Records, coaches highlight year
Each and every year certain events or outcomes make that year special, and this year was no exception, as successful coaches resigned, Baldwin High School records were broken and many individuals accomplished great things.
The one constant through the past eight years has been the BHS cross country teams, and that is why they are once again this year's top story.
Here are the top sports stories of 2005.
1. BHS cross country teams sweep state
For the third time in the last four years, the Baldwin High School boys' and girls' cross country teams swept the Class 4A state meet in Wamego in October.
This year marked the eighth straight state championship for the boys' team as the Bulldogs held off Abilene by 51 to 63 score. Junior Chris Elniff placed third to lead the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs' streak began in 1998, when BHS won the tie-breaker with Ulysses to claim gold.
After a second-place finish in 2004, the girls' team bounced back to take the 2005 title with ease. The state championship looked to be closely contested, but Baldwin ran away with the victory as it scored 70 points. Wamego was second with 100 and El Dorado finished third with 104. The girls also won the state title in 2002 and 2003.
2. Baker begins Phase 3 construction
In late October, Baker University announced it would begin its third and final phase of the improvements at the Charlie Richard Sports Complex after the final football game was played at Liston Stadium.
The two main projects of Phase Three include artificial turf on the football field and a new eight-lane track. The track construction will cause some problems for Baker, BHS and Baldwin Junior High School this spring.
Other improvements to the complex include paved parking lots at the northeast and southwest corners of Fremont and Second streets, along with upgrading the visiting bleachers and softball field.
3. Weaver wins 300th career game
After waiting nearly eight months for his 300th win, Baker University men's basketball coach Rick Weaver finally got it in the season opening game on Nov. 2 at Haskell Indian Nations University.
The Wildcats defeated Haskell 88-75, giving Weaver his 300th career victory. Weaver finished last season with 299 wins as the Wildcats lost at Lindenwood University 86-81 on Feb. 19. Weaver began coaching at Baker in 1985.
4. Toot resigns as BHS girls' coach
In a shocking move, Eric Toot resigned as Baldwin High School girls' basketball coach in early June to accept an assistant's job with the Baker University women's basketball team.
Toot accepted the job with Baker, because it gave him a chance to move on in his coaching career without moving his family or changing his job. In his five seasons with BHS, Toot compiled an 85-26 record with two Frontier League Championships. Toot also reached the sub-state championship two years during his tenure at BHS.
5. Pulvers moves on from Baker
Shortly after the Baker University men's soccer team failed to reach the national championship tournament for its fourth straight year, head coach Ron Pulvers resigned to accept a job in California.
Pulvers will be moving back home to become the men's and women's soccer coach at California State University at San Marcos. Since taking over the program in 1996, Pulvers has guided his Wildcats to five Heart of America Athletic Conference championships. He also compiled a record of 126-80-14.
6. Garcia breaks three school records
As a freshman at BHS, Heather Garcia put her mark on the girls' track record books, as she set the records in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter run events last spring.
Garcia set the 3,200 record at the KT Woodman meet when she broke 2001 BHS graduate Megan Noonan's time of 11:36. Garcia later broke her own record at the state meet with a time of 11:15.53.
Garcia also broke the 800 and 1,600 records at the state meet. She ran 2:22.78 in the 800 and 5:12.06 in the 1,600. Those records were held by 1998 BHS graduate Stacy Zuzzio.
7. BHS boys' 4x800 relay wins state title, nearly breaks state record
Less than one second separated the BHS boys' 3,200-meter relay team from history at the state meet, as it captured gold and nearly set a new Class 4A state record.
The Bulldogs ran 8:01.91 to win the race by 10 seconds and come within 0.71 seconds of setting a new state record. The relay team broke the BHS record that stood since 2002 by four seconds.
At the regional meet, the Bulldogs won the race by 20 seconds, but just missed the school record. The team was comprised of Chris Elniff, Sam Hinton, Zac Towns and Spencer Wilson.
8. Callahan places at state wrestling
BHS's Kevin Callahan capped off his record-breaking freshman wrestling campaign with a fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state meet in February.
Callahan competed in the 119-pound weight class. Callahan broke the state record for nearfalls-2 in a season in January, finishing with a total of 43, and tied the BHS record of nearfalls-3 with 42. Callahan finished the year 45-6, one win short of the state record held by Derek Lang, 2004 graduate of BHS, who went 46-4 the year before.
9. BHS football team wins second straight district crown
For the second consecutive season, the BHS football team won the district title with a victory over rival Eudora, this year winning 35-20 on Oct. 27 at Liston Stadium.
The Bulldogs also won the district crown last season for the first time since 1993 with a 14-6 win over Eudora.
On Nov. 1, the Bulldogs defeated Prairie View 49-28 to win the bi-district title. Then they lost 13-7 to Chanute in overtime Nov. 5, ending their season.
10. BHS girls' basketball team ends sub-state losing streak
On March 4, the BHS girls' basketball team exorcised its demons as it finally defeated Spring Hill in sub-state, despite finishing the season 11-12.
The Bulldogs won the sub-state semifinal game 46-40, ending its three-year streak of being eliminated from postseason play by the Broncos. The Bulldogs converted 23 of 31 free throws in the victory.
In the championship game, BHS was beaten by Iola, ending its season in the sub-state final three of the last four years.
Honorable Mention -- BHS's Aaron Hannon named unanimous all-stater, Katie Beall and Kristen Ferris place fourth at state tennis, Sauder Field dedicated at Baker, soccer program kicks off at BHS, BJHS wrestling program begins, BHS golf team qualifies for state and BJHS eighth grade girls win league track.
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