places second at state. LHS had Jenkins for just one season - her family moved this fall to Mississippi - but her lone season as a Lion was unforgettable. She shattered the school record in the 300-meter hurdles, and she placed second at state in the event in 46.10 seconds - just .07 away from being a state champ.
¢ LHS earns share of KVL football crown. Lansing returned the most experienced team in the league and set out to prove it also was the best team. A week-two stumble against Mill Valley seemed to eliminate Lansing from contention early, but it won eight straight games and forged a three-way tie for first with Tonganoxie and Perry-Lecompton.
¢ Boys soccer reaches state quarterfinals. Lansing was the No. 1 team in the state in Class 4A for most of the year, but there was one problem: LHS actually was in Class 5A - the state's toughest soccer class this year. The Lions held their own anyway. They won the Kaw Valley League title, posted a 16-3 record and marched to the state quarterfinals before falling to the Shawnee Heights T-Birds.
¢ Red Devils repeat. Anybody concerned about the future of Lansing football needs only to know this statistic: 16-0. That's the two-year record produced by the Lansing Red Devils, a third- and fourth-grade football team that Rick Schneider coached in the Northeast Kansas Athletic Association football league.
After winning this year's title game, Schneider told reporters, "We're very thankful and very fortunate."
They're also very, very good.
¢ LHS volleyball falls short at substate. The Lansing High girls were one point away from advancing to the 5A state volleyball tournament when Topeka Seaman called for a timeout. After that, the Vikings scored five unanswered points to squeak out a 26-24 victory in the decisive game three. The loss snapped a streak of five straight state tournament appearances for the Lions.
¢ Eighth-grade girls dominate. Not to put much pressure on them, but expectations are high for this year's eighth-grade girls at Lansing Middle School. Expectations come from winning, and these girls have won a lot. The volleyball team stomped every opponent it faced while posting a 13-0 record. The girls were solid on the basketball court, too. They posted a 12-1 record this year and are 22-1 in the past two years on the hardwood.
¢ LHS wrestling opens season ranked No. 1 in Kansas in Class 5A. With 11 state qualifiers back from the 2004-2005 squad that placed sixth at state, Lansing was the understandable favorite to capture the 2005-2006 state championship. The Lions backed up the ranking by winning their first two tournaments of the season.