As we welcome the new school year and sports season, we would like to take one last look at the 2009-10 high school sports landscape. The Third Annual Catchy Awards were geared to allow you, the fan, to have a say in which athletes stood out in the sports scene last year.
Many of you spoke up and allowed your voices to be heard - 3,027 of you, to be exact.
After almost six weeks of voting, here are the results for the Third Annual Catchy Awards. Thank you from CatchItKansas.com to all who voted!
Football Player of the Year – Blake Bell of Bishop Carroll
Bell, the Gatorade Player of the Year, passed for 2,289 yards and 29 touchdowns last fall. He also rushed for 698 yards. The Bishop Carroll standout will play for the University of Oklahoma this fall. Bell was also voted Football Player of the Year in 2009. He garnered 35 percent of the vote this year.
Volleyball Player of the Year – Holli Wolf of Moundridge
Wolf was the 2A Player of the Year at Moundridge as she led her team to a state title. The Moundridge volleyball team was 36-9 in its state-championship season. She accounted for 32 percent of the volleyball vote this year.
Male Cross Country Runner of the Year – Adam Porter of McPherson
Porter was the 5A cross country champion last fall, but that was not the only story for him during the season. In nine races, he faced 611 athletes and was beaten only once, and that loss was to eventual 6A champion Roy Wedge. The McPherson star got 48 percent of the vote as he won his second Catchy Award. He was the Male Track Athlete of the Year in 2009. Porter will run for Kansas State University this fall.
Female Cross Country Runner of the Year – Mackenzie Maki of Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Maki won her second consecutive 5A cross country title last fall and now wins her second consecutive Catchy Award in the same category. The Kapaun star struggled to start the season but finished strong with league, regional and state championships for the Crusaders. She got 36 percent of the vote.
Male Soccer Player of the Year – Josh Aubuchon of Rose Hill
Aubuchon scored 23 goals and had 14 assists last fall. Those numbers got him Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division III-IV Most Valuable Player honors and first-team all-state honors. His Rose Hill Rockets finished third as a team at the state tournament. Aubuchon got 44 percent of the vote.
Female Golfer of the Year – Kamie Rash of Syracuse
Rash was the 3-2-1A state champion and also won a regional title last fall. She was a nominee in last year’s Catchy Awards but pulls out a win this year with 35 percent of the vote.
Female Tennis Player of the Year – Caitlyn Wark of Colby
Wark was undefeated on the tennis court last fall at 36-0 and the story was the same in the Catchy’s as she garnered 35 percent of the vote. The Colby star was a nominee last year as part of a doubles team with Lindsey Wilson.
Boys Basketball Player of the Year – Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights
Ellis was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Kansas for the 6A-champion Falcons, so it comes as no surprise that the superstar junior-to-be won his second Catchy Award in as many chances. The Heights star garnered 41 percent of the vote.
Female Basketball Player of the Year – Tiffany Bias of Andover Central
Bias was one of the most dominant all-around athletes Kansas has seen in awhile, and that form held true in the Catchy Awards. Bias wins her fourth Catchy Award and first Female Basketball Player of the Year Award. She was a two-time Three-Sport Star of the Year and a Female Track Athlete of the Year as well. She also was the most dominant vote-getter in Catchy Award history with 57 percent of the vote. The previous best by anyone was 50 percent by Smith Center football and Hutchinson football in past years. The Andover Central star will take her game to Oklahoma State this year.
Best Wrestler – Colt Rogers of Smith Center
Rogers finished his senior season 39-0 and as a state champion. It was something he was used to as he never lost to a Kansas wrestler in four years on his way to four individual state wrestling titles. This past summer, Rogers finished one spot outside of being an All-American at the Senior National Tournament at Virginia Beach. The Smith Center star received 37 percent of the vote.
Best Bowler – William Paul of Wichita South
Paul bowled a 728 series at 6A state bowling to win the individual title. During the regular season, he had a perfect game. The South bowler got 30 percent of the vote.
Best Male Swimmer – Tyler Ophiem of Salina South
The state swim meet split into two classes this year, and Ophiem and his Salina South Cougars took full advantage. Ophiem took home one individual gold medal and two relay gold medals. He also added a silver medal to that total. Those efforts helped the Cougars win the inaugural Class 5-1A boys swimming title. Ophiem got 36 percent of the vote.
Best Baseball Player – Skylar Angood of Pratt
Angood was the 4A Player of the Year and for good reason. He did nothing but mash at the plate with 10 home runs and 50 runs batted in to go with a .556 batting average. The Pratt star also managed to steal 16 bases. Angood finished with 34 percent of the vote.
Best Softball Player – Montana Bailey of Medicine Lodge
Sometimes all a team needs to be competitive is one player, and Bailey was that kind of player for Medicine Lodge as a sophomore. She was 21-1 in the regular season on the mound and that included 18 wins in a row at one point. Bailey also had 136 strikeouts and a 1.44 earned-run average on her way to a first-team all-state selection. She got 30 percent of the vote.
