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All-Area 2014: Delton tabbed top offensive player -12/21/2014, 5:35 PM

All-Area 2014: Green a load on defense for Norton -12/21/2014, 9:57 PM

All-Area 2014: Oberle tabbed top coach -12/21/2014, 6:00 PM

Top stories 2014: Hays High, TMP volleyball have breakthrough -12/21/2014, 5:56 PM

Monarch boys pick up second win -- girls roll -12/21/2014, 5:34 PM

2014 HDN All-Area Super 11 capsules -12/21/2014, 9:57 PM

MCL Round Robin wraps up at WaKeeney -12/21/2014, 9:57 PM

Jayhawks pull away from Lafayette, win 96-69 -12/21/2014, 9:57 PM

HHS wrestling competes at Ellsworth -12/21/2014, 9:57 PM

Tiger women top Bearcats; men fall in overtime -12/21/2014, 9:57 PM

Eagles' playoff hopes hurt after loss to Redskins -12/21/2014, 9:56 PM

Wildcats back on track, beat Texas A&M -12/21/2014, 9:50 PM

Hays High's Dale continues winning ways -12/19/2014, 10:57 AM

Page continues hot streak for Tiger wrestling -12/19/2014, 10:16 AM

KSU revs interest in Ojeleye -12/19/2014, 10:15 AM

Top stories 2014: Tebo gets his gold -12/19/2014, 10:26 AM

KU's Beaty draws from Texas roots -12/18/2014, 11:32 AM

KSU expects more than 10,000 fans -12/18/2014, 11:32 AM

Indians swimmers compete at Manhattan -12/18/2014, 11:32 AM

Steelers bring a new identity into crucial game against Chiefs -12/18/2014, 11:30 AM

Indians earn sweep before holiday break -12/17/2014, 10:20 AM

Top stories 2014: FHSU football continues steady climb -12/17/2014, 10:20 AM

Lehman's triple-double leads FHSU to eighth straight win -12/17/2014, 10:20 AM

Dome hits game-winner for Victoria boys; TMP girls roll -12/17/2014, 10:19 AM

Shockers rally from 11 down to beat Alabama -12/17/2014, 10:19 AM

Royals land Rios -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

KU, Mizzou express interest in Ojeleye -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

Kansas State DT Clinkscales faces additional charge -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

No WR touchdowns? No problem -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Dec. 14 -12/15/2014, 10:42 AM

Heisman winner Mariota can't wait to get back on field -12/15/2014, 10:15 AM

Kansas State picks up win -12/15/2014, 10:15 AM

FHSU wrestling fifth at Newman -12/15/2014, 10:15 AM

Pair of double-doubles lead Tiger women -12/15/2014, 11:01 AM

Chiefs go long, handle Raiders -12/15/2014, 10:14 AM

Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan on NBA scoring list -12/15/2014, 10:14 AM

Patriots, Broncos clinch -12/15/2014, 10:14 AM

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

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Whitehair solidifies the middle for K-State

Published on -8/20/2014, 10:20 AM

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By ARNE GREEN

Special to The Hays Daily News

MANHATTAN -- Cody Whitehair isn't the first Kansas State offensive lineman to switch positions during his Wildcat career and he won't be the last.

But few have been more adaptable.

After playing both right guard and tackle as a redshirt freshman, Whitehair settled comfortably into a slot at left guard last season on a veteran K-State line, starting all 13 games and picking up second-team all-Big 12 honors along the way.

With four-year starter B.J. Finney at center and junior Boston Stiverson, who came off an injury to start the last four games at right guard, the Wildcats were set in the middle heading into the 2014 season but in need of two new tackles.

Instead of standing pat and trusting quarterback Jake Waters' blind side to a less experienced player, offensive line coach Charlie Dickey immediately turned to Whitehair for help, moving him to left tackle in the spring. By making the switch permanent in preseason camp, the Wildcats now have a known commodity in place at a critical position.

"That was a big transition for me," Whitehair said following the spring game. "I'm still going to have to keep working at it and it's a tough position to play."

If anyone of the current roster can make that switch, it's Whitehair, a 6-foot-4, 309-pound junior from Abilene.

"Cody is another one of those kids that knows how to work hard," Dickey said. "He is very talented and he puts that talent with hard work and has made himself into a very good offensive lineman."

Whitehair's work ethic and natural ability no doubt have contributed to his versatility, but he also is quick to credit Dickey and Finney for helping guide him through the change.

"It's a variety of things and hard work is probably one of them," he said. "Another thing is coach Dickey has done a great job of helping me really understand the concepts of being a left tackle and what kinds of things go into being a left tackle.

"Also, B.J. Finney was kind of in the same spot, playing tackle and guard and center when he came in through his redshirt year."

While offensive linemen toil in anonymity most of the time, it doesn't take much for the left tackle to fall under a microscope. It is directly tied to his quarterback's well-being.

"It's always one of those things that you're going to get," Whitehair said. "Being a left tackle, if somebody sacks the quarterback, they look at the left tackle.

"But that's the thing you've kind of got to get through, and me and Jake have a pretty good relationship. When the quarterback and the offensive line have a great relationship, that makes it a lot easier."

Besides, Whitehair is uniquely qualified to handle the position.

"He's such a great athlete that it's not an issue," co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said.

Senior wide receiver Curry Sexton, who also teamed with Whitehair at Abilene High School, agreed.

"I think his athletic ability is his biggest asset," Sexton said. "For being a 6-4, 300-pound lineman, he's one of the most athletic guys on the team, pound for pound.

"I think anything Cody is asked to do, Cody can do because he's naturally gifted and he's really good at his craft. He works hard, he studies hard and he has a good coach."

Dickey is equally confident that Whitehair is the answer at left tackle.

"I think he's going to be one of the best linemen in the Big 12 if he continues to work on it and respects the process of what it takes to be great," Dickey said.

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