Garden City, Kan. football
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Garden City, Kan. football News
NewsOK articles about Garden City, Kan. football, or articles mentioning current or former Garden City, Kan. football players.
Garden City, Kan. High School Varsity Boys Football
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.”
The sprinter is breaking school records for the track team before he suits up was a wide receiver for the football team.
OSU football: Tyreek Hill chose Cowboys so he could play football and run track
BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, For The Oklahoman | Mar 11, 2014STILLWATER — Tyreek Hill was 3 years old when his grandmother, Virginia, could no longer catch him. Hill is now 20, and it’s rare anyone catches him. Virginia and her husband raised Hill, who in January enrolled at Oklahoma State, leaving Garden City (Kan.) Community College. Whether it’s as a receiver racing toward the end zone or a sprinter going for a record, Hill’s reputation remains centered on one thing — speed. “When he started playing flag football, he got on that sideline, and ain’t nobody fixin’ to touch him,” Virginia Hill said. “Tyreek was fast ever since he started walking.” Hype surrounds Tyreek as Josh Stewart’s heir apparent in the Oklahoma State receiving corps, but football season is six months away. In the meantime, Hill is setting records for the OSU track and field team. At the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 14 — Hill’s first meet as a Cowboy — he ran the 60-meter dash in 6.65 seconds. It was an OSU record. At the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships, Hill broke that mark with a 6.64, finishing in second place. He also set a school record with a first-place 20.81 in the 200-meter dash. At Coffee High School in Douglas, Ga., Hill ran the 200 in 20.14 seconds. That’s the second-best time in the history of high school track. Hill didn’t start running competitively until his junior year. “He never even put the pedal to the metal, as of right now,” Virginia Hill said. “Tyreek still don’t know how fast he is. He’s still got some speed back there he’s hiding.” Coach Mike Gundy and the OSU football staff battled powerhouse football programs such as Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas to sign Hill. It might not have happened without first-year OSU sprints coach Diego Flaquer. Thanks to a new $10 million facility, track and field coach Dave Smith said he felt as if the school could begin attracting sprinters. Flaquer took over in late July and began building a sprint team from the ground up. One of his first moves was getting involved with Hill. “(Strength coach Rob) Glass took me upstairs to meet with the football staff, and they mentioned, ‘Hey, do you think you could try to help us recruit Tyreek?’ ” Flaquer said. “I said, ‘Hey, I’ll do what I can.’ ” Flaquer said Hill made his interest in track clear from the start. In the past, that would have been a problem for OSU. “Over the years, we’ve had a number of young men, skill players, who made a decision on where they were going to school,” Gundy said. “I think we lost out because we didn’t really have a track program for them.” With Flaquer’s addition, the Cowboys finally offer a legitimate sprint team to go along with a new track complex. OSU football got Hill to take the bait, but the Cowboys likely wouldn’t have reeled him in without a viable track program. Don’t believe it? Garden City football coach Matt Miller said early in the recruiting process, Hill was leaning toward a Pac-12 school. Two weeks later, Tyreek switched his favorite to another Pac-12 program. Miller would not say which two Pac-12 schools topped Hill’s list. “I asked him why and he said, ‘Because the first school wasn’t having the track coach call me,’” Miller said. “So that’s how important it was to him.” With Hill as the poster child, OSU football and track are working together for the first time. And thanks in part to Hill’s 18 points, OSU won its first Big 12 indoor championship a week ago. The Cowboys compete in NCAAs starting Friday. “It legitimizes the track and field team as a track and field team, instead of a collection of great distance runners,” Smith said. OSU track gains from the symbiotic relationship with football by getting athletes it normally couldn’t. For OSU football, the relationship provides a recruiting edge. Flaquer also helped with recent dual-sport signees James Washington and Chris Hardeman. “We obviously have a great football team, and now we have a great sprint coach,” two-sport athlete Blake Webb said. “When you put two and two together, it’s like, ‘Why would you not want to come?’ ” The convergence between sports already helped get Hill, a truly rare talent. “I’ve been around a lot of great athletes, a lot of great sprinters,” Flaquer said. “Tyreek is right up there with them, if not a step above.” And with the programs working together, the future for both looks even brighter. “Tyreek is the beginning,” Flaquer said. “Then you pick up the next guy, and the next guy. Then now we start building something.”
