Yordano Ventura quit school at 14 and was working construction until his big break: a tryout that led to a spot in the Kansas City Royals’ academy in the Dominican Republic. But even after making the major leagues and pitching in the World Series, Ventura wouldn’t live anywhere else than Las Terrenas, his hometown, where he trained on the beach and swam in the ocean.
The toughest loss for a high school football team to endure is a setback in a state championship game. That thought was never far away from the minds of the seniors on this season’s Shawnee Mission East squad. That resolve was evident throughout the Lancers’ 33-14 victory over Hutchinson on Saturday in the Kansas Class 6A championship game.
Junior halfback Dawson Downing, who was instrumental as the Stags completed an undefeated season by knocking off Topeka Hayden 42-35 in the Kansas Class 4A Division I state championship game, is a major part of the Bishop Miege nucleus that returns next season for the five-time state champs.
With first-year coach Randy Dreiling at the helm, the Saints of St. Thomas Aquinas High School put together one of the most successful football seasons in school history and made it to the Kansas Class 5A state championship game. Although Aquinas lost to Wichita’s Bishop Carroll 39-7, Odermann saw the experience as one the Saints can easily use as a stepping stone for next year.
For the first time in school history, Bishop Miege won 13 games. Its latest triumph, a hard-fought 42-35 victory over Topeka Hayden on Saturday for the Kansas 4A Division I championship, was the fifth state title in school history, and the first since 2009.
The Shawnee Mission East Lancers beat Hutchinson 33-14 on Saturday to finish with a perfect 13-0 record and their first state football championship in school history. It was a dominating performance by SM East in the second half.
Kansas-bound quarterback Ryan Willis’ unique decision making abilities have helped him lead Bishop Miege to the Kansas Class 4A Division I state title game. The Stags will face Topeka Hayden at 1 p.m. at the Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka.
Shawnee Mission East converts a two-point conversion for a 36-35 double-overtime victory against Olathe North in a Kansas 6A state semifinal game at SM North District Stadium sends the Lancers to the finals next Saturday in Emporia.