Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Stockman’s mom has served as inspiration after severe accident

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Brynne Stockman understands the challenges softball can bring. The Hutchinson Community College freshman works with the pressure that comes with pitching, and she knows how difficult it is to hit a softball safely among nine opponents.

Stockman, however, has been well-trained off the field in how to handle life’s biggest challenges, as she’s watched her mother struggle with serious injuries due to a horrific car crash that left her with many life-long injuries.

Although Mija Stockman manages the disabilities everyday, she doesn’t let it get the better of her. The strength and determination that Mija Stockman shows motivates many people – there’s a popular Facebook page that regularly updates Mija’s progress – including Brynne, who uses that motivation to be the best person she possibly can be everyday.

The morning of December 20, 2013 was the day that the Stockman family’s lives changed forever. While Mija Stockman was traveling from Lindsborg to McPherson for work as a teacher, she was struck by another car, whose driver was drunk.

Mija was immediately taken to the McPherson hospital, but was quickly transported to Via Christi in Wichita. After she was stable enough, Mija was flown to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. Due to severe brain trauma, she was in a coma for many months. Her right eye also had to be sewn shut from the force of the impact and her left eye with limited vision.

Seven months after the initial accident, Mija became healthy enough to return to Kansas. She was transferred to Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardner, a Kansas City suburb. There, she learned how to walk, eat and drink by herself, but at a slow and steady pace.

“It’s affected our family tremendously,” Brynne Stockman said. “It’s also very hard as a daughter seeing your mom in that condition and not having her around the house throughout my high school years, but I always knew that she was in good hands.”

On April 26, 2016, Mija’s stay in Gardner was complete and she moved to Overland Park to live with her parents. Mija goes to therapy three times a week and does many activities to help, including therapeutic horse riding and volunteering in first grade classrooms.

“It has made my sisters and I much closer, as well as my grandma. I love seeing my mom’s progress and it makes me so happy to see how hard she works to be able to be here with all of us,” Brynne said.

Mija’s crash also influenced Kansas to pass what is known as “Mija’s Law.” First introduced by Kansas Representative Les Mason, it makes the sentences tougher for drunk drivers that cause permanent damage to another person by allowing previous DUI convictions to be considered in sentencing. In Mija’s case, the driver had two previous DUIs. On February 26, 2015, the Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously, along with the Senate, a month later.

Along with the brain injury, vision loss, and a broken leg, Mija also suffered a mini stroke, which affected the left side of her body and makes it hard to move. In addition, she’s had 10 different surgeries, for various issues, as well. Living far from Brynne means not being at many of her softball games, but she has been to a few as the season continues.

It’s been hard for the Stockman family for the past few years, but Mija’s story is remarkable. Through all of this, Brynne said her mom is still a happy person that doesn’t lose faith.

Brynne said softball has always been her favorite sport, coming from a family with it in their blood, as her older sister, Eryn, played for Emporia State.

“Softball has been my favorite sport my whole life, and ever since my mom’s accident, I have always been motivated to try my hardest in everything that I do,” Brynne said. “It makes me so sad knowing my mom isn’t able to do a lot of the things that she used to be able to do, so I do my best in honor of her. I want to make my mom proud, and I want to tell her about all of the good things I am doing in life instead of just reminiscing on the past and not moving forward.”

 

 

Rhymes adds another honor as NJCAA names basketball star All American

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

On Tuesday, Hutchinson Community College sophomore guard J.J. Rhymes was named first-team NJCAA All-American. His honor marks the third-year-straight that the HutchCC men’s basketball team has had a player in the first-team NJCAA All-American.

Rhymes played as a freshman and contributed to win a national championship in 2017, and this year carried the Blue Dragons to the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship again.

Rhymes hit his career-high of 41 points December 6, against Butler 82-80. Rhymes hit the game-winning shot with a 3-pointer as the buzzer went off.

In addition to his career-high, Rhymes became 11th in Blue Dragon history to score 700 points in a season with 704 total points. He also made the career Top 10 scoring list, placing with 1,295 points.

