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HCC ATHLETICS

Freshman running back Blaik Middleton rumbles for a 58-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of No. 6 Hutchinson's 70-0 season-opening victory over the Sterling College JV on Thursday at Gowans Stadium. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)				    Blue Dragon football coach Rion Rhoades begins his ninth season on the Hutchinson sideline as HCC opens the 2015 season at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Gowans Stadium against the Sterling College JV (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)				    Quarterback Kylen Binn returns to lead the 2015 Blue Dragon football offense. The Blue Dragons open 2015 on Thursday against the Sterling JV. (Jessica Green/HCC Sports Information)				    Sophomore Aubrey Wilson was named the Jayhawk West Volleyball Player of the Week after an outstanding weekend at the New Mexico Military Classic. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)				    Aubrey Wilson (7) had 30 kills and two double-doubles, Petra Silic (9) had a career-high five service aces and Tarynn Stueder (10) racked up 80 total set assists as HCC swept four opponents this weekend in the NMMI Classic in Roswell, NM. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)
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BLUE DRAGONS ROLL PAST STERLING JV IN 2015 SEASON OPENER

Football | 08.27.15

The No. 6-ranked Hutchinson Community College football team won its eighth-consecutive season opener on Thursday night after rolling up 608 total yards in a 70-0 blanking of the Sterling College Junior Varsity at Gowans Stadium.

This was the first meeting in football between Hutchinson and Sterling College since 1946.

Hutchinson tied for the third-most points scored in a game in team history, getting scores from six different players in a variety of ways – a punt return for touchdown, interception for touchdown, one touchdown pass and seven rushing scores.

The 70-point margin of victory tied a 70-0 win over Independence in 2011 for third largest in team history.

The Blue Dragons (1-0) showed depth at running back with 392 yards on the ground, averaging 8.5 yards per carry. Freshman Blaik Middleton made an immediate splash with 103 rushing yards on only three carries, scoring twice on runs of 1 and 58 yards.

Treyvon Paulk had 13 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Tyren Jones rushed for 84 yards on five carries and a score. Tre Griffin added 75 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.

Sophomore quarterback Kylen Binn completed 12 of 16 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown.

DeQuan Bowman had a huge night. First, his 81-yard punt return in the first quarter was HCC’s first score of the season. Bowman then caught six passes for 74 yards. Logan Mays had career bests of four catches and 65 yards and his first career touchdown.

Defensively, the Blue Dragons held Sterling to minus-four yards in the first half and 138 yards for the game. The Warriors’ deepest drives into the Blue Dragon territory both ended by interceptions. The Warriors got to the Hutch 34 when Hunter Delgado picked off a pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Sterling then drove to the Dragon 11. That drive was snuffed by a Josh Amanfo pick.

The Blue Dragons scored their first two touchdowns of the season just 1 minute, 27 seconds apart. First, Bowman wowed the Gowans Stadium crown with his 81-yard punt return. Then after a quick three-and-out following a Dragon fumble, Jones burst 36 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 8:29 remaining in the first quarter. HCC made it 21-0 after Paulk’s 2-yard TD run with 2:56 remaining that capped off an 85-yard, 11-play scoring drive.

The lead grew to 35-0 just 19 minutes, 36 seconds into the game. Mays’ 33-yard touchdown reception and Griffin’s 4-yard TD run with 10:24 to play in the second quarter put HCC by 35.

The Dragons scored 28 points in the third quarter on Griffin’s 7-yard score and 1-yard scores from Griffin and Middleton. Delgado’s 75-yard pick-six made it 63-0 with 45 seconds to play in the third quarter.

Middleton had the last big play when he sprinted through the line and found open space for a 58-yard touchdown and a 70-0 lead with 3:24 remaining.

The Blue Dragons will travel to Fort Scott on Sept. 5 for a 7 p.m. game against the Greyhounds.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons had their 138th shutout in program history. … HCC is 7-0 all-time against Sterling College, playing the Warriors for the first time since 1946. … The Blue Dragons are now 16-2 all-time against NAIA programs. … At halftime, the Blue Dragons held a 403 to minus-5 yard total yard advantage. … The Blue Dragons tied 2011 games against both Independence and Lackawanna for the fifth-most points scored in program history. … The 10 touchdowns tied for the fourth most in a game. … It’s the first time HCC surpassed the 70-point mark since scoring 75 against Independence in 2012. … The Blue Dragons are now 48-34-2 in season openers and 58-24-2 in home openers.
 


