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Castorino named MIAA Men's Soccer Athlete of the Week -10/21/2014, 3:23 PM

Babyak, Thompson earn MIAA weekly honors -10/21/2014, 3:05 PM

Hays High girls claim 4A title -- TMP sixth -10/21/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP soccer falls at Garden City -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Manning, Broncos pound 49ers -10/20/2014, 10:26 AM

Charles the Chiefs' all-time leader -10/20/2014, 10:17 AM

'Boys move to 6-1 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

K.C. kicks past Chargers -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Jump back to 1985 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive with win at Talladega -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women earn shutout, set record -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

HHS soccer falls to Bishop Carroll -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU men's soccer wins seventh straight -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Tigers look to climb back above .500 -10/17/2014, 10:38 AM

HHS fourth in WAC meet -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP boys 2nd, girls 3rd at Lakeside -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP volleyball goes 2-0 in first day at MCL -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Indians' Forinash in 4A state field -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Wichita State's Darius Carter shows off his jumper -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 15 -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP drops close one to Liberal -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

TMP gets Beloit in district opener -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

K.C. headed to first World Series since 1985 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Selden ready to step into bigger role -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Big district game for Hays High -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 16 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Royals sweep O's, headed to World Series -10/15/2014, 7:17 PM

Tigers fall in three -10/15/2014, 11:39 AM

Chiefs' Johnson sheds weight in hopes of return -10/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants win walk-off on throwing error in 10th -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Wildcat running backs looking to break out -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Royals one win from World Series -10/15/2014, 11:44 AM

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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

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SPOTLIGHT
Area Game of the Week -- Norton not short on returning talent

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Area Game of the Week -- Norton not short on returning talent

Published on -9/5/2013, 10:41 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Norton High School returns just two offensive and three defensive starters from a 7-3 Class 3A playoff team in 2012. The Bluejays, among other positions, lost a quarterback, and Shrine Bowler and multi-purpose threat Jacob Brooks, plus their top seven tacklers. But Norton has solid numbers with 51 players, returns several all-league players and plenty of talent.

Norton's makeup -- whether it has some elite players emerge or has a solid unit across the board -- won't receive an answer until at least Friday night in the season opener at rival Smith Center.

"We have got several kids that can play," eighth-year Norton coach Lucas Melvin said. "They are all about the same level, which I think is a good thing. I feel like we have got some depth in some areas, where in other areas we don't have as much depth. I feel like there is a lot of kids that could help us, but that's still yet to be seen."

The Bluejays, defending MCL champions, enjoyed a four-win improvement from a 3-6 mark in 2011. Senior center/defensive lineman Cole Renner (40 tackles) and junior nose guard Stewart Whitney each collected honorable mention all-league honors last fall.

"We don't know who is going to emerge as one of those guys who is maybe going to be a little more standout," Melvin said.

"I am content with having a bunch of guys that play hard, too. Hopefully that's what we have."

Melvin labeled his fall camp "pretty good" and said his squad has had to combat the heat. Because of the unusual late start, Norton started school before the Bluejays got to start two-a-days.

Norton has continued to practice in the afternoon, but has been aware of how players performed physically in the conditions. Junior Kendall Miller, the JV quarterback for a couple of seasons, and sophomore Jordan Dole, a move-in from Nebraska, have battled for the position. Melvin said the position is "still up in the air." Melvin didn't rule out both players seeing some time.

"They are both pretty talented kids, they both have the potential to do some good things," Melvin said.

At running back, senior Tanner Furbush and Austin Hager are expected to see time. Furbush collected 160 yards and three TDs, two in a season-opening win against Smith Center. Hager, the starting kicker, delivered 21 extra points and six field goals. They are part of an 11-man senior class for Norton.

"He is a talented kid, pretty tough, physical kid," Melvin said of Furbush. "He is going to have to be a leader for us and step in and do a lot of things for us."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Renner will be a key player for a defense that has annually ranked among Class 3A's best units. Norton has allowed more than 20 points per game just once in Melvin's tenure.

"Cole is going to have to be a big leader on both sides of the ball," Melvin said. "Offense and defense. I think he is ready to do that. I think he did a good job last year. We look for him to kind of pick up where he left off and keep going."

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