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FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 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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Football 2012: Ness City's Flax bounces back from injury

Published on -8/30/2012, 10:50 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

NESS CITY -- In Week 8 last season, Ness City High School and Montezuma-South Gray, two undefeated football teams, met for the title in Eight-Man Division I, District 6. At that point, Ness City had permitted just 50 points all season and had a talented group of then-juniors, including Garrett Flax, the team's leading rusher and arguably Kansas' top eight-man special teams returner.

Midway through the game, Flax went to make a tackle and cut back.

He was hit hard and Ness City coach Chris Bamberger saw Flax get badly "wrapped up and twisted" over the ankle. Bamberger knew Flax had trouble with his ankles, but didn't know how badly the running back was hurt. Bamberger found Flax wincing in pain.

"I heard it pop," Flax said. "It was pretty painful."

Flax's diagnosis was a broken leg and a couple of torn ligaments, an injury that ended his season, completely changed Ness City's year and began a long road of recovery. The Eagles, who also had injuries to lineman Tucker VonLehe, defensive back Matthew Frank and quarterback/defensive end Colin Foos throughout the season, couldn't fully recover after Flax's injury. Ness City lost 72-40 to South Gray, the eventual Eight-Man, Division I state runner-up.

"We felt like if we would have been fully healthy that game, we feel that game really could have gone the other way," senior running back/linebacker Dalton Gantz said. "We are not taking anything away from South Gray. They were one heck of a team last year. They deserved every bit of that championship run, but we felt like that game could have gone down to the last play of the fourth quarter."

After a 64-14 victory versus Kinsley, a depleted Ness City team fell 42-40 in the final seconds to Macksville in the first round of the playoffs, and finished 8-2.

"It was just the worst feeling knowing that I couldn't be out there with my teammates," Flax said.

Flax finished with 91 carries for 810 yards and collected 45 tackles with two tackles for loss.

"He was going to make something out of nothing and or was going to take what the O-line gave him and go with that, too," Bamberger said. "He was explosive. At any time, he could do something exciting."

He delivered terrific numbers as a returner: 10 punt returns for 302 yards and a touchdown and six kickoff returns for 320 yards and three scores. Bamberger estimated Flax had around three other returns that were called back because of penalty. He still earned second team all-league at running back and honorable mention as a return specialist.

"We tell the guys up front, just get a hat on a hat, get on somebody and you are going to give him some green grass," Bamberger said. "The kids, they know that, and anytime they kick to him, or punt to him, the guys up front take some pride in that, and they understand, 'Hey, if we can just get a couple blocks here and there (and) spring him.'"

Flax rarely has competed in any sports since the injury, but started to feel full strength at the end of June. His initial plan was to come back after Christmas for basketball, but some screws popped in his leg, and he needed a second surgery.

"You could tell that he was really pushing himself to get himself healthy," Bamberger said. "It seemed like there would be a setback here or a setback there."

Flax never played basketball and missed all but the last few weeks of track. He spent around three months in physical therapy.

"Tough going in there everyday and doing the same thing over and over," Flax said of rehab. "I knew that it had to be done if I wanted to get back and help these guys be successful."

Now, the 5-foot-9, 177-pound Flax is back to full strength, calling the leg "110 percent" in the first week of camp. Bamberger expects to use Flax in the same role the senior has had for several years: running back, linebacker and returner. Bamberger, starting his third year in the program, said having Flax as a returner wasn't a hard decision.

"It was pretty easy to see with his shiftiness and his speed," Bamberger said. "Let's give this guy some open field and see what he does with it. He has gotten comfortable. He had a hard time a couple of times catching some punts and I told him, 'Garrett, 'Just go get it. Who cares, just go get it,' and whatever you do with it is fine."

Ness City's blocking up front helped, too. Flax especially remembered the first play in a 54-8 victory against Deerfield in Week 3. Flax had a huge hole up the middle, hit it and took the kickoff for a score.

"The blocking - I could drive a truck through some of those holes," Flax said.

This fall, a healthy Flax could produce more electrifying plays -- and perhaps help Ness City reach Newton for the state championship.

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