Gerstner got head start on 2015 MHS baseball season

By Steve Sell
July 30, 2014

Wednesday’s ramblings...

• GERSTNER INVOLVED WITH LEGION SUCCESS — One of the many positives to come out of the state championship run of the McPherson American Legion baseball team this past week was that new McPherson High coach Heath Gerstner was involved with the process as an adviser.

Gerstner will be taking over the Bullpup program in the spring after a successful stint at Junction City, including an appearance in the Class 6A State Tournament. Even though he was in the process of moving to McPherson, Gerstner took the time to attend games over the last two months, which gave him ample time to evaluate the talent he’ll be working with next year. 

Gerstner certainly saw that his new team will rely on pitching and an offense that puts pressure on the opponents with bunting and stealing. Reportedly, that’s just the kind of style he likes to play.

To me, it says a lot about Gerstner. He inherits a situation that quite honestly last year was a mess. McPherson High hired a coach who wound up resigning after two games due to philosophical differences and it hung over the team like a black cloud all season.

Now with a Legion championship under its belt, the high school team will start anew with a coach who hopes to take the program to rarefied heights.

• RUXLOW PITCHES IN NBC TOURNEY — Alex Ruxlow, the ace of the McPherson High baseball pitching staff both his junior and senior seasons, saw action on the mound in the 80th annual NBC Tournament currently under way in Wichita at Lawrence-DuMont Stadium.

The big lefty, who played this summer for the Wichita Sluggers, got into two games as a reliever. The Sluggers basically consisted of players who just graduated from high school this past spring.

He pitched 1/3 of an inning in a 7-1 loss to the San Diego Force, a team that has players in the 27-age range. He took the loss in relief in the elimination game against Boulder, Colo., an 8-5 decision. Other than allowing a run, he pitched well in his 2 2/3 innings, including a pickoff. 

Ruxlow finished his season with a sparkling 7-2 record.

The Sluggers had the most inexperience of any team in the field, but playing this caliber of competition in this setting should help those players next year.

Among Ruxlow’s teammates were Andale pitcher Tyler Jones, Bishop Carroll catcher Taylor Sangorski and Derby outfielder Travis Young, all of whom will be playing this upcoming season at Wichita State. Ruxlow was the only player on the regular-season roster not from the Wichita area.

Ruxlow threw 55 innings for the Bullpups this past spring, compiling a 4-4 record and earning three saves as he both started and relieved. He struck out 45, walked 19 and compiled a 2.94 ERA.

Ruxlow originally committed to McPherson College, but instead will pitch at Hutchinson Junior College.

• LARSON ON WINNING TEAM — McPherson High All-State offensive lineman Garrett Larson figures to win a lot of games at Carnie Smith Stadium during his Pittsburg State football career as the Gorillas are a perennial national power.

Larson got a head start on success this past Saturday, as he started at left tackle for the winning West team in the 41st annual Kansas Shrine Bowl Football Game.

The West took a while to get started, but dominated the second half for a 21-6 victory. Garden City quarterback Greyson Tempel, who will be Larson's teammate at PSU this fall, led the second-half charge as the West clearly was the better team. Tempel threw for 183 yards and two scores — both to Salina South grad Zach Nachbar — and also ran for 64 yards on 14 carries. Unlike most Shrine Bowls, Tempel was the quarterback nearly the entire game. Normally two quarterbacks divide the time.

Larson was the latest in a long line of Bullpups chosen for the game, following Collin French (2013), Jordan Hart (2012), Christian Ulsaker (2011), Joel Piper (2010), Zach Peterson (2009) and Tanner Hawkinson (2008, but did not play as he had reported at KU).

• WRENCH TO BUTLER — Running back Traevohn Wrench, who ran wild against McPherson High as a sophomore while playing for Gardner-Edgerton and was widely considered the Kansas Jayhawks’ No. 1 football recruit, failed to qualify academically and will instead play for junior college kingpin Butler County in El Dorado.

Wrench had a tremendous game in the Trail Blazers’ 41-21 victory over MHS in 2011, a year after Bubba Starling put on one of the greatest individual performances ever witnessed at McPherson Stadium in G-E’s 49-42 victory, still the greatest high school football game I have ever covered.

That Wrench failed to qualify did not come as any surprise. When I chatted with former MHS girls basketball coach Scott Schaefer about him during January’s Mid America Classic (Schaefer was coaching Gardner-Edgerton before stepping down after the season), he told me Marvin Diener and his coaching staff has serious doubts about Wrench qualifying. That right there tells me that academics could be a problem for him in the future, which means he could be at Butler for two years. If he becomes a Juco All-American, chances are he may try to play for somebody more elite than KU.

