Summer activities are winding down as the anticipation of the fall sports schedule is starting to heat up.
We are less than a month away from the first football and volleyball games of the year, but before it gets started, there are a couple questions I have heard through the summer that I will try to answer here.
The first starts with summer baseball.
Q: Do community college players belong in the Jayhawk League?
The Bee Jays, like many teams, use community college players.
The question is, can these players compete against their Div. 1 counterparts?
For the answer, let’s look to the drafting potential of community college players.
According to the NJCAA, 10 percent of the players drafted by Major League Baseball came from community colleges. Factoring in those that were drafted from high schools, the community college draft rate per capita is about the same as that from four-year programs.
In the final game of the winner’s bracket of the NBC World Series before the Super Six round, Hays was one of the two teams, and 30 percent of the Larks roster is made up of community college players.
The other finalist was the NJCAA National Team, and 100 percent of its roster is community college players.
Which team is still undefeated heading in to the Super Six? The NJCAA National Team.
Do community college players belong?
A: Yes they do.
Q: Will Redskin football be better this year?
There is a new sense of excitement any time there is a new coach, especially when that coach has been popular with his players.
Caleb Cline is an unknown factor. This will be his first year as a head coach.
But he won’t be the only one taking on a new head job in the Western Athletic Conference.
Hays will also have new leadership in Bo Black who went 76-34 in 12 seasons at Great Bend.
Great Bend will be under the leadership of Tony Crough.
Basically, Cline can expect Black’s Indians to look a lot like Great Bend while the Panthers will be getting a fresh start with Crough.
Cline will have to address a few issues to see success this fall.
For one, he will have to be a master recruiter to get his numbers up. Football is not just about having standout athletes, but having the numbers to be effective at practice and to field entire freshmen, junior varsity and varsity squads.
He will have to adapt the playing style to the personnel. Having a certain offensive style is one thing, having the players to execute it is another. He will have to put his Redskins in a position to be successful.
Special teams will have to improve starting field position.
Last year, teams started at or near midfield while the Redskins relied heavily on onside attempts, putting the defense in a tough position.
If the Redskins can make teams drive the length of the field, it should lead to more forced punts, possible turnovers, and definitely slow the game down, something that never hurts a new coach.
Cline will have to replace three key offensive weapons in Trenton Hammond, Britton Abbott and Nolan Larkin. Jared Hasik is clearly the heir apparent at quarterback, and his skills as a runner will have to be utilized.
Cline also has some seasoned coaches at his disposal.
Liberal’s schedule will also benefit the Redskins. Bishop Carroll has been replaced by Ark City, so Liberal’s district will be all public schools.
The Redskins won five games last year. Can Cline do better?
A: Yes, Cline’s Redskins will meet or exceed last year’s wins.
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