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Hoxie goes 2-1, makes semifinals in 1ADI tourney -10/31/2014, 10:45 PM

TMP falls just short of semifinals -10/31/2014, 5:01 PM

Logan, Sharon Springs advance at 1ADII tourney -10/31/2014, 4:12 PM

Tigers travel to face Lopers -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Tiger women's soccer rallies for win at UNK -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Closing stretch will be crowded at the top for Big 12 -10/31/2014, 11:07 AM

Hays High heads for Wamego -10/31/2014, 11:08 AM

Norton runs by TMP, now 9-0 -10/31/2014, 11:09 AM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 30 -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Area high school football scores, Oct. 30 -10/30/2014, 9:26 PM

MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 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

Click To View All


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Heeney a leader for KU

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

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By GEOFFREY CALVERT

Associated Press

LAWRENCE -- Last season was full of contrasts for Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney.

On one hand, he earned significant playing time on defense for the first time since his junior year at Hutchinson (Kan.) High School. On the other, he experienced losing.

A lot of it.

"I've won three games since I've been at KU, and I won 45 or so at Hutch," said Heeney, now a junior and one of the leaders of the Jayhawks' defense. "The culture at Hutch was to win state. That was the only thing that anyone was focused on. If we didn't win state it was an unsuccessful year."

Heeney was part of three state champion teams in high school, but has yet to win a Big 12 game in Lawrence. The Jayhawks, who open the season Saturday night against South Dakota, haven't won a conference game since November 2010 -- against Colorado, now a member of the Pac-12.

While the Jayhawks trudged to a 1-11 finish in Charlie Weis' first season as coach, Heeney was one of the rare bright spots. He made 112 tackles and led the team with 12 tackles for loss, and was voted second-team All-Big 12 by The Associated Press.

Still, it took a while for Heeney to feel like he had a role on the Jayhawks.

At Hutchinson, Heeney was an all-state running back, gaining more than 2,000 yards his senior year. On defense, he played strong safety. So when he arrived at Kansas as a freshman, Heeney thought he would get a healthy dose of playing time at one of those positions.

It didn't take long for reality to set in.

"My freshman year, I felt like I was not really being wasted," he said, "but in a sense, kind of. Coming in they told me the only way I wasn't going to redshirt was if I was going to get significant defensive snaps, which I got zero my freshman year."

All of that happened under Turner Gill, who had turned Heeney into a linebacker before he was fired after a miserable 2-10 season. Weis was hired in December 2011 and kept Heeney at the same position, but this time the soon-to-be sophomore had a legitimate shot to earn playing time.

Not only did Heeney win a job, he seized the opportunity -- even though he now admits that he was mostly playing by instinct as he grew acclimated to life in the Big 12.

Perhaps realizing his raw potential, Kansas linebacker coach Clint Bowen came up with three areas where Heeney needed to improve this season: his foundation for enhanced leverage, eliminating false steps in order to play faster, and the confidence to make better reads.

"Where he is, I always tell him, if you play like you did last year and you made whatever it was, 90 tackles, you probably should have made 120," Bowen explained.

"This year if he makes 120, he probably should have made 150, because there's always those missed ones out there."

Heeney doesn't focus on the number of tackles he makes, though. After all, somebody has to make them, and often if it comes down to the linebacker it's because someone up front didn't do his job.

In truth, the number that gnaws at Heeney is three: Kansas' win total his first two seasons.

Heeney, who's grown a beard this season, dismissed the notion that he's become the leader of the defense, insisting that it takes all 11 players to make a stand. But despite having just one year of real playing time under his belt, he was voted a captain by his peers.

"There's no doubt that he'll be one of the main factors in not only performance but in leadership," Weis said. "He looks like a caveman, but he's ready to go. I might institute a cut your beard policy before too long."

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