Here are the signing day capsules from each of the Big 12 schools:___BAYLORNational rankings (Rivals 34; Scout 23).Best in class: KD Cannon, wr, Mount Pleasant, Texas.Best of the rest: Davion Hall, wr, Texarkana, Texas; Terence Williams, rb, Ennis, Texas; and two junior college transfers who are already enrolled at Baylor, Jarell Broxton, og, Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Grant Campbell, lb,...
Signing day capsules for each Big 12 school
The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 5, 2014Here are the signing day capsules from each of the Big 12 schools: ___ BAYLOR National rankings (Rivals 34; Scout 23). Best in class: KD Cannon, wr, Mount Pleasant, Texas. Best of the rest: Davion Hall, wr, Texarkana, Texas; Terence Williams, rb, Ennis, Texas; and two junior college transfers who are already enrolled at Baylor, Jarell Broxton, og, Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Grant Campbell, lb, Bakersfield, Calif. Late addition: None, the Bears got early commitments and they stuck. One that got away: None. Baylor fans watching a webcast that included a shot of the fax machine set next to the Big 12 championship trophy on the Waco campus saw every national letter of intent they expected to see. NOTE: Briles said the Bears' success on the field is certainly having an impact on recruiting, not to mention the team moves into a new stadium next fall. "The difference now and three years ago? Three years ago, we were selling hope, vision and trying to acquire something," he said. "Now we're selling defending something. Our job is to defend a Big 12 championship." ___ IOWA STATE National rankings (Rivals 56; Scout 52) Best in class: Allen Lazard, wr, Urbandale, Iowa. Best of the rest: Jordan Harris, lb, Clarksdale, Miss.; Martinez Syria, rb, Humble, Texas; Mike Warren, rb, Lawton, Okla.; Brian Peavy, db, Houston, Texas; Darius Lee-Campbell, qb, Spring, Texas. Late addition: Willie Harvey, lb, Hastings, Fla., who picked Iowa State on Monday after decommitting from Southern Mississippi. One that got away: Tommy Mister, rb, 6-0, 210, decommitted after Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads fired offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope and signed with Indiana. NOTE: "He's a guy that will knock people's fillings loose. That's how he plays. He's productive. He shows up and plays very physical. He's got that mental approach to the game. He's very smart." — Rhoads on linebacker Jordan Harris. ___ KANSAS National rankings (Rivals 55; Scout 62). Best in class: Traevohn Wrench, rb, Gardner, Kan. Best of the rest: Jacob Bragg, ol, Nacogdoches, Texas; Kyron Watson, lb, East St. Louis, Ill.; D.J. Williams, dl, Lufkin, Texas; Derrick Neal, wr, Dallas. Late addition: Corey Avery, rb, Dallas, who picked Kansas this past week after visiting Nebraska and considering Ohio State, LSU and Texas. One that got away: Austin Stevens, dl, Montclair, N.J., committed to Kansas in September and switched his pledge to Boston College in December. NOTE: Kansas invested heavily in football hotbeds Texas (11 players) and Florida (four), while picking up three in-state recruits. But as evidence of the lengths Weis was going to secure talent, he also lured prospects from six other states and Canada. ___ KANSAS STATE National rankings (Rivals 46; Scout 57) Best in class: D'Vonta Derricott, lb, Henrico, Va. Best of the rest: Terrell Clinkscales, dt, Maywood, Ill.; Dalvin Warmack, rb, Blue Springs, Mo.; Dalton Risner, ol, Wiggins, Colo.; Elijah Lee, lb, Blue Springs, Mo. Late addition: Isaiah Riddle, lb, Newnan, Ga., picked the Wildcats on signing day over Memphis and Louisville despite never visiting the school. One that got away: Aaron Sharp, qb, Humble, Texas, who committed to Kansas State last July but switched to UCLA in January. NOTE: The Wildcats hope Derricott and Clinkscales fill two of the biggest holes. Derricott was courted by nearly every Big 12 school while Clinkscales switched his commitment from Nebraska. ___ OKLAHOMA National rankings (Rivals 15; Scout 