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Irish can shoot -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

Brannen Greene not looking to transfer from KU, father says -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

Tiger baseball continues struggle in loss -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

ESU run comes to an end in Final Four -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

Shox, Kentucky one win away -3/26/2015, 10:14 AM

Familiar foe for WSU coach -3/25/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP's recent success started with girls' soccer -3/25/2015, 10:36 AM

Thomas, Harris leaving KSU -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

HHS softball falls in doubleheader -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

Hays High soccer has big shoes to fill -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

ESU women move on to Final Four -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

Hoxie named top girls' program -3/24/2015, 10:37 AM

Baker's parents there to see bounceback -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

Report: Alabama will make run at Gregg Marshall -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

More honors for Lehman, Hobson -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

FHSU women 13th in St. Joseph tourney -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

Learning to share is big part of UCLA's run to Sweet 16 -3/24/2015, 10:16 AM

Omar Infante doesn't get chance to test arm -3/24/2015, 10:16 AM

FHSU baseball falls Sunday in series finale -3/23/2015, 10:27 AM

Brad Keselowski wins Auto Club 400 on final lap -3/23/2015, 10:27 AM

Perry Ellis' big day not enough for Kansas -3/23/2015, 8:04 PM

HCC, No. 1 and undefeated, falls in national title game -3/23/2015, 10:27 AM

Wessel's career day leads WSU -3/23/2015, 10:18 AM

Lutz: Experience wins out for Wichita State -- and big -3/23/2015, 8:03 PM

Wichita State beats Jayhawks, moves on to Sweet 16 -3/23/2015, 8:01 PM

Wichita State shocks Kansas, advances to Sweet 16 -3/22/2015, 8:05 PM

FHSU women's tennis falls twice over weekend -3/22/2015, 9:01 PM

FHSU softball earns pair of sweeps; baseball splits -3/22/2015, 9:01 PM

Cold-shooting can't stop Kentucky in win -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Sam Mellinger: One phrase sums up Kansas' plan to beat Wichita State -3/22/2015, 3:54 AM

KC's Gordon feels good -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Nash officially retires -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Three-point shots key for KU in beating NMSU -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Lutz: Fred VanVleet puts Shockers on his shoulders -3/22/2015, 3:49 AM

Mellinger: Think KU and WSU see this as a rivalry? Think again. -3/22/2015, 3:53 AM

Zach Brown has best game at right time for Wichita State -3/22/2015, 8:59 PM

Wins by Jayhawks, Shockers raise the stakes for NCAA tourney game -3/22/2015, 3:51 AM

Wichita State beats Indiana to set up showdown with Kansas -3/20/2015, 6:20 PM

Kansas advances with 75-56 win over New Mexico State -3/20/2015, 6:18 PM

Despite injury, Benoit's story not over -3/20/2015, 10:13 AM

Wichita State's experience, toughness concerns Indiana -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

Can the Royals' Hosmer turn 2015 into an October encore? -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

Kansas hoping to benefit from past NCAA Tournament experiences -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

Browns agree to terms with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

WSU shows its experience late in close games -3/19/2015, 10:53 AM

Trenkles can offer up a treasure trove of basketball knowledge -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

Hays Optimists, Hays Rec host basketball competition -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

KU hopes for a healthy Ellis -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

Tiger softball splits with Mines -3/19/2015, 10:54 AM

Tiger baseball drops 10th straight -3/19/2015, 10:54 AM

Dorsey happy with moves -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

FHSU softball splits on Tuesday -3/18/2015, 2:20 PM

Tigers' historic run comes to an end -3/17/2015, 10:30 AM

KU prepares to play without Cliff Alexander -3/17/2015, 10:28 AM

KU, WSU the rivalry that isn't -3/17/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU vs. ESU -- Round 4 -3/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Tigers wrap up indoor track season -3/16/2015, 10:30 AM

FHSU baseball loses series finale on Sunday -3/16/2015, 10:31 AM

Shockers draw No. 7, play in Omaha -3/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Kevin Harvick wins again, dominates Phoenix Sprint Cup race -3/16/2015, 10:16 AM

KU a No. 2 seed -3/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Iowa State rallies past KU in title game -3/15/2015, 6:57 AM

Tigers win again -3/15/2015, 9:12 AM

Wallace County boys take 1A Division II title -3/15/2015, 4:21 PM

Stockton cruises to third place in 1A Division I -3/15/2015, 6:54 AM

Fantastic four -- Hoxie wins it again -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

FHSU softball swept by Pitt State -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

Tigers' Page third at nationals -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

FHSU's Miller destined to coach -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

Tiger baseball 0-3 against Mo. Southern in MIAA series -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