Rhymes is one of two Jayhawk Conference players to have earned a spot in the All-American this 2018 season. The second being Coffeyville guard Travis Washington. Rhymes also was named Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year and was a first-team Region 6 selection.

HutchCC, Gowans will be site of 2020 national track championship

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

By The Collegian staff

Hutchinson Community College will be the host school for the 2020 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the NJCAA announced on Tuesday.

Gowans Stadium will be where the events will take place May 14-16 2020, except for the throwing events. The discus and shot put will be on the grass field northeast of Gowans, the javelin at Don Michael Field, and the hammer throw will be Fairgrounds Park.

Hutchinson also was the championship host in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Hutchinson has become something of a hub for the NJCAA to stage national championships. The men’s basketball championship has been in Hutchinson since 1949. The Division 1 Volleyball Championship was at the Sports Arena last November and will be there the next two Novembers.

The Salt City Bowl football game has been in Hutchinson since 2009

Athlete of the week: men’s golfer Matt Percy

Friday, April 6th, 2018

The week: Percy had a solid day at the first of three Jayhawk Conference tournaments, this one at Colbert Hills in Manhattan. Percy finished in fourth place, three strokes out of first by carding a two-round, 5-over-par 149. He was one of three Blue Dragons in the top eight, leading them to a third-place finish.

The season: Percy, a sophomore from Ottawa, has two other top-20 finishes this season, including a sixth-place finish at the Newman Fall Invitational.

Rhymes lauded as best in conference, region

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

Now that the basketball season is over for this year, the end-of-season awards are being announced.

Hutchinnson Community College sophomore J.J. Rhymes was named the 2018 Jayhawk Conference and Region 6 Player of the Year, some of the highest honors a Blue Dragon can win. His co-star Devonte Bandoo, along with Sal Nuhu, also achieved post-season conference and region honors.

Rhymes was Hutchinson’s leading scorer, as well as the conference’s, with 19.6 points per game. He almost shot 50 percent on the season, coming in at 47 percent. He finished in the Blue Dragon Top 10 scoring list, with 1,295 career points. Rhymes had 18 games of 20-plus points, six of which were 30 or more. He also scored a game-winning buzzer-beater against Butler on Dec. 6, to give the Blue Dragons an 82-80 victory. He tallied a career-high 41 points that night.

Bandoo was the other major offensive threat, as he became one of the most dangerous 3-point shooters in the conference. The sophomore averaged 16.7 points per game, which was third-best in the conference. He shot 49.3 percent on the season, and 43 percent from 3-point range, fourth best in single-season history. He also ranks 15th on the Blue Dragon career scoring list, with 1,079 points.

Like Rhymes, Bandoo was awarded first-team all-Jayhawk Conference and all-Region 6.

Nuhu is the last Blue Dragon to receive postseason recognition. He was awarded honorable mention all-Jayhawk Conference selection. Nuhu was a great defender for Hutchinson, as he blocked a team-high 56 shots this season, which was fifth in the conference.

He blocked five shots in a single game on Nov. 2 against Garden City. He also averaged 5.5 points and 5.3 rebounds a game, shooting 48.1 percent on the season.

Josh Gooch gives input on recent football accusations

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Hutchinson Community College Athletic Director Josh Gooch said that he was aware of the recent news stories regarding accusations that football coach Rion Rhoades allegedly displayed racism towards black players, and Gooch said he met with some football players and coaches to discuss the allegations.

Gooch, in an email response, said he could not comment on the meeting because it was a “personnel-related matter.”

The Collegian has contacted some HutchCC football players about the accusations, but none have been willing to provide on-the-record comments.

The Collegian’s policy is not to use anonymous sources unless a person’s physical safety is at risk. The Collegian uses only named sources otherwise, for credible and ethical purposes.

“Hutchinson Community College will not tolerate any form of discrimination. We have a robust nondiscrimination environment,” Gooch said.