BLUE DRAGON FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON NO. 84 ON THURSDAY

Football | 08.26.15

Hutchinson Community College opens its 84th season of football on Thursday when the No. 6 Blue Dragons play host to the Sterling College Junior Varsity at 7 p.m. at Gowans Stadium.

The Blue Dragons open a new season as the defending Jayhawk Conference champion for the first time since 1995. Last season, HCC went 11-1, won a sixth-straight Salt City Bowl and finished fourth in the final NJCAA poll, its highest final national ranking ever.

That finish has placed a lot of preseason attention squarely on the Blue Dragons. HCC is sixth in the NJCAA preseason poll and Jayhawk Conference favorites. The JC Gridwire Dirty 30 as Hutchinson ranked No. 2.

HCC will try to do something in 2015 that has never been done before in program history ... repeat as league football champion. HCC won the 1947 league title and won only Jayhawk Division championships in both 1948 and 1949.

Blue Dragon head coach Rion Rhoades opens his ninth season on the Hutch sidelines with four starters returning on offense, three on defense and one on special teams. HCC will have to replace five All-Americans and two conference players of the year.

Thursday’s opener will be only the seventh time ever that Hutchinson opens a season against a non-NJCAA affiliated team. The last time that happened was last season against Bethany College JV. It also happened in 1931, 1935, 1941 and 1988 and 1995.

The Blue Dragons have won seven-straight season openers.

Game 1: Hutchinson (0-0) vs. Sterling College JV (0-0)
When: Thursday, August 27, 2015
At: Hutchinson, KS
Stadium: Gowans Stadium
Capacity: 5,500
Surface: FieldTurf
Series Record: Hutchinson leads 6-0
Last Meeting: Hutchinson, 24-0, 1946

Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450); KWBW-FM (89.5)
                     Rusty Hilst, Play-by-Play; Rob Dreher, color; Glen Grunwald, sidelines
                     Countdown To Kickoff - 6:30 p.m.
                      Pregame Airtime - 6:50 p.m.

Live Video, Audio and Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Channel (www.BlueDragonSports.com)

Twitter: @bluedragonsport


Season-Opening Success
In 83 season openers, the Blue Dragons have a record of 47-34-2. Hutchinson is 12-3 in season openers since 2000 and has won its last seven after a 45-7 victory over the Bethany College Junior Varsity last season.

HCC’s longest season-opening winning streak in team history is 11 from 1994 to 2004.

The Blue Dragons are even better in home openers, going 57-24-2 at Gowans Stadium.

The Blue Dragons are 12-3 since 2000 in home openers and had won seven-straight in the first games of seasons at the friendly confines of Gowans Stadium before their 2013 setback against No. 3 Navarro College.

The 2015 opener will be only the seventh time ever that Hutchinson opens a season against a non-NJCAA affiliated team. Before last season, the last time that happened was 1995 against Air Force Prep. It also happened in 1931 (McPherson College), 1935 (Sterling College), 1941 (Kansas Wesleyan JV) and 1988 (Pittsburg State JV).

Series History vs. Sterling College JV
Thursday’s game with the Sterling College Junior Varsity will be the seventh meeting every and the first since 1946.

The Blue Dragons own a 6-0 record over the Warriors, posting five shutouts. The combined score of those six meetings is 133-7.

Overall against NAIA competition, the Blue Dragons are 15-2.

Noting The Blue Dragons
+ Offensively last season, the Blue Dragons ranked third in the Jayhawk Conference at 42.7 points per game. They led the league in rushing at 267.4 yards per game and were middle of the pack in passing at 225.0 yards per game.

+ Returning starting quarterback Kylen Binn played in 11 games in 2014 and threw for a team-high 1,508 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Binn completed 113 of 214 passes and was also a threat to run with 66 net rushing yards and three touchdowns.

+ HCC will have to replace 2014 Jayhawk Offensive Player of the Year Alvin Kamara. For that matter, the Dragon stable of backs will all be new this season.

