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Local Sports Archives for 2023-03

Royals Open 2023 Season at Home Against Twins


The dawn of a new Major League Baseball season has finally arrived, and the Kansas City Royals open at home against the Minnesota Twins, looking to take a leap towards competing in the AL Central.


Minnesota will be a tough early test for KC, having resigned one of the top players in the league in Carlos Correa, as well as adding firepower to the pitching staff in order to compete for a World Series.


The Royals look to carry momentum into the regular season, after a very strong spring that saw a 19-12 record on the field, and numerous young talents gain confidence with game-impacting play. Youthful hitters Bobby Witt Jr, MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino, Michael Massey, and Kyle Isbel will be tasked with reaching base at a high clip, and the team will hope veterans Salvador Perez, Franmil Reyes, Hunter Dozier, and Jackie Bradley Jr will be able to create offense.


A pair of right-handed pitchers will get the Opening Day start today, and the two arms are extremely different in their style and arsenal. Zack Greinke is no stranger to big games, making his seventh season-opening start. Greinke doesn't have the velocity he once had, but with a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, his change of speeds is still incredibly effective.


For the Twins it will be new addition Pablo Lopez, a young and extremely talented arm that has been fantastic the past few seasons in Miami. Lopez throws a power sinker, with a lethal changeup and slider-curveball hybrid pitch.


Matt Quatraro will make his managerial debut against the Minnesota Twins this afternoon. Pregame starts at 2:30 p.m. CT, with first pitch at 3:10 on Sunshine 98.9 KQQF.

Royals Rotation a Mix of Youth and Veteran


With the Kansas City Royals looking to turn a corner on the mound and have more consistent starting pitching, the Opening Day rotation was set with a balance of young talent as well as reliable veterans.


The five starters that will open the season in the KC rotation are Zack Greinke, Jordan Lyles, Brad Keller, Brady Singer, and Kris Bubic. Young lefty Daniel Lynch was originally expected to earn a spot, however after a late spring back injury, he will open the season on the injured list.


Greinke will make his 7th career Opening Day start, and he is the most consistent presence on the staff. Greinke had a 3.68 ERA last season, and has a career 3.42 ERA in almost 3300 innings. The 39 year old righty will be asked to give the team an opportunity to win every five days.


Lyles was a free agent pickup that had a nice spring, with a 3.52 ERA in 15.1 innings. A career back-end starter, Lyles is very up and down at times with performance, but is a consistent innings eater and will be a key piece to the Royals staff.


Keller, a former top prospect, appeared to be the next star pitcher from 2018-2020. However, back to back disappointing seasons has the 27 year old righty looking to re-establish himself, featuring a brand new curveball that he hopes revives his once promising career.


Singer was the most impressive pitcher in Kansas City last season, with a team high 10 wins as well as boasting a 3.23 ERA and 150 strikeouts. Singer appears to be the ace of the future, and will be tasked with continuing his development this season, still just 26 years old.


And Bubic slides into the final spot with the injury to Daniel Lynch, after having a very strong spring camp. Bubic has struggled thus far in his big league career, with an ERA of nearly 5, and a 3-13 record last season. The lefty has good strikeout stuff, and will look to carry spring momentum to the regular season, after posting a 1.74 ERA with 15 strikeouts.

Royals Bullpen Beginning to Take Shape


After the Kansas City Royals optioned pitchers Josh Staumont, Josh Taylor, and Richard Lovelady before the weekend, the 2023 Opening Day bullpen is beginning to gain clarity.


The Royals will most likely have four high leverage relievers this season, with Scott Barlow, Aroldis Chapman, Amir Garrett, and Dylan Coleman all serving as one-inning options in the late stages of games.


Kansas City will also have flexibility with their bullpen, with Taylor Clarke, Carlos Hernandez, and Ryan Yarbrough all capable of throwing multiple innings in an appearance.


That leaves one final opening in the bullpen prior to the season opener. The Royals have had a pair of young arms with solid springs in Collin Snider and Jose Cuas. They also have veteran options in Nick Wittgren, Evan Sisk, and Ryan Weiss.


