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Area scholars bowl team capsules

2/14/2014

Following are capsules of the 13 area schools, listed in alphabetical order, that qualified for Saturday's state scholars bowl competition in their classifications. The 4A state meet will be at DeSoto, 3A at Douglass, 2A at Moundridge, 1A-Division I at Satanta and 1A-DII at Rolla.

Hoxie

Class: 1A, Division I

Coach: Jackie Campbell (8th year)

Regional finish: 3rd at Quinter

State roster: Senior Quenton Rucker; junior Lisa Stone; sophomore Tabor Rucker; freshmen Skyler Denio, Grant Johnson and Jacob Munk.

Team notes: The Indians are at state for a second straight year after nabbing the third, and final, qualifying spot by beating out the host Quinter team in a tiebreaker.

Kensington-Thunder Ridge

Class: 1A, Division I

Coach: Patricia Walters (7th year)

Regional finish: 1st at Quinter

State roster: Seniors Alex Atchison, Denton Hrabe, Aleah Seemann and Emma Wyrill; junior Logan Miller.

Team notes: The Longhorns had placed in the top three of nay one other meet this season, winning the Logan tournament, before claiming its regional championship. That qualified the team for state for the first time since Agra-Eastern Heights and Kensington consolidated in 2008 to form Thunder Ridge.

Natoma

Class: 1A, Divison II

Coach: Chris Broeckelman (8th year)

Regional finish: 3rd at Natoma

State roster: Senior Jimmy Tang; junior Seth Hackmeister; sophomore Joey Raat; freshmen Grady Dickerson and Terran Homburg.

Team notes: The Tigers are back at state following a two-year absence after finishing third in 2011. Broeckelman, who has taken to team four times in his eight years at the school, said it was a "pleasant surprise" to make state with such a young team; and although the team will lose senior standout Jimmy Tang, a second-year exchange student from China, after this year, the rest of the state team will be back again next year.

Norton

Class: 3A

Coach: Nancy Sebelius (25th year)

Regional finish: 3rd at Hays/TMP

State roster: Seniors Leif Carlson, Cody O'Hare and Landon Slipke; junior Steve Cummings; sophomores Philip Boutwell and Valery Rostek.

Team notes: Carlson has been on the varsity squad since his freshman year and would like to go out with a bang in his third trip to the season finale. The Bluejays are back at state after a one-year absence, and Sebelius said "even with third place (at regionals), we are delighted to be going to state."

Oakley

Class: 2A

Coach: Connie Lewis (1st year)

Regional finish: 1st at Leoti

State roster: Seniors Logan Mead, Jan Mohr, juniors Kelli Ochs, junior sam gallagher, sophomores Cole Zimmerman and Michelle Stoecker.

Team notes: The varsity squad was at full strength only twice all season. But one of those was the regional meet, and the Plainsmen took full advantage of it, winning the meet and bringing home the first-place trophy. Now, Lewis said the team would like to make a good showing at state, where "it's been so long no one can remember" the last time an Oakley scholars bowl team competed at state.

Oberlin-Decatur Comm.

Class: 2A

Coach: Marlene Moxter (25-years plus)

Regional finish: 3rd at Leoti

State roster: .Seniors Sierra Lohoefner and Jalyn Shaw; juniors Kaine Fredrickson and Garrett Scott; sophomore Jonathon Howland. Alternate is junior Ganon Henningson.

Team notes: Moxter, the only scholars bowl coach at Oberlin, will be making a team to state for the 10th time since starting the program in the late 1980s. The Red Devils will be making their third straight appearance at state and hope this time to get out of pool play and into the finals.

Palco

Class: 1A, Division II

Coach: Sandra McNames (1st year)

Regional finish: 2nd at Tribune

State roster: Seniors Maddy McClellan and Taylor Simoneau; juniors Cheyenne Schwab and Ina Teschen; , sophomore Dene' Dryden; freshman Claire McClellan.

Team notes: McNames came out of retirement to teach at Palco this year. The Roosters didn't place that high at meets during the regular season but came out strong at regionals, going 8-2 and handing eventual champion Ransom-Western Plains -- a top-five finisher at state a year ago -- its only loss on the day.

Ransom-Western Plains

Class: 1A, Division II

Coach: Debbie Hagans (28th year)

Regional finish: 1st at Tribune

State roster: Seniors Quentin Baker, Andrew Flax, Maci Hagelgantz and Chad Ryersee; juniors Kelly Flax and Braden Mishler.

Team notes: The squad has become known as the "men in black" over the years because the guys wear black suits and ties and the girls, black pants outfit and scarvess. Teams that consistently compete at state have gotten used to seeing the "men in black" as the Bobcats have qualified for state four straight years.

Russell

Class: 4A

Coach: Blaine Maier (7th year)

Regional finish: 1st at Russell

State roster: Seniors Joey Oste and Isaiah Stierlen; juniors Sydney Cisneros, Bailey Dollison and Shiv Gupka. Alternate: freshman Seth Hilger..

Team notes: Gupka, Stierlen and Cisneros all are returnees from last year's state runner-up team in 3A and helped lead the Broncos to top-two team finishes in all six meets this season. Last year's state finish was the best in school history, and Maier and his team would like to better that mark this year. It will be a challenge as Russell is in the same pool as Topeka-Hayden and Louisburg, which finished 2-3 at 4A state last year.

Smith Center

Class: 2A

Coach: Donna Devlin (8th year)

Regional finish: 1st at Inman

State roster: Seniors Cale McDowell, Robert Stern and Taylor Zabel; juniors Austin Allen and Mason Buckmaster; sophomore Alina Troska-Archut.

Team notes: Qualifying for state for the first time in school history was so much fun a year ago that this year's squad went one better. It brought home the first-place trophy from its regional meet and will try to use that championship effort as a springboard into a strong showing at state.

Stockton

Class: Class 1A, Division I

Coach: David Reed (3rd year)

Regional finish: 2nd at Quinter

State roster: Seniors MaKayla Reed and Reed Stephens; juniors Cayden Conyac and Erik Scott; sophomore Andrea Buss.

Team notes: Coach Reed said the Tigers hope to improve on last year's showing at state and make the finals this time around but knows they have their work cut out for them; Stockton is in the same pool as two top-three state finishers from a year ago, including defending state champ Satanta.

TMP

Class: 3A

Coach: Don Hageman (9th year)

Regional finish: 2nd at Hays/TMP

State roster: Seniors Rachel Becker, Jacob Brull, Ryan Hammerschmidt and Justin Raynseford; junior Lucas Diehl.

Team notes: The Monarchs are back for the second straight year at state, where a TMP team has qualified four of the past five years. They placed at every meet this season, losing out for the regional title by five points. This group of team members owns a 115-30 overall record for the past two years for a .793 win percentage.

Wheatland-Grinnell

Class: 1A, Division II

Coach: Monica Countryman (3rd year)

Regional finish: 3rd at Tribune

State roster: Seniors Christina Bixenman, Heather Heier, Esther Todd and Levi Wood; junior Ashton Stuart; sophomore Faith Tuttle.

Team notes: The Thunderhawks finished second at several meets this season, then survived a strong regional that featured four teams that had competed at state a year ago to qualify for the season finale for a second consecutive year. Wheatland-Grinnell hopes to ride the success of last year's team that placed fifth at state.