Alabama transfer running back Tyren Jones (5-11, 218, Marietta, GA) and Tennessee transfer Treyvon Paulk (5-9, 201, Cumming, GA) come to HCC this season. Also watch for highly-touted in-state running back Blaik Middleton (5-10, 175), a Class 6A all-state selection last season from state runner-up Hutchinson High.

+ Four players return from a very good offensive line that paved the way for the third-highest scoring team in Blue Dragon football history.

One of the most-sought after offensive linemen in the junior college class of 2015 is Blue Dragon sophomore Tate Leavitt (6-6, 315, Thornville, OH), who is drawing interest from schools in all five Power 5 conferences.

Brendon Blackburn (6-0, 285, Fort Scott, KS), a returning starter, Tanner Stallings (6-1, 295, Sterling, KS), and Zane Vickers (6-1, 285, Haysville, KS) are back.  East Carolina transfer Larry Williams (6-5, 339, Wilmington, NC) will also bolster the depth at tackle.

+ DeQuan Bowman was third in 2014 in receptions with 34 and second in receiving yards with 536. He scored four touchdowns as a receiver.

+ Defensively, Hutchinson led the conference in scoring defense (20.4 points per game) and rush defense (104.5 yards per game). HCC was second in total defense at 308.4 yards per game.

+ Returning defensive tackle Greg Webb (6-2, 310, Erial, NJ) will anchor the defensive line. Webb is the leading returning tackler from the defensive line with 48 total tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss.

+ Linebacker Kyle Wilson was the fourth-leading tackler for the Blue Dragons last season with 82 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries. Wilson possessed sideline-to-sideline speed and was adept at coming from the back side to disrupt plays.

Leslie Maruo (6-1, 225, Goddard, KS) also returns and will start at middle linebacker. He was in more of a reserve and special teams’ role last season, Maruo had 22 tackles and a fumble recovery. Joining Wilson and Maruo in the starting lineup is freshman Josh Amanfo (6-0, 231, Rex, GA). Freshman Colby Turner (5-11, 217, Hutchinson), Landon Smith (6-1, 220, Clearwater, KS) and Chance Sowers (5-10, 213, Valley Center, KS) will also figure into the rotation.

+ Jarrod Sanders (5-11, 175, Flomation, AL) is the only returning starter in the defensive secondary. A safety last season, Sanders made 42 tackles, intercepted three passes and broke up three more passes.

Redshirt freshman Hunter Delgado (6-0, 178, Garden City), freshman Joe Smith (6-0, 201, Lawrenceville, GA) and freshman Jordan Noil (6-2, 183, Norcross, GA) will add to the depth at safety.

At cornerback, there will be new faces all the way around. The only player with measurable playing experience is Rashid Arnold (5-11, 175, Wichita) who played in eight games and had 14 tackles and two passes broken up. Redshirt freshman D.J. Shamlee (6-2, 184, Columbia SC) nearly made the 2014 roster.

+ Sophomore Kassidy Lemons (6-0, 186, Hutchinson) returns as the placekicker. Lemons connected on 54 of 58 extra points and was 5 of 6 on field goals with a long of 32 yards.  Freshman Nathan Burditt (6-1, 161, Overland Park, KS) will be the starting punter and hold on placement kicks.

Bowman is HCC’s top return specialist. He averaged 7.5 yards per punt return on 31 returns and 32.5 yards per kickoff return on two returns.

Noting Sterling College JV
+ Bethany College is an NAIA-affiliated school in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

+ Last season, the varsity Warriors came on strong in a 7-4 season, 7-2 in the KCAC. After dropping a 42-41 loss at No. 19 Ottawa, Sterling reeled off four-straight wins, including a 62-35 victory over Kansas Wesleyan in the season finale.

+ Head coach Andy Lambert was a wide receiver for Dodge City Community College in his playing days.

+ Sterling has five former Jayhawk Conference players on its roster and 15 overall players who formerly played at a junior college.

(HCC Sports Information)
 


GOAL REMAINS THE SAME FOR BLUE DRAGONS: WIN THE JAYHAWK

Football | 08.26.15

It took Hutchinson Community College head football coach Rion Rhoades a little longer than he would have liked, but the proverbial monkey is finally his and the Blue Dragons’ collective backs as the 2015 season is set to begin Thursday night.

For the first time in his now nine seasons at Hutchinson, Rhoades and the Blue Dragons are defending Jayhawk Conference champions.

