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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
Larks' Lang, Koeiman stand out

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Larks' Lang, Koeiman stand out

Published on -7/4/2012, 2:18 PM

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Several thoughts on the Larks and some football...

Left-handed hitting Jim Thome, the longtime designated hitter and probable Hall of Famer, is well known for pointing his bat at the pitcher before each offering. Thome started the pre-pitch ritual in the minors in 1993, according to his biography. The move was borrowed from Roy Hobbs in "The Natural" and helps Thome trigger his swing.

Larks' first baseman/third baseman/designated hitter Brett Lang follows a similar approach, albeit from the right side. Lang said he didn't get the move from watching Thome. Still, it's produced great success. Lang, from University of North Carolina-Charlotte, carries a .349 average, third-best on the team.

"I guess that I have been doing that since I was young, one of those habits, one of those repetitions. I guess getting comfortable in the box," Lang said.

* * *

Every Larks team has players that always stick in my mind. In the five years I have been here, pitchers Patrick Cooper, Andrew Heck and Chase Johnson are fresh in my mind. Cooper for his consistency -- incredibly, he never allowed a home run in his Larks' career -- Heck for his efficiency and Johnson for his utter domination as the team's closer. Position players include Sean Wilson, Cody Gougler, Rich Michalek and a pair of holdovers on the 2012 team: Elvin Rodriguez and Aaron Cornell.

After a month of play, add another one to the list: second baseman Zair Koeiman.

The smooth infielder has delivered highlight reel plays and has shown power with a team-high seven homers from the leadoff spot.

Plus, Koeiman could set the Larks' all-time record for single season hit by pitches. He already has 11.

* * *

I've started working on the Fort Hays and prep football season for more than a month now and have talked with more than a dozen coaches from the area. I believe, as do most coaches, than Almena-Northern Valley should make a big jump from a 6-3 record last season. In fact, Northern Valley is getting so much preseason hype that it may be hard to consider the Huskies a sleeper come August.

However, my other surprise team -- plenty more on this next month -- is Atwood. The Buffs were an injury-plagued team in Class 2-1A last season and finished 4-5. This season, Atwood moves to Eight-Man, Division I and returns plenty of numbers, including its starting quarterback and running back.

The seven area teams, Hill City, Quinter, Stockton, WaKeeney-Trego, Ness City, Hoxie and Osborne, that have dropped to eight-man football in the last five seasons have all enjoyed increased success. Quinter has won a state title. Hill City was state runner-up and Osborne has made two straight sub-state games. Ness City went 8-2 last fall and is one of Eight-Man, Division I's top teams. Those seven squads averaged a 3.6 win improvement in its first season of eight-man ball. I expect Atwood to have a similar climb.

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