The Royals open their season against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon.

Multiple Royals Shine as Impressive Spring Wraps Up


The Royals concluded a very strong spring training, with a 19-12 record on the field, and numerous exciting players having strong camps and bringing excitement to the organization.


Second base prospect Michael Massey built upon the cup of coffee he had in the Majors last season, hitting .262 with a team high 4 home runs in spring training. Massey appears to be in line to be the starting 2nd baseman for the Royals to start the year.


Veteran Franmil Reyes was given an invite to camp following up and down years with the Guardians and Cubs. Reyes seemed to rediscover his swing, hitting .364 with a team high 12 runs batted in, and an OPS over 1.000. Reyes will be the primary designated hitter this year for KC.


Young phenoms MJ Melendez and Bobby Witt Jr look ready for Opening Day after strong camps as well. Witt finished with a .385 batting average and only struck out 3 times, while Melendez had 3 home runs and 7 extra base hits.


On the mound, Kris Bubic was impressive, only allowing two runs in 10.1 innings pitched. Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarbrough showed their ability to be consistent, each being solid on the bump all spring long.


Amir Garrett was also sensational for the Royals, only allowing four baserunners in seven innings pitched, and not allowing a run all spring long.


The Royals take on the Twins to open the 2023 season on Thursday afternoon.

Kansas State Falls in Elite Eight to FAU


The inaugural season of the Jerome Tang era, which soared beyond anyone's expectations, came to an end in the Elite Eight on Saturday in New York City.


The Florida Atlantic Owls eliminated the Wildcats by a final score of 79-76, advancing to the Final Four in Houston. Kansas State has their season end with a record of 26-10.


Markquis Nowell was fantastic once again, finishing with 30 points, 12 assists, and 5 steals. Nowell is the first player with a 25 point and 10 assist game in the Elite Eight since Dwyane Wade in 2003, and the first player with 50 assists in the NCAA tournament since Deron Williams in 2005.


The Wildcats will look forward to next season, and the roster could look very different. Nowell, Keyontae Johnson, and Desi Sills are all seniors expected to graduate, and Nae'Qwan Tomlin is an NBA draft prospect that may declare for the draft.

Zack Greinke named Royals Opening Day starter


The Royals will embark on the 2023 season later this week, and the team will send a crafty veteran to the mound for the season opener.


Right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke was named the starter by Royals manager Matt Quatraro. It will be the seventh career Opening Day start for Greinke, who also pitched Game 1 in 2010, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022.


Greinke is entering the 20th season of his career, and has proven to be effective, even at the age of 39. Last season, the right hander made 26 starts for the Royals, with a 3.68 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 137 innings pitched.


The Royals open their season on Thursday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins, where Greinke will be opposed by Twins starter Pablo Lopez.Coverage of the game begins at 2 p.m. CT on Sunshine 98.9 KQQF.

Kansas State Battles Michigan State for Elite 8 Bid


The Kansas State Wildcats are one of 16 teams left fighting for a national championship, and that fight will continue tonight in Madison Square Garden against the Michigan State Spartans.


Kansas State enters the game 25-9 on the season, while the Spartans enter 21-12.


This matchup features an intriguing coaching battle, with first year coach Jerome Tang facing off against the Hall of Famer Tom Izzo. Tang says he has nothing but respect for Izzo, and that the Spartans coach is a class act.


Michigan State has caught fire in the past 10 games, winning 7 of them with the offense elevating to a 75 points per game average. MSU also brings experience and depth to this matchup.


KSU has a pair of stars in Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell. Nowell is playing his best basketball of the season, while Johnson continues to be one of the nation's top post players.


An environment like New York City with so much on the line may be overwhelming for a typical first year coach, but Tang says his time at Baylor has him confident he's ready for the moment.


Coverage of the Kansas State Wildcats and the Michigan State Spartans begins at 5 p.m. CT on the Mighty 690 KGGF. Tip off is scheduled for 5:40.

