816 North

Northland high school fall sports notebook: Boys soccer, volleyball and football

Updated: 2013-09-17T18:53:24Z

By SAM MCDOWELL

The Kansas City Star

If moral victories qualify, the Park Hill High School boys soccer team may have earned one Monday night.

The Trojans gave third-ranked Lee’s Summit West a scare on the road before the Titans escaped with a 2-1 victory in overtime. Lee’s Summit West, ranked No. 3 in the Missouri Class 3 coaches poll, got two goals from senior Chase Fearon to remain undefeated at 7-0.

Park Hill nearly supplied the first blemish on the record, though, thanks to goalkeeper Alex Noll, who made seven saves. A handful of them came from point-blank range, one seemingly following another in the second half.

“He was amazing,” Lee’s Summit West coach Brizendine said. “He kept them in it. He was tough back there. Fantastic keeper.”

The Trojans, ranked 10th in Class 3, took a lead in the 33rd minute on a goal from Blake Barnard.

Fearon responded with his first goal six minutes later, cleaning up a rebound off the post. He buried the game-winner past a diving Noll in the first overtime period. It served as the golden goal.

Volleyball: Lawson wins

In her 10th year as the Lawson volleyball coach, Corrie Willoughby has kept the team goal rather simple. And achievable.

“We’re a very competitive group,” Willoughby said. “We are aiming for more wins than previous years.”

The Cardinals are off to a good start — in conference play, no less.

They won the KCI Conference tournament last Saturday, defeating West Platte in the championship match 25-20, 25-23.

And just like that, a year after compiling 17 victories, Lawson already has seven. The team is led by juniors Sierra Rash and Kolbie Chancellor.

Soccer: Poll released

With their overtime thriller Monday, Lee’s Summit West and Park Hill provided a peek into what some of the area’s best soccer teams may have to offer this season. They are two of a handful of teams that the state’s coaches predict will make some noise.

Rockhurst is ranked seventh in the initial Class 3 poll released by the Missouri Soccer High School Coaches Association, and Lee’s Summit is ninth. Park Hill South also received votes.

Last season, Rockhurst emerged from the Kansas City bracket and placed fourth in the state.

In Class 2, Smithville is No. 7 a year after reaching the state semifinals. Liberty North is No. 9, and Kearney is 10th.

Football: NKC on comeback trail

Marcus Jones was the man behind the wheel for the North Kansas City football offense last season. In what the Hornets later dubbed a breakout year, Jones scored 28 touchdowns. The team finished with a 5-6 record — a significant step forward.

So when Jones graduated last spring, it seemed the Hornets would be in a rebuilding mode.

That’s not exactly the way it has played out.

North Kansas City has opened up the offensive playbook under first-year passer Bryce Graskemper. The results speak for themselves.

Graskemper fired five touchdown passes against Raytown last Friday, helping the Hornets erase a 25-point deficit to win 34-31. North Kansas City trailed 31-6 midway through the second quarter.

The offensive output is nothing new. North Kansas City, which improved to 2-1 with the victory, has scored 123 points in three weeks and will play host to Belton this Friday night.

Football: Suburban Blue race

Only a few weeks into the season, the battles for the four Suburban Conference races are already shaping up to be highly competitive.

None of them, however, will match the intrigue of the Suburban Blue Conference.

Why? Well, five of the six teams in the league have won two of their first three games -- Winnetonka, Kearney, Liberty North, Platte County and Grandview.

Winnetonka is The Star’s preseason pick to win the conference, and the Griffins have an early edge considering both of their victories came in conference play.

A legitimate case, however, can be made for several other teams. Platte County won the league last season; Liberty North is off to a fine start defensively, and Grandview has scored 131 points in three games. Grandview took Winnetonka down to the wire last Friday before the Griffins escaped with a 31-28 win.

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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