VYPE National Site
Year In Review: January 2010
January 26, 2011By Tom Witherspoon of VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Kansas
Exchanging the Program
Sunrise Christian Academy put a nationally competitive basketball team on the court this past season behind the play of international exchange students Leon Cooper and Raphael Akpejiori
Sunrise saved the best for last. In the tournament championship, the Buffaloes won 48-41 over Mansfield Timberview (Texas), last season a state semifinalist in Texas Class 4A and as of December ranked in the top 25 of 4A.
There are approximately 250 schools in Texas Class 4A alone, each with between 900 and 2100 students. Sunrise basketball coach and athletic director Kyle Lindsted approximates that Sunrise has close to 200 students.
"The average fan that follows us in the newspaper doesn't know what we're doing. Nobody knows," said Lindsted over Christmas break. "There are people in our own backyard that don't know anything about us, but people in Texas know we're good." -Tom Witherspoon
There aren't many games between late December and early January, so VYPE looked at the big picture, profiling figures in the coaching and administrative ranks who are up against it on a daily basis
Vandeveer's lifetime has revolved around towns along Highway 160. A senior on the 1977 8-man state championship team at Sharon High (west of Attica), Vandeveer first coached at Protection High for three years, beginning in 1984, the season after Protection won its final state football title. When Vandeveer left Attica in 1999, he became head coach for six years at Ashland, another town off Highway 160, west of Protection.
These are formerly football rich towns. During the years 1976-88, Ashland, Sharon, Protection and Attica combined for six state titles. -Tom Witherspoon
The Big One
Bishop Carroll football remained on the cusp of a state title following the 2009 season. Title expectations and pressure, however, are things Alan Schuckman welcomes
"We've won a lot of big games since I've been at Carroll," says Schuckman. "I feel like we do things the right way and I have no regrets as a head coach. Sure, I'd like to be state champs, but I feel like we've had a lot of success over my coaching career and I'm not going to let that drag me down."
Few active coaches have won more games than Schuckman (134), but he is the first one to say wins are only a slice of what makes up a successful coach. -Taylor Eldridge
It's Good To Be Here
Hutchinson football assistant Bret Eckert has been a contributor in many fortunate situations over the years, winning nine state titles for four legendary coaches
On Bill Freeman: "Just an unbelievable human being in terms of the way he treated kids and how fair he was. His approach was so simple, but it worked."
On Dick Purdy: "It was always ‘Be positive, be positive, be positive.' Practice was so clean and brisk. Everything moved 100 miles per hour. It was coaching on the go."
On Gary Cornelson: "Well, gosh, he means a lot to me because he gave me my first big break. What I love about coach Cornelson is that he is so passionate about what he does, be it football, track or field or whatever."
On Randy Dreiling: "He is just a no-nonsense kind of guy. His style is, ‘This is the way it's gonna be and this is the way we're gonna do it.' Obviously, it's worked." -Bret Ecker, told to Kollen Long