Former Chiefs WR Hardman Signs with Jets


A four year contributor, and former 2nd round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs, has agreed to a deal with the New York Jets.


Mecole Hardman, who was selected by Kansas City in 2019 out of Georgia, agreed to a one year deal worth up to $6.5 million with the up and coming Jets, who continue to build their roster with the intentions of competing.


Hardman has electric speed, and was a great compliment to Tyreek Hill for the first three seasons of his career. Hardman collected over 1700 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first three years in the NFL.


After Hill was traded to the Dolphins, Hardman was expected to emerge alongside Travis Kelce as the top weapons for Patrick Mahomes. Hardman struggled with injuries, and only caught 25 passes this season.


With young talents Skyy Moore, Marques Valdez-Scantling, and Kadarius Toney, the Chiefs viewed Hardman as expendable, and are letting the former draft pick head off to East Rutherford.

Red Ravens Split with OK Wesleyan JV


The Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens split their third consecutive home doubleheader, coming away with a 1-1 afternoon against Oklahoma Wesleyan University JV.


Red Ravens stuggled on the mound in the opener, allowing 14 runs to the OKWU offense. The defense also had a tough opener, committing four miscues during Game 1. Coffeyville native Jadyn Clark hit her first career home run in the loss.


The Ravens were able to bounce back in the second game, winning 12-7. A trio of CCC players hit home runs in Game 2, with Summer McAlister, Grace Batdorf, and Alex Ginnis all leaving the yard for the Ravens. CCC also collected 14 hits in the second game.


The Red Ravens sit at 5-15 on the season, and 3-3 on their home field. They will be back in action for another home doubleheader tomorrow afternoon against Sterling JV.


*Photo courtesy of Coffeyville Community College*

Jayhawks Season Ends with Loss to Arkansas


The 2022-2023 season came to an end for the Kansas Jayhawks, with a 72-71 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament.


KU ends the year with a 28-8 final record.


The biggest takeaway from this season was the growth and development of Jalen Wilson, from solid starter, to superstar and National Player of the Year finalist. Wilson made an unbelievable jump, going from averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds per game as a sophomore, to averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds per night this season.


The Jayhawks boasted great forwards, with a combination of size and athleticism. Wilson, Gradey Dick, Kevin McCullar Jr, and KJ Adams were all vital pieces to the KU team this season.


There will be turnover for Kansas this offseason, with Wilson and Dick expected to declare for the NBA Draft, but the Jayhawks have adapted in the past, with Wilson emerging after the departure of Ochai Agbaji just last year.



Orlando Brown Jr Signs with Rival Bengals


A key member of the Chiefs Super Bowl team is leaving Kansas City to join one of their biggest rivals.


Offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr agreed to a four year deal worth 64 million with the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday. Brown spent the past two seasons protecting the blind side of MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.


The Bengals gave Brown the largest signing bonus in NFL history for an offensive lineman, with more than 31 million dollars coming upfront to the lineman this weekend.


Brown will move from one star quarterback to another, now tasked with protecting the blind side of rising star Joe Burrow. The four time pro bowler immediately becomes the best offensive lineman on the Bengals roster.


The Chiefs acquired Brown in 2021 from the Ravens, where he served as left tackle for two seasons. Brown is a massive human being, standing 6 foot 8 and weighing 340 pounds. He's also a consistent pass blocker, winning 92% of his snaps last season.

KJCCC Season Awards Announced


The KJCCC conference awards for the 2022-2023 season were announced this week, with a number of Ravens receiving honors.


For the Lady Ravens, Jordynn Conner was selected to the All-Defensive team, while Kyleigh Ortiz was named All-League Honorable Mention, and Cheyenne Banks was All-League 2nd Team.


Dodge City's Landon Steele was named KJCCC Coach of the Year, with Barton's Jenny Nkem Womsi winning Player of the Year, and Butler's Freddie Wallace earning Freshman of the Year.


On the men's side, sophomore Nathan Johnson was named to both the All-Defensive team and an Honorable Mention for All-League. Freshman Landon Glasper was named an Honorable Mention as well.


