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Cornelsen has first day in Hutch -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Black kicks things off at Hays High -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kratz homers twice in Royals' win -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Johnny Manziel, middle finger, steal the show in preseason game -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Kinberger, Holub leaving FHSU -8/18/2014, 1:45 PM

49ers' inaugural nightmare at Levi's Stadium -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Jeff Gordon wins at Michigan -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women draw at Hastings -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Tiger men play to draw in exhibition -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Live look for Tiger football -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Chiefs' offense comes up empty again in preseason loss -8/18/2014, 10:16 AM

Royals fall to Twins -8/17/2014, 11:10 AM

KSU's Evans knows the nickel -8/17/2014, 5:11 PM

Tigers scrimmage today -8/17/2014, 5:11 PM

Wiggins the next big thing? -8/16/2014, 5:11 PM

Royals rally for Friday win -8/16/2014, 5:11 PM

Chiefs' Dwayne Bowe will serve suspension -8/16/2014, 5:11 PM

Bulked-up center Kush brings energy to Chiefs' line -8/16/2014, 5:02 PM

Stewart will skip this week -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

Manning still focused -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

Truman's path to KSU success -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

Chiefs WR Williams bounces back -8/15/2014, 10:02 AM

Chiefs' Hali a mentor -8/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Williams to return to Allen Fieldhouse for celebration -8/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Royals bounce back -8/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Tiger volleyball picked 10th in MIAA -8/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Klein begins next part of football life -8/13/2014, 9:38 AM

Jamaal Charles' desire to be great includes blocking -8/13/2014, 9:38 AM

Early injury at KU -8/13/2014, 9:37 AM

Royals' streak ends -8/13/2014, 9:37 AM

Browns Hoyer, Manziel will split time with starters -8/13/2014, 9:37 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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SPOTLIGHT
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HDN All-Area 2014 -- Keltner tabbed top boys' coach

Published on -3/30/2014, 8:17 PM

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By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

Rick Keltner, who just completed his 29th season as the boys' basketball coach at Hays High School, has been passionate about coaching for a long time.

Prior to coming to Hays, Keltner spent eight years at Tipton High School where he was the football and basketball coach. He didn't have much at the time, and even climbed a ladder to tape a little wooden flag to the top of the scoreboard before each game so they would have a flag for the Star Spangled Banner.

And Keltner loved every second of it.

"I thought I was in the big time," Keltner said. "Where you are at, you got to make it the big time."

Keltner has kept this passion throughout his time at Hays High, where he has had 22 winning seasons in 29 years, and none were better than the 2013-14 squad.

He guided the Indians to a school record 23 wins and a fourth-place finish in the Class 5A state tournament in Topeka this season. En route he won the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout for the seventh time in school history, won the Dodge City Tournament of Champions title for the first time since 1955, and won the Western Athletic Conference championship for the first time since 2006.

For this reason he is the boys' Coach of the Year on the 36th Annual HDN All-Area Team. This is the fifth time Keltner has received this honor, the first since 2007.

"I think coach deserved it this year and it was a good way to send us seniors out letting him get the coach of the year," Hays High senior Kade Parker said. "Coach knew how to work everybody in their different spots and everything ... he knew how to control the game."

Two years ago Hays High went just 6-15 and the freshman and sophomores at the time would never have guessed 23 wins would be possible as juniors and seniors. They went 14-8 a season ago, including a first-round loss in the 5A state tournament.

Then everything came together this season with a 23-2 record and the Indians were just a few possessions away from playing for the state title for the first time since 1944.

"I've told guys before, I didn't work any harder as a coach this year than I did three years ago. I guarantee it," Keltner said. "It's truly an honor and I'm humbled by it. But such things come when you have good players and a good coaching staff. So I'm thankful for that. I've just been blessed as a coach to get to watch these guys develop."

Keltner will lose six seniors off this year's team, but will return two-time reigning WAC player of the year Brady Werth and sophomore guard Isaiah Nunnery, among others, next season.

And Keltner's passion for the sport certainly hasn't faded, as he is just as excited for next season as he has been for the 29 seasons prior. As for the seniors, they are hoping their school record for wins doesn't last too long.

"I know in a few years when we come back and watch Hays High, we obviously hope for the best and hope they actually break our record," Parker said. "But it's great being a part of that. Two years ago we never thought we were going to be 23-0 going into the semifinals for state. But we believed in each other and knew we could get there this year. It's a big part of all of our careers."

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