BHS fall sports, BU kicker highlight 2007
Baldwin High School and Baker University made many headlines during the past 12 months. Here are the top 10 sports stories from 2007.
1. BHS girls run away with title
A fourth state championship in six years came with ease this year for the Baldwin High School girls' cross country team.
In October, the Bulldogs scored 48 points to win the Class 4A team title. BHS beat rival De Soto, which scored 94 points, despite losing to the Wildcats several times this season.
BHS senior Heather Garcia led the way by winning her second straight individual title. Three other Bulldogs finished in the top 20 to become all-state runners. They were junior Corinna Papps (eighth), junior Calleigh Durr (11th) and sophomore Connor Twombly (15th).
The Bulldogs also won team titles in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
2. Doerfler's record-breaking season
A game-winning 62-yard field goal sailed through the uprights to win a rivalry game. That was the highlight of Baker University junior Derek Doerfler's first season as the Wildcats' place kicker.
With Baker trailing 13-12 late in its game against William Jewell College, Doerfler booted a last-second 62-yard kick. The ball drifted right, but curved back left at the end and dropped over the cross bar. The field goal gave the Wildcats a 15-13 victory.
He began the season by kicking a 57-yard field goal in the Wildcats' first home contest to break the previous school record of 53 yards.
Doerfler ended the season with 23 field goals, which is also a new school record.
3. Single wing success story
A magical season of Baldwin High School football came to an end in mid-November, but not without several playoff victories.
The Bulldogs finished the season in the Class 4A sub-state round of four with a record of 10-3. They lost to Louisburg in their final game, 21-14.
Baldwin swept its district games with victories over De Soto, Spring Hill and rival Eudora. Then BHS marched past Bishop Ward, Marysville and Columbus in the 4A state playoffs.
This season was the first time BHS has played in the semifinal round of the playoffs since 1988, when the Bulldogs lost in the state championship game.
The Bulldogs' team success led to postseason honors as 11 players filled 21 spots on the All-Frontier League teams. BHS also had several players selected on the All-State teams. (See No. 7 on this list.)
4. BHS boys' take 4A runner-up in stride
For the second straight season, the Baldwin High School boys' cross country team finished second at the Class 4A state meet.
The Bulldogs scored 72 team points to capture the second-place team trophy. Mulvane won the championship with 42 points, one away from the record for fewest team points. Baldwin finally beat rival De Soto at the state meet as the Wildcats scored 80 to finish third.
A trio of Bulldogs medaled at the meet. Freshman Tony Weiss (fourth), senior Aaron Karlin (sixth) and junior Connor Wright (14th) were BHS's All-State runners.
A year ago, the Bulldogs' streak of eight consecutive state titles came to an end. BHS has placed either first or second at state since 1997.
5. Lightweights lead BHS wrestlers
Three Baldwin High School wrestlers placed in the top three of their weight classes at the Class 4A state tournament in February.
Senior Kevin Callahan, junior Nick Rockhold and junior Alan Callahan helped BHS finish seventh as a team, tying the Bulldogs' highest team finish ever.
K. Callahan (130 pounds) finished as the runner-up for the second straight year last season. Rockhold was the surprise of the tournament for BHS as he placed second in the 119-pound weight class.
A. Callahan (112) rallied back after suffering an early defeat at the state tournament. He came back to win the rest of his matches and finish third.
All three Bulldogs have high expectations this season as individuals and as a team for the state tournament.
6. Track trophy comes home with Bulldogs
Although Heather Garcia scored most of the points at the state track meet, it took a total team effort to win a trophy last May.
The Baldwin High School girls' track team placed third as a team and earned a trophy at the Class 4A state meet. This year marked the first time in years that the BHS girls have earned a state track trophy.
The Bulldogs scored 35 team points to place third. Garcia, BHS senior, scored 30 points herself to lead BHS to the trophy. Garcia won the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. She also placed second in the 800-meter run and sixth in the 400-meter dash.
Senior Courtney Harris placed sixth in the javelin at state. The other scoring event for the Bulldogs was the 3,200-meter relay team, which finished fifth. Relay members were 2007 graduate Kelsey Verhaeghe, junior Corinna Papps, junior Calleigh Durr and sophomore Connor Twombly.
7. Weaver named unanimous all-state linebacker
It was the second time in three years that a Baldwin High School football player has been chosen as a unanimous All-State selection.
BHS senior Luke Weaver earned his honor as he was the heart and soul of the Bulldogs' defense this fall. As the middle linebacker, Weaver made a record-breaking amount of tackles. He recorded 146 tackles, 97 of which were solo.
He was chosen as a First-Team All-State player by the Topeka Capital-Journal, Wichita Eagle and Kansas Football Coaches Association.
Aaron Hannon, a 2006 BHS graduate, was the first player under coach Mike Berg to earn such an honor. Hannon was chosen as a wide receiver two years ago.
8. NFL coach returns to BU
Mike McCarthy, 1987 Baker University graduate, returned to his alma mater for a special ceremony Oct. 20.
He was inducted into Baker's Athletic Hall of Fame at a private luncheon that day. He was later honored at halftime of the Wildcats' football game that evening.
McCarthy played on Baker's 1986 football team that played in the national championship game. He graduated in 1987 and has moved up the coaching ladder of the National Football League. He is now in his second season as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
Baker held its primary ceremony for the Hall of Fame inductees at its Oct. 6 football game that McCarthy was unable to attend because the Packers were playing that weekend. The Oct. 20 weekend was the Packer's bye week.
9. BHS boys nearly upset Piper
A berth to the Class 4A state tournament for the first time since 2000 came down to a last-second shot.
A three-pointer fell short of the basket, ending the Baldwin High School boys' basketball season. The Bulldogs were defeated by Piper, 41-39, which was the No. 1 seed and favored in the contest.
The Bulldogs trailed late in the game, but rallied with a pair of three-pointers from Blake Wieden, 2007 BHS graduate.
The last time the Bulldogs qualified for the state tournament was 2000 when they finished third as a team despite coming in as the No. 8 seed.
10. BHS alumni successful in javelin, softball
Eric Brown and Katie Martin made headlines during the spring and summer in their particular sports.
Brown, a 2002 Baldwin High School graduate, participated in the World Track and Field Championships in Osaka, Japan. He qualified for the meet with his throw of 256 feet at the 2006 Kansas Relays.
Martin, a 2003 BHS graduate, finished her final softball season at Missouri State University last spring. During her senior campaign, Martin was one of 10 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, a nation-wide honor.