Both Hayden Brittingham and Jordan Wildy were selected to the KJCCC All-Conference 1st team. Brittingham averaged 13.4 points per game as well as 7.1 rebounds, while Wildy averaged 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest.


Dodge City's Brad Witherspoon won Coach of the Year, with Dodge City guard Jason Edwards winning Player of the Year, and Aaron Franklin of Hutchinson winning Freshman of the Year.

South Coffeyville Girls Basketball Earn Awards


The South Coffeyville Lady Lions had one of the greatest seasons in program history, and the results were rewarded with numerous conference honors.


Senior Eryn Dolan was named to the All-Conference 1st Team, as well as earning her second consecutive Super 6 Conference MVP. Lydia Phillips and Jayden Whitney were also named 1st Team All-Conference, with Phillips also winning Super 6 Offensive Player of the Year.


Lexi Gray and Marissa Chick were named to the All-Conference 2nd Team. Head Coach Jeremy Rogers received Super 6 Conference Girls Coach of the Year.


The Lady Lions finished the season 25-2, and the 15th ranked Class B team in the state of Oklahoma.

Red Raven Baseball Ready to Square Off with Johnson County


Following dropping three out of four games last week to the Cowley Tigers, the schedule for the Coffeyville CC Red Ravens doesn't get any easier, as they welcome the 19-4 Johnson County Cavaliers to Walter Johnson Park.


The Ravens are looking to bounce back after splitting a doubleheader on Sunday with Cowley.


Coffeyville has hit the ball well so far this season, with a team batting average of .345 and 11 home runs. Perhaps the most impressive, however, has been freshman infielder Carson Schrack, who leads the team in batting average, RBIs, and has only struck out six times in 17 games. Head Coach Jake Martin says he's emerged as a star, and is a vital piece to the heart of the order.


The Red Raven rotation has also improved, after a slow start to the season. Sophomore Carlos Lopez will start in the opener, and Martin says that he's been a big reason to why the pitching staff has improved in skill and consistency.


Coverage of the Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens and the Johnson County CC Cavaliers begins at 1 p.m. CT, with Game 2 scheduled for 4. You can watch both games on the KUSN 98.1 FM YouTube channel.


*photo courtesy of Coffeyville Community College*

Red Raven Softball Splits Doubleheader


Playing in front of their home fans for the first time this season, the Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens split a doubleheader with the Southwestern CC Spartans yesterday.


The Spartans claimed Game 1 by a score of 8-2, with the Ravens bouncing back and winning Game 2 in blowout fashion, 17-3.


After being unable to come from behind in the opener, CCC took a more disciplined approach at the plate in the second game, and reached base at a much higher clip.


Veteran arm Jo Airington pitched out of trouble in multiple situations to keep the Red Ravens in front, and clutch at-bats from Grace Batdorf, Ciara Moore, and Jadyn Clark helped CCC break out offensively, scoring 4 runs in the first inning, 3 in the third, and 10 in the fourth.


The Red Ravens are now 3-13 on the season, and look to take momentum into another home doubleheader this afternoon against Rose State College. First pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and can be found on the KUSN YouTube channel.


*photo courtesy of Coffeyville Community College*

Wildcats Snatch No. 3 Seed in East, to face Montana State


The Kansas State Wildcats were rewarded in a big way after one of the greatest regular seasons in recent history, and will head to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed.


It is the 32nd appearance all time for KSU in the big dance, and the first for head coach Jerome Tang. The Wildcats finished the regular season 23-9, and will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina for a date with No. 14 seed Montana State.


Three key players for the Wildcats will enter with postseason experience, being a part of teams that have advanced in the tournament. Keyontae Johnson was a member of the 2019 Florida Gators that advanced to the second round, David N'Guessan played for Virginia Tech when they advanced, and Desi Sills was a part of the 2019 Arkansas team that made it all the way to the Elite Eight.


Montana State is the 2-time defending champions of the Big Sky conference, and enter the game with a 25-9 record. This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools, and the first in nearly 50 years when the Wildcats won 96-73 back in 1974.


