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Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Jones didn't wait to impact Kansas State -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Tiger golfers finish 10th on home course -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

Chiefs' Smith in a groove -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 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
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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