Hutchinson opens 2015 at Gowans Stadium at 7 p.m. on Thursday against the Sterling College Junior Varsity. The Blue Dragons open as the No. 6 team in the NJCAA preseason poll, No. 2 in the JC Gridwire Dirty 30 and as the Jayhawk Conference’s preseason favorite.

The 2014 Blue Dragons won a conference title for the first time since 1995, claiming the Jayhawk Conference outright for the first time since 1969. Hutchinson ran the table in the league, going 7-0, and set a new record for victories in a season, going 11-1 – the only blemish was a road loss to NJCAA national runner-up Iowa Western in late October.

After a 52-7 demolition of Hudson Valley in the 2014 Salt City Bowl, the Blue Dragons achieved the highest final national ranking in program history at No. 4 in the NJCAA poll.

So, now what does Rion Rhoades and his Blue Dragons do for an encore in 2015?

“Winning the Jayhawk Conference is still the No. 1 goal for our program,” said Rhoades, who is now third in all-time wins at Hutchinson with a 63-28 record and is 70-33 overall in his first nine seasons as a junior college football coach. “If we ever lose sight of that, then we are missing the boat because you build a successful football program in this league based on how you do in Kansas, both recruiting and on the field.

“We were one game away from playing for a national championship last year, so though thoughts enter your mind. But our No. 1 focus is the conference championship. We do that, we could have a legitimate shot at playing for a national title.”

The Blue Dragon coaches will have plenty of reloading to do for 2015 after a tremendous cast of highly significant characters who helped HCC reach its seventh conference championship in team history moved on to four-year programs.

Rhoades will have to replace both conference players of the year from 2014 – Alvin Kamara (offense) and Marquavius Lewis (defense) – four total NJCAA All-Americans and six players who transferred to Power 5 teams such as Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas,  Texas A&M and Kansas State.

The 2015 Blue Dragons will have big shoes to fill in statistically terms as well.

Offensively last season, the Blue Dragons ranked third in the Jayhawk Conference at 42.7 points per game. They led the league in rushing at 267.4 yards per game and were middle of the pack in passing at 225.0 yards per game.

Defensively, Hutchinson led the conference in scoring defense (20.4 points per game) and rush defense (104.5 yards per game). HCC was second in total defense at 308.4 yards per game.

The Blue Dragons will attempt to capture back-to-back conference crowns for the first time in 65 years - Hutchinson last won consecutive Jayhawk football titles in 1948, 1949 and 1950 - in a league that seems to be in a state of flux in terms of its usual pecking order.

Traditional powers Butler and Garden City have new head coaches as 2015 begins. After a few years in the middle of the pack, Coffeyville made a strong surge last season and will be in the mix. After going to a bowl in 2013, Dodge City slipped back into the second division last season. Highland will be looking for a third-straight winning campaign, a feat not achieved by the Scotties since joining the Jayhawk in 1996. Fort Scott, with its usual physical, punishing run game can never be counted out. Facility improvements at Independence will give the Pirates a needed boost.

“There is potential for shift (in the conference) every year because of the team make-up now,” said Rhoades referring to the 63-man travel roster and out-of-state limit of 20. “It gives everybody a shot to make a move. Coffeyville has done an awesome job of putting itself in position. Butler is always going to be a strong contender. Garden City is going to get a lot better with a veteran head coach.

“Dodge City and Highland are making a push to be in the upper half. Get there and you have a chance to win a title.”

For the second-straight year, the Jayhawk Conference teams will play the three Iowa Conference schools. Hutchinson travels to Iowa Central on Sept. 21 and will get powerhouse Iowa Western and Ellsworth in Gowans Stadium on Oct. 24 and 31, respectively.

POSITION BREAKDOWNS
Quarterback

Last year was a unique situation for the Blue Dragon quarterbacks as a two-man system was set up between Kylen Binn and Dalton Demos. When Demos went down with a season-ending injury late in the season, Binn had plenty of snaps taken and helped HCC finish off an 11-1 season.

But some positive residual effects of that playing time may come in 2015 as Binn (6-foot-6, 235, Columbia, SC) has both confidence and reps within the Blue Dragon system to be the starting quarterback moving forward.

