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Friday, Dec. 07, 2012

Gardner Edgerton’s Plank honored by award nomination

The Kansas City Star

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Gardner Edgerton senior Matt Plank headed to Blue Springs on Tuesday morning hoping to return with a big, honkin’ trophy from 30th Annual Simone Awards presentation.

Plank, a linebacker and the East Kansas League defensive player of the year, was one of four finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award as the most outstanding big-class lineman or linebacker in Kansas City this fall.

He dreamed of hauling the prize back to Trailblazer country, but watched Blue Springs’ Elijah Lee put his mitts on the two-foot-tall trophy instead.

“Like any good athlete would, of course I thought I was going to win it,” Plank said when reached by phone Friday morning as he boarded a plane for an official visit to North Dakota State. “When the Blue Springs kid was announced, I was disappointed.

“It was still exciting sitting around with my family and friends, talking about the award before and everything, but my feelings went south after that.”

At the same time, Plank, who finished with 104 tackles, was honored to end his career in prestigious company if nothing else.

“It’s a great honor,” he said. “There’s a lot of great names on that award.”

Olathe South junior Braden Smith also was a finalist for the award, while Plank’s Blazers teammate, Traevohn Wrench was a semifinalist for the Simone Award, which went to Blue Springs running back Dalvin Warmack.

Williams claims impressive title

Gardner Edgerton junior Dustin Williams won the 160-pound title last Saturday at the 33rd Annual Gardner Edgerton Wrestling Invitational, which brought together 16 teams from five states.

Williams, who was one of two Kansas wrestlers to win his weight class, beat Tim Miklus of Southeast Polk, the No. 1-ranked wrestler in his class from Iowa, 6-4 in the championship.

Topeka-Seaman 170-pound senior Bryant Guillen was the only other Kansas wrestler to win.

Williams also beat Skutt (Neb.) Catholic’s Nick Hollins 10-3 in the semifinals.

En route to the Pool A title, Williams claimed a 20-7 major decision against Bishop Carroll’s Luke Sponsel and pinned Olathe Northwest’s Gideon Butler-Smith and Iowa City West’s Jackson Voigt.

Meanwhile, Gardner Edgerton sophomore Emilio Fowler (182) and two Olathe North freshmen, Stuart Schafer (113) and Blake Stovall (120), claimed third place.

Finally, Gardner Edgerton freshman Jacob Bonham (106) and Olathe North senior Dakota Cohu (285) claimed pool championships and wound up fourth overall.

East grad Stones earns All-America honor

Central Missouri defender Jenna Stones was selected as an NCAA Division II women’s soccer All-America honorable mention.

Stones, an Olathe East graduate, finished the season with four assists and helped the Jennies reach the round of 16, ending the year with a 16-2-5 record.

She was the only unanimous first-team All-MIAA selection.

Pioneers volleyball snags three All-Americans

MidAmerica Nazarene senior outside hitter Molly Brewster was a third-team selection Monday for the Tachikara-NAIA All-America volleyball team.

Brewster, a Lee’s Summit native who had a team-best 366 kills with 36 aces, helped the Pioneers reach the NAIA quarterfinals after sweeping through Pool E play.

MidAmerica senior middle hitter Megan Hayes and junior outside hitter Linjun Ji were honorable mention choices.

MNU goalkeeper honored

MidAmerica Nazarene goalkeeper Chris Eriksson was an honorable mention selection to the NAIA men’s soccer All-America team.

Eriksson, a junior from Sweden, allowed 16 goals in 22 for a 0.75 goals-against average. He was 12-2-8 overall with seven shutouts and 86 saves.

Led by a stout defense, the Pioneers reached the national semifinals for the first time.

KSHSAA honors long-time officials

Thomas Kearney of Olathe was honored for 40 years of service as a Kansas State High School Activities Association official.

He was among 13 individuals to receive recognition this fall for his dedication and service as part of the KSHSAA Official Recognition Program.

Richard Arensberg of Overland Park was honored for 30 years of service, while Gardner’s Suzie Savage was recognized for 20 years of service.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.

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