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Arnett named 3A Player of the Year; prepares to begin college career at Pitt State

FRONTENAC, Kan. – Frontenac outgoing senior shortstop Heather Arnett has been named the “Sports in Kansas” 3A Player of the Year.

“I was at a softball tournament between games and I saw on Twitter that I was tagged in something. I read it and I saw that Cassie (Rhuems) was the All-Classes Coach of the Year, and then I saw my name for player of the year and I was just so excited,” Arnett says, “My mom and I couldn’t believe it. I called my dad, called my grandparents, called my aunts and called my whole family and told them how excited we were. It means so much to me. There are so many players, even just on our team that could deserve this and other teams that we played…it’s an honor and it’s so exciting.”

Arnett had a monster senior season for the Raiders.

She finished with a .667 batting average, hitting 10 doubles and 3 home runs – leading Frontenac to the 3A state championship. It’s Arnett’s second high school state championship, after the Raiders also won the title her freshman year.

“It was the perfect ending. I started with a state title and I got to end it that way with my team,” Arnett says of finishing her career with a state championship, “It was an amazing feeling, and I’m just so glad that everybody got to experience that win.”

Arnett also racked up 70 stolen bases in her senior year for the Raiders. She finishes her high school career with 161 stolen bases – which is a Kansas high school state record.

“It’s amazing. I didn’t even know I was close to breaking it or that I even had that many,” Arnett says, “I just get on base and run the best I can. I didn’t know I was that close…but it’s amazing to think I hold that title.”

With her high school career behind her, Arnett now turns her attention to the college game.

Arnett is headed just up the road from Frontenac to play for the Pittsburg State Gorillas.

“I’m so excited. It’s awesome to get to play at the next level,” Arnett says of joining the Pitt State program this fall, “I know there are a lot of good players on that team and I’m excited to play with them and play for the Fullers. They’re great coaches and they’ve done a lot of great things for the program. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

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Midwest Mustangs advance to championship bracket in AABC Connie Mack WS qualifier in Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. – (WATCH) The Midwest Mustangs top the Springfield Aces 10-0 Friday in the AABC Connie Mack WS qualifier in Joplin.

The Mustangs finish pool play with a 2-1 record to advance to the championship bracket. They will face Texas Desperados-Briscoe Saturday at 2 PM at Joe Becker Stadium.

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Sullivan resigns after 24 years as Frontenac head baseball coach

FRONTENAC, Kan. – Bill Sullivan started as Frontenac High School’s head baseball coach in 1999.

“I think I was pretty blessed to get this job,” Sullivan says, “I came in with no experience. Leon Miller was AD and told me if I ever wanted to do it, now is the time to do it. I wasn’t ready, but I jumped into it.”

24 years later, Sullivan has decided to resign as Frontenac’s head coach.

“I have three girls who are freshmen, soon to be sophomores. They’re playing softball. I’m on this field and they’re on the other field, and I just don’t get to see enough of them,” Sullivan says on why now is the right time to step away, “I’m excited to be able to watch them and support them. It’s going to be different, because I’m used to being here. It’s going to be a tough thing to step away from, because I have a huge passion for it still…but it’s their turn. It’s time for me to give my time to them.”

Earlier this spring, Sullivan picked up his 300th win as Frontenac’s head coach. He finishes with 305 total wins, after the Raiders posted an 18-4 overall record and finished as regional runner-up this season.

In his 24 years leading the program, Sullivan led Frontenac to four CNC league championships (2012, 2013, 2018, 2019), three trips to the state tournament (2011, 2012, 2021) and the program’s first ever state championship in 2012.

“It’s something you always dream of as a player. I know those guys had their mind set on it and I was just along for the ride,” Sullivan says of the 2012 state title, “That was a great group of guys. We’ve had a lot of good groups. If you have any regrets over the years, it’s that I didn’t get more teams that opportunity to get a ring. That’s always the goal, to see their faces light up and the proud moment they have when that happens. I wish we could have done more.”

Frontenac brought home a trophy each time they went to state, finishing 3rd in the other two years they qualified (2011, 2021).

While Sullivan says those wins and that state championship are great memories of his time leading the Raiders – his biggest takeaway as he steps down is the relationships he’s built with his players and the Frontenac community in the last 24 years.

“All the relationships I’ve built from this sport and this town have been huge,” Sullivan says, “Some of my best friends right now are guys who played for me my first year here. They’re not that much younger than I am. I’m good friends with them…and they’ve become really close. I’ve been fortunate to be in such a great community with great support. I just feel glad that I was able to do something that made them proud.”

“I’m still going to pop in and watch games when I can, but I do think it’s going to be tough,” Sullivan finishes, “It’s going to be tough driving by here on a game day on my way into school, seeing the field and knowing there’s going to be a game there that night…and I’m not going to be a part of it. “

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Pitt State football names 2022 captains

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State football has named its captains for the 2022 season.

The Gorillas have picked eight players as captains for the fall, including five who played at local high schools.

WR Elijah Harris (Pittsburg HS)

OL Kory Woodruff (Sioux City West HS)

WR Bryce Murphy (Neosho HS)

LB PJ Sarwinski (Galena HS)

LB Morgan Selemaea (Harrisonville HS)

S Brandon Mlekus (Frontenac HS)

DL Zeke Wall (Carl Junction HS)

OL Trase Jeffries (Broken Arrow HS)

The Gorillas are scheduled to open the regular season on September 1st, at home against the University of Central Missouri.

