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October 2010 Archives

Cats Have Opportunities in Loss to OSU

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State had neither trick nor treat with its offense on Halloween eve at Bill Snyder Family Stadium as the guys in orange from Oklahoma State defeated the Wildcats, 24-14, before a sellout Homecoming crowd of 50,831.
 
"It hurts. I feel like I let the team down," said Carson Coffman, who had his left ankle "numbed up" but did finish the game with numbers of 23-of-35 for 170 yards, but two interceptions. "I didn't play very well today."

Big 12's Up Next for K-State Runners

By Mark Janssen

Five Big 12 Conference women's cross country teams are ranked among the Top 27 teams in the country with K-State entering the weekend with hopes of beating one of them. Any one of them will do.
 
"If we can do that and finish fifth in the Big 12, that's something the program hasn't done in the last decade," said K-State cross country coach Mike Smith in regards to Saturday's Big 12 Championships in Stillwater, Okla. "Colorado, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas are all nationally ranked, but we're better than we have been. If one of those teams slips, and we run well, then something special can happen."

Cowboys Loaded

By Mark Janssen

On how difficult of a task Kansas State faces in playing the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Wildcat coach Bill Snyder said, "On a scale of 1 to 10, it's a 12."
 
For starters, the 6-1 and 20th-ranked Cowboys have the league's best rusher in Kendall Hunter (147 yards per game), the league's best passer in Brandon Weeden (321 yards per game with 21 touchdowns), the league's best punter in Quinn Sharp (48.2 average), league's best field goal kicker in Dan Bailey (16 of 16) and the league leader in solo tackles in Orie Lemon (8.1 per game).

Tresch Reaching Her Goals

By Mark Janssen

Martina Tresch is thousands of miles from home, yet very comfortable in this land called America.
 
A native of Rueti, Switzerland, in Western Europe, Tresch said of her arrival in the USA's Flint Hills and on the campus of Kansas State University, "I knew what I wanted to achieve, which was to be a very good runner. I was looking for a place I could train hard, improve as a runner, and be surrounded by people with a similar goal. That wasn't going to be the case at all at home."

Ultra-Talented Cowboys Next - Plus Other Notes

By Mark Janssen
 
K-State quarterback Carson Coffman denies it's been a week of finger pointing, but he does say, "It's been a week of aggression."
 
Angered intensity with a higher level of focus since losing at Baylor last week 47-42.

Hoopsters Meet the Press

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Wednesday was K-State's annual men's and women's basketball media day. Here are some of the highlights. 
 
JAKE AND FRANK: Asked about  his early relationship with Jacob Pullen, coach Frank Martin credited Pullen's parents for preparing him for the rigors of Big 12 basketball, and the discipline of a Martin-coached program.
 
"Jake and I have never disagreed," Martin said. Of the early relationship, he explained that  it was a phase of "... two people who are learning from one another. You do not raise a child in a day; you do not make a basketball player in a week. It is a process. This is why he is, and has become, the person and player that he is today."

Wildcats No. 1.......Again

Kansas State's student-athletes have pulled off the quad-peat in terms of Big 12 Conference all-sports graduation rates.
 
In statistics released by the NCAA on Wednesday, for an unprecedented fourth year K-State is No. 1 in graduating its student-athletes, which also includes five individual Wildcat teams leading the league.

'Angry' Cats Ready for Cowboys

By Mark Janssen

"Angry" and "hostile" is said to be Kansas State's football mood coming off its 47-42 loss to Baylor, and looking ahead to the potent 20th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
 
"I think everybody is a little hostile right now," said fullback Braden Wilson. "Everybody is a little upset."

Pullen High on the Cats

By Mark Janssen

Jacob Pullen gives a soft chuckle as he answered, "Now, that wouldn't be fair." 
 
But with brown eyes flashing, and breaking into a smile, he adds, "I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said I hadn't thought about it."

Cats Need Strong Finish for Chance at History

By Mark Janssen

Have a seat, my K-State friends, for a Wildcat tale that you're going to find hard to believe. 
 
