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

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

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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

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

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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

Chiefs' Charles with eyes on the prize -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Parsons, Boxberger qualify in 3-2-1A golf -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Royals getting it done old school -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

KSU prepares for OU -10/14/2014, 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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SPOTLIGHT
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Prep preview '13 -- Plenty of Leopards looking to make their name known

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

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By NICK McQUEEN

nmcqueen@dailynews.net

At least in terms of headlines and attention from opposing coaches, the La Crosse High School football team might have been dominated the past two years by two big names.

The biggest concern from the opposition had been stopping former standouts Kip Keeley and Levi Morss.

That's what has La Crosse fifth-year head coach Jon Webster and the 2013 club excited about a new season. Those two, along with three other decorated graduates, are gone. It's time for someone new to step up and help carry on the strong Leopard tradition, a mantra that has helped produce nine straight Class 2-1A playoff appearances and a state runner-up showing in 2011.

"Ready to get back on the field. That's about all I can say," said junior quarterback Jack Garcia, the lone returner on a feared Leopard backfield from 2012.

"I know we have guys who can step up," he added. "Not really feeling too much pressure right now. I saw how we worked this summer -- really ready for this year."

For those who hope to derail the Leopards, Garcia could be the focus on an offense that is relatively new at the skill positions. Senior Lucas Moeder takes over at fullback for Keeley, and senior Warren Storie takes over Morss' role. Last year, the Keeley, Morss tandem accounted for nearly 2,700 rushing yards and 34 TDs. The two gained statewide attention and Keeley and Morss went on to Kansas State University. Keeley went for football and Morss for track and field.

"Lucas Moeder is a guy who wants to get out there and get out from shadows," said Webster, who has guided the Leopards to 40 wins and six losses in his previous four years. "He's battled injury his whole career and now he gets a chance to go out there and go both ways. It's time for him to shine."

Webster feels that way about his entire club, which is likely to have two freshmen starters, one each on offense and defense. This group is looking to make its own name -- as well as carry on the strong tradition.

"Play for the sticker," Garcia said. "and play for the guys that have come before us.

"Play for the community," he added. "It's not just a team thing. We play for everyone."

Garcia was forced into his starting QB role early. Last season, he took over just weeks before the first game after expected starter Clayton Basgall suffered a knee injury. Garcia responded by helping La Crosse finish 11-1. He threw for 1,397 yards -- more than a third of that to Keeley -- with 16 TDs and six interceptions. That's what he did with little time to prepare for the varsity level. This time around, it might be different.

"He had a great summer in 7-on-7 and did what he needed to do to get better," Webster said of his QB, the third Garcia brother -- along with Joey and Jeremy -- to start for the Leopards at the position. "He's really taken control of the offensive unit."

Garcia has found a pair of favorites in the passing game -- senior Taylor Yohe (a second-year starter) and junior Andrew Jay.

"I've been practicing with the first team all summer (at QB). Not like last year when I was a wide receiver," Garcia said. "Feel a lot more comfortable this year."

Garica, Moeder and Storie will work behind a line with three newcomers and three veterans. Senior Jacob Reifschneider returns, and will start at center. Junior Sheldon Schmidt is back at tackle and senior Marshall Jay returns at tight end. Seniors Kody Burns and Cody Lee will be the starting guards.

"They're really excited it's their turn and they're really going to get after it," Webster said of his guard duo.

The biggest questions for the Leopards have been on offense, but defensively, Webster said the Leopards are solid. It starts with Schmidt at defensive end. He was a menace as a sophomore with 72 tackles (nine for loss) and a team-best seven sacks.

"It all starts with the 'D' and O-line," said Schmidt. "Need to move people and get where we need to be -- open up those holes."

He was key in doing so last year on offense and helped the Leopard defense hold its opponents to a little less than 11 points per game in an 11-0 start. La Crosse lost to eventual state champion Meade, 34-12, on the road in the sub-state championship game, a season after falling to Centralia in the state finale.

"I think I've got a lot stronger this summer," Schmidt said. "Agility has developed a good amount, too."

The Leopard defense also will be helped by Yohe, who will enter his third season as a starter at safety.

"We got a lot of attention for the offense the last several years, but defense is where we hang our hat," Webster said. "We want that to be the strong suit every year. Our strength is our speed.

"We're pretty small compared to what we have been, but we're quick and we're fast," he added. "That's going to be an advantage for us."

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