McPherson, Moundridge hospitals seeking tax increase

By Staff Reports
July 30, 2014

The McPherson Sentinel reported in its Tuesday edition that McPherson Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Moundridge are seeking county-wide sales tax support for their operational costs.

The half-cent sales tax issue would be placed on the November ballot and would sunset after 10 years. The current sales tax rate for Moundridge and McPherson is 8.15 percent.

Lindsborg Community Hospital has decided not to participate in the sales tax initiative.

McPherson Hospital recently launched a three-phase capital improvement program. These funds would not be used to augment that program, but rather to support operational costs at the hospital. McPherson Hospital President Rob Monical told the Sentinel, "We can't do our facilities and not invest in our human capital."

McPherson Hospital is one million dollars in the red this year alone. Marsha Silver, hospital board member, told the Sentinel, "The hospital is struggling, and we have been working hard to keep the doors open. This is the next step. We must ask for help from the county."

Hortons win "Catchy" for tennis

By Steve Sell
July 29, 2014

WICHITA — McPherson High’s Ryan and Peter Horton have received the “Catchy Award” as the top tennis player/doubles duo of the year.

The seventh annual “Catchy” honors were announced today byCatchitKansas.com. More than 12,500 votes were cast.

The Hortons won the Class 4A doubles championship.

McPherson High’s Kyler Kinnamon came up short in the race for the top boys basketball player, which went to Goddard Eisenhower’s Trevon Evans. And Buhler’s football team finished ahead of McPherson High’s boys basketball team as the 4A Team of the Year.

Hesston’s girls basketball team was named Class 3A Team of the Year. The Swathers’ Ryan Schadler came up short in his bid for Football Player of the Year (it went to Derby’s DeAndre Goolsby) and the Track and Field Athlete of the Year (Deron Thompson of Wichita Northwest).

Hesston High winning three state championships was up for Story of the Year, which was won by the Hoxie girls basketball team increasing its winning streak to 73 games.

Lackey captures another junior golf title

NEWTON — McPherson’s Jacob Lackey scored his second straight victory on the Ping Summer Junior Golf
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Royals showing faith in Moustakas

Tuesday’s tidbits...

• ROYALS STICKING WITH MOUSTAKAS — The Kansas City Royals basically sent the much-maligned
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KBBE on the road at 4H Fair Wednesday

Join Mark in the Morning Wednesday, July 30th LIVE from the McPherson County 4H Fair from
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Featured on Swap Shop

Garage Sale

1328 S Walnut Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 8am-12noon --

Wanted

4' chain link fencing, free or very inexpensive -- 755-3356

Old baby bottles for baby shower props -- 755-9164

Cordless XBox 360 controller with rechargeable battery kit -- 620-755-2887

Garage Sale

836 Pine Ct Friday 2pm-7pm and Saturday 8am-12noon --

Give Away

Rocker recliner -- 245-4735

Wanted

Nintendo 64 gaming system -- 755-6569

Fire retardant pants, size 36, and fire retardant uniform shirts size M or L -- 620-314-8788

Announcements

Everyone is welcome to attend the Dodge Ball Tourney/Bake Sale/Open House at the McPherson Community Building on Saturday, August 9th. Registrations are still being accepted for dodgeball teams of six, all ages are welcome and the fee is only $25. All proceeds raised will benefit Shari Henson, local mom fighting cancer. Check out the facebook page "Shari Henson Fundraiser" for more information. --

For Sale

32" Toshiba color TV with remote, works great $40 -- 620-334-0805, call or text

Give Away

Five puppies, six weeks old and eating solid food -- 755-9004

Kittens, eating solid food, very cute and playful -- 241-3647

Lost

Blo0nd and orange female Pomeranian named "Lady", eleven years, wearing reddish-brown collar with blue and gold tags, recently groomed, LAST SEEN in Moundridge on Sunday $25 REWARD for her safe return -- 620-660-5344 in Moundridge

Wanted

German Shepherd puppy or young adult dog -- 620-877-7965

Quad Runner type ATV for use on farm, reasonably priced -- 245-8786

Sell On Sports

Gerstner got head start on 2015 MHS baseball season

Wednesday’s ramblings...

• GERSTNER INVOLVED WITH LEGION SUCCESS — One of the many positives to come out of the state championship run of the McPherson American Legion baseball team this past week was that new McPherson High coach Heath Gerstner was... Read More

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