He also pointed out that there is a “Notice of Nondiscrimination” at the bottom of the college’s main web page, HutchCC.edu.

Rhoades has been the Blue Dragons’ coach since Dec. 2006. Gooch came with Rhoades as an assistant and left in 2010 to become the head football coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. Gooch returned a year later as an assistant coach and became an AD on July 1, 2015.

Gooch was asked if anyone had lodged a formal complaint against Rhoades – or any football coach – regarding conduct toward players or assistants of any race. He said he could not comment again because it is a personnel-related matter.

Gooch said that if a player or athlete at HutchCC feels he or she has been subjected to racism by a coach or teammate, there are options to take.

“Jake Gunden is the College Equity and Compliance officer,” Gooch said. “Any individual who feels they have suffered discriminatory incidents should contact Mr. Gunden, and he will provide the appropriate guidance on how the individual should proceed and will be the college’s contact.”

A look at every current athletic roster at the college indicates that all 12 teams are multi-racial.

“Athletics enriches and enhances this diversity and our college community,” Gooch said. “This diversity was recently highlighted in a University Business article in which Hutchinson Community College was featured. Our coaches recruit, train, and mentor all of our athletes no matter their ethnicity, religion, or country of origin. HutchCC athletics adds depth and richness to the diversity tapestry of Hutchinson Community College.”

End of the road for Blue Dragons

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

The dream is finally over for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team.

The daunting challenge of winning back-to- back national championships proved too difficult for

the Blue Dragons as they exited the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in the second round Wednesday night at the Sports Arena, falling to Florida SouthWestern State 80-65.

“They’re a good team,” Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck said. “We got their best shot tonight, and it showed.”

Many would say this is one of the more “rollercoaster-esque” seasons in recent years, as Hutchinson

experienced many highs and lows throughout the past six months. They also graduate one of

the most dynamic duos in sophomores J.J. Rhymes and Devonte Bandoo. However, the Blue

Dragons have nothing to be disappointed in, as they finish another great season with a, overall

29-7 record and fourth straight appearance at the national tournament.

The Sports Arena was the place to be Wednesday night, as the 11th-seeded Blue Dragons took on the sixth-seeded Buccaneers from Florida SouthWestern State in a highly-anticipated second-round game. Right from the beginning, it was apparent that the Buccaneers were hungry to knock off the defending national champions on their home court. The game was tight for a majority of the first half, with the Blue Dragons staying within 10 points, but after a

media timeout late in the half, things started to get ugly for Hutchinson.

Up 37-29 at the half, the Buccaneers did not slow their scoring in the second half, as they repeatedly knocked down

shots. Florida SouthWestern used its quick transition game and lethal scoring ability to put the

game to rest early.

After the first media timeout of the half, the Buccaneers were up almost by 20, and the Blue Dragons didn’t have enough firepower to get back in it. Hutchinson’s season was over 14 minutes later.

The Buccaneers shot an impressive 52.5 percent, while the Blue Dragons were held to 38.9 percent.
“Florida SouthWestern is well rounded, they run good offense, they play tough defense and it was tough to score out there,” Eck said.

Eck also stated that the height mismatch was difference maker and that the Buccaneers were no doubt the best team they’ve played all year.

The Blue Dragons graduate six sophomores this year- each of them playing vital parts on this year’s squad. However, Bandoo and Rhymes will go down as two of the best players in Hutchinson history. Rhymes finishes seventh in Blue Dragon leading scorers (1,295 points), while Bandoo finishes 15th (1,072 points). “I wouldn’t want to go out with any other group of guys,” Rhymes said in an emotional post-game interview. “We had our ups and downs, but their family that I wouldn’t want to trade for anything else, and I thank them for

that.

“I also want to thank God for giving me this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what he

has for me in the future.”

All of the sophomores leave will leave HutchCC with 64 total wins, a conference championship and of course, the 2017 national championship.

HutchCC cheerleaders compete in Region 6 Championships

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Hutchinson Community College’s cheerleaders had a chance to compete Region 6 Cheer and Dance Championship, two weekends ago in Salina.

