Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
Happy New Year! It was a remarkable year in 2019. Records have been broken, some fellow Bullpups crowned champions and there plenty of plays that made you think it will be on ESPN Sportscenter the next morning. As we reach the year 2020, we look back on the top 20 most memorable moments in McPherson High School .
20. Cody Achilles wins home invitational
Cody Achilles being a multi-sport athlete, he had a tough decision to make. Either join his soccer teammates to face Andover Central on the road or stay home and compete for the McPherson Invitational in cross county at Wall Park. Achilles made his choice, and it went toward his favor as he won his first home invitational in late September. The McPherson boys cross country team took second during the invitational. Achilles will be back next season for his senior year.
19. McPherson-Andover Central meeting
The McPherson High School football team was once again one win away from playing in the Class 4A State Championship but was stunned three seasons in a row, but this time to Andover Central. After a tough defensive battle, the Bullpups fall to the Jaguars 7-0 needed a few yards to tie the game. So the Bullpups settled it on the basketball court 19 days later. The Bullpup boys took on the reigning Class 5A state champs that had the majority of the players that were on the football team, in the second game of the year and stunned them in their home crowd, 52-47.
Talk about an upset special. That’s how you bounce back. Bullpups win!!!
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) December 11, 2019
18. Taking a gamble There was a new voice for the McPherson College football team. Jeremiah Fiscus and his Bulldogs opened the season against Langston University in the first annual Heartland Class at Cessna Stadium. At the time Langston was ranked No. 14 and the Bulldogs were the underdog. The Bulldogs were down 21-0 in the first half but made a stellar comeback and shut out the Lions by scoring 20 unanswered points as it came down to the final drive. After the last touchdown, the Bulldogs decided to go for the win but failed, but it set the tone for McPherson’s season. The Bulldogs went on to finish 5-5 in Fiscus’s first season and their first winning record since 2010.
The Bulldogs went for two and failed, but they were close. Crouch’s pass attempt to Ben Nikkel. Langston survived, barely. @MACBulldogsFB was on the verge of upsetting the No.14 team in the country. The Bulldogs can build off of that. Great game! Final Langston 21 McPherson 20 pic.twitter.com/o1sXxGjcVB
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) September 8, 2019
17. Bullpup Golfer wins league
Who would have seen this coming? The McPherson High School golf team never had a first-place finish all year until postseason began. With the lack of experience, harsh weather delay at the Rolling Hills in Wichita and limited to nine holes the Bullpups were victorious by winning their AVCTL Division III league, shooting 163 over Buhler’s 173. Hayes Schmid, Neil Raymond, Gus Ruddle and Tyler Hoxie made second-team all-league after their performances.
16. Stung by the Hornets
Arguably one of the most talented McPherson High School girls soccer team Chris Adrian has ever assembled, the Bullpups, who was the No. 2 seed, went head-to-head against Valley Center in the state quarterfinals. Throughout the match, it was scoreless, but in the end, the Hornets came up on top over the Bullpups with a 1-0 win. Six Bullpups made all-state that year after a 17-2 this season.
15 Relay team wins first state title
It was a phenomenal year for the McPherson High School boys swim team last season. The Bullpup swimmers won their third straight AVCTL league title, seven school records and with a fifth-place finish in the state championship in late February, the 200 Free Relay team of William Powers, Dawson VanGoethem, Silas Steinert and Justus Hampton) made history by winning their first gold medal with a record time of 1.27.83, only .6 seconds shy from the state record. As the Bullpups are in the middle of the 2019-20 season, the duo of Powers and Hampton could bring more first-place finishes when the state tournament comes.
14. Coach Doile reaches 400
In September, the McPherson High School volleyball team competed in the AVCTL Preseason Tournament at Hutchinson. During the tournament, Head Coach Christy Doile earned her 400th win after beating Dodge City High School. The Bullpups went on to finish 4-2 during the preseason tournament and eventually finished the season at 28-12.
13. Kretzer wrestles with KSHSAA
KSHSAA finally saw the light and made girls wrestling an official sport, making it the 15th state to sanction the sport. None of that was possible it wasn’t for former Bullpup wrestler, Mya Kretzer, and current McPherson Head Coach Doug Kretzer. After a unanimous decision, girls wrestling has been added to the state championship division, which will start in 2020. Girls wrestling season is in full effect as an official sport with postseason around the corner.
12. 27-year old record broken
During the Kansas State Track and Field Championship last season, records were broken on McPherson’s side. One of it includes a 27-yard old record by the 4×100 team of Autumn Allen, Janae Spaich, Jordan Bailey and Emma Ruddle. The record time was 49.36. The record holders were the team of Paige Watkins, Deedra Duerkson, Richelle Goscha and Kaley Glidewell.
11 Emma Ruddle chasing gold
On that same weekend, Ruddle captured a gold medal of her own after placing first in the 100 hurdles with the time of 14.45. She would’ve had three but unfortunately took second in the 100 meters, falling behind ton Kalli Anderson of Newton High School. Ruddle is one of the top sprinters in the state, but her heart belongs to the basketball court as she signed to play at Fort Hays State University.
10. Weapons of Choice
During football season, McPherson made some electrifying plays during their 11-1 season. On opening night, Aaron Powell showed his breakaway speed after a 99-yard run for a touchdown in their season opener against Salina South High School. Jake Feil wowed the Bullpups on special teams. Against Augusta High School in October, Feil went beast mode on 58-yard punt return touchdown Powell followed it up with 85-yard kickoff return touchdown, which was his first in his career. Feil will be missed, but Powell will be back for next season.