13). Best in class: Joe Mixon, rb, Oakley, Calif. Best of the rest: Mark Andrews, wr, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Alex Dalton, ol, Troy, Ohio; Samaje Perine, rb, Pflugerville, Texas; Dallis Todd, wr, La Mirada, Calif.; Steven Parker, db, Jenks, Okla. Late addition: Orlando Brown, ot, Duluth, Ga. NOTE: Coach Bob Stoops called this one of his best classes. He said the win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl helped close out several recruits. ___ OKLAHOMA STATE National rankings (Rivals 27; Scout 14). Best in class: Tyreek Hill, ath, Garden City, Kan. Best of the rest: Gyasi Akem, lb, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Keenen Brown, wr, Houston; Mason Rudolph, qb, Rock Hill, S.C. Late addition: Jarrell Owens, de, Palestine, Texas One that got away: Steven Parker, db, Jenks, Okla. (Oklahoma) NOTE: Hill has a listed time of 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash. As a sophomore at Garden City Community College last season, he had 32 catches for 532 yards with six touchdowns and he carried the ball 101 times for 659 yards and five touchdowns. ___ TCU National rankings (Rivals 51; Scout 38). Best in class: Shaun Nixon, rb, Lake Travis, Austin, Texas. Best of the rest: Ty Barrett, ol, Dallas Skyline; qbs Foster Sawyer, Fort Worth, and Grayson Muehlstein, Decatur; wrs Corey McBride, Geismar, La., and Emanuel Porter, Dallas Lincoln. Late addition: Nixon, a four-star recruit, had committed to Texas A&M before his surprise visit to TCU last weekend. Patterson called him a "guy who stood out who wanted to come to TCU. I don't think you ever turn down a great tailback." One that got away: DE Jarrell Owens, who was also a running back at Palestine High, committed to the Frogs last summer. But the 6-3, 240-pounder switched to Oklahoma State after a visit to Stillwater last weekend and signed with the Cowboys on Wednesday. NOTE: Ty Summers was a dual-threat All-District quarterback with 3,774 total yards and 47 touchdowns at San Antonio's Reagan High. Patterson recruited him to play linebacker, like he has done with other former high school QBs, including Jason Phillips, who is an NFL linebacker for Philadelphia. "A little bit going back to my old ways," Patterson said. "He ran with the ball more than he threw it. He's a very physical player." ___ TEXAS National rankings (Rivals 20, Scout 16 ). Best in class: Jerrod Heard, qb, Denton, Texas Best of the rest: Poona Ford, dt, Hilton Head, S.C. Late addition: Chris Nelson, dt, Lakeland, Fla. One that got away: Sione Teuhema, de, Keller, Texas NOTE: Coach Charlie Strong wasn't hired to replace Mack Brown until Jan. 6, which meant he had to scramble to hold on to some previous commitments and lure others. The class won't be considered as strong compared to what Texas fans are used to, but no one will care if the Longhorns win on the field. ___ TEXAS TECH National rankings (Rivals 43; Scout 35). Best in class: Patrick Mahomes, qb, Whitehouse, Texas. Best of the rest: Justin Stockton, rb, Cibolo, Texas; Ian Sadler, wr, Argyle; Devin Lauderdale, wr, Houston; Nigel Bethel, db, Miami; Rika Levi, dl, South San Francisco, Calif. Late addition: Shaquille Davis, ol, Ponomo, Calif. One that got away: Zaycoven Henderson, dt, Longview, Texas (Texas A&M). NOTE: "He's a winner," coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Mahomes. "You watch him play and he willed his team to victories over and over." ___ WEST VIRGINIA National rankings (Rivals 38; Scout 40). Best in class: Dravon Henry, db, Aliquippa (Pa.) HS. Best of the rest: William Crest, qb, Dunbar HS, Baltimore. Donte Thomas-Williams, rb, Hillside HS, Durham, N.C. Late addition: Dontae Angus, ol, Martin Luther King HS, Philadelphia. Angus had initially committed to Florida. One that got away: Josh Krok, ol, McKinley HS, Niles, Ohio. Krok signed with Kentucky after making a visit last month to Lexington, Ky. NOTE: Holgorsen called Henry "one of the better players in the Northeast" who can play cornerback or safety and be used as a returner.