Best Male Golfer – Garrett Bland of Lucas-Luray
Bland made a name for himself as the sand green champion out west when he shot a 71 to win the state championship. He got 28 percent of the vote.
Best Male Tennis Player – Quinn Dippel of Smoky Valley
Dippel romped through the regular season and the state tournament on his way to a 4A singles title and a 34-0 record. He did not drop a set in the semifinals or finals at the state tournament. The Smoky Valley standout got 43 percent of the vote.
Best Male Track Athlete – Kurt Pauly of Garden Plain
Pauly came into the 2010 state track meet with a target on his back. In 2009, Pauly won four gold medals as a junior and he was back to do it again in 2010. The Garden Plain star had no problem with the pressure as he won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and anchored the 1600-meter relay team to a gold medal. Garden Plain won the team title as well. Pauly garnered 37 percent of the vote.
Best Female Track Athlete – Lauren Pickens of Peabody-Burns
Pickens is used to dominating 2A state track meets as she won another three gold medals in the sprints this year, but this season she proved just how good she is regardless of class. At the Pre-State Challenge in April, she beat seven defending state champions in the three sprint events. That included a 400-meter dash race that featured the defending 5A, 4A, 3A and 1A 400-meter dash state champions, and she beat them all. Pickens got 34 percent of the vote.
Best Female Swimmer – Chesley Kilgore of Independent
Kilgore was another beneficiary of the split state swim meets as she won two individual gold medals and one relay gold medal at the 5-1A state meet. Her team was runner-up. Kilgore received 29 percent of the vote.
Best Girls Soccer Player – Caroline Kastor of Kapaun
Every Catchy winner in the Best Girls Soccer Player category has been a University of Kansas commit, and this year is no different with Kastor. The Kapaun star scored 38 goals and had 14 assists as she led her team to second place in 5-1A. Kastor was also voted to the all-state first team. She garnered 28 percent of the Catchy vote.
Boys Three-Sport Star of the Year – Colt Rogers of Smith Center
Rogers was not only a star on the wrestling mat but the football field and track as well. In addition to his state title in wrestling this year, he was an all-state fullback and defensive back for the Redmen. He also earned second place in the 100-meter dash at the 3A state track meet. The Smith Center star got 37 percent of the vote.
Girls Three-Sport Star of the Year – Julia Zeiner of Marion
Zeiner did a little of everything for the Warriors last season. On the volleyball and basketball courts, she was first-team all-state. On the track she won two gold medals and two silver medals in her senior season. The Marion star received 28 percent of the vote.
Male Performance of the Year – Alex Santiago of Burrton’s 53-point game
Burrton went into the 1A state basketball tournament as a No. 7 seed and an underdog to No. 2-seeded and once-beaten Hanover. Santiago did his best to derail the Wildcats as he put up a state-record 53 points, but it was not enough as his team managed only 13 more besides his 53.
Female Performance of the Year – Hallie Kuhlman of Wallace County takes second as a team
The legend of Hallie Kuhlman grows by the year. She won four gold medals at the 1A state track meet in the 100-, 200-, 400- and 800-meter runs and took second as a team last year as a freshman. This year, with all the pressure on in her sophomore season, she did the exact same thing. Kuhlman is now halfway to being the most decorated track athlete in Kansas history.
Class 6A Team of the Year – Wichita Heights Boys Basketball
Joe Auer’s Falcons won their second consecutive 6A title with a 23-2 record. They were led by superstar Perry Ellis. The Falcons kept a stellar record despite playing without star guard Evan Wessel for the first part of the season.
Class 5A Team of the Year – Hutchinson Football
The Salthawks have dominated football for the past six years with an unprecedented six state titles in two classes. Randy Dreiling’s squad has also dominated the Catchy Awards. Hutchinson football is the only school program to win in all three years of Catchy Awards.
Class 4A Team of the Year – Cheney Girls Basketball
The Cheney girls overcame adversity in the 4A state tournament to win the title and complete a 26-0 season. Star post player Merissa Quick suffered a season-ending leg injury in the semifinals, so the Cardinals were forced to face the undefeated defending state champions, the Concordia Wildcats, without their first-team all-state selection in Quick. Cheney pulled out the 52-49 win to cap its own undefeated season.
Class 3A Team of the Year – Wichita Collegiate Football
Collegiate romped to a 3A football title with a 14-0 record as it outscored opponents by an average of 45-12. Scott City was the only team to get closer than a touchdown all season long. The Spartans also had a record-setting quarterback in Blake Jablonski as he passed for 3,889 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Class 2A Team of the Year – Olpe Girls Basketball
Olpe rolled through the season and state tournament to a 2A team title. The Eagles were 26-0 on the season and no team got closer than 12 points at the state tournament.
Class 1A Team of the Year – South Gray Girls Basketball
The Lady Rebels won their second title in three years on their way to a 28-0 record. Three Lady Rebels earned all-state honors with Mikayla Skidmore leading the way on the first team.