This Spring several school records were broken, both Lancer Baseball and Softball came away with wins in the 1st Round of Regionals, including an upset over a defending state champion, and Track is sending six to the State Meet.
On Monday night the Springs Sports Assembly was held at Southeast High School to recognize these Lancer athletes for their accomplishments.
“This has truly been one of the better years I’ve had coaching,” SHS Softball Coach Mike Bowman told the crowd at Monday night’s Springs Sports Assembly. “There was no drama, the parents got behind these girls, the grandparents got behind these girls, and it was just a total team effort.”
“This group of girls made coaching fun, and you want to come back, and you can’t wait to see them over the summer and see them next season to see how much they’ve improved.”
The Lancer Softball team finished the season 7-15, including a 1-0 win over Northeast in the 1st Round of Regionals; and, Coach Bowman pointed out that a couple of records were set: Senior Zoey Ball had four home runs, the most in a season, and those along with three more by senior Jordann Lunsford gave the team the most home runs since Bowman has been at Southeast.
Freshman Megan Colvin also threw 17 strikeouts in one game.
“As a freshman coming on, that’s incredible. She’s done a great job, but it couldn’t have been done without Zoey Ball. A catcher makes a pitcher and I know that some of those strikeouts Megan got she probably wouldn’t have got without Zoey.”
Coach Bowman has three team awards that are voted on by the players themselves: Jordann Lunsford was named Most Valuable Player, Laura Ridings was named Most Improved, and Megan Colgan was named Most Inspirational.
“She’s crazy, it doesn’t matter how bad or good, she’s inspiring, she’s jamming, she’s dancing,” Coach Bowman said about Colvin. “You can be in the worst mood and she will make you smile and inspire you to be a better person.”
Coach Bowman also gives two awards based on statistics alone. The Silver Slugger Award was presented to Lunsford, who had a 0.581 Batting Average, 0.594 On Base Percentage, and 0.984 Slugging Percentage for the season.
“At the CNC meeting’s she was way ahead of every girl that got recognition from the whole league – she was definitely the leader in that,” Coach Bowman said.
Lunsford had three strikeouts the entire season – two of which came against a Riverton pitcher who Coach Bowman said is being highly recruited and he believes is the best pitcher in the state. But, Coach Bowman said, Lunsford got the Riverton pitcher back at Regionals.
“Jordann went 2-for-2, with a double and she knocked in two of her sisters, Laura Ridings and Alex Rice – she hit a home run to left-center and just cranked it out on the first pitch,” Bowman said.
The other statistics based Softball award, the Golden Glove, was presented to first baseman, senior Ariel Leone, who had a Fielding Percentage of 0.989.
“Every time the ball was hit and the ball was thrown to first base, there was no doubt in my mind, unless it was thrown way over her head, this girl was going to stretch, dig it out of the dirt, or get an out one way or the other,” Coach Bowman said. “She’s probably been one of the best first basemen I’ve ever had.”
Coach David Dainty just finished his 9th year coaching with Southeast Baseball, and his 5th as the head coach.
“If you watched our Regionals at the end of the year then I think you saw the type of baseball that we played all year – we finally put it all together at the end of the year,” Coach Dainty said. “We finished the season 5-16, and finishing the season 5-16 doesn’t look like you had a very good year, but we ended up knocking off the number 9 team in the state in the Regionals, and that says a lot.”
In the 1st round of the Kansas Class 3A Regionals, the Lancers were matched with the defending state champions, the Riverton Rams. At the end of seven innings the teams were tied at 2-2, and in the top of the 9th, the Lancer offense exploded to win the game 6-2.
“That speaks volumes about the types of kids that were on the team because when you go 5-16, and you play the number 9 team in the state in the 1st round of the Regionals, most people would just hang their hat up say ‘it’s over with’ and not come out and compete, and our kids did the exact opposite. They dug their cleats in, came out and got a win.”
Coach Dainty presented two individual goal awards: The Most Valuable Player to junior Cole Burdette, and the Most Improved Player to junior Triston Gardner.
“The most improved player doesn’t mean that you weren’t very good at the beginning then you got good – it’s just how much more you stepped up throughout the season,” Coach Dainty said. “We had a lot of opportunities this season for people to step up, and Triston was one of those people. It’s one of my favorite awards. He went from getting a little bit of playing time to being a lead off hitter at the top of the lineup at the end of the season.”
Coach Dainty also presented individual effort awards.
The Ball Hawk is a defensive honor presented to any player who makes 15 putouts in a row without committing an error. Coach Dainty said it didn’t matter if it took just a few games or seven games – as long as they were continues without an error. Three Lancers met the qualifications: senior Brendan Bennett, Burdette and junior Caleb Fenimore.
The Green Beret is a hitting honor presented to any player who has more than a 0.750 On Base Percentage with a minimum of six at bats during a double header. Two met the qualifications: Burdette and junior Colton Trejo.
“You can never get the guy out, he’s just always on it all night and keeps coming back no matter what,” Coach Dainty said. “If you’re getting on base seven out of eight times then you did everything that you can that night.”
The Back Stop is an honor for any catcher who catches a double-header without one passed ball on the whole night – Dainty called it the most difficult to get. One Lancer met the qualification: sophomore Jake Burns.
“I’m very proud of our team this season but I have a special thank you to the 14 players that finished the season because I did not cut a Regional Roster this year – this is the first year I haven’t cut a Regional Roster. I finished with 14 people that continuously kept coming to practice and showing up. Even when they knew they may not get some playing time they kept coming, and that’s what it’s going to take for us to be successful in the future. So to those 14 – you know who you are – thank you very much for putting in all of your hard work.”
While Lancer Baseball and Softball are finished for the year, the State Track Meet is this coming Friday and Saturday, but team Head Coach Nick Cheney was able to recognize those who have qualified for State, some school record holders, and other honors.
This year the Girls Track & Field team won two meets – the Southeast Invitational and the Baxter Springs Invitational. The Girls also took 2nd place at the CNC League Meet, which was the highest Southeast has placed since winning it in 1987.
“We don’t get off the bus with the most girls at a track meet compared with the schools we compete against, so taking 2nd in the conference is quite an accomplishment,” Principal Larry Malle told the crowd.
This year Southeast had two CNC champions – senior Sam Holsinger in Boys Discus and senior Mireesa Gordon in Girls High Jump. Holsinger and Gordon were two of the six Lancers to place in the top 4 at Regionals to qualify for State. Holsinger in Boys Discus, Gordon in both Girls High Jump and Girls Triple Jump, senior Kalyn Bitner threw a school record in Girls Shotput to qualify for State, junior Jake Wyckoff in the Boys 800 Meter Run, freshman Saydi Sullivan in the Girls 300 Meter Hurdles, and freshman Jessie Jenkins, who set the school record for the Girls 3200 Meter Run earlier in the year, qualified in that event, and won the Girls 1600 Meter Run to be named the Regional Champion in that event.
Several team awards were presented by Coach Cheney. Junior Lena Reuter and senior Taylor Stanley were recognized with the Lancer Pride Award. Bitner and Gordon were named the Most Outstanding Field Athletes for the Girls, and junior Truman Buckley was named the Most Outstanding Field Athlete for the Boys. Jenkins was named the Most Outstanding Track Athlete for the Girls, and senior Adam Martinie was named the Most Outstanding Track Athlete for the Boys. And Holsinger was recognized for scoring the most points over the year for the Boys, and Jenkins was recognized for scoring the most points over the year for the Girls.