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Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

HHS wrestling picks up dual win -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Finney takes step toward NFL -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Indians pick up first-round win -1/23/2015, 10:22 AM

K-State agrees to series with Vandy -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women win 16th straight -- Pitt State next -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Huge second half fuels Tigers -1/23/2015, 10:13 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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Football 2012: Expectations remain high for defending champ Longhorns

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

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Kensington-Thunder Ridge coach Jerry Voorhees was uncertain about several things regarding this year's football team.

Thunder Ridge graduated six starters on offense and defense from its dominant 2011 Eight-Man Division II state championship squad, and Voorhees said he still wasn't sure where their replacements would fit this season.

The playbook also needed to be changed to take advantage of the strengths of his new group, so the players had to learn new terminology.

However, he was sure about one thing: Expectations will remain elevated.

"The expectations are high for this football team even though we have lost a lot of kids," Voorhees said.

Thunder Ridge blew by most opponents it faced last season, winning by an average margin of 40.5 points. The Longhorns even won state by a wide margin, defeating Baileyville-B&B 46-14.

But with just three players returning who started last season, this team will be different from the squad that took the field in 2011.

Senior fullback Trevor Lowe is Thunder Ridge's top returning offensive weapon. Lowe rushed for 855 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, but other than him, Thunder Ridge's backfield will have all new faces.

Junior Derek Reed will start at quarterback. Reed saw limited action last season at running back but won the starting quarterback job this summer.

Senior Greg Yoxall, sophomore Trent Rietzke and senior Chandler Hoskins will split time at halfback -- none of whom saw more than sparse carries for the Longhorns last season.

However, Voorhees said he's confident in his players.

"We have a lot of young kids that could have played on a lot of other teams but didn't play because we were so senior loaded last year," Voorhees said.

Senior Kade Dennis, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, played on the offensive and defensive lines last season and is the only starter from either front line returning. Junior linebacker Garrett Krueger, the other returning starter, helped contribute to make Thunder Ridge's defense No. 1 in Eight-Man Division II.

Voorhees said it will be difficult to replace players like graduates Joel Struckhoff, Blane Hrabe and Dakota Foreman, but the players who didn't get onto the field much are ready to step in.

"With last year's group, you had kids that had played together since fourth grade," Voorhees said. "They had unity going on, but that has poured over to this group of kids."

For instance, Voorhees said he has high expectations for Benton Hrabe, a 5-foot-10, 225-pound junior lineman.

"He would have played for a lot of teams last year," Voorhees said.

Last season was a historical year for Thunder Ridge.

They were the best team every time they stepped on the field. The Longhorns averaged 48 points per game and allowed just 7.5 points per game.

Lowe said it will be difficult to repeat what 2011's team accomplished.

"We'll have a good team this year, but it won't be like last year," Lowe said. "Last year, we were really, really good."

"Pretty much every position we had was really good," Lowe continued. "As long as you did your job, you would stop them or we would gain yards. Everybody on the team was really, really good. The line was good, and the backs were good."

This group of Longhorns is full of unknowns, but Voorhees said the mystery won't last for long.

"The first week or two we are going to find out what we got here," Voorhees said.

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