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Players take part in barnstorming -4/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Herman earns MIAA honors for FHSU -4/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Tigers on road for final MIAA series -4/24/2014, 10:36 AM

TMP golf second at Larned -4/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Ness City all about development -4/24/2014, 10:13 AM

HDN Area Track & Field Honor Roll, Week 2 -4/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Plainville Invitational track and field results -4/24/2014, 9:19 AM

Pujols makes history with two home runs against Nationals -4/23/2014, 10:36 AM

HHS softball earns DH sweep -4/23/2014, 10:26 AM

Indian golfers settle for third -4/23/2014, 11:08 AM

Tiger women eighth, men 10th at MIAA -4/23/2014, 10:26 AM

TMP soccer cruises to win -4/23/2014, 10:26 AM

Rocky finish for TMP baseball -4/23/2014, 10:26 AM

Indian tennis competes at Abilene -4/23/2014, 10:26 AM

Windholz inks with Barton -4/23/2014, 10:24 AM

KSU, WSU players storm Hays High tonight -4/23/2014, 7:59 AM

Parker tosses second no-hitter in HHS sweep -4/22/2014, 11:07 AM

Grizzlies top Thunder in OKC -4/22/2014, 9:49 AM

Royals fall in Cleveland -4/22/2014, 9:49 AM

Hays High soccer wins at Garden City -4/22/2014, 9:48 AM

Tiger women 8th, men 9th at MIAA -4/22/2014, 9:48 AM

Tiger tennis falls to Newman -4/21/2014, 10:07 AM

Streak snapped for Royals -4/21/2014, 10:07 AM

Gaughan third at KU Relays -4/21/2014, 8:18 AM

HHS' Ruder makes way back from neck injury -4/20/2014, 8:05 PM

Work paying off for HHS' Kreutzer -4/20/2014, 8:05 PM

Tigers take 3 of 4 -4/20/2014, 8:05 PM

TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS baseball swept at Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Final home games for Tigers -4/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Indian track competes at Valley Center -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

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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

Girls

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

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SPOTLIGHT
Tigers' McPhail, Gaughan put in their work

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Tigers' McPhail, Gaughan put in their work

Published on -9/24/2013, 10:26 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Sophomore tight end Zack Gaughan and sophomore linebacker Justin McPhail have progressed through the Fort Hays State University program.

Gaughan, from Hays High School, redshirted his first season and played in all 11 games as a backup with one catch for four yards in 2012.

This year, Gaughan is the starting tight end and led the team with five catches for 69 yards and a score in a 54-17 road loss to Washburn University two weeks ago.

McPhail, from Liberal, played in all 11 games as a true freshman in 2012 and finished with nine tackles. He and kicker Drew O'Brien were the lone true freshmen to see significant playing time on a 5-6 team last fall.

This season, McPhail paces the Tigers with 26 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks for 0-3 FHSU.

McPhail led the Tigers with 14 tackles in a season-opening 43-13 loss to Emporia State University.

"Him and Zack Gaughan are perfect examples of guys that have been in the program for a few years who are starting to get a lot of playing time," third-year coach Chris Brown said. "It's because they understand the systems, and what they are doing. They improved tremendously and when you are in the system for awhile and you understand it, you become better, and they've both made themselves better."

On Saturday night, the Tigers travel to St. Joseph, Mo., to take on Missouri Western State University, the No. 6 ranked team in said NCAA Division II.

"I have had decent games, but I just want to win," McPhail, the younger brother of Tiger All-American javelin thrower Makayla McPhail. "That's what it comes down to. I don't really care how I do. I just want to win."

Gaughan and McPhail are among the few players on both sides of the ball who have played in more than eight career games for an inexperienced team.

"It's tough on everyone," Gaughan said of the slow start. "Obviously not just on guys who have been here like me. The new guys, we all took it pretty hard, because we all put in the work.

"We feel like we work hard," he added. "Things are not going well. We've just got to keep being resilient. We've just got to get better in times of adversity, coming together as a team."

McPhail's 14 stops is the single-game high for anyone currently on the Tigers.

"He is starting to understand the defense now," Brown said. "He played last year, didn't get a lot of reps, but played a few here and there. Now this year, he is getting most of the reps. It happens over time."

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