Garden City, Kan. football
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Garden City, Kan. football News
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Garden City, Kan. High School Varsity Boys Football
Out of nowhere, it seemed, a disturbing mass sprouted in the upper body of an otherwise healthy young football player.Next thing you know, it’s diagnosed as Hodgkin lymphoma, Stage IV. Starting with a newfound sense of mortality, everything instantly changed for the Chiefs player.If this sounds familiar, it should: It’s what star safety Eric Berry quite privately has been working through since...
Chiefs rookie receiver knows what Eric Berry is going through in battle with cancer
By Vahe Gregorian, Associated Press | May 30, 2015Out of nowhere, it seemed, a disturbing mass sprouted in the upper body of an otherwise healthy young football player. Next thing you know, it’s diagnosed as Hodgkin lymphoma, Stage IV. Starting with a newfound sense of mortality, everything instantly changed for the Chiefs player. If this sounds familiar, it should: It’s what star safety Eric Berry quite privately has been working through since a growth was discovered in his chest in early December. Apparently, all is going as well as possible according to the scant, one-step-removed information that’s been released. But an evident trajectory toward recovery from lymphoma isn’t just Berry’s story. There are plenty of examples of this in the sports world alone, from NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux to Cubs pitcher Jon Lester (anaplastic large-cell lymphoma and chemotherapy in 2006) and, most recently, Houston Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry. Quessenberry was diagnosed in June with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and missed the entire 2014 season, but he declared himself in remission in February and hopes to play this season. And at least for now, there’s a more precise and closer-to-home example for Berry … and those transmitting to him their prayers or thoughts. When the Chiefs earlier this month signed Kenny Cook as a free agent from Gardner-Webb, they didn’t just sign a 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver who has what coach Andy Reid calls a wide “catch radius.” They also signed someone with a broad radius of inspiring testimony to the viability of fending off cancer and playing again. “He’s a miracle, that’s all I’ll say,” Andy Young, Cook’s coach at Clinton (S.C.) High, said in a phone interview. “I coached for 37 years and had some (players) that died and things like that, but I never saw any overcome what he (overcame).” It might make for an awkward dynamic to speak to somebody about such a sensitive topic when you’re meeting for the first time, but Cook didn’t fuss or blink and, in fact, offered reassurance that “it’s cool” when it was broached last week during the Chiefs’ organized team activities. “Because,” he adds, “I never know who the story is going to touch.” The disease gripped him in 2007, the summer before his sophomore year of high school, when he woke up one morning with a sore neck. As much as he initially wanted to hope it was from weightlifting, there was no getting around that his throat was gruesomely swollen. His parents took him to the hospital, and a day later, he said, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma . Chemotherapy started immediately. “I went in blind, not knowing anything. And I came out, and I had cancer,” he said. “The only thing I knew from cancer is people pass away a lot. “So that was life-changing for me right there.” Not to be confused with life-ending. Even if he called cancer a “cousin” of death, it turns out it could be a distant one many times removed. The quiet grace he showed in handling his illness explains why his teachers and coaches came to believe he was teaching them as much or more than they were teaching him, current Clinton High coach Andrew Webb said. Not that there weren’t dark times, when he’d wonder about what was to come because of the sheer specter of cancer … and the depleting treatments … and the nausea … and the weight loss … and losing his hair. But Cook was sustained by faith, including the sort that comes from leaning on his Christian beliefs and a reservoir of family love. It also came from the encouragement he derived from learning how treatable his cancer was and meeting others who’d emerged healthy. Those get-togethers with thriving survivors were crucial to his morale, because they weren’t about studies or numbers or theories but the vivid and true outcomes of a shared burden. “That helped me out a lot,” said Cook, who noted that he’s been “cleared” the last few years and requires only periodic testing. Football, too, was fundamental to his recovery. Not just because he wanted so badly to play again someday, and the incentive that gave him to work his way back, but also because it provided an emotional haven. Even as he was forced to sit out from playing football and basketball his sophomore year, often missing days of school at a time with chemo and, later, radiation treatments, football provided succor from the sucker punch of his illness. “I leaned on football because it’s a brotherhood; I like that brotherhood and that camaraderie,” he said. “Those guys made me feel like I was still on the team. I went to the games every Friday; I did my chemo early in the week just so I could go to the games just to watch.” By his junior year, he wasn’t just watching any more. “You could tell he was