Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Opinion: Winds of change blowing at BLHS

October 19, 2006

At the Basehor-Linwood High School football game Friday I was asked if the girls cross country team would be on the front page of today's sports section. The Lady Bobcats had just won the Kaw Valley League championship the night before, the first league championship in BLHS cross country history.

Generally, in the last few years, if a BLHS team accomplished something like that I could say with confidence that it would be on the front.

This week, though, I couldn't say for sure -- there were just too many other big things on the horizon.

The football team had its best offensive game of the season, by far. The Bobcats finally got it going and were rewarded with a 26-24 win over Westport.

So that was a big story.

The girls golf team went to the state tournament Monday, in just its second year of existence.

The Lady Bobcats were playing with a chance to become the school's first state championship athletics team.

So that was a big story.

The volleyball team swept a quadrangular at Wyandotte on Tuesday. The Lady Bobcats pushed their record to 16-17, doubling their victory total from last year. They also completed a season sweep of Bonner Springs.

So that was a big story.

The soccer team played a home game against Maur Hill on Tuesday. The Bobcats, at 10-3-1, were heavy favorites, so the fact that they won 5-2 wasn't such a big deal. But it was a big deal that Austin Knipp scored three goals to pull within one of the state's career record.

With all that going on, the Sentinel's small staff was faced with some tough choices about what went on the front.

But that's a darn good problem to have.

Last week was probably the most exciting week of sports that I've seen in more than two years covering BLHS.

And, here's the really exciting part: it's only going to get better.

Look at all these successful fall teams and then look at their rosters.

  • Girls golf: three seniors
  • Football: four seniors
  • Cross country: three seniors
  • Soccer: two seniors
  • Volleyball: one senior

These teams are all looking good this year. By this time next year, they could be scary good. And that's to say nothing of the boys and girls basketball teams, and the girls soccer and softball teams, all of which are returning a ton of starters and have a shot to be real special this year and next year.

What's the reason for the turnaround? Well, the players usually mention Ross Schwisow and everything he helped them accomplish in the weight room. Also, a lot of the coaches are just getting into their third or fourth year at the school, so most of their players have been brought up in their systems and are comfortable with them.

But I think the ultimate credit always has to go to the kids who are out there competing. They have made a serious commitment to getting better, to showing up and working with Schwisow in the weight room and spending long hours in practice learning from their coaches.

Bobcats in all sports are starting to reach their potential and weeks like this past one are the reward.

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