The mood in the Kearney High School gymnasium between games of a varsity doubleheader against Liberty North was somber. Minutes after the Lady Bulldogs picked up an impressive win over the Lady Eagles, both schools’ basketball teams, — boys and girls — took to the floor to remember those fighting and lost due to cancer.
After a 21-8 season record, Kearney softball placed nine members of its squad on the 2015 Suburban Blue Conference team, as well as nine on the Class 4, District 15 team and five as Class 4, All-Region selections.
The Kearney Bulldogs spent their winter break on the hardwood, placing fourth overall in the William Jewell College Holiday Basketball Classic after upsetting Raymore Peculiar in the opening round, Dec. 26, and then losing the following two contests to Park Hills and Center High School.
Connor Ritz slashed toward the paint during Kearney’s first contest of the season, picking up a foul that sent him to the line with the game on the line. The junior guard calmly knocked down his first shot, and then another, securing the Bulldogs a 64-62 victory against St. Joseph Central on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at Kearney High School.
ST. LOUIS — Before they boarded a spirit bus to take them from Kearney High School to St. Louis Friday, Nov. 27, Scott and Henrietta Chestnut already drove 225 miles from their home in Marquette, Kansas.
For Kearney assistant coach Dan Luellen, state championships are nothing new. Since joining the Kearney School District in 2002, Luellen has been part of all four of the football program’s state title victories serving as the team’s offensive line coach.
It’s hard to explain how Kearney junior safety Ethan Luft seemingly was in the right place at the right time during the 2015 playoffs. Entering the summer, Luft was not projected as a starter, possibly not even a member of the varsity roster after spending his sophomore year on Kearney’s C-team.
A hero’s welcome awaited the 2015 Class 4 Missouri state champion Bulldogs late Friday night. Despite rain and freezing temperatures, the city of Kearney came out in force to welcome the team back after they defeated Webb City 17-14 for the school’s fourth football state title.
Following Kearney’s semifinal victory over Westminster Christian Academy, Jess Davis looks on as senior Brandon Gonzales counts down the number of playoff games the Bulldogs have now won. Head coach Greg Jones and his players revel in the moment. Davis stays to the back of the Kearney herd with crutches beneath him. A week later he would be walking freely with a state title trophy overhead.
The Kearney Bulldogs, with backs up against their own end zone, built an impenetrable wall of 11 on the goal line with 15 seconds remaining to capture the program’s fourth state football title 17-14 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Friday, Nov. 27.
The Kearney Bulldogs, with backs up against their own end zone, built an impenetrable wall of 11 on the goal line with 15 seconds remaining to capture the program's fourth state football title 17-14 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Friday, Nov. 27.
The Kearney Bulldogs girls basketball team started the year slow last season but surged late, winning conference and making it to a district semifinal contest. Heading into the 2015-16 season, Kearney head coach Troy Resler is expecting that late-season momentum to carry over to this winter.
By putting Kearney and Webb City on opposite sides of the Class 4 playoff bracket it seems as if the powers that be wanted the best two teams to compete for the grandest prize of all — a MSHSAA state championship.
The Kearney swim team will have a new look this season as Madison Strathman, who won a gold medal last season at the state meet, and head coach Daniel Roberts have departed the program. But the Bulldogs did not have to look far to fill the coaching void, electing to go with Nate Long who just had a successful season coaching the boys’ team this past fall.