www.mozilla.com Weather Central

Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48


Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All

myTown Calendar

Hays High's Downing inks letter with Dodge

[var top_story_head]

Hays High's Downing inks letter with Dodge

Published on -1/16/2014, 10:19 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story



Brock Nehls knew exactly what he was getting into when he offered a baseball scholarship to Hays High School senior Layne Downing back in October.

"I've known the family for a long time. His dad and my dad used to play softball together when they were in Dodge City," Nehls said. "Saw Layne quite a few times before his senior year. Really liked that he is a physical kid. Good head on his shoulders and he comes from what I'm going to say is a great high school program, because I'm a former Indian myself."

On Wednesday in the HHS cafeteria, Downing signed his letter of intent to play for Dodge City Community College, where Nehls is in his second year as an assistant baseball coach in charge of recruiting and pitching. Nehls is a 2004 Hays High graduate who went on to play baseball for Barton Community College and Emporia State University.

"This summer, when we were playing in Dodge, coach Nehls saw me and was interested right off the bat," Downing said. "I didn't think anything was going to come up this early. I was waiting for closer to baseball season or during the season until I got some offers. Then this one came along and I thought it was just a good fit for me."

Downing emerged as an ace pitcher for the Indians during his junior season, where he was 2-1 on the mound with a 1.37 earned-run average and hit .338 as a batter. His best outing came in a 9-0 win over Liberal on May 7, a no-hitter for Downing.

He followed with a stellar summer playing for the Hays Eagles Legion baseball team, which won its second consecutive Class AAA state championship. Downing was 6-3 for the Eagles with a 2.14 ERA and had a .304 batting average.

"He really started coming on midway through his junior year in the spring. Pitching wise he found it. He got a lot of confidence and became our best guy on the mound and carried that over into the summer," Hays High baseball coach Frank Leo said.

"Really proud of what he accomplished. He came in here as a freshman -- I think in the back of his mind that freshman year he knew that someday he wanted to play college baseball. And he didn't back down to any challenges."

Downing's role with DCCC won't be known until he starts practicing with the Conquistadors. Nehls sees him as a "two-way guy," playing both pitcher and being a hitter. Downing could also see plenty of time in the infield, most likely at third base.

"He told me I was going to hopefully have a big impact right away on the mound and at third. I'm excited to be able to play both ways," Downing said. "Now I can just relax and play ball in the spring. I don't have to worry about if I have a bad game here or a bad game there. I can just go out and play."

Downing is the first Hays High signee for Nehls, who has gone after a handful of Indians over the last couple of seasons. Nehls first offered Downing in early October, and Downing gave a verbal commitment to the Conqs at the end of the month when the Downings went to a showcase tournament in Dodge City.

"I think Brock knows we have a great coaching staff here. Frank and his staff do a wonderful job of preparing these kids to move on to the next level. I think Brock had been through that process so he knew the kids would be prepared for that," said Scott Downing, Layne Downing's father.

"I think it's nice for him to be able to focus on his senior year of high school and his summer year of Legion ball and not have to worry about where he is going to go. That future is set for him now. Just work hard and get ready for that and finish up his career in high school."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News