ticking a little different than everyone else because he’d had something taken away from him,” said Webb, who was Clinton’s defensive backs coach when Cook was playing. Cook returned with ferocity on both sides of the ball, helping set the scene for a Class 3A state title as a senior when he became an all-state defensive back. That season, he also was considered a playmaker for a wishbone offense with 29 catches for 597 yards and two touchdowns. Cook became the “backbone” of the team, Young said, because he “just absolutely kept working, kept working. Wouldn’t give up. Nobody could tell him no.” Football meant that much in the equation. “I worked 10 times harder — 10 times harder,” he said. “I know the feeling of it being gone. “People say never take it for granted? I lived that; I know that.” That mentality is what fueled Cook from Clinton to Garden City (Kan.) Community College to Gardner-Webb, where he had 64 receptions for 758 yards and five touchdowns as a senior. Now it’s led to an opportunity with the Chiefs, who saw him at his pro day in Boiling Springs, N.C. “Just trying to seize the moment,” he said. Cancer still informs his attitude, of course, and accounts for his appreciation of every day and opportunity. But he has it compartmentalized. “I go about my everyday life,” he said, “and don’t even think about it.” Unless he’s asked, that is. As for Berry, Cook hopes there soon will be two cancer survivors on this Chiefs team. Who’s to tell him he’s wrong? “I’m hearing he’s a pretty strong guy,” he said of Berry. “And I know he’ll get through it.” ——— Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star contributed to this column. ——— ©2015 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000002832,t000002828,t000002827,t000412858
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories profiling some of the top graduating high school seniors in The Telegram area.While the phrase “reach for the stars” is a cliché often used to motivate high school graduates, it’s quite applicable to Sublette High School senior Jayden Garetson.“I was always interested in the exploration of space, and then my parents got me a giant National...
Jayden Garetson reaching for the stars, literally
Angie Haflich, Associated Press | May 19, 2015Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories profiling some of the top graduating high school seniors in The Telegram area. While the phrase “reach for the stars” is a cliché often used to motivate high school graduates, it’s quite applicable to Sublette High School senior Jayden Garetson. “I was always interested in the exploration of space, and then my parents got me a giant National Geographic encyclopedia on space for Christmas when I was 7 or 8, and I just read through the whole thing,” said Garetson, who graduated from Sublette High School on Saturday. Garetson, whose dream is to be an aerospace engineer, was one of two students named to the Sublette High School’s principal’s honor roll this year for his 4.0 grade-point average. And when he wasn’t participating in football, choir, scholar’s bowl, student council or Kansas Association of Youth, Garetson was finding ways to explore the skies — in the fields of his family’s farm, located a few miles outside of Sublette. “I work with robotic aircraft. Actually, a year and a half ago, my dad sent me an article about robotic aircraft in agriculture” Garetson said. He said his dad asked him to do more research on the technology, and in the process he found a company in Neodesha called Ag Eagle that sells robotic aircraft that helps producers pinpoint areas of concern in their fields. “We had them come out, and they showed us a demo, so we ordered one and got it last spring and played around with it,” Garetson said. That turned into an opportunity for Garetson to intern for the company last summer, where he didn’t expect to do much of what he thought would be “fun” stuff. “I actually was thinking, ‘Maybe I’ll push papers around, or maybe I’ll get to build a little bit or help put things together,’” he said. Instead, the owner of the company, who was busy at trade shows, asked him to test fly them. “He taught me how to test fly all of them, so I actually have flown maybe 50 or 60 of them,” Garetson said. The robotic aircraft at the family farm helps save both time and money. The aircraft is equipped with a camera that takes images of fields, and then using software, Garetson compiles all of the images into one large image, showing where potential issues are. “It takes infrared images in the field, so we can find problems in the plants. That’s the purpose of it,” he said. “Then we have our crop scout go in and see if it’s bugs, weeds. If it’s a pest, then we can actually plug it into our sprayer and have the sprayer only spray that area. So we’re saving in chemicals, and we’re saving our yield by finding these problems earlier.” Prior to attending college in the fall, Garetson is going to continue working with the robotic aircraft on the family farm this summer. “I’m just going to try flying each of our fields once a week, and then compare all of that data over the course of the season, and then see how it correlates with yield maps,” he said. “And I’ll try to train our crop scouts on it, so hopefully I don’t have to come back. These next few summers, I’ll probably be doing internships or research, so I’ll get them started to where they can do it themselves and use that to spray less and find problems earlier.” Garetson’s plan is to major in aerospace engineering