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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

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP girls win 13th straight -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys past Norton -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

La Crosse boys nab big road win -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Hays High's Hannah Hearld will miss softball season -2/8/2015, 12:46 PM

Tiger women outlast ESU for 21st straight win -2/8/2015, 1:13 PM

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
Paths cross again for Melvin, Graber

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Paths cross again for Melvin, Graber

Published on -10/29/2012, 2:28 PM

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Norton Vs Phillipsburg FB

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Bruce Graber has served as a football coach for 38 years, including 22 as a head coach. After he was as an assistant coach in Missouri for 16 seasons, Graber served as a head coach at Hutchinson from 1990 to 94 and then had an 11-season stint at Norton. Graber went 88-23 with the Bluejays and had Lucas Melvin as an assistant.

Seven years ago, Graber resigned and went to El Dorado, where he served as head coach for four falls. Then in July 2010, Graber took over at Salina-Sacred Heart for Jim Wittman, a Quinter native, who resigned after nine years.

On Tuesday, Graber and Melvin's paths will cross again the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs. Sacred Heart (8-1) will play host to Norton (7-2).

"He is like a second dad to me," Melvin, who took over for Graber as Norton's coach, said. "He is a tremendous man, and a tremendous football coach, and just a great guy."

Like Graber, Melvin has continued the Bluejays' tradition. Melvin is 51-22 with Norton and led the program to a winner-take-all 20-7 road victory against Phillipsburg last Thursday. The win clinched the Mid-Continent League title for the Bluejays and ended the Panthers' season at 7-2.

"My uncle is the priest at Sacred Heart, so it will just be awesome to go down there and get a win," senior tailback Jacob Brooks said. "It will feel good."

Led by a big night from Brooks and an aggressive defense, the Bluejays returned to the postseason after a rare miss last fall. In 2010, Norton finished 3-6, the first losing season in 17 years and the first playoff miss since 1999.

"We are go-getters," Brooks said. "We go out there and we play a good game when we are aggressive. We always have to be aggressive, and if we are aggressive, then good things happen."

Brooks rushed 24 times for 208 yards and two scores on runs of 89 and 12 yards.

Known more for his speed and athleticism, Brooks ran powerfully and broke multiple tackles throughout the game. Often, three or more Panthers had to take him down.

"I thought he ran really tough," Phillipsburg coach J.B. Covington said. "A lot of our people that we were talking to said that he went down fairly easily. We have been pretty good tacklers here lately, and I thought he ran through a lot of our tackles and put a great effort into this ball game."

Last year, Brooks rushed for 364 yards and had 349 receiving yards. After an offseason of building strength, Brooks now has 167 carries for 964 yards and 10 rushing TDs, all-team-highs, and nine catches for 276 yards and four TDs.

"I ran mad," Brooks said. "That's how I did it. I put my head down. I wasn't going to be stopped."

Senior quarterback Dalton Miller, like most Norton quarterbacks under Melvin, has played efficiently. In his first season as a starter, Miller has completed 59 of 122 passes for 923 yards with an 11/3 TD/INT ratio. Last year, the Bluejays tossed 10 interceptions.

The defense, strong all season, has permitted just 17.6 points per contest. Other than 2011, Melvin's other teams have all permitted 13.7 and 17.6 points a game. Senior Lucas Engel has a team-high seven sacks and helped the Bluejays collect 14 tackles for loss versus Phillipsburg.

"They played like they have been all year," Melvin said. "They played hard. They stayed low and they go hard, and they are relentless."

Sacred Heart is 19-10 under Graber and has plenty of athletes, including junior quarterback Nick Wuthnow, speedy senior running back Drew Diederich and senior wideout Tony Chavez.

Wuthnow has completed 60 of 112 passes for 1,282 yards with a 16/2 TD/INT ratio and rushed 73 times for 552 yards. Diederich has a team-high 701 rushing yards and Chavez has 19 catches for 502 yards and eight scores, all team-bests.

Sacred Heart has three straight undefeated district seasons under Graber, but has lost in the first round of the playoffs the last two years. This will be the Knights' 15th playoff game since 2002, though the program has just one season ('06) where it advanced past the second round.

"It is now time for this group to advance in the playoffs, and not be satisfied with just being there," Graber wrote on his team's MaxPreps' page after last week's victory versus Lyons. "Should be a great one Tuesday night versus Norton."

In Week 8, Norton, despite only being outgained just 293-245, lost 56-9 to Beloit. It marked the worst loss of the Melvin era since a 60-0 defeat in Week 1 of the 2007 season to a record-breaking Smith Center squad.

Then Norton bounced back a week later for the big win against the Panthers - differences that Melvin credited to divine intervention and his team.

"I love these kids," he said. "They are tough. To come back from last week and play this hard, unbelievable ... (God) has worked a lot of miracles on our team this year, and I just praise him for that. Praise him for the opportunity that he gave us, and these guys stepped up and took advantage of it."

Now, Melvin and Norton earn their first opportunity against its former coach.

"We are pretty good friends," Melvin said. "It will be a special thing. I am just happy to be in the playoffs, and get to play a mentor of mine. It's exciting and hard at the same time."

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