Coverage of the Kansas State Wildcats and the Montana State Bobcats in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament can be heard on the Mighty 690 Friday night, with pregame at 7:30 p.m. CT and tip to come at 8:40.

Jayhawks Land No 1 Seed in West, Will Battle Howard


After a dominant second half of the season in which they emerged as the clear top team in the Big XII conference, the Kansas Jayhawks enter the NCAA Tournament as a top seed.


The Jayhawks earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region, which is their 33rd consecutive trip to the big dance, an NCAA record. Kansas will open the tournament with 16 seed Howard in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday.


Howard enters the tournament as champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and are 22-12 on the season. It will be the first tournament appearance for the Bison since 1992, and just their third in program history.


Kansas is 2-0 against the Bison in their meeting history, with their last matchup coming in 2011 when KU won 89-34.


Coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks and the Howard Bison in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament begins at 11:30 a.m. CT Thursday with tip scheduled for 1. KU basketball can be heard on Greatest Hits 104.1 FM.

Lady Ravens Magic Run Comes Up Just Short


The improbable run to the Region VI Championship Game by the Coffeyville Community College Lady Ravens came up just short in a gut wrenching loss to Barton.


The Cougars were able to edge the Red Ravens 60-56 and secure their trip to the NJCAA National Tournament, and effectively ending the CCC season with a record of 21-13.


It could not have been any more back and forth, with the largest lead of the game just eight points, and field goal percentage, 3-point shooting, free throw shooting, turnovers, and rebounds all identical between the two teams.


The Ravens had entered the tournament as the 5 seed in the region, and had upset both 4 seed Hutchinson and the top seed Dodge City Conquistadors to earn their spot in the title game.


Kennady Roach led the team with 17 points in her final game as a Raven, while Bailey Layman had 12 points as well.


Looking forward to next season, Tony Turner and Coffeyville should feature one of the most talented rosters in the conference, and maybe the most prolific scoring backcourt in the league. Impact players Tetona Woods-Blackowl, Kyleigh Ortiz, Layman, and Jordan Snyder are all eligible to return.


*photo courtesy of Coffeyville Community College*

Red Ravens Season Ends with Loss to Barton in Semis


Following a season where the Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens saw themselves in the national Top 10 rankings, and numerous big wins and big performances, they came up short of their ultimate goal.


The Ravens saw their season end with a 76-70 loss to the Barton Cougars on Friday night in the Region VI semifinals, missing out on a chance to go to the National Championship tournament.


CCC had won the first two meetings of the season with Barton, in large part due to the dominance on the glass. However, the Cougars were able to flip the script and outrebound the Red Ravens en route to a come from behind victory.


The Ravens led by two at the half, but struggled mightily from the 3-point line, shooting just 31% from beyond the arc. 


Landon Glasper led the Ravens with 31 points, and Cougar Downing had 25 for Barton. Coffeyville will look to next season, where key players Hayden Brittingham, Camian Shell, Glasper, Soti Nafpliotis, Amare Haynie, Izek Jackson, and Javarzia Belton are all eligible to return.


*photo courtesy of Coffeyville Community College*

Sonshine 98.9 Hands Out Postseason Awards


Sonshine 98.9 gives out their inaugural post-season awards for the Field Kindley High School girls' and boys' basketball teams.


Four awards were given out to each team. For the Lady Nado, Aubriona Noblitt received the Sharp Shooter Award, Most Improved went to Brooklyn White, Rya Hightower won Defensive Player of the Year and Taiylor Caron was named Player of the year. Caron was also named to the Second-Team All-SEK and Chaunte Porter was named to the Honorable Mention Team. Head Coach Anita Walker says there were a number of things this team accomplished they hadn't done in the last ten years.


The Nado boy's award recipients include, Jo Jo Hernandez receiving the Sharp Shooter Award, Zac Becker named Most Improved, Defensive Player of the Year goes to Jamarrion Logan and KeShawn Hayes winning Player of the Year. Logan was named to the All-SEK Honorable Mention team. Head Coach Griff Walker says he is a hard critic of the team but he wants the team to be ready for any obstacle that comes in their way.