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14 local softball players earn Kansas All-State recognition

14 local softball players have been named All-State by the Kansas Softball Coaches Association – including five from 3A state champion Frontenac.

4A All-State

INF Brinly Bancroft (Chanute) – 2nd team

P Kam Naff (Chanute) – Honorable Mention

C Grace Thompson (Chanute) – Honorable Mention

3A All-State

P Avery Johnson (Frontenac) – 1st team

INF Heather Arnett (Frontenac) – 1st team

INF Hattie Pyle (Frontenac) – 1st team

OF Abi Beaman (Frontenac) – 1st team

OF Blayze McNemar (Galena) – 1st team

P Graci Major (Columbus) – 2nd team

INF Annie Lee (Frontenac) – 2nd team

INF Mia Sarwinski (Galena) – 2nd team

OF Katie Simpson (Columbus) – Honorable Mention

2A All-State

UT Morgan Collins (Yates Center) – 1st team

OF Alexa Fuhrman (Uniontown) – 2nd team

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22 local baseball players named KABC All-State

The Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches has released its All-State teams for the 2022 season. 22 local players have earned All-State honors from the KABC, with two local coaches earning Coach of the Year awards.

5A All-State

3B Tyler Sutton (Pittsburg) – Honorable Mention

4A All-State

3B Jarrett Herrmann (Iola) – 1st team

OF Brandon McKarnin (Iola) – 1st team

DH Ryker Curry (Iola) – 1st team

P Korbin Cloud (Iola) – 2nd team

DH Lars Koester (Chanute) – Honorable Mention

3A All-State

Coach of the Year – Mick Tedlock (Columbus)

INF Kameron Williamson (Baxter Springs) – 1st team

OF Wyatt Foley (Girard) – 1st team

P Seth Stover (Columbus) – 2nd team

1B Mario Menghini (Frontenac) – 2nd team

INF Drake Brooks (Girard) – 2nd team

UT Landin Midgett (Columbus) – 2nd team

P Trevor Amershek (Girard) – Honorable Mention

INF Kyler Harper (Riverton) – Honorable Mention

OF Jeremy Raio (Frontenac) – Honorable Mention

2-1A All-State

Coach of the Year – Roland Weir (Crest)

INF Stetson Setter (Crest) – 1st team

DH Holden Barker (Crest) – 1st team

P Kysen Bennett (Colgan) – 2nd team

P Trevor Church (Crest) – 2nd team

1B Jack White (Crest) – 2nd team

OF Easton Renn (Southeast) – Honorable Mention

OF Trevor Church (Crest) – Honorable Mention

You can check out the complete KABC All-State awards HERE.

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Frontenac claims 3A state softball championship

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Frontenac Raiders softball team claimed a 3A state championship Friday afternoon in Manhattan.

They beat Prairie View 7-1 in the state championship game. It’s the 3rd championship for the Raiders since 2016.

Earlier in the day, Frontenac beat Santa Fe Trail 10-0 in the state semi-finals.

You can check out highlights and post-game reactions from the team tonight on KOAM.

 

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State brackets set for local Kansas baseball/softball teams

PITTSBURG, Kan. – KSHSAA has released brackets for state baseball and softball tournaments next week. There are six coverage-area teams competing in state tournaments.

BASEBALL

2A – #8 St. Mary’s Colgan (9-12) vs. #1 Crest (23-0) – May 26th, 11 AM in Great Bend, KS (FULL BRACKET)

3A – #6 Sabetha (15-7) vs. #3 Columbus (20-2) – May 26th, 5:45 PM in Manhattan, KS (FULL BRACKET)

3A – #5 TMP-Marian (14-5) vs. #4 Girard (20-3) – May 6th, 1:15 PM in Manhattan, KS (FULL BRACKET)

4A – #5 Ottawa (15-6) vs. #4 Iola (16-4) – May 26th, 1:15 PM in Salina, KS (FULL BRACKET)

SOFTBALL

2A – #8 St. Mary’s Colgan (11-12) vs. #1 Ell-Saline (23-0) – May 26th, 5 PM in Pratt, KS (FULL BRACKET)

3A – #5 Frontenac (20-3) vs. #4 Kingman/Norwich (21-2) – May 26th, 7 PM in Manhattan, KS (FULL BRACKET)

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Frontenac softball claims regional championship, returns to 3A state tournament

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. – (WATCH) Frontenac claims a regional title and earns a trip to Manhattan for the 3A state tournament Tuesday night.

The Raiders hit seven home runs on the day, beating Girard 10-0 in the regional semifinals and Baxter Springs 12-4 in the regional championship.

“We wanted a little redemption for last season, and we knew coming in we had the squad to do it,” says head coach Cassie Rhuems, “I’d be lying if I said this whole season has been super successful for us, because it hasn’t. We’ve had our bumps in the road. We’ve been waiting as a coaching staff for these kids to explode like they did today, and really figure out who they are as a team.”

“I think we feel more confident, but we still have that underdog mentality,” says junior Hattie Pyle, who hit three home runs on the day, “We’re still a young team with only one senior. Having those younger girls step up and do their jobs, it’s just really awesome.”