First, this assembly of wordage is to say that Kansas State still has the chance for a historical fall-winter sports year. Further defined, the 'Cats still have the opportunity to be on the plus side of .500 in football "and" men's basketball this year - 2010-2011 - in Big 12 Conference play. In the Big 12 that means "at least" 5-3 in football; in the Big 12 that means "at least" 9-7 in basketball.
 
Again, we're here to say "over" .500 in the sports of football and men's basketball in the same academic year is what K-State could accomplish.

Rookies Leading the Way for Norris

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State golf coach Tim Norris says, "The ball has no idea how old you are."

With that in mind, he has no concerns that a pair of freshmen are leading the Wildcats through the fall season.

Misenhelter Makes Early Statement

By Mark Janssen

Gianna Misenhelter made a promise to Kansas State golf coach Kristi Knight when she signed as a three-time Class 5A Kansas prep champion out of Kansas City's St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
 
"Gianna (pronounced john-a) came in and told me that she planned to be K-State's No. 1 player," said Knight.

Meier: He Loved Life

Editor's Note: This 2010 Kansas State football season has been dedicated to the memory of ex-Wildcats Elijah Alexander and Dylan Meier, who passed away this past summer. Today, "Sports Extra" remembers Meier.

By Mark Janssen

"Dylan lived every moment of every day, and lived it the right way. He was such an adventuresome individual. He traveled to places that a normal person couldn't get to. He wanted the experience of exploring. " - Bill Snyder on Dylan Meier

Dennis and Valerie Meier chuckle at the license plate their four boys once gave them: "You've seen the Jayhawk on one side and the Powercat on the other and the phrase 'A house divided.' Well, the boys doctored one of those up to where it said, 'A house united.' "

Team That Goes 1-0 is Bowl Eligible

By Mark Janssen

To the victor goes bowl eligibility.
 
No, a bowl game is not guaranteed to today's winner, but nearly so when a Big 12 Conference team finishes a season at least 6-6, a bowl invitation will be the reward in early-December.
 
That is what is on the line today at 2:30 when 5-1 Kansas State plays the 5-2 Baylor Bears. Both teams are 2-1 in conference play, which places the Wildcats one-half game out of first place in the North Division, and the Bears one-half game out of first in the South.

Coffman's Feel Blessed

By Mark Janssen

Let's play pretend.
 
Pretend you are the parents. Let's name you Paul and Amy.
 
Pretend that you have four children. Let's name them Chase, Carson, Camille and Cameron, who all were, or are, student-athletes.

Martin Embraces No. 1 Ranking

By Mark Janssen

Kiddingly, Frank Martin says about this year's Kansas State basketball team, "Nothing has changed. I still stomp around, the assistants are loud and yell at the players, and the players play hard."
 
To that, the K-State Nation gives a standing ovation.

Slaughter's Working with a Full Plate

By Mark Janssen

Blake Slaughter will tell you, "I love football to death. I've been playing it since I was a 7-year-old, but it's not everything. There will be life after football."
 
But for now, football is very much a part of Slaughter's complex formula of having a student-athlete / athlete-student lifestyle as he heads back to his home state for Saturday's 2:35 kickoff against the Baylor Bears.

Scoring the Ball a Focus for Patterson

By Mark Janssen

Playing two seniors in Ashley Sweat and Kari Kincaid, plus a cast of youngins' a year ago, K-State's women's basketball team finished 14-18 on the season, which included a 5-11 record in the Big 12.
 
This year's Wildcat lineup very likely will include a pair of juniors, plus three sophomores, with a bench that is equally young.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 19

Good morning Wildcats! 

 

It was a great weekend in Manhattan with a huge Madness crowd, the unveiling of the proposed basketball training facility plans and another awesome home crowd in Ahearn for volleyball Saturday night. 

 

I am looking forward to my first trip to Waco this weekend. In addition to the Baylor game, I will comprehensively tour their facilities and campus. Led by Athletic Director Ian McCaw they too have done an outstanding job of improving their infrastructure over the past few years.
 