at the University of Kansas, starting in the fall. His ultimate goal is to work for Space X, a company out of California. “If not there, then either NASA, or there are several private companies,” Garetson said. “If I fall into the others, I won’t be too upset, as long as I can design rockets.” He’s been into space and rockets for as long as he can remember, even attending the Kansas Cosmosphere’s space camp for six consecutive summers. While he definitely has the brains for it, Garetson is more interested in exploring than in the mathematical concepts he will have to use in his chosen profession. “I don’t know if I love math. I like using it as a tool to engineer designs, but I’m more about problem solving and practical uses,” Garetson said. He believes the best lesson he learned in high school is the ability to learn. “I think the point of high school is teaching you the basics, the core, the foundation,” he said, adding that it gave him a solid understanding of how to research and seek answers himself. “Because they can’t teach you everything.” Garetson shared the Principal’s Honor Roll with Andrew Lower, who also achieved a 4.0 GPA. ——— ©2015 The Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kan.) Visit The Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kan.) at www.gctelegram.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. _____ Topics: t000018190,t000003086,t000002776,t000002791
USD 457 Deputy Superintendent Steve Karlin will be the second and final candidate interviewed for the district’s superintendent post, which is being vacated by the departing Rick Atha.The Board of Education will interview Karlin at 4 p.m. today. The interview will not be open to the public, but from 3 to 3:30 p.m., there will be a question-and-answer session open to the community and local...
USD 457 deputy superintendent Karlin to be interviewed Tuesday
Angie Haflich, Associated Press | Mar 31, 2015USD 457 Deputy Superintendent Steve Karlin will be the second and final candidate interviewed for the district’s superintendent post, which is being vacated by the departing Rick Atha. The Board of Education will interview Karlin at 4 p.m. today. The interview will not be open to the public, but from 3 to 3:30 p.m., there will be a question-and-answer session open to the community and local media. Both interview sessions are being held in the board room of the Educational Support Center, 1205 Fleming St. The school board, community and media interviewed Fred Dierksen, current superintendent of Sterling USD 376, on Monday. Karlin graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s of science degree in secondary science education in 1988. He earned a master’s of science degree in secondary education from Kansas State University in 1994, and in 1998, received his building leadership endorsement from Fort Hays State University. In 2005, he earned his doctorate in educational administration and leadership from Kansas State University. In 1988, Karlin began his teaching career as a computer studies and science teacher at Kenneth Henderson Middle School. From 1989 to 1993, he served as a computer studies and science teacher at Garden City High School. From 1993 to 2000, Karlin served as the district technology coordinator. He was then appointed as the director of technology and mediated instruction and served in that role until 2005, when he was appointed to his current position as deputy superintendent. Throughout his career with USD 457, Karlin also has coached golf, basketball, football and track and served as junior class sponsor and computer club sponsor. Karlin is active in the local community, serving on several boards and committees including those through the Garden City Family YMCA, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce and Garden City Information Technologies Cooperative. The two finalists were chosen by the board at a special meeting held March 23. USD 457 contracted with the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) to conduct the search, shortly after Atha submitted his resignation to the board Feb. 2. As part of the process, USD 457 and KASB conducted an online survey of community members, students and district staff who shared what qualities and characteristics they want a new superintendent to possess. Since gathering that information, KASB has been screening candidates based on those qualities and characteristics. Respondents indicated they are seeking a skilled communicator, a visionary leader who has a passion for student learning and putting students first, someone who has demonstrated knowledge and skills in working with school finance and budgeting, as well as curriculum and instruction, and someone who is honest and ethical. Atha, who has been hired as assistant superintendent of instructional services at Shawnee Mission School District, has been USD 457’s superintendent since 2005. His resignation from USD 457 is effective June 30. ——— ©2015 The Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kan.) Visit The Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kan.) at www.gctelegram.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000002776,t000166569,t000403939,t000183934,t000183404,t000002537,t000040342
Oct 16, 2014
Nothing energizes a crowd, fires up a team or deflates an opponent like a special teams touchdown, and we’re getting used to them in the state of Oklahoma. The Sooners and Cowboys are two of only five teams in major college football this season with two kickoff return touchdowns.
