Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Basehor-Linwood coaching staff focuses on the glow of the future

August 22, 2007

It started with cross country. It extended through the winter, with a magical run by the basketball team. The spring brought two more championships, in boys golf and softball.

The seminal moment of the 2006-2007 BLHS season won't be the fourth place finish in the Kaw Valley League Athletics Department of the Year award. But it certainly portends a bright future.

Ask Basehor-Linwood coaches, and their enthusiasm is focused not on the past. To them, the watershed moment has not yet happened for an athletic department that appears to have turned a corner.

"The future of our athletic department is looking very positive," golf coach Chad Harvey said.We have just started improving at all levels and at all sports. Pride is back in our district.nd that can make things a lot of fun.

"I think among the coaches in our district, our expectations have always been very high, we have just had to figure out how to work together in order for us all to be successful.We are all here because we love kids; we want to show them what it takes to be successful in life."

Bobcat athletes are as confident as ever.

"We know we can win and play with the big boys," soccer player Matt Murrell said of his team earlier this summer. "We want to make it to the next level. We aren't the only sport doing it. Now Basehor has the confidence that we can compete in every sport."

Softball coach Susan Mayberry sees the kids leading the charge to put the Bobcats back on the map.

"I think we have an opportunity to really make strides with the kids we have out for sports right now," Mayberry said."It's human nature to want to be a part of something successful. It's about creating opportunities for kids to be able to have life experiences.e all know it's more fun to be successful. It's fun for the kids. That's what I enjoy the most about Basehor-Linwood athletics."

The Bobcats finished a point out of third place in this year's standings after finishing ninth last year and sixth the year before that.

The leader of Basehor-Linwood athletics certainly doesn't believe that is a pekk on the school's potential. Joe Keeler thinks the Bobcats could eventually knock off Mill Valley, who has finished first in the competition every year since its inception, and take the top spot.

"Absolutely," Keeler said. "I think that's what we aspire to be, and that is our goal. One of the things we are trying to focus on is an athletic department where we all work together and all the coaches work together. The kids take a lot of pride in that and that is definitely a goal that we have. That is something that with hard work is within reach. We should be able to put out a competitive product for quite some time. I think the future looks bright. Our goal is to keep it going."

Football and track coach Steve Hopkins is encouraged by the number of athletes playing multiple sports. He thinks that, coupled with the improved strength and conditioning program led by coach Ross Schwisow, has led to the athletic improvement.

"The biggest card in the future is numbers and participation in multiple sports," Hopkins said.Ideally, in football we want to start 22 different players on the varsity football team.We do not believe or encourage kids in Middle School or even High School to specialize in one sport.Usually freshmen or sophomores who pick one sport regret it later, and most of our players are key members of winter and spring sports teams also; another thing that has not happened enough in the past.In fact, we believe multiple sports compliment each other, and our strength training is geared toward the multi-sport athlete.ur coaching staff in all sports sees great dividends when a player experiences the pressure of competition in football pay off down the road on the wrestling mat, the basketball court, baseball field, track, etc."

Hopkins said the school's athletes currently excel in a more important arena, as well.

"We hope the whole school succeeds in academics as well as athletics, and

we believe they go hand in hand," Hopkins said.Our incoming seniors are extremely

talented and hard working in the classroom and are nearly all involved in honor society and other academic oriented programs.hat hasn't always been the case."

Chad Harvey can see a successful year ahead. His league champion golf team, talented but inexperienced last year, should be loaded again. They shouldn't be the only Bobcat program competing for a KVL championship.

"This will be a very exciting and successful year for all sports and the kids have worked very hard to give them the best opportunity to be successful," Harvey said. "This is very exciting for all of us district-wide.his has become a place desired by not only coaches, but teachers and students. have been here five years now, and since I have been here, the main goal of our district was to be a 'lighthouse' district.n other words, our goal is to become a school other districts look at in order to gain understanding of how to be successful, not only on the field of competition, but in the classroom as well.his has become a place that, for me personally, I can't imagine leaving.he atmosphere we have created is something special."

As Hopkins mentioned in a recent interview, the high school mission statement reads "building a tradition of excellence in our school and in our community."

A traditional of athletic excellence may be in its infancy. But it doesn't take much imagination to see it coming to fruition in the near future.

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