Bobcats selected for KVL honors
Players on Basehor-Linwood’s fall sports teams earn honors for performances in individual sports
Football player Swede Johnson leads the list of a multitude of Basehor-Linwood High School athletes named to All-League teams last week.
With the results announced in three fall sports, football, soccer and volleyball, Bobcat athletes found out that individually they took in quite a haul.
Johnson made the first team on both the offensive line and defensive line. The accomplishment was a validation for a lot of hard work, he said.
"It was pretty exciting," Johnson said. "But it really didn't matter to me if I got either one of them. It was just fun that within a year we put everything together to get farther in the playoffs then we had in a while."
Johnson said he didn't think he would get first team on offense and defense. He attributed the awards to Going hard on every snap.
In football, Johnson was joined by Tyler Miles who also was recognized on both sides of the ball, getting second team honors as a skill position player on offense and also as a member of the defensive backfield.
Future Kansas State Wildcat Ethan Douglas also made the second team and was joined by Jacob Schierbaum and Travis Inlow. Austin Hunter was an honorable mention selection.
"I think it showed that we had the talent, we just had to put it together," Johnson said of the multiple award winners. "That's why it took us a couple games, a couple losses, to get it going."
With more playoff and regular season success came more awards for the Bobcats. The player's work ethic was a factor in all, coach Steve Hopkins said.
"This was the first postseason success Basehor has had in a long time, and we need to reemphasize to our kids the hard work which led to that," Hopkins said. "By winning both the district and the bi-district we were able to see rewards from the offseason commitments made by our players."
The soccer team had four members on the Kaw Valley League's first team.
Stephen Millison and Ryan Sirridge on offense, Sam Seaman on defense, and goalie Matt Murrell.
Tanner Bowers made the second team and Justin Gripka and Mitch Mallon received honorable mentions.
Murrell said he was happy when he heard the news.
"It really feels good that people out there realize I am good at goalie and that Sam is really good at being a defender, and Steve and Ryan are really good offensively," Murrell said.
Murrell said the recognition, more than the Bobcats have had, is a good sign for the program.
"Coming from when we first started, we had nobody," Murrell said. "I think it is a very good sign for what is to come. It's good to know that we started it, but there is more to come."
Chelsea Patton and Cassie Lombardino, the Bobcats dynamic duo throughout the season, received first team honors in volleyball.
"They are very deserving of the awards," coach Tammy Zydlo said. "I was pleased this year that we had two representatives for the first team All League award. I am very proud of them, they both had great years."
Lombardino finished with 144 blocks and 259 kills.
"I think her improvement over last year was obvious to spectators, the coaching staff, and the KVL coaches," Zydlo said. "Last year, I never had college coaches approach me on players. This year, Cassie was the forerunner in that. When we were at tournaments, coaches would pull me aside interested in talking about recruitment. She stands out because of her height and athletic ability."
Patton, who was also a first team member last year, had 155 kills and led the team in serving aces.
"She has just gotten so much stronger this year," Zydlo said. "She has gotten much more precise with her hitting, and more consistent."
Zydlo said she would have liked her third nominee, Brooke Sanders, to make the team.
"Setters are always instrumental for their hitters to get good sets to hit the ball," Zydlo said.
Still, Zydlo was proud of the recognition for Patton and Lombardino.
"For both of them, this fittingly caps their senior seasons."