College football: Special teams touchdowns energize teams, fans
By Jason Kersey and Kyle Fredrickson | Oct 16, 2014A few seconds after Oklahoma’s Alex Ross crossed the goal line last weekend in the Cotton Bowl, several teammates knocked him to the ground and dog-piled him in the end zone. Sooners special teams coordinator Jay Boulware ran around the sideline, pumping his fist and celebrating with players. Only seven games minutes had passed. Oklahoma only led Texas 7-3. But from the team’s wild celebration, you would’ve thought the game was clinched. A few hours later in Lawrence, Kan., Oklahoma State speedster Tyreek Hill broke free for a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown that destroyed a Kansas upset bid and allowed OSU to escape with a 27-20 victory. Nothing energizes a crowd, fires up a team or deflates an opponent like a special teams touchdown, and we’re getting used to them in the state of Oklahoma. The Sooners and Cowboys are two of only five teams in major college football this season with two kickoff return touchdowns. In 21 games nationally this season including such a play, the team that scored on a kickoff return has won 16 times. The Sooners are 15-2 all-time, and the Cowboys are 17-8, when they return a kickoff for a touchdown. “It’s a big momentum changer,” Ross said. “It just helps the team big time because one play turns the tide.” Ross himself proved that on Sept. 20 in Morgantown, W.Va. West Virginia led the Sooners 24-17 with 1:20 left in the first half when Ross went 100 yards for a kickoff return touchdown, creating a tie game — and killing every bit of momentum the upset-minded Mountaineers hoped to carry into the break. It would be easy to credit Ross and Hill’s track speed for their success in the kick return game, and that certainly is a major part of it. Ross was an Oklahoma state champion sprinter at Jenks High School. Hill was an indoor track All-American last spring for the Cowboys after transferring from Garden City (Kan.) Community College. But speed alone can’t create kickoff return touchdowns. Both players are patient and intelligent when looking for holes and aggressive in hitting them. “He hits the hole super fast, and that actually makes our job a lot easier,” said OU’s Aaron Franklin, a reserve linebacker and kick-return blocker. “We don’t have to stay on our blocks as long because he’s already by the kickoff team.” In addition to those personal attributes, any successful kickoff returner has 10 teammates in front of him that must be tough, competitive and prideful while doing work that is largely thankless. “The timing of those blocks is essential to the return, the location on the field that those blocks take place,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy. “Sometimes it has to take place on the 40, sometimes on the 32. And then there’s a set of blocks that can take place on the 15 or 20. It’s just based on whoever we’re playing that week and how they’re defending our kickoff return.” As both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State prepare for top-15 opponents this weekend, special teams could very well prove to be the difference. The Cowboys travel to TCU, which upset the Sooners only two weeks ago and has returned one kickoff for a touchdown this season. Oklahoma hosts Kansas State, a team that has become known for its special teams acumen throughout the Bill Snyder era. “We put a lot of emphasis on special teams,” said OU safety Ahmad Thomas. “Every unit has to be great to be a great team.”