Rowers Host Sunflower Showdown

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State rowing coach Patrick Sweeney says that one can never downplay a Wildcat meeting with the University of Kansas, but he will add, "In the fall, it's more about training and continuing to improve on our technical work."
 
The Wildcat rowing team will be hosting Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown starting at 9 Saturday morning at Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

Baseball Begins Fall World Series

By Mark Janssen

The Yankees and Rangers, and Phillies and Giants are battling it out to reach the 2010 World Series, but at K-State, the Purples and the Whites have already reached such status.

After using a 45-day period this fall to work out 28 times, K-State's Fall Series begins tonight at 6 at Tointon Family Stadium, and will continue on Thursday and Friday at 6. All games are open to the public at no charge.
               
With six starters returning, plus 13 other letterwinners from last year's Big 12 third-place team and Regional entry team, eighth-year coach Brad Hill said, "We're very excited with what we have coming back, but also with the concern that we're replacing three components to our success of a year ago."

Just Call Him Bill 'Detailed' Snyder

By Mark Janssen

Bill Snyder and attention to detail.
 
Mention one, and it's hard not to mention the other.
 
It's the foundation that Snyder constructed the Wildcat football team on from 1989 through 2005, and now again in 2009 and 2010.

K-State was Alexander's Passion

By Mark Janssen

They lined in an up-front pew of the Prestonwood Baptist Church positioned like ... well, like Little Wildcats.
 
This 12- 13-year-old football team - yes, named the Little Wildcats - dressed in slacks, white shirts, and purple ties decorated with the Powercat logo. They gathered for the funeral of their coach, 39-year-old Elijah Alexander, who had died six days earlier on March 24 of this past spring.

Pre-Nationals Next Up for Cats

By Mark Janssen

Less competition, more training.
 
That's the formula Kansas State cross country coach Michael Smith is experimenting with this fall with his men's and women's cross country teams.

Muff Follows Father's Footsteps

By Mark Janssen

Alex Muff understands how Kansas State's volleyball team will be the underdog tonight in its 7 p.m. match against No. 3 Nebraska, but she also offers this warning.
 
"I just love the atmosphere of Ahearn (Field House)," said the K-State middle-blocker. "With the new curtain and the bleachers, it just seems like everyone is packed in and the atmosphere is what any team would want to have."

Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 15

Good evening Wildcats!

The last 24 hours have certainly been a lot of fun! We appreciate those of you who made the trip to Lawrence last night for the football game. We had a great purple contingent at Memorial Stadium to help lead the Wildcats to a big Sunflower Showdown win over the Jayhawks.

Tonight was a big moment for our basketball programs as fans filled Bramlage Coliseum for Madness in Manhattan and the official start of the 2010-11 season. I appreciate the hard work and creativity of our staff in putting together an entertaining event that included activities with both teams, drop-ins into ESPNU's nationally televised midnight madness program and a video feature from the cast of ABC's Modern Family featuring our good friend, K-State alumnus and Emmy Award winner Eric Stonestreet.

 

Ready for Hoops?

By Mark Janssen

"Madness In Manhattan" will provide a tipoff to the much awaited 2010-11 Kansas State basketball year tonight in Bramlage Coliseum.
 
Doors will open at 6:30 with festivities beginning at 7:00. ESPNU will also be on hand to bring portions of the night of fun to a nation-wide audience.

Wildcats Blister Jayhawks

By Mark Janssen

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Eight ... that's 8 ... was Kansas State's magic number Thursday night in the thrashing of the University of Kansas, 59-7, by scoring eight touchdowns.
 
Oh, the No. 8 one would think about had a decent enough game as Daniel Thomas rushed for 91 yards on 18 carries, but it was the No. 8 on the other side of the field that shined brightest on this evening at Memorial Stadium. K-State defensive back Stephen Harrison returned a fumble 85 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, and on KU's next series, intercepted a pass in the end zone keeping the Jayhawks off the board.

