Joco notebook: BV West baseball team 13th best in nation; new football coach at BV North, etc.

03/06/2014 4:57 PM

03/06/2014 4:57 PM

After winning the Kansas Class 6A state championship last season, the Blue Valley West baseball team is ranked 13th nationally in the MaxPreps Top 100 preseason rankings.

The Jaguars went 26-3 last season and return their entire roster.

The team features four Division I players in Tanner Gragg and Ryan Ralston, who are headed to the University of Kansas; Connor Kaiser, who has committed to play at Vanderbilt; and Zack Engelken, who has signed with the University of Nebraska.

New football coach at BV North

Former Leavenworth High School defensive coordinator Andrew Sims has accepted the football head coach position at Blue Valley North, pending board approval on Monday night.

“My family and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining Blue Valley North,” Sims said in a district press release. “I feel very confident we will put a plan in place that will allow our student-athletes to compete for championships on the field, but also be a champion in the game of life.”

Prior to Leavenworth, Sims coached at Excelsior Springs and led the football program to its best start to a season in more than 45 years, while increasing the roster from 28 to more than 100 players. He also served as a strength and conditioning coach for six years at the University of Central Missouri.

“I am confident that Coach Sims will be a great fit at Blue Valley North on the field and in the classroom,” Blue Valley North Athletic Director Mickey Masterson said. “His enthusiasm and passion are contagious.”

In the past three seasons under head coach Mike McCall, the Mustangs went 1-26, including an 0-9 mark this past season.

HAAC Pitcher of the Week

Baker University freshman Katt Cooper was selected Heart of America Athletic Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week for the week ending Feb. 23.

Cooper, who graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, pitched a complete game in Baker’s 3-1 victory against No. 15 Oklahoma Baptist, allowing just four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. She also picked up another six-inning shutout victory against Dordt, in which she allowed three hits, two walks and had eight strikeouts.

Cooper is 4-0 and has allowed just two runs in 32 1/3 innings for a 0.43 ERA this season. She is holding batters to a 0.129 batting average.

NJCAA Player of the Week

Freshman guard Caley Shaffstall of Cottey College was selected the National Junior College Athletics Association Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 16.

Shaffstall, a graduate of Kansas City East Christian Academy in Leawood, averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists across Cottey’s two victories against Kansas City Penn Valley and Wentworth Military Academy.

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