>>By Matt Gannon
The cross country season is coming full circle. The team will head to Shawnee Mission Park, where they opened the season with their time trial, to run at regionals this Saturday. However, the mass of over 200 runners that started the season is now gone. Only 14 runners and eight alternates remain. While the boys team continues to be senior heavy, two of the most dangerous runners are the lone juniors, Joe Bahr and Chipper Jorns. Both runners have run varsity consistently throughout the entire season, and look to show they have the stuff the carry next year’s team, with another big race.
The youth of the girls team is undeniable. Led to by freshman Hannah Arnspiger, sophomore Annie Kuklenski, and junior Anna Colby, this team not only looks dangerous now, but looks to continue the strong running of girls cross country for years to come. However, both the boys and girls are at risk for having their strong seasons stopped short. Their regional is loaded with some of the state’s strongest teams, including SM South, SM Northwest, and SM West, who have given East a tough time all season. In order to make the jump to state, the Lancers will have to beat out one of them. If they fail to, East will once again, possibly only slip one or two runners into state based on individual times.
>>By Anne Wilman
The state championship at Shadow Glen Golf Course in Olathe was marked by harsh conditions. The tournament had by far the most severe weather of the entire season. The round started with 30 mph winds and a steady rain. Girls were forced to dress in rain suits over multiple layers of clothing while juggling umbrellas. The round took a total of seven hours, making it difficult to see the golf ball going into the last three holes for the final group. The scores were high. There were more scores over 100 than under it. The temperature dropped below 40 for the finishing groups.
The Lancers placed third for the second year in a row behind Blue Valley North and Garden City. The team beat Olathe Northwest to earn third after losing to them earlier in the season in league. Junior Anne Willman finished tied for fourth for the second year in a row with an 83, two behind the individual state champion, Mackenzie Thayer from Garden City. Sophomore Jessica Young shot a 92, placing in the top 15. The team did reasonably well this season. The girls won regionals by 40 strokes, received second in Sunflower League and came in third at state.
>>By Adam Lowe
After a crazy week of football on the East side on Kansas the Lancers take on district rival SM West. Last season the football team beat the Vikings for the first time in 17 years. The Lancers need to win one of their next two games to receive a playoff bid for this season. Starting quarterback Dakota Collins who has been on the injured reserved list since week two with an ankle injury is finally back and listed as questionable for this weeks game. Last week not only were the Lancers able to come away with a victory but also several top tear 6A State contenders lost in the first week of district play. Olathe North lost for the second week in a row to Lawrence High School and Olathe South lost to Blue Valley Northwest out of the EKL. No matter what happens with other teams across the state, if the Lancers win out they will be in really good shape come playoff time.
>>By Mitch Kaskie
After a big 3-0 loss to SM Northwest last Tuesday, the Lancers bounced back on senior night to defeat SM West 2-1 in overtime. The Lancers won a hard-fought game after going down a man early in the second half and trailing 1-0. However, the Lancers’ team chemistry brought them together and their intensity and urgency increased. They put more and more pressure on SM West until finally a goal came inside the five minute mark to tie it up at 1-1.
The game went into to overtime, and the winning goal came from junior Tyler Rathbun off a well-hit header. The Lancers celebrated with their fans, but soon forgot about their exciting win, and prepared for the Olathe South Falcons on Tuesday. In their last game, the Lancers had it all on the line — a one seed at state and a league title would be theirs with a win. The Lancers scored the first goal hit by junior Clint Dunn off of a corner kick in the first half. The game was back and forth until the Falcons scored in the final minutes of the first half to tie it 1-1. From the beginning of the second half, the Lancers continued to put immense pressure on Olathe South but failed to finish. During a spell of 15 minutes, they stopped creating chances and allowed the Falcons to control the game. The Falcons scored off a header and the Lancers were unable to get one back.
This concluded the regular season for boys soccer. The Lancers clinched the three seed in the playoffs, and will either play SM West or Olathe North next Tuesday. However, the boys’ have learned not to underestimate anyone. Even with a great record of 13-3, the young squad has a lot to work on. Kelly emphasized the need to stay focused going into the post season. This week will consist of watching film, and at practice they will work on eliminating defensive mental mistakes and finishing. Finishing has been less efficient towards the end of the season for the Lancers. Despite their mistakes, the Lancers have shown their ability to compete with any team in the state and hope to make a statement in the playoffs.
>>By Katie Knight
This past Tuesday, varsity volleyball played St. Thomas Aquinas and Olathe South at Olathe South. The girls lost in two to Aquinas, a very well-ranked team, and beat Olathe South in three, making it their fourth win against them this season.
Against Olathe South, senior middle Meghan Dickinson went up for a block and jammed her pinky finger on her left hand. After going to the doctor the next day, x-rays showed that she had chipped a bone and will be out for the remainder of the season. Taking her place will be sophomore transfer Rowan Turner. Three junior varsity girls have been practicing with varsity throughout the week, similar to a tryout, to see which one is the most qualified to accompany the team to sub-state as a backup middle.
This Saturday the Lancers will play Shawnee Mission South for sub-state at one o’clock at Blue Valley North. If they win, they will move on to play the winner of Blue Valley West and Shawnee Mission West to battle it out to make it to state the next weekend. This would be the first time for Lancer volleyball to make it to state since 2007.