ABILENE, Kan.—The 2012-2013 North Central Kansas League winter season is now upon us and it will begin with a busy opening week.
The action will get started Thursday night when the Abilene wrestling team opens the NCKL wrestling slate with a double dual at Smoky Valley with Buhler High School. Clay Center and Chapman will face up in wrestling on Friday night with a double dual with Junction City. The rest of the NCKL wrestling teams will begin action with tournaments on Saturday.
The Panther boys’ basketball team is coming off a 16-6 record last year with four starters returning for head coach Michael Roe, who is entering his third season as Concordia’s head coach. "We need hard work with an emphasis on defense and rebounding," Roe said. The Panthers will begin this season Friday night when they play host to Beloit. The Concordia wrestling team returns a pair of state qualifiers for Kevin Brown, who enters his 9th season at the helm of the Panther grapplers. "We are going to have a young group this year, with many first time varsity wrestlers." Brown said. "We will need to focus on improving each day and wrestling our best at the end of the year. I am excited about this group as they are great workers and very coachable." The Lady Panther basketball team is coming off a 2-19, 2-8 season last year and will look to improve this season which begins Friday when they play host to Beloit.
The Cowgirl basketball should have "good team chemistry" but lack "overall size" according to Janelle Geist who enters the 2012-2013 season after a 13-9 campaign last year. The Cowgirls have quite a few starters and key players back from last season and are looking to get back to the state tournament for the first time since 2008. The Cowboy wrestling team is entering its sixth season with Terry Taylor as its head coach and is coming off a 22-2 record last year and have four starters returning to the fold. Taylor says this year’s team has good size and has strong perimeter shooting as well as athleticism. The Cowboys wrestling team will begin its season Thursday night when they wrestle a double dual at Smoky Valley with Buhler. The Cowboys are coming off a 13th Class 4A state finish a year ago and have several quality wrestlers returning to the squad this year. "After graduating a state champion and one other state qualifier in 2012 the Cowboys will have to re-load their line up for the 2012-2013 season. They will do that by matruning the remainder of the squad and adding a strong freshman class. The return of two state placers in Zane Baugh and Junior Morgan."
The Lady Tiger basketball team is coming off an 11-11, 6-4record last year and will begin this season on Friday night when it plays host to Rock Creek. The Tiger boys, meanwhile, are coming off a 6-15, 4-6 mark in 2011-2012 and will also open at home against Rock Creek on Friday night. The Tiger wrestling team, which went 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the NCKL in duals last season will begin its season on Friday when they travel to NCKL foe Chapman for a double dual with the Irish and Junction City.
The Lady Bulldogs have one returner back from a squad that went 11-11, 6-4 last year for new head coach Amy Renyer. "We will need to be able to handle the ball and play great defense," Renyer said of this season for the Marysville girls. … The Bulldog boys are entering their fifth season with Mike Melcher as their head coach. Melcher is coming off a season that saw his team go 7-14 overall and has three starters returning from that squad for the team which begins the season this Thursday night when they play at Sabetha. The Marysville wrestling team is scheduled to open its season this Saturday at the Mission Valley Tournament.
The Red Raider boys’ basketball team is coming off a 9-12 record last year but is still under the guidance of 15th-year head coach Troy Hemphill with three starters returning to the fold this year. "We are very experienced," Hemphill said. "We return most of our scoring and rebounding." The Lady Raiders, the defending NCKL champions, have two starters back this year for third-year head coach Jim Page. "As with every year, kids filling roles and focus to details," Page said of the keys to success this year. "Chemistry will be important, and we have to be able to compete." The Lady Raiders open the season Thursday night at Rossville. The Wamego wrestling team will be familiar with its surroundings for its opener in 2012 as the Red Raider wrestlers will open their season this Saturday by playing host to a tournament.
The Lady Irish basketball team has seven returning letterwinners from last year’s squad which posted a 2-19 record for head coach Sara Cook. "We have a group of girls who put in quite a bit of time this summer to prepare for the upcoming season. We have a solid group of underclassmen that are aggressive and ready to contribute. Our juniors and sophomores received a lot of experience at the varsity level last year as we are looking for them to step up and be the leaders of our program along with returning two year letter-winner, senior Jordan Woods." The Fighting Irish boys are coming off a season that saw them go 11-11 overall and 3-7 in the NCKL. Chapman will open its basketball season next week when they play host to the Fighting Irish Classic in Chapman. The Chapman wrestling team is scheduled to open its season Friday night by hosting a double dual with NCKL foe Clay Center and Junction City.