Archive for Thursday, January 8, 2009

The best of 2008

January 8, 2009

No. 1

Ballock caps career in grand style

Emily Ballock dominated on the field for four years, and her high school athletic career ended with her fourth gold medal in the 300-meter hurdles at state.

"I feel that I made great strides and great improvements," Ballock said of her high school career. "From the start to the end, I'm way ahead of where I was."

Ballock played volleyball, cross country, basketball and track. In basketball she led the team at point guard with per-game averages of 11 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists. She also was named Frontier League MVP and third team all-state.

Basketball success was nice, but everything Ballock did was a prelude to her quest for a fourth straight state title in the 300-meter hurdles.

"When coach Katzenmeier approached me and said, 'I'm going to make you a hurdler,' I was like, there's no way I'm doing that," Ballock said. "I still didn't like them the first couple of weeks, but once I got into races, I became a perfectionist about my technique and about winning."

The whole season, and really her entire track career, was a buildup to that race at state. And that came with plenty of outside distraction. Somehow she found a way to block all of that out and just run.

"I felt that I lived up to the hype pretty well," Ballock said. "Obviously I got the fourth title, which capped everything off, like a perfect streak. I just tried to run strong, stay focused and not let the outside influences take a toll on me or affect my performance in the meet."

Ballock is continuing her track career at Wichita State.

No. 2

Super sophomores end season at state

Sophomores Ivan Espinosa and Kaya Riemann both battled injuries in 2008, but they recovered and were the two Cardinals who qualified for the state cross country meet at Wamego.

Espinosa finished 31st overall out of 105 runners with a time of 17:37. Riemann finished 51st overall with a time of 17:25.

“We ran two good races and more importantly our kids are still hungry to see what they can do,” Eudora cross country coach Paul Boone said.

Boone added that his two sophomores were “excited and privilege to run there.”

No. 3

Girls basketball ends again at sub-state

All year long, the Eudora girls basketball team looked to the sub-state title as the ultimate measuring stick. But the team fell one short of the state tournament once again with a loss to Basehor-Linwood.

"We had a great season," senior Emily Ballock said after the season-ending loss. "We ended up 19-4, by far the best season I've ever had since I've been here. I'm not disappointed in our team at all."

Basehor used what proved to be a decisive second quarter run and expanded that lead throughout the second half to knock the Cardinals out of the postseason by a score of 62-44.

Nikki Snider led Eudora in scoring with 12 points and Ballock added 10. It was the second time in as many years the girls lost in the sub-state championship game.

No. 4

Volleyball finishes season one win short of state tournament

To say that the Eudora Cardinals volleyball team played bigger than it actually was might be an understatement. The team had little height, but that shortcoming wouldn’t stop them.

“We weren’t a tall team, so we had to make up for it with being scrappy on the defensive side,” Eudora volleyball coach Jill Stutler said after the season. “We outlasted teams because of being scrappy and with long rallies.”

The Cardinals went on a seemingly improbable run and came within a whisker of the state tournament. That run ended at home with a loss to Bishop Ward in the championship match at sub-state. Stutler said that day the team “truly embraced that desire that it takes to leave it all on the court.”

No. 5

Cards football run ends early

The 2008 season for the Cardinals was an up and down roller coaster ride that started with a disappointing 14-13 loss to Spring Hill and ended with a heartbreaking 35-28 victory on Senior Night against Baldwin.

Eudora needed to win by eight to make the playoffs, and if it won by 10 it would have been district champs. But Baldwin scored a touchdown in the game’s final minute to end Eudora’s season. Running back Ryan Fisher ran for 443 yards in the game and ended his season with 1,826 yards rushing.

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