By BRETT MARSHALLRead more...Anyone, and everyone — from students, athletes, colleagues, family and friends — would tell you that the Rule of Life for Ray Fox was written by those sports in which he officiated.They were his Bible, and his guidelines for being tough, but always fair and compassionate.Those were some of the memories shared by those who knew Fox best.Fox, 78, died of emphysema...
Well-known official Fox was giant in SW Kansas sports
Brett Marshall, Associated Press | Jan 7, 2014By BRETT MARSHALL Read more... Anyone, and everyone — from students, athletes, colleagues, family and friends — would tell you that the Rule of Life for Ray Fox was written by those sports in which he officiated. They were his Bible, and his guidelines for being tough, but always fair and compassionate. Those were some of the memories shared by those who knew Fox best. Fox, 78, died of emphysema Saturday at St. Catherine Hospital, following a lengthy battle with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. "As with anything, Dad was fighting the disease all the way to the end," said Fox's son, Scott, who is in the Air Force and resides in Cheyenne, Wyo. "He had been battling it for some time." Longtime friend Kaye Pearce, retired executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, was perhaps as close to Fox as anybody, having grown up with him in Salina. Pearce was a teammate with Fox through junior high, high school and at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. "People called him Sarge, and it was certainly appropriate because Ray always was going to do things by the book," Pearce said Monday from his home in Pea Ridge, Ark. "We played football and basketball together, and then later I had him involved with us as an official for those sports and track and field. He was just the best. Always fair, always by the rules." If anything, Pearce said Fox strove for consistency. "He was always trying to learn and become better at it," Pearce said. "Then, he was into the teaching of other officials, so he was able to influence another generation of officials in southwest Kansas." Steve Lehning of Sublette got his start in high school officiating in the early 1980s, and his first football game in the black and white-striped uniform was with Fox, Bryce Roderick and Willie Nieman, when Liberal was hosting an opponent from Oklahoma. "I made a call right before halftime and I was the line judge," Lehning recalled. "I thought I made the right call, but being a first-timer, I wasn't so sure. When we went into the dressing room at halftime, I asked Ray if he thought I had made the right call." Lehning said Fox proceeded to get front and center with him and expressly told him that it was Lehning's job to make the call, not for the others to second-guess. "He said, 'you make the call, you believe in the call, and you sell the call," Lehning said of that moment. "From then on, I think I never asked for another opinion. It was a great learning tool for me." Lehning became a regular on Fox's crew, and the memories are many. "He always had the best interest of the kids at heart," Lehning said. "There would be a lot of people out there who might not believe that. He was tough, but he was always fair. He was a pillar in the community of officials. He was a role model to younger officials. He was a good teacher as far as I'm concerned. He was an ambassador for track and was a great influence on young people." Stewart Nelson, who first met Fox when he was a student at Garden City High School, said after graduating from college and returning to his hometown, it was Fox who got him involved with basketball officiating. "Back then, it was a two-man crew," Nelson, whose brother, Mark, also worked on the crew, said. "When you worked with Ray, you knew things were going to stay under control. You always felt comfortable. The game was never going to get away from you." Nelson and Fox donned their basketball stripes and worked together for 23 years, making many trips across southwest Kansas and to state tournaments. "Everybody in western Kansas knew Ray," Nelson said. "They either loved him, or hated him, and that was mostly because they only saw him as an official. I'm sure not everybody thought he was fair. But based upon what we did, the invitations we had to officiate at some big tournaments, I'd say people thought we were pretty successful." Nelson said it wasn't unusual in the later years for Fox to be watching basketball on television. He might see a call, and he would simply get his rule book out and see what was right. "You never wanted to dispute Ray," Nelson said. "He was 99 percent of the time right. More importantly than the games themselves, I'll remember the trips we made. The camaraderie. We always had a good time." Martin Segovia, a former Garden City High School athlete and now athletic director at the school, said Fox was the guy he went to in his first year as the AD to help him with hosting the Garden City Invitational track meet. "He knew his stuff about track," Segovia said. "Nothing escaped