Did you see that?????@KalebHoppes finds @Aaron12pow for a 99 yards TD. Gamechanger!!!!
Salina South 11
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) September 7, 2019
The 3rd Punt Return TD of Jakob Feil’s (@jakobfeil43) career was unbelievable.
9. Former Bullpups doing big things.
Ben Pyle and Taylor Robertson are no longer Bullpups anymore but they are present McPherson at the highest level in college basketball. The 2018 Mr and Miss Kansas Basketball are now starters in their new homes. At the University of Oklahoma, Robertson made a name for herself in her freshman year as the nation’s top three-point shooter after shattering the record books for the Sooners. In her second year as a full-time starter, she is shooting 49 percent from behind the arc and leads the nation in three-pointers made. Last month against Wichita State, Robertson dropped 30 points over the Shockers, which was a career-high for the sophomore. As for Pyle, he might be one of the most trustworthy players for Western Illinois, mostly on the free-throw line. Pyle has not missed a free throw shot this season as he 24 for 24 at the line, making the Pyle the top free-throw shooter in college basketball. Pyle has started all 11 games this season and is shooting .453 from the field.
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) November 30, 2019
8. Kicking with Schrader It big year for the senior Drew Schrader as a soccer player and football player. Schrader led the Bullpup soccer team with 23 goals, including three-trick performances. But let’s not forget when Schrader shredded Salina South with a five-goal performance, which tied a school record for most goals in a game. Schrader was also a difference-maker as McPherson’s starting placekicker, in which it was his first time in a football uniform. In McPherson’s 26-6 win over Arkansas City during the Class 4A quarterfinals, Schrader went 4 for 4 during that night. Schrader went on to be an all-state performer in both soccer and football in his senior season.
7. Two-time Mid America Classic Champs
For the second straight year, the McPherson girls basketball team won the Mid America Classic, taking down the undefeated Olathe South High School team in the finals, 49-37. Lakyn Schieferecke and Grace Pyle made the all-tournament team afterward. Schieferecke went 8-for-8 on the free-throw line and led with 13 points, while Pyle picked up 11.
Here’s a little personal stat, this is my 2nd year covering the Mid America Classic and the Bullpups won both years. I deserve partial credit 😁. What a great night for the Lady Pups. A big a momentum in the final stretch of the season.#bullpupnation 🏀 pic.twitter.com/MrZ8wqFSY5
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) January 27, 2019
6. Schmid, Strathman honored in KBCA all-star weekend
It was an overwhelming obstacle for both Hayes Schmid and Head Girls Basketball Coach Chris Strathman as both have been battling cancer all year. Their battles with cancer led to being recognized during the KBCA All-Star Weekend. Schmid was awarded the KBCA Student-Athlete Courage Award while battling Stage 2 Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Cancer, which kept him for most of the basketball season. Strathman was awarded the Don Jones Courage Award after battling colon cancer, in which he missed the first month of basketball. 5. McPherson. vs. St. Thomas Aquinas in semifinals The McPherson High School Girls basketball bumped up a class last season and even though the Lady Pups won’t be seeing Bishop Miege anymore during the postseason play, they still had to deal with a Class 5A powerhouse in St. Thomas Aquinas High School. That’s what transpired in last season’s state semifinals at Emporia State University. After a close battle, St. Thomas as victorious, 44-36. Grace Pyle led with 15 points. St. Thomas went on to win the state championship afterward while Bullpups finished fourth after falling to KC Schlagle in the battle for third place. Chances are, McPherson and St. Thomas Aquinas could reunite in the state tournament once with both teams ranked in top two in the standings. 4. The Perfect finish
The dynamic duo of CeAnna Allen and Taylor Bruce of the McPherson girls tennis team was nothing but pure perfection all year. Allen and Bruce went on to win the Class 5A State Championship in doubles and finished last season with 35-0 record. Their performance gave the two an automatic spot in the wall of fame. Bruce, a four-time state qualifier, will be missed as she will move on to play tennis at Fort Hays State, but Allen will be back for this coming season, but with a new partner. 3. Radke wins first state title Scott Radke was McPherson’s wrestling technician all four years but was missing a state title. In Last season’s Class 5A State Championship, Radke earned that state title at 160 pounds. Radke ended his Bullpup career as third all-time in 122 wins and holds the record for most takedowns in a season (256) and 470 in his career. He is also ranked seventh all-time in takedowns in the state of Kansas. Radke is continuing his wrestling career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Tulsa.
The champ is here!!!! pic.twitter.com/7Kycpw0ukR
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) February 24, 2019
Nothing like going out your senior season as a state champ. pic.twitter.com/JNYfL3vysD
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) February 24, 2019
2. Stufflebean attacks Goddard In the Bullpups 14-8 win over Goddard in the second round of the Class 5A State tournament, Stufflebean led the Bullpups with six catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns as the starting the tight end, while on defense, he collected two sacks, closing the one-year nightmare after losing to Goddard in the semifinals in the 2018 season. Stufflebean has signed his letter of intent to play college football at Kansas State during the national signing period.
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) November 9, 2019
1. McPherson Magic There is something about the Roundhouse and the magic it brings every game when it comes down to the wire. The magic came to life last season when the Bullpups took on Newton in the Class 5A Sub-State game. The Bulllpups came from behind but it was neck and neck. With 1.5 seconds left, Jace Kinnamon shot on the top of the key off the backboard and forced overtime. As it came down to the last free throw, the Bullpups scape with 88-86 win over the Railers. The Roundhouse produced memorable games over the years, but this one is as good as it gets.
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) March 1, 2019