It was a big event for the teams, as cheer competitions like this are rare.

“We only compete at the one competition. Some of the other teams compete at more competition each year,” said cheer coach Holli Rowe.

Every year, three judges are hired for cheer and three judges are hired for dance. The teams then do their routines, and the judges give their scores. Only Region 6 cheer and dance teams compete at this competition.

HutchCC cheer squad end up placing second, right behind Garden City, who took first.

Sophomore Laurelle Augustine, who is a cheer captain along with sophomore Tristin Padgett, said she thought the cheer team did well enough to win the competition. Yet, Augustine said she was proud of the squad.

“We had so many people quit on us this year, and we had to change the routine so many times,” Augustine said.

The dance team finished fifth in the team routine and second in hip-hop. The team also had two individual competitors, as Aubrey Myers came in fourth and Jasmine Merrell was second.

Blue Dragon women bounced in first round

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team made their eighth

appearance to the NJCAA Division 1 Women’s National Championship on Monday.

However, the trip in Lubbock, Texas was cut short after the Blue Dragons faced a first-round exit, losing to the San Jacinto-North Gators 62-51.

HutchCC, the No. 18 seed, had high hopes coming into the tournament, as the Blue Dragons finished the season with an impressive 27-6 record. But to start the tournament they had to face a similarly-matched San Jacinto team. The Blue Dragons struggled scoring immensely, making only one of their first 12 shots.

At one point in the first quarter, Hutchinson didn’t score for nearly five minutes, leaving San Jacinto to increase its lead.

The second quarter was better for the Blue Dragons, but they found themselves down 13 to end the half. The second half was an uphill climb, as they tried to grind out points.

After a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, the Blue Dragons found themselves within four points, 47-43. However, the Gators answered with their own 8-0 run, and from there, the Blue Dragons simply couldn’t get back into the game.

The Gators shot an even 50 percent from the field, while the Blue Dragons shot 34.8 percent. For Hutchinson, Dejanae Roebuck was the leading scorer with 24 points.

She also had 12 rebounds, which led to her 14th double-double this season. Tia Bradshaw finished with 12 points and Kelsey Brett had five.

The Blue Dragons finished with a 27-7 record and are now 17-10 all-time in national tournament games.

Tom Reilly, NJCAA host, helps Tournament run smoothly

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

With the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship having begun Monday, the Sports Arena has been jam-packed with junior college teams and fans from all over the country.

With that in mind, how does everything not get out of control?

There are behind-the-scene people who help run the NJCAA Tournament and manage possible chaos. One of these groups is the team hosts. Tom Reilly, a Topeka native and Hutchinson resident is Hutchinson Community College’s host for this year.

“Every team has a host, and there are 24 teams in the Tournament,” Reilly said. “The hosts don’t know who they have until the seeds are finalized. Once they are informed who they have, they reach out to the school and introduce themselves.”

Their job is mostly to help the team with time management, scheduling practices and supervise the locker rooms and on benches with the team they are hosting. They cater to the coaches’ needs.

Sometimes, hosts know their designated junior college team close enough to have friends or acquaintances within the community. For instance, Reilly knows some people in the Hutchinson community who can help him out and he knows Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck well.

Because of his connections with Trinity Catholic, Reilly got to schedule a Blue Dragon practice for Tuesday night in advance, if the Blue Dragons were to win that afternoon against Cape Fear. Since they did win, they got to go over plays in preparation for Wednesday night’s game against Florida SouthWestern.

Reilly mentioned that he hasn’t gotten to host HutchCC until this year, and he is excited he is on the Blue Dragons’ bench this season.

“I’ve worked as a host for about 13 years,” Reilly said.

He has been through this several times and said that he always looks forward to basketball season. That is how he got his job in the first place. He said that he was asked in 2006 if he would be willing to become a host since he was a well-known basketball fan.

Since then, he has enjoyed the experiences he has had with the teams he hosted so far.