him. He was extremely knowledgeable. He had a good mind and had great passion for the sport. He held you accountable, but he always wanted to get the most out of everyone." Fox served as a track starter when Segovia was competing at GCHS in the late 1980s. "With Mr. Fox, you didn't mess around," Segovia said. "He kept you honest. He will be missed by a lot of people. He was a great influence on many young people." And if there's any doubt that Fox's influence was not great, then one only has to look at his three sons — Scott, a Colonel in the Air Force; David of Reno, Nev., who serves as the director of football administration at the University of Nevada-Reno; and Mark, who is the head men's basketball coach at the University of Georgia. "Dad kept up with everything we did and enjoyed our successes and suffered our setbacks," Scott said Monday from the family home in Garden City. "One thing about Dad, if he came to one of our games, he always wore a coat and tie. He was old-school. He taught us to do everything right every time. He always told it like it was, and never shied away from telling it exactly like it was." Scott said in the waning days of his dad's life, Fox worried about his funeral being on a day that a game might be contested. "He wanted to make sure there was no conflicts," Scott said with a laugh. "But that was him. If there was a conflict between his funeral and a game, he'd tell you to go to the game." For Mark, the memories are vivid from the time he was a youngster, when he hopped in the car and rode to basketball games with his dad and the other crew members. "I think the thing that is great about Dad, is that first he played sports, then he coached and then he officiated," Mark said in a telephone interview from Athens, Ga. "He held that role with a unique value in the game. He always knew that players were gonna make mistakes. But he always said that he was getting paid to get it right." Mark recalled times when he would sit in the stands and listen to people insult his dad. "That's the nature of being an official," Mark said. "He just tried to make sure he was being fair. It's a hard, tough job. People would be rooting for their teams and scream at him. But the rides were fun, and I remember the camaraderie of the officials. My dad believed there's a right way to do things. "He believed in an honest day's work and an honest day's effort. He wanted to help young people and to help them be good adults. He cared about everyone else. He never wanted it to be about him. He loved the community and loved southwest Kansas." And while friends like Pearce had the nickname "Sarge" on the tip of their tongue, it was son Scott who perhaps summed up Fox best. "He looked rough on the outside, but the grandkids called him 'Sugar Ray.' He was soft on the inside," Scott said. "He was a great dad from day one." Fox is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ruth Elaine; his three sons; two sisters, Kay Soderberg of Salina and Ann Newton of Tampa, Fla.; four grandchildren, Matthew and Alex Fox of Laramie, Wyo., and Parker and Olivia Fox of Athens. A memorial service was to be held at 5 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church. ------ The Ray Fox profile Born: Salina, Jan. 5, 1935 High School: Salina High School (1953); starred in football, basketball and track. College: Kansas Wesleyan University (1958); starred in football, basketball and track. He is in the KWU Hall of Fame, both as an individual and as a member of the Coyotes football team. Education/Teaching/Coaching Career (Years Approx.) 1959-1963: North Platte (Neb.) High School. Taught civics, economics, social studies. Assistant boys' basketball coach, volunteered with football, track. 1963-1967: Ellsworth High School. Taught civics and economics. Head boys' basketball coach; assistant football and track coach. 1967-1972: Medicine Lodge High School. School counselor and head girls' track coach. 1972-1977: High school counselor. Garden City Community College: assistant football coach to George Walstead, Mo Cotter and Fayne Henson. Helped Wayne Staagard with track. Garden City AAU Junior Olympic Track Team: Started the organization for Garden City/area youth. Coached youth who competed at every level, including several national champions. Officiating: Football, basketball and track starter for more than 30 years. Officiated at the Scott City Invitational, High Plains Tournament, the Dodge City Tournament of Champions and numerous regional and state football and basketball championships. Personal: After retiring from education, Fox started a successful construction business as an independent contractor. He was a master woodworker. ——— ©2014 The Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kan.) Visit The Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kan.) at www.gctelegram.com Distributed by MCT Information Services _____ Topics: t000046469,t000003183,t000003277,t000007323,t000003270,t000160437,t000003271,t000007305,t000007339,t000003199,t000002937,t000002934,t000002925,g000065634,g000362661,g000066164