Last season, Binn played in 11 games and threw for a team-high 1,508 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Binn completed 113 of 214 passes and was also a threat to run with 66 net rushing yards and three touchdowns.

“K.B. will be the starter going into the season,” Rhoades said. “He’s grown as a player and continues to get better day by day. The experience K.B. got came in handy and he did a great job taking over like he did.

“We hope to create great competition and we hope the quarterbacks will battle each other day after day to be better at that position.”

University of Minnesota transfer quarterback Dimonic McKinze (6-0, 223, Kansas City, KS) is the other quarterback on the roster.

The quarterbacks and the entire Blue Dragon offense will be under a new coordinator as Ryan Mahon takes over on the coaching staff to guide the HCC offense. Mahon built a balanced, dynamic offensive unit at Tyler Junior College. For the past several years, the Apaches have been among the nation’s top offenses.

Running Backs
Scintillating running back Alvin Kamara is no longer with HCC as he moves onto Tennessee where he can wreak havoc with SEC defenses. Originally, Kamara came to Hutchinson from the University of Alabama.

That’s where new transfer running back Tyren Jones (5-11, 218, Marietta, GA) comes to the Blue Dragons from. A Tennessee transfer, Treyvon Paulk (5-9, 201, Cumming, GA) is also in camp in 2015.

Jones will be joined by returning running back Ethan Paul-Davis (5-8, 175, Pittsburg) and redshirt freshman Tre Griffin (5-10, 200, Wichita Southeast). Also in the mix will be highly touted in-state running back Blaik Middleton (5-10, 175), a Class 6A all-state selection last season from state runner-up Hutchinson High.

One of the greatest assets the 2014 Blue Dragons had was depth in both terms of numbers and different styles. Rhoades thinks he might have that same scenario develop this season.

“That position should be strength again this season,” Rhoades said. “I’m very excited to see what Blaik Middleton can do out of our freshman class. He’s blossomed a lot.

“Tyren and Treyvon are both extremely talented and those guys can be impact guys like Alvin.”

Offensive Line
Four players return from a very good offensive line that paved the way for the third-highest scoring team in Blue Dragon football history.

One of the most-sought after offensive linemen in the junior college class of 2015 is Blue Dragon sophomore Tate Leavitt (6-6, 315, Thornville, OH), who is drawing interest from schools in all five Power 5 conferences.

Rhoades, who’s been in the Jayhawk Conference in total as a coach for 12 seasons, compares Leavitt ability and potential to former conference great’s Phillip Loadholt and James Carpenter.

“Tate’s got a chance to be one of the best to line up at that position at Hutch,” Rhoades said. “I appreciate the way he goes about his business. He takes care of his business on and off the field.”

Brendon Blackburn (6-0, 285, Fort Scott, KS), a returning starter, Tanner Stallings (6-1, 295, Sterling, KS), Grayson Work-Fields (6-2, 305, Wichita) and Zane Vickers (6-1, 285, Haysville, KS) are all back. Work-Field was a redshirt in 2015.

Among the incoming players, freshman Seth Owens (6-1, 295, Hoisington, KS), a 2015 Shrine Bowl participant, and Hayden Perry (6-1, 281, Emporia, KS) are among the top in-state kids on the offensive line. East Carolina transfer Larry Williams (6-5, 339, Wilmington, NC) will also bolster the depth at tackle.

“The guys who were here last year got a big chunk of preparation going into this season,” Rhoades said. “We have to get some quality snaps out of those guys.”

Receivers
DeQuan Bowman (5-11, 180, Millville, NJ) is the top returning receiver for Hutchinson in 2015.

Bowman was third in 2014 in receptions with 34 and second in receiving yards with 536. He scored four touchdowns as a receiver.

“Bowman made a lot of plays for us last year. We will need him to be more of a leader and I think he will do that. He’s a hard worker.”

Logan Maze (6-2, 205, Winfield, KS) and Cody Savage (6-3, 185, Galva, KS), Savage was a redshirt. Maze caught nine passes for 79 yards last season. Savage was mainly on special teams.

Gary Cross (6-1, 175, Fordyce, AR), Masseiah Francis (6-4, 219, Norcross, GA) and Tyler Harris (6-0, 179, Andover, KS) will be in the rotation.

