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Mark87

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Have to share a snipit on my goddaughter in KS, as you mostly know they won the state but most don't know her commitment through HS and her work ethic... from a story that just got released in KS( She is officially Kansas 2A player of the year) I am so damn proud of her!

Smith Center has long enjoyed success with coach Linn, with 16 trips to the state tournament, including nine in the last 11. Like Andale, SC has its summer weights program and notably conditioning week.

“I will admit, conditioning is my least favorite week of the whole summer,” Rentschler told me in August. “We usually always do the same thing, like it’s the week of August 9 through the 13th. … Mr. Linn is a big person about having a good, hard summer, because that’s kind of what jumpstarts us all into the preseason. It just starts everything basically. And he has never been one to go soft in the summer. We still have a summer, but we know that we have to work to be successful in season.”

While Smith Center’s summer work is well-known, the winter trips are not. Especially in the urban areas, club volleyball teams are generally with a close drive for players. That is usually not the case in western Kansas.

SC’s key volleyball players all play basketball. In the winter, the Lady Red have normal basketball practice all week. On Wednesdays and/or Thursdays, Rentschler would have volleyball practice in Hays. Smith Center finished basketball around 6:15 p.m. Rentschler drove to Hays, which is 181 round trip miles. She had to be there by 7:45-8 p.m.

Then, Rentschler didn’t leave Hays until 10 to 10:15 p.m. range. Linn was supportive of both sports. Rentschler played club mainly with girls she faced in the Mid-Continent League. In Rentschler’s first year in club, she was the only girl from SC playing. She first drove to Phillipsburg and picked up Panther standout Heather Schemper. Either Rentschler’s or Schemper’s parents drove.

Afterward, they always went to McDonalds, since Smith Center and Phillipsburg don’t have a McDonalds. As the club years went on, girls from nearby Norton and Logan joined. Rentschler still plans on playing club this winter, too, her fourth in the program.

“That kind of made it easier, because we were all in the same boat, like we had those late nights,” Rentschler said.

The work helped Smith Center finished second to Olathe Heritage Christian Academy (HCA) in 2020, which marked the first volleyball final in school annals.

SC and HCA were the significant favorites in 2A during the fall. Then, Heritage Christian bumped to 3A and became the classification’s smallest school. HCA defeated Cheney in the 3A finals. Linn called missing HCA bittersweet. He wanted the rematch, though he also knew the path to a 2A crown was clearer. Smith Center returned its entire team from 2020.

At state, Smith Center did not drop a set with wins versus Colgan, Wabaunsee and Hillsboro. On Saturday, SC beat Ellinwood in the semifinals and 25-23, 25-12 versus Hillsboro in the championship match. SC went 4-0 at state the last two seasons versus Hillsboro. Coach Clark’s Garden Plain squad took third in 2A. Linn has always had strong respect for coach Clark.

“Saturday, we were on,” Linn said. “I thought we played very well Saturday, and Friday we got to playing well. We didn’t start off great, but got to playing well.”

Smith Center never switched courts at state, a rarity that Linn said helped the Lady Red. In addition to SC’s two key seniors, Hutchinson has already cleared 1,000 career assists. Senior libero Maggie Peterson, juniors Maile Hrabe and Haley Feldmann and sophomores Dakota Kattenberg and Gracie Kirchhoff were key players. Throughout the season, SC worked on serve-receive after it struggled in that area versus Heritage Christian.

“We did a whole lot better job with that,” Linn said.
 
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TW

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A dedicated young lady. She has her priorities in order. She deserves the accolades. Congratulate her from all of us!
 

Nutbush

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That's super Mark and yes bragging is one of our rights and requirements of being a grandparent. So I have to jump in here too as my granddaughter headed to Green Bay today for the WIAA state volleyball tournament as she plays for Holmen which is a Div1 team. She also plays club ball and actually played in Kansas this past summer. So we are both lucky and blessed to see our grandkids grow and succeed with hard work and dedication.
 
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