Eudora top five sports stories of 2009
Girls basketball caps season at state
Looking back, the 2008-2009 Eudora girls basketball team undoubtedly has a lot to be proud of.
The Eudora High girls finally broke through and won its sub-state after falling in the championship game the previous two years. It was the first time since 1992 the Eudora girls basketball team advanced to the state tournament. And then-coach Ryan Luke said a lot of that credit went to Eudora’s six seniors.
“We accomplished a lot,” Luke said. “And that senior group really put their stamp on the program. I’m really thankful for them and the contributions they’ve meant to the program. It was a lot of fun and a lot of great memories.”
Haley Epperson led the Cardinals with 15 points and seven rebounds a game. Epperson was named first-team All-League and All-State, and Bailey Scott chipped in 11 points a game and was named second-team All-League.
Though Eudora lost to eventual state champion Concordia 63-55 in the first round of state, the girls battled back from a 16-point deficit and trimmed the lead to four with a minute to play.
The Eudora comeback showed the Cardinals could play with the best of the Class 4A teams.
Football regains postseason prowess in 2009
Sure, the Eudora football team took home several trophies during the 2009 season. But perhaps even more significant than the hardware was the fact that the Cardinals showed they were one of the top teams in Class 4A.
“We kind of brought a little respectability back after last year,” coach Gregg Webb said. “Although last year, I think everybody that saw us knew that we were pretty competitive and should have went to the playoffs. But those things happen.”
After a disappointing 4-5 season in 2008 the Cardinals won their first four games of the year and carried that momentum through the second half of the season. The Cardinals won the district, regional championship and were sectional runners up to Paola and finished the year 9-3.
Eudora ran the ball at will at times on its opponents but also added a new wrinkle to the offense in a resurgent passing attack. While senior quarterback Evan Cleveland gashed opposing defenses for 1,103 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, he also completed 45 passes for 740 yards and seven touchdowns.
Eudora also had several players make the All-League team, and Cleveland was named to the All-State team.
Four wrestlers qualify for state
The Eudora 2008-2009 wrestling squad was one of the youngest that former coach Bill DeWitt had at Eudora.
But four underclassmen advanced to the state tournament in Salina.
Boomer Mays (215), Caleb Clayton-Molby (189), Cody Salzman (112) and Thomas McLees (119) were the four Eudora state qualifiers.
Salzman took home the sixth-place medal at state, and DeWitt said having four returning state qualifiers could bode well for the future.
“For having all underclassmen, with those guys having an opportunity to return next year and build that team around with some kids with some state experience is going to be exciting,” DeWitt said.
Track enjoys record breaking season
The 2009 Eudora track team tied or broke six school records and concluded its season with a respectable showing at the state track meet in which the Cardinals qualified athletes in eight different events.
“This is really nice to see more improvement up there on the board,” coach Phil Katzenmeier said. “And if you look at that, then it’s been a very successful season.”
Individually, Justin Ballock broke the school’s high hurdle record in the first meet of the year and set the school record in the 110-meter hurdles. Kendal Abel broke the school record in javelin, Shea Lounsbury broke the girls triple jump record, and Allison Hoover tied the school record in pole vault and placed third at state. And Alisha Wingebach tied the girls school record in the 100-meter dash.
EHS baseball wins 15 games in 2009
The 2009 Eudora baseball team fell five wins short of its goal of winning the Class 4A baseball state championship. But the team showed that it was one of the best teams around, and had a call or two gone its way, the Cardinals possibly could have achieved their stated goal.
“I definitely think we could have made a run at the title had we gotten the opportunity,” coach Shaun Edmondson said. “But for whatever reason it wasn’t in the cards for us this year.”
Eudora played its best baseball of the season at the end, and advanced to the second round of regionals, but fell to Tonganoxie and ended the season with a 15-7 record.