Opinion: Best of the best in fall sports
Before we put the fall season to bed and move indoors for winter sports like hoops, swimming and wrestling, I thought I'd take a few minutes to look back at this year's fall sports teams and to honor the players who I thought were most important to their teams.
Let's start with football. Basehor-Linwood coach Steve Hopkins continued to impress those within the school with his devotion to playing the game the right way, with total effort and complete focus. No one better demonstrated the Hopkins way than super tailback Will Peterson.
On his way to becoming the first 1,000-yard back since the two schools combined to become Basehor-Linwood High School, Peterson played the game the way every coach hopes his players will play. He fought day in and day out to make himself and his team better. He rarely complained when things didn't go his way. And whenever he found success -- which was often in 2005 -- Peterson handled it with total class.
Peterson was not only the best player on the field in most of the Bobcats' games this year, but he was also the best person. He will be missed.
Speaking of players who will be missed, Basehor-Linwood goalie Zach Lowe will leave a huge void in the Bobcats' net next season.
Lowe was terrific in 2005, turning in incredible performance after incredible performance and single-handedly keeping the Bobcats in several games.
His most incredible performance came in the first round of the playoffs, where Lowe willed his team to a quadruple-overtime showing against the defending state champs. Although the Bobcats lost, Lowe was hailed by most -- on both sides -as the player of the game. With all due respect to all-league standout Austin Knipp, who was the Bobcats' best player the past two seasons and probably will be again next year, Lowe's inspired play this season earned him the nod.
On the volleyball court, picking an MVP was tough. The Lady Bobcats had so many versatile players who did so much for the team this year, that picking just one as the best of them all hardly seemed fair.
But because you can't name six co-MVPs, I've elected to go with Chelsey Patton.
Like her teammates, Patton was ferocious for the Lady 'Cats all season, but it was her heart and fun-loving attitude that made her stand out.
Whether she hammered a spike onto the opponents' court or missed and hit the ball into the net, Patton popped up with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. She did so many things well and was probably the most versatile player on the BLHS roster.
On the cross country circuit, BLHS's Megan Tush, an experienced runner who made a return trip to state in 2005, picks up this year's honor.
Tush not only improved her own times, but she also inspired her teammates to strive for greatness and was a solid presence as the team's leader.
Finally, during the first season of girls golf at BLHS, one golfer stood out above the rest. Her name was Lindsey Fenton, the player who will go down in history as the team's first state qualifier.
So many players did so much for the fall sports teams at BLHS this season. And, any time you're picking an MVP, people get overlooked.
But regardless of the scores, records or stats, all of the athletes who competed this fall for the Bobcats made their marks and should be proud of their efforts.