KU beats Baylor, will play Iowa State for Big 12 title -3/14/2015, 12:45 PM

Central region — MIAA 3-0 in first round -3/14/2015, 1:06 PM

Hoxie to play for title; Stockton for third -3/14/2015, 7:41 AM

Tiger women win in first round -3/13/2015, 1:05 PM

Hill City stays close, falls in state tourney -3/13/2015, 10:21 AM

Big 12 ready to approve football tiebreakers -3/13/2015, 10:21 AM

Kelly Oubre lifts scuffling Jayhawks past TCU -3/13/2015, 10:20 AM

Wallace county moves on -3/13/2015, 10:19 AM

Williams, Stockton roll in first round -3/13/2015, 10:19 AM

MIAA tourney champ Hornets hope for region success -3/12/2015, 10:40 AM

Top-ranked St. John handles Ellis -3/12/2015, 10:40 AM

Monarchs drop physical contest in 4A II quarterfinals -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Hometown product Lunsford makes good for FHSU -3/12/2015, 12:10 PM

Faxon fuel to Tigers' fire -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Wildcats drop Big 12 tourney game to TCU -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Hoxie upends La Crosse -- Thunder Ridge falls in opener -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Tourney time at FHSU -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Tiger tennis rolls to victory at McPherson -3/12/2015, 11:59 AM

Tiger baseball drops game at Newman -3/12/2015, 12:00 PM

Marcus Foster regains confidence in time to help KSU -3/11/2015, 10:12 AM

Stockton, Wallace County back to state -3/11/2015, 10:12 AM

Traylor ready -3/11/2015, 10:11 AM

Baker, VanVleet national finalists -3/10/2015, 10:31 AM

State starts Wednesday for some area teams -3/10/2015, 10:31 AM

Self earns Big 12 honor -3/10/2015, 10:31 AM

Tiger women will host regional -3/8/2015, 9:34 AM

Hornets top Tigers in MIAA final -3/8/2015, 8:20 PM

TMP boys headed to state -3/8/2015, 5:09 PM

K-State falls short at Texas -3/8/2015, 8:17 AM

Late bucket helps OU sink Kansas -3/8/2015, 8:18 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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SPOTLIGHT
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Healthy for Tigers, Napier enjoys strong start

Published on -12/2/2012, 8:05 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University 141-pound junior C.J. Napier has taken a long path to the Tiger wrestling program. Finally healthy and loving the sport again, Napier collected MIAA Wrestler of the Week honors after he won the Elite Division at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open. Coach Chas Thompson calls Napier among the Tigers' top three or four most talented wrestlers.

"C.J. is very technical," Thompson said. "He is very good on his feet. We are working on getting better on the mat, but he is extremely talented at taking guys down. If anybody goes and watches him wrestle, check him out on his feet.

"Very powerful," Thompson added. "If you look at the lower portion of his body, he is built pretty well altogether, but his lower trunk is pretty muscular. He is a strong guy. He can take guys down pretty easily. He makes good wrestlers look not very good on their feet."

Last season, Napier reached the NCAA tournament, but competed with a broken hand and went 1-2. Napier and the Tigers competed Saturday at the FHSU Bob Smith Open at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Napier's second competition.

"Last season ended horribly and I have been working real hard this summer and preseason and want to be on top at the end of this year," Napier said.

Napier grew up in Columbus and went 143-9 in high school with three state championships. In the summer, he also won a prestigious Cadet Freestyle national championship at 135 pounds. Thompson, from Parsons, has known the Napier family for many years. He tried to recruit Napier out of high school, but NCAA Division I schools were higher on Napier's list. Napier verbally committed to Oklahoma State University, but eventually went to Nebraska.

He started as a freshman at 133 pounds and posted a solid 16-15 record. However, Napier had trouble with losing more in one season than he did in the previous several years combined.

"Losing that much in one year was really rough on me," Napier said. "I didn't handle it very well."

Napier transferred to Labette Community College and planned to attend Pittsburg State University and not wrestle.

"It was a shock to his system, going there as a freshman and being thrown in there," Thompson said. "He wasn't probably ready for that maturity-wise, but it was one of those deals where Nebraska needed him."

During the spring of 2011, Napier started to miss wrestling and wanted to return to the sport. Several schools called Thompson drove down to Pittsburg and met with Napier. Thompson didn't want to rush Napier back into the sport and told the wrestler "to take as much time as he needed." In the summer of 2011, Napier was working a camp at FHSU. The camp marked the first time Napier had been to the campus. He committed that summer and has enjoyed Thompson.

"It's very cool," Napier said. "Me and coach have a great relationship. We are really close. I am very open and honest with him. I have never hid anything. I feel like I can go and tell him anything. I go to him when I have problems. He is the first person that I go to. It's great. I love wrestling for coach."

Napier finished 14-5 last season, but fell short at nationals. Napier hurt his hand one day in practice.

"I just wrestled on it the whole year," he said. "I didn't really want to know what was wrong with it until wrestling was over."

Napier and Thompson knew Napier couldn't grip very well, but thought it may have just been ligament damage. Instead, Napier discovered later that he broken a bone. This season, a healthy Napier has started strong and could enjoy a big year.

"He looked awesome at Kearney," Thompson said. "...I don't want to make excuses for last year, but his hand is healthy now. That's attributing to how well he is wrestling now."

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