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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

This Week's Issue:July 21, 2016 July 21, 2016

 

Gunnar Lewis Named MVP Of World Series Championship Team

Posted 7/21/2016

Record Staff

Gunnar Lewis of Hesston was voted MVP at the USSSA World Series for the U9 Baseball Championship in Liberty, Missouri.

Gunnar, a member of the World Series winning team, the Royals, has been playing baseball since he was four-years-old.  Six years later, he said the time and effort paid off as he brought home the most prestigious award of the tournament, MVP.

Gunnar’s performance at second base and pitcher, as well as an in-the-park home run, put him on the radar for the award.

“It felt great! Anyone on the team could have been called and I felt great that my name was called for MVP,” he said. 

Pat Lewis, Gunnar’s father, is also one of the team’s coaches.  Pat said during the two weeks the family spent traveling, “No game or moment has ever been too big or hard for him. There’s never a point where there was a position he didn’t want to play or a job he didn’t want to do. He’s a good teammate and a good friend,” he said.

Before winning the World Series in Liberty, the team swept through the Kansas State tournament as champions in Kansas City. 

The young second-baseman said during the final game of the series, the team faced an opponent they had previously sent to the losers bracket.

“I was nervous the whole game playing second,” he said.

Pat said the nearly two weeks away from home competing for the state title and later in the World Series we worth the effort.

“The looks on their faces that last game at the tournament, when you see the kid that gets that hit, whatever that moment is in each tournament that brings that joy to their faces,” he said.

Pat, who has been coaching Gunnar’s teams since his son was 7-years-old, said he got into coaching somewhat by accident.

“They lost their third base coach during the State Tournament, and I stepped in and have been helping ever since,” he said.

Pat said since he began coaching, there have been a core group of five boys, including Gunnar, who have been playing together.

“I think what made this team special is the chemistry. They came together as friends,” he said.

Pat added the team had an advantage over opponents, with on-base runners stealing second and getting into scoring position at every opportunity.

“If we got on base, we stole second on the first pitch of the next batter,” said Gunnar.

Pat added, “That was a big part of our game plan. We have a lot of speed. We put other teams in pretty tough situations with our base running.”

Gunnar said he and his teammates had plenty of games to perfect their skills.  With 53 games in the season, the Royals finished 50-3 and held 38 practices.

“I like it because I get to have that much fun a lot more than I would playing rec and playing more games.  It’s a lot more fun playing more,” said Gunnar.

As a coach, Pat commended the players and their parents for their dedication to the team.

“I’ve never seen a group of 9-year-olds this dedicated to anything.  The commitment from the boys to work this hard has been the easy part. The challenge is really our finances and the time,” he said.

Gunnar said he realized the work put in at games and practice has the potential to pay big dividends.

“I want people to know that it’s not that easy. You can’t just work out for an hour. You have to work for hours and hours every day to get really good at it,” he said.

Gunnar, a Kansas City Royals fan, said some day he hopes to take a starting short stop or second base position in Kauffman Stadium. 

Pat said he hopes to help his son achieve his dream.

“As we get older, the goal is to enter showcase tournaments and put all 11 or 12 of these boys in front of college scouts,” he said.

Gunnar ended his season with exceptional stats batting a .614 an on base percentage of .733; .713 in slugging; 68 hits; 72 stolen bases; 41 RBI and two inside the park home runs. As a pitcher, his ERA was 3.14 with 24 strikeouts and only five walks. 

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Wahoos Shatter Records, Set Personal Bests

Posted 7/21/2016

For The Record

When 55 Hesston Wahoos took the pool at 8:25 a.m. in Council Grove on July 9 for warm up, they could only dream of the final outcome of the day.

Four hundred swims later, Hesston finished a strong Second Place with 748 points, over third place Lindsborg with 697. 

Lindsborg has only placed first or second at the League meet in the nine years since Renee Ewert and Jessica Unruh have led the Wahoo team as coaches. Hesston has never placed higher than third at League. Hillsboro narrowly escaped with first place at 756, a mere eight points ahead of Hesston.

Eighteen individuals were involved in 15 broken records, 12 of which will go into the record book.

 In four of five free relays events, the Hesston girls broke records in the 8-and-under, 9/10-year old, 11/12- year old and 15-18 -year old divisions.  In addition, there were over 80 personal records set and the team brought home a staggering 150 medals.

As the only swimmer aging out of the Hesston program this year, 18-year-old Kirsten Hiebert set a new record in the fly at 32.39, scratching her way by Katrina Heinrichs time of 32.42, set in the summer of 2014. 

In addition, Hiebert combined with fellow swimmers Ally Weaver, Kayla Ewert and Addi Schroeder to set a new 200 free record in their relay with a time of 2:03.15, more than a second faster than the previous record of 2:04.38 held by Hiebert, Megan Baumgartner, Annie Good and Katrina Heinrichs from 2013. 

“It has been such an honor to coach Kirsten,” said Ewert after the meet, “When Kirsten starting swimming in 2009, there were moments I thought she might not even survive one year with me.  But here we are eight years later, and I couldn’t be more proud of her both as a swimmer and as the young woman she has become. 

“In fact, we are so close I had a hard time keeping a dry eye anytime she was in the water today.  We are going to miss her quiet leadership style and her monster swims when the pressure is on.  I was so thrilled to see her have 2 record breaking swims in this last chapter of her swimming career.”

Also setting records in the 15-18 girls division was Addi Schroeder, who bested her own records set earlier this season in three events.  In the 50 Free Schroeder improved her time from 27.87 to 27.76.  Her largest improvement came in the 100 MI where she knocked nearly a second off her time of 1:12.86, to a new best of 1:11.92.  Finally, Schroeder’s 100 Free time of 1:01.78 improved to 1:01.50. 

Schroeder anchored the 15-18 girls free relay record breaking swim, entering the water a body length behind.  Schroeder took the lead at the wall with an Olympic flip turn and out touched Hillsboro at the finish by over a second for first place.

Rounding out the domination for the oldest girls’ age group was Ally Weaver who placed second in the 50 free, (to Schroeder’s first), fourth in the 100 Free behind Schroeder and Hiebert and fourth in the 50 back.

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