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Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 PM

Panama-born Chen closing in on retired Rivera -4/11/2014, 10:29 AM

FHSU set for Spring Game -4/11/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS softball blows by Dodge City -4/11/2014, 10:25 AM

HHS soccer wins in OT -4/11/2014, 10:25 AM

HHS golf fifth in McPherson -4/11/2014, 10:24 AM

Indian swim team ninth at Topeka Invitational -4/11/2014, 10:26 AM

Big win for TMP soccer -4/11/2014, 10:23 AM

Ortiz turns the page -4/11/2014, 10:27 AM

Bill Haas takes lead after first round at Masters -4/11/2014, 10:26 AM

TMP track and field competes at Russell -4/11/2014, 10:24 AM

Rough outing for TMP softball -4/11/2014, 10:23 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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HHS gets Liberal for home opener

Published on -9/13/2012, 1:41 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School football coach Ryan Cornelsen has gotten used to squaring off with his alma mater, Liberal High School.

After three years coaching Hays High, he said it's gotten easier, but this fourth game against Liberal will be a bit different.

This year, his father Gary Cornelsen, now an assistant coach at Hays High, will join him on the sideline as the Indians battle the Redskins.

Gary Cornelsen, the longtime head coach at Liberal, took the Redskins to seven consecutive Class 5A state football championship games and won four of them in the 1990s.

"Obviously, with Dad being here, it adds a little bit of emotion to the game," Ryan Cornelsen said. "Once we take the field, it's just like any other team, but there's always emotion playing where you came from and when you're proud of what you did (there)."

Hays High (1-1) will play Liberal (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Lewis Field Stadium.

Senior Derek Bixenman plays defensive back and wide receiver and also is a backup quarterback. He said he's benefitted significantly from having Gary Cornelsen at practice and on the sideline.

"He is just a great coach," Bixenman said. "Obviously, we have a great coaching staff here, but he brings a lot of extra stuff that I never really knew. He brings out a whole new player in me."

Prior to Ryan Cornelsen, Liberal has dominated Hays High, winning 26 of 32 matchups and nine of 11 from 1998 to 2008 when the two teams started playing each other in the third week of the season.

However, Ryan Cornelsen has helped turn the series back in the Indians' favor, as Hays High has defeated Liberal in all three years of his tenure by a combined margin of 90-36.

Liberal has struggled recently, losing its last 15 Western Athletic Conference games and going 8-20 in its past three seasons. The Redskins haven't defeated a WAC opponent since they defeated Hays High and Dodge City in 2008.

"There's going to be a lot of emotion from their end with needing a WAC win," Ryan Cornelsen said.

"Obviously, with the relationship to Dad being on the sideline, there's going to be a lot of emotion for them as a team. We are going to have to be ready to play."

Though Liberal has struggled in recent years, this year's team will feature an experienced group.

The Redskins returned nine starters on both offense and defense and feature three all-WAC honorable mention players from 2011: junior quarterback Britton Abbott, senior offensive lineman Michael Begley and junior wide receiver Trent Hammond.

Under second-year head coach Cliff Abbott, the father of Britton Abbott, the Redskins lost their opener to Ulysses 43-27 but responded by demolishing Guymon, Okla., 80-7.

Liberal has produced the second-most total yards (870) in the WAC through two games. Hays High leads the conference with 874 total yards of offense.

Abbott, a versatile quarterback, has thrown for 411 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions in his first two games and ran for 155 yards and four touchdowns.

"(Britton Abbott's) a big kid," Ryan Cornelsen said. "He's got a good arm and really runs the ball hard. You can tell he's a coach's kid. He is real savvy.

"He understands the game and understands his reads," Cornelsen added. "He puts you in a tough situation, because he is going to read a guy, which gives them numbers."

As a defensive back, Bixenman said the key to stopping Abbott is simply shutting the receivers down.

"I trust our linebackers, defensive tackles, noseguard and D-ends to go up and make the tackles if we shut his receivers down," Bixenman said.

Meanwhile, Hays High is coming off a 30-point victory against McPherson. The Indians seemed to fix many of their problems they had in their opener against Junction City, drastically reducing their penalties, improving their run blocking and not wearing down on defense through four quarters.

The Indians likely will be without some key players against Liberal, though.

Junior wide receiver Kevin Rounkles tore his ACL, and junior fullback/linebacker Preston Weigel suffered a concussion against McPherson.

Weigel has been used heavily on offense, defense and special teams. On offense, he paved the way for running back David Cardinal and quarterback Alex Delton while also providing power running (98 yards and a touchdown in two games), and on defense, Weigel is a physical linebacker.

"We are so low on depth that any injury in any position hurts," Ryan Cornelsen said. "... With Preston, it's huge. He plays a lot of special teams. He played every snap offensively and defensively. He carried the ball quite a bit and really balanced out our offense."

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