Just Another 'Championship Game' For Cats

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder understands the passion that his Wildcat fans have for tonight's game with the Kansas Jayhawks, but he also says of the entirety of the season, "It's about how many hurdles you jump over. It's not a one-hurdle season."
 
But tonight in KU's Memorial Stadium in a 6:30 p.m. start on Fox Sports Net, it is a one-game season featuring the 4-1 Wildcats against the 2-3 Jayhawks. For each, the goal will be to go 1-0 for the week, and to avoid a second early loss in Big 12 play.

Pain Over, Time to Move On

By Mark Janssen

There's a time for anger, and then a time to play angry.
 
Coach Bill Snyder said that the "angry carryover was probably healthy" in the few days after losing to Nebraska last week, 48-13, but that was followed by the best Monday-type practice of the season. "There was focus there, and the determination was there. There comes a time when sitting around and moping is not going to do you any good."

Harper Happy to be Back Home

By Mark Janssen

Chris Harper is the first to admit, "A lot of it was me. I had just turned 18 and thought I was grown. I thought I would be all right, but I wasn't ready for being away from home. I realized that family's not all bad."
 
Harper was in the process of graduating from Wichita Northwest High School as a PrepStar All-American and a 4-Star talent on the football field where he was ranked as the second best player in Kansas.

Bishop Comes 'Home'

By Mark Janssen

Michael Bishop called it the single play of his life.

"I can see it clear as day," said Bishop during his visit to Bill Snyder Family Stadium this past week. "I can see the snap coming back, and I remember looking at the safety and rolling to my right. I can see (Darnell) McDonald in the back of the end zone and can even feel me throwing the ball and waiting for him to catch it. That's when all the excitement took over. For me, personally, it was excitement for coach (Bill) Snyder because we had finally defeated Nebraska."

Patterson, 'Cats Hard at Work

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State's women's basketball team is taking advantage of a new NCAA rule and getting an early start to the 2010-11 season.

"I'm not sure why the rule was initiated, but I like it," said K-State coach Deb Patterson. "Especially with a younger team, it's been nice to have more days where you don't feel that unbelievable pressure to get more things done than a short amount of time allows."

Wildcats Smarting After Loss

By Mark Janssen

Bill Snyder was brutally honest after Thursday's game against Nebraska, and that included being honest with his players, his coaching staff ... and himself.

"Maybe we're not quite as good of an offensive football team as somebody might have wanted to project at some point in time. We've got a lot ahead of us," said the Wildcat coach. "That's something that rests on my shoulders to make sure we do the right things, whether it's opening the playbook or not, you still have to be able to do the things that you put on the field and execute them well. But it's our responsibility to make sure that we get our players to be able to execute whatever it is that we're trying to do."

Donahue 'Setting' Fine

By Mark Janssen

What Kansas State athlete do you think is facing the biggest challenge this fall?

No, not quarterback Carson Coffman, but yes, it just could be Kansas State volleyballer Caitlyn Donahue, who is learning the position of setter in the line of fire of Big 12 competition.

Cats Have No Answer for Martinez

By Mark Janssen
 
Kansas State did exactly what it couldn't do in nearly every aspect of the game. The final score of Nebraska 48, Kansas State 13 would indicate that. It left Bill Snyder to say on his 71st birthday, "Happy birthday. I hope yours is better than mine."
 
Nothing about Snyder's day went as planned as these numbers would indicate:
 
• The 35-point loss in a home game was the largest since losing to Nebraska by 36, 39-3, in 1996.
 
• The 451 rushing yards by NU were the most against the Wildcats since Colorado rumbled for 518 in 1989.
 
• Nebraska scored six touchdowns - runs of 14, 35, 80, 68 yards and 41 yards, plus a pass of 79 yards.
 
• The 241 rushing yards by NU quarterback Taylor Martinez were the most since Jon Cornish of Kansas rushed for 201 in 2006.
 

Purple Pride vs. Big Red - 4-0 vs. 4-0

By Mark Janssen
 
 
Normally, Kansas State's players listen intently to their head coach. But this week is a touch different.
 
