Archive for Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just a hunch, but this year should be fun

September 3, 2009

Think back to this time last year. We had a hunch, didn’t we?

We were pretty sure the 2008-2009 school year was going to be a special one at Basehor-Linwood High School.

The Bobcats were coming off of an appearance in the Class 4A football state playoffs, and the boys and girls basketball teams were out to defend Kaw Valley League championships. Numerous other programs were on the rise.

The year played out pretty much as expected. The football team made another trip to the playoffs; the softball team battled to the regional finals; the baseball team turned heads as one of the league’s most improved teams; and the girls basketball team won 17 games.

Oh yeah, and the boys basketball team won the school’s first-ever KSHSAA-sanctioned athletic state championship. That was fun, wasn’t it?

If you’re like me, you’re getting another hunch.

Fall sports are under way again at BLHS, and all indications are that this fall should be exciting. I base my opinion on two key things.

First, almost every team returns quite a bit of talent. The BLHS football team returns numerous starters at skill positions that give this team a great opportunity to make another trip to the playoffs, while also proving to be even more competitive in the KVL.

The volleyball team lost some talented seniors from last year, but plenty of experience is back.

The boys soccer team returns multiple key players from a team that rebuilt last year while losing numerous one-goal games.

That young cross country team from last year is still pretty young this fall, but it’s a more seasoned group that put in a good summer of work.

The girls golf team is the biggest question mark because of its lack of numbers, but that also makes this team exciting. A small roster means more individual instruction, and possibly greater improvement.

Second — and the most important factor in my opinion — is that I dropped into the high school a couple times this summer and observed the summer conditioning program. One needed only drive past BLHS on most mornings during the summer to see what was going on. A couple hundred student-athletes showed up daily to lift weights, work on conditioning drills and run sprints in the parking lot. The Bobcats weren’t content to get by on talent alone this fall. They put in the necessary work to make themselves better.

Any time I see athletes willing to go the extra mile to better themselves and their team, I can’t help but be excited to see the results.

Of course, there are no guarantees that the teams will win more games or races because of that extra work, but I’ve got a hunch they are in store for good seasons.

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