www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Castorino named MIAA Men's Soccer Athlete of the Week -10/21/2014, 3:23 PM

Babyak, Thompson earn MIAA weekly honors -10/21/2014, 3:05 PM

Hays High girls claim 4A title -- TMP sixth -10/21/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP soccer falls at Garden City -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Manning, Broncos pound 49ers -10/20/2014, 10:26 AM

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

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

K.C. kicks past Chargers -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

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

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

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

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

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

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


myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Weskan, Wallace Co. one of state's biggest games

Published on -10/18/2012, 12:06 PM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

A long-standing ritual between Kansas high school football coaches is the film exchange every Saturday morning. Each coach normally meets his opponent's coach for that week in a central location for both parties. However, sometimes coaches have to drive for more than an hour for the film dropoff.

That problem doesn't exist for Weskan coach Marc Cowles and Wallace County coach Kevin Ayers. The duo lives about 30 yards apart in Sharon Springs.

“At the Buzzer - The HDN sports weekly podcast”

"It's pretty simple," Ayers said with a laugh. "Do you want to meet at the mailboxes or what?"

The closeness of the two coaches is part of a journey for Ayers and Cowles that started several decades ago and is one of many storylines for one of Kansas' biggest games Friday when Weskan travels to Wallace County.

Weskan had won just seven contests in the previous four years, but is 7-0 and ranked No. 4 in Eight-Man Division II in the statewide media poll. Wallace County stands at 6-0 and is ranked second.

Friday's contest will determine the District 6 champion. Both teams have already qualified for the playoffs. It will mark Weskan's first trip to the playoffs since 2005. Wallace County has made the postseason every year under Ayers, but has four straight first-round losses and hasn't won a district crown since 2008.

Ayers is 136-25 in his career, including 57-14 at Wallace County. That includes three state titles, the first two coming at his initial stop, Jetmore.

Cowles served as an assistant at Goodland and is 53-51 in his 11th season at Weskan. Cowles attended Sharon Springs and Ayers went to Winona-Triplains. The coaches share similar philosophies, are good friends and attended many of the same events during the years.

"I knew who he was in high school, but we were far enough apart, didn't know him well, and then met at some clinics, some powerlifting meets and just started talking," Ayers said. "Obviously, we had a lot of the same interests both being football coaches and teaching strength and conditioning. We just kind of hit it off."

Both coaches look to strive for balance on offense and run a 3-2 defense.

"We are always picking each other's brain on how we do things," Ayers said. "We share and share alike until it starts getting close (to our matchup). It's odd, because we will see each other and we will be talking football and then the week we play each other, the football subject doesn't come up at all. That's strange, that one week out of the year, it gets pretty tight-lipped."

After his tenure at Jetmore, Ayers moved to Sharon Springs to be closer to his family. The Ayers family rented a house their first year, but the second year, they bought the house near Cowles.

Cowles went to Goodland as an assistant and would drive every day from work in Sharon Springs to Goodland to coach. For some time, he coached with Chris Walters, then the Goodland head coach and now the Hays High School defensive coordinator. The position at Weskan came open and he took over. At one clinic, he borrowed Ayers' play-action pass. Cowles' longtime assistant, Ty See, advocates a smashmouth mentality, but Cowles likes to have the same balance that Ayers wants.

In 2004, Cowles led Weskan to the sub-state championship game where it lost to Hanston by 10. Hanston then won the state title by 50 points. After the playoff appearance the following season, Weskan started to drop off, but went 4-5 last season. That included a win against a 6-3 Almena-Northern Valley squad in Week 1 and close losses to Rexford-Golden Plains and Dighton.

"That win against Northern Valley was big," Cowles said. "To start off the season with a win felt good. Then, we beat Cheyenne Wells, Colo. and started off 2-0 and we hadn't done that in a long time, and then last year, we played Dighton, we played Golden Plains.

"We lost two in a row there, but you look on film - we lose to Dighton by three scores and you can show the boys on the film, 'Hey we gave up a kick return for a touchdown, we gave up a fake punt for a touchdown, and we just gave up a long run to a pretty good back,'" he added. "You can show them on film, we are three plays away from winning this game. Golden Plains game was the same way."

The team has plenty of juniors and seniors this fall. That includes senior quarterback Sam McKinney and junior end Hayden Walker. McKinney has completed 58 of 97 passes for 1,140 yards with a 25/2 TD/INT ratio. Hayden Walker has caught 30 passes for 733 yards and 16 scores for a team that has outscored opponents 338-60.

For Wallace County, senior quarterback Gavin Mote has completed 29 of 45 passes for 453 yards with an 8/2 TD/INT ratio and leads the team with 74 carries for 562 yards and 13 TDs. Juniors Callahan Grund and Clay Schemm have played well at defensive end. Grund has 25 tackles and three sacks, while Schemm has 22 tackles and a team-high four sacks for a squad that has outscored opponents 266-52 and rank second in the classification in scoring defense.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News