Yes, Bill Snyder likes the spirit and the enthusiasm of his football team entering tonight's 6:30 p.m. kickoff against Nebraska at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, but the coach says, "I would like to think when this one is over that we understand that we have seven more to go."
 

Wildcats No. 1 in Football, No. 1 in Hoops

By Mark Janssen
 
 
OK, so it's not the Associated Press or the weekly USA Today's Coaches' poll, but at least one rating service has Kansas State's 4-0 football team ranked No. 1 in the nation heading into Thursday's game against Nebraska.
 
Yes, No. 1!
 

Ekeler Back Home in Big Red Country

By Mark Janssen
 
 
Mike Ekeler is all business this week and with a singular mindset entering Thursday's Kansas State-Nebraska football game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
 
"It's all about being 5-0," said Ekeler, a former Wildcat linebacker, but now linebacker coach for the Cornhuskers. "It might have felt different the first time, but now it's about winning a game and going to 5-0."

Mayfield Earns His Way at K-State

By Mark Janssen
 
 
Let's call it a big-man's version of "Fear The Beard."
 
Last winter, it was six-footer Jacob Pullen who struck fear in rivals on the basketball floor with his scruffy beard.
 
This fall, its 6-foot-4, 338-pound Kenneth Mayfield, who not only has fuzzy cheeks and a chin to match, but also a touch of a Mohawk that he hides under his Wildcat helmet.
 

Letter from A.D. John Currie -- October 4

Thursday night's football game against sixth-ranked Nebraska will provide us a unique opportunity to showcase our program and university on ESPN's Thursday Night College Football platform. As we approach the game, I want to provide some thoughts and details that will allow you a smooth trip to and from the stadium.

Jones: POP, POP, POP-POP-POP, POP

By Mark Janssen
 
 
The game was more than four decades ago, but there are moments of that Nov. 9, 1968, day that Dave Jones remembers with red and white vividness.
 
"It was Nebraska's Homecoming and one of their traditions was to hold all of those red and white balloons and then let them loose after the first Big Red touchdown," said Jones, Kansas State's standout wide receiver from 1966-68. "At the end of the game, I remember hearing their fans pop all those balloons. It was 'pop, pop, pop, pop-pop-pop, pop, pop-pop' all over the stadium. We had given them no reason to celebrate."
 

Dear Wildcat Nation

By Mark Janssen
 
 
K-Staters, please allow me to take a timeout from the day-to-day routine of profiling the Wildcats to ask a favor.
 
It's time to get behind No. 14 and eliminate the shabby comments about the Wildcat quarterback that have been littering Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
 
If Carson Coffman can't hear the gibberish, his family can.
 

So You Think You Know Your Wildcats?

By Mark Janssen
 
 
While there's a break in the Kansas State football action this weekend, 'K-State Sports Extra' has decided to test your knowledge of the stars and highlights of the last 20 Kansas State Wildcat seasons.
 
Have some fun, and let us know how you did. (Don't peak!)
 

Comparing 2010 to 2009

By Mark Janssen
 
 
OK, let's let the numbers do the talking four games into this 2010 football year.
 
Question: At this point in the season, is this 2010 Kansas State football team better than the one of 2009?
 
The 4-0 record compared to last year's 2-2 mark indicates yes. And, the collection of opponents this year - UCLA, Missouri State, Iowa State and Central Florida - would be considered by most as a tougher slate than last year - UMass, Louisiana, UCLA and Tennessee Tech. So, right off the bat, this 2010 team seems to be the better of the two. Advantage: 2010
 
Let's continue.
 

Shields 'A Servant Leader'

By Mark Janssen
 
 
Jill Shields says she can't remember where the sign came from, but she does remember that it hung in her sports locker starting in high school.
 
BE A SERVANT LEADER
 
"I was taught by my parents at a young age to lead by example and to be a role model for others," said Shields, K-State's Associate Athletics Director for Student Services and Senior Woman Administrator. "I felt that way as a student-athlete, but it's also what you should be as an administrator. You need to assist and mentor student-athletes. I think God gave me the ability to serve others and try to lead them in a positive direction."