A link to the awards presentation can be seen here.




Wildcats Drop Tough Game with TCU


The Kansas State Wildcats were humbled in the Big XII quarterfinals, and will look to learn from an 80-67 loss to TCU.


KSU struggled taking care of the basketball, committing 20 turnovers over the course of the game. Desi Sills and Keyontae Johnson each had 14 points for the Wildcats, while Mike Miles Jr led the Horned Frogs with 22 points.


Kansas State coach Jerome Tang took responsibility for the loss, saying that he didn't do a good enough job preparing his team for the physicality of the conference championship tournament. Tang also vowed that this wouldn't happen again with his team.


The Wildcats finish the regular season 23-9, and will wait and see where they will go for the NCAA Tournament, and who will be their first round matchup.

Jayhawks Cruise to Big XII Semifinals


The Kansas Jayhawks move closer to clinching the top overall seed for the NCAA Tournament with a 78-61 win over West Virginia in the Big XII quarterfinals.


Jalen Wilson, fresh off a conference player of the year award, had 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Jayhawks improve to 26-6 on the season.


Gradey Dick also added 18 points for KU, as the Jayhawks outclassed West Virginia in nearly every category.


KU will advance to the Big XII semifinals, and will battle Iowa State today at 6 p.m. CT with a trip to the conference championship game up for grabs.



Red Ravens Make Statement vs Pratt; Move to Semis


The Coffeyville Red Ravens may be the 2 seed in the Region VI tournament, but against Pratt in the quarterfinals, they played like the team to beat in a beatdown at Nellis Hall.


The Red Ravens ran away from the Beavers in the second half, and cruised to a 114-82 victory, securing their spot in Wichita in the final four of the region tournament. After CCC led 59-53 at the half, they outscored Pratt 55-29 after halftime.


Landon Glasper led the Ravens with 25 points, while Jordan Wildy had 21 points and 8 rebounds as well. CCC also dished out 20 assists as a team, sharing the basketball all night long and keeping pressure on the Pratt defense.


The Red Ravens advance to the semifinals at Friends University in Wichita, where they will battle the 3 seed Barton County Cougars on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT. The winner will advance to the 2023 NJCAA Region VI Championship Game on Saturday.

Lady Ravens Eliminate Hutchinson; Advance to Wichita


The Lady Ravens would not relinquish a 4th quarter lead against Hutchinson in the third matchup of the season, hanging on for a thrilling victory and advancing to the Region VI semifinals.


Coffeyville defeated the Blue Dragons by a final score of 73-68 last night, advancing to Wichita as part of the final four teams remaining in the region tournament.


Following a defensive opening quarter, the Ravens began to heat up from the field in the 2nd quarter, converting on 11 total three-pointers in the game.


Kyleigh Ortiz had a game high 26 points, and was also incredibly efficient, knocking down 8 of 11 shots from behind the arc. Jordynn Conner also had 11 points and 10 rebounds in the win.


The Ravens pull off their biggest win of the season, and are playing inspired and physical basketball at the most important time of the year. They will travel to Friends University for the semifinals, in which they will face top seed Dodge City at 1 p.m. CT on Friday.

Lady Ravens Defeat Pratt, Advance to Quarterfinals


A 35-point second quarter paired with the support of the home crowd helped the Coffeyville Community College Lady Ravens advance to the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Region VI Tournament.


The Ravens defeated Pratt for the second time in as many weeks, with a final score of 80-69.


After a slow start offensively, the Ravens caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 35 points behind strong shooting from Bailey Layman, Kyleigh Ortiz, and Tetona-Woods Blackowl. Layman led the Ravens with 21 points, as six different CCC players ended with at least eight points.


Princess Anderson scored 34 for the Beavers, and guard Macy Hanzlick had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for Pratt who have their season end with a 11-19 record.


The Lady Ravens advance to the Final 8 in the Region Tournament, and will travel to Hutchinson to take on the 4 seed Blue Dragons on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. CT.

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