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Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 PM

Panama-born Chen closing in on retired Rivera -4/11/2014, 10:29 AM

FHSU set for Spring Game -4/11/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS softball blows by Dodge City -4/11/2014, 10:25 AM

HHS soccer wins in OT -4/11/2014, 10:25 AM

HHS golf fifth in McPherson -4/11/2014, 10:24 AM

Indian swim team ninth at Topeka Invitational -4/11/2014, 10:26 AM

Big win for TMP soccer -4/11/2014, 10:23 AM

Ortiz turns the page -4/11/2014, 10:27 AM

Bill Haas takes lead after first round at Masters -4/11/2014, 10:26 AM

TMP track and field competes at Russell -4/11/2014, 10:24 AM

Rough outing for TMP softball -4/11/2014, 10:23 AM

Royals pick up win against Rays -4/10/2014, 10:27 AM

Victoria’s Nowak decides on Colby -4/10/2014, 10:28 AM

Huser headed overseas -4/10/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU in the MIAA mix -4/10/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger baseball falls to red-hot Panthers -4/10/2014, 10:29 AM

Embiid to enter NBA draft -4/9/2014, 5:42 PM

Plainville's Wiesner signs for wrestling -4/9/2014, 5:34 PM

FHSU tennis wins at Hastings -4/9/2014, 5:19 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

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

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

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Game of the Week -- Natoma enjoying turnaround

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Game of the Week -- Natoma enjoying turnaround

Published on -10/10/2013, 10:21 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Natoma High School football team posted records of 3-6, 1-8 and 3-6 in the first three seasons of seniors Cale Hooper, Jackson Stull-Meiers and Elijah Holmes' careers. This fall, the Tigers opened with four straight victories and stand at 4-1.

"It's nice to kind of be on the winning side," Hooper said. "The best way to go out as a senior in my opinion."

It's the biggest early-season turnaround by any Eight-Man Division II team. The classification has 14 teams that are 4-1 or 5-0. Thirteen finished at .500 or better last season.

In Eight-Man Division I. 19 squads are 5-0 or 4-1. Only Uniontown (3-5) finished with fewer than four wins in 2012, according to preppowerindex.com.

The season opened with a 17-12 victory against Sylvan-Lucas -- decided on the game's final play -- the first time since '08 Natoma defeated the Mustangs. Then the Tigers defeated Tescott 69-36, Wilson 55-6 and Stockton 53-6.

"A lot of attention that we are not used to, that's for sure," Hooper said. "To be in the papers and mentioned, just not used to actually people watching out for us. Usually we are just kind of like on the schedule as 'OK, there is a win.'

Natoma, which opened 1-5 last fall, has enjoyed a change behind the senior trio, junior quarterback Triton Frye, junior linebacker Jacob Chambray, junior lineman Seth Hachmeister, sophomore running back Joseph Raat, sophomore end Dean Masters and sophomore lineman August Homburg, coach Aaron Homburg's son.

"We've just kind of got the right mix," coach Homburg said.

Natoma has outscored opponents by an average margin of 21.6-11.8 and is close to the program's first winning season since a 6-3 mark in 2008.

The 4-0 start was the best opening month since 2003. From 2009-12, Natoma allowed 34, 31.4, 50.3 and 43.1 points per game. Homburg, the longtime school superintendent and defensive coordinator, said the defense is "a lot more physical" this year.

"Our first eight or nine guys, you have to have a defensive mentality like, 'I am going to stop the other team from running,'" Homburg said. "It can't just be one guy. You can't just rely on one guy, two guys. You have got to have confidence that you, plus the other seven guys out there are doing their job."

Holmes is a high-energy player at 6-foot, 215 pounds. He leads the Tigers with 63 tackles. Homburg doesn't track forced fumbles, but said Holmes has forced at least five.

"Just hitting people, and they drop the ball," Homburg said.

Natoma has recovered eight as a team and picked off six passes, including four from Chambray.

Homburg, a defensive coach for nearly 20 years, said Masters (47 stops) and Raat (44 tackles) have played as well as any defensive ends he has coached. Both players are in the top-12 in Kansas among eight-man sophomores for tackles.

"I can count on one hand the number of times they haven't set the corner," Homburg said.

In the summer, Homburg had a choice between Meiers and Frye for quarterback. Meiers prefers to run the ball. As well, having Meiers on the edge spreads out the defense more frequently. Meiers has continually beat people one-on-one on the edge.

"When I go wideout, they have to put two people on me, so then that leaves someone open," Meiers said.

Meiers, one of eight-man's top players, has fought a kneecap issue all season and recently had some quad pain. He has 51 carries for 568 yards and six scores. Hooper has 37 carries for 381 yards and six TDs.

Frye, who works for Meiers' grandfather, has long been close with Meiers. Frye completed 23 of 50 passes for 391 yards with an 11/1 TD/INT ratio in the first four games. Frye tossed two interceptions in a 46-0 loss to Thunder Ridge last week, but both balls got caught up in the wind.

"I always knew he could throw, but really summer when we were getting together, he just started coming on and on, and there was more zip on it and I am just sitting there thinking, 'Wow, he is really throwing it well,' and he has continued that," Homburg said.

Frye enjoys studying the game and different quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. He attended some quarterback camps this summer, including one at Fort Hays State University.

Frye has pitched for his baseball team, a position he called a natural transition to playing quarterback. In the four wins, Frye rushed just 13 times, but has averaged 7.7 yards a carry. Against Thunder Ridge, Frye noticed the Longhorns rushed five blitzers, so he could roll out and run. Other times, Frye has stayed in the pocket.

"Some of the quarterbacks that come from college, their instinct is to run right away and then they get two yards a gain, and that's it," he said.

Opponents have tackled Meiers once after a catch - he has six TDs on seven catches for 181 yards. On one play against Stockton in Week 4, Meiers ran a deep route on the left side. The wind drew the ball all the way to the right and Meiers made the catch.

"If he is out there, and they are not double-teaming him, I always tell Triton, read it and if he has got single coverage, throw it there," Homburg said.

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