Opinion: Avoiding that certain senior
My mission in covering Basehor-Linwood soccer this fall was clear: make it to plenty of games, but try not to focus too much on a certain senior forward.
You see, the team was primed for its best season ever, but over the last three years that senior forward had gotten his name and picture in our paper quite a lot.
This year we wanted to focus more on the squad's up-and-coming players.
I did pretty good in the first week of the season, but last week and this week I found myself putting that same senior forward's name right at the top of my articles.
So my editor, Matt Tait, came up with an interesting challenge for me: write an entire column about BLHS soccer without mentioning the name A***** K****.
Might as well give it a shot.
The BLHS soccer team has proven that all the preseason hype wasn't just talk from excited kids and proud parents.
Although the Bobcats have a lot of games to go, they seem to be for real, sprinting out to a 5-1 record. They won their season opener 5-0 at De Soto, and then took the home opener 4-0 against Tonganoxie.
The highlight of the Tongie game was a rare bicycle kick goal by Aus...Oops. Wait, I know I can do better than that.
The Bobcats soccer team has just two seniors, but is still an experienced squad, thanks to a deep and talented junior class. Matt Murrell provides vocal leadership from the goalie position and Sam Seaman leads the field players from the back line as one of the state's most reliable sweepers.
Ryan Sirridge plays like a whirlwind in the midfield, racing up and down the pitch with a speed and intensity that few opponents can match for 80 minutes. Another junior, Stephen Millison, is probably overdue for some league recognition at the forward spot. Millison scored 11 goals last year, mostly by hustling to every loose ball in the danger area and not being afraid to sacrifice his body in crushing collisions with defenders and goalkeepers.
Millison would probably be a star in the KVL if he weren't a quiet kid who's somewhat overshadowed by the Bobcats other forward, all-state standout Austin...Geez! I was on a roll there.
The Bobcats still have a difficult schedule coming up, with games against ranked foes like Mill Valley and Bonner Springs. But they proved they could hang with the best last week when they beat the defending KVL co-champs from Lansing.
Things looked bleak in the game when Lansing jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Basehor-Linwood got three second half goals from Austin Kn...OK, that one was doomed from the start.
In all seriousness, it's hard to write about the BLHS soccer team without mentioning Austin Knipp.
The kid has scored 12 goals in six games, for Pete's sake. But he'd probably be the first to tell you that he isn't doing any of it alone.
This year's team is easily the most talented he's ever played on and in future weeks I'm going to do my best to make sure that his teammates get their due.