 “We have potential to be better than we were at receiver last year,” Rhoades said. “We will have to have some new kids step up for us and make plays.”

Defensive Line
As much as Alvin Kamara will be missed on the offensive side of the ball, defensively, the Blue Dragons must replace huge performances from All-Americans Marquavius Lewis, Jeremiah Ledbetter and Claude George.

The 2015 Blue Dragon defense will be anchored by a defensive line that does return plenty of talent with five returning sophomores to build around.

“We’ve had a lot of great players here, but year in and year out, the defensive line has been a mainstay with great players,” Rhoades said. “There is a pretty good heritage here with the D-line.

“Even losing two All-Americans, I feel like we’ve got a pretty good defensive line to build around.”

Returning defensive tackle Greg Webb (6-2, 310, Erial, NJ) will anchor the defensive line. Webb is the leading returning tackler from the defensive line with 48 total tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss.

Other returning lettermen on the defensive line are defensive tackle Dominique Berry (6-3, 280, Overland Park, KS), defensive end Lee Spight (6-2, 240, Lenexa, KS) and defensive end Jaylon Cook (5-11, 245, Overland Park, KS). The Dragons are high on redshirt freshman defensive tackle. J.J. Holmes (6-3, 310, Chipley, FL).

Incoming players who could fit into the lineup are Drake Markley (6-1, 251, Pittsburg, KS) and Joe Henderson (6-3, 246, Shaker Heights, Ohio) is a transfer from Tennessee at defensive end.

“(Defensive end) is a spot that we have to get some of our new guys to contribute and help out right away,” Rhoades said.

Linebacker
Kyle Wilson (6-0, 215, Wichita) stepped in as a freshman last season and had a very good first year for HCC. This year, Wilson is going to be the leader of an inexperienced linebacker corps.

“He’s done a great of being a leader,” Rhoades said. “He had an awesome spring and he’s a great guy to build around for this group. There’s a whole lot of building in this group because there wasn’t a lot of experience coming back. Our redshirts haven’t etched their name in stone yet. That is a really wide-open roster spot.”

Wilson was the fourth-leading tackler for the Blue Dragons last season with 82 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries. Wilson possessed sideline-to-sideline speed and was adept at coming from the back side to disrupt plays.

Leslie Maruo (6-1, 225, Goddard, KS) also returns and will start at middle linebacker. He was in more of a reserve and special teams’ role last season, Maruo had 22 tackles and a fumble recovery. Joining Wilson and Maruo in the starting lineup is freshman Josh Amanfo (6-0, 231, Rex, GA). Freshman Colby Turner (5-11, 217, Hutchinson), Landon Smith (6-1, 220, Clearwater, KS) and Chance Sowers (5-10, 213, Valley Center, KS) will also figure into the rotation.

Secondary
Jarrod Sanders (5-11, 175, Flomation, AL) is the only returning starter in the defensive secondary. A safety last season, Sanders made 42 tackles, intercepted three passes and broke up three more passes.

Redshirt freshman Hunter Delgado (6-0, 178, Garden City), freshman Joe Smith (6-0, 201, Lawrenceville, GA) and freshman Jordan Noil (6-2, 183, Norcross, GA) will add to the depth at safety.

“Jarrod did a really nice job for us last year. Hunter is a guy who got hurt last year. Joe Smith and Jordan Noil both had great springs. Even though we have only one guy with game experience, there is a feel of a veteran oriented group.”

At cornerback, there will be new faces all the way around. The only player with measurable playing experience is Rashid Arnold (5-11, 175, Wichita) who played in eight games and had 14 tackles and two passes broken up.

“I still feel like we will be better at corner than we were last year.”

Redshirt freshman D.J. Shamlee (6-2, 184, Columbia SC) nearly made the 2014 roster and has a lot of potential.

Special Teams
Sophomore Kassidy Lemons (6-0, 186, Hutchinson) returns as the placekicker. Lemons connected on 54 of 58 extra points and was 5 of 6 on field goals with a long of 32 yards.  Freshman Nathan Burditt (6-1, 161, Overland Park, KS) will be the starting punter and hold on placement kicks.

Bowman is HCC’s top return specialist. He averaged 7.5 yards per punt return on 31 returns and 32.5 yards per kickoff return on two returns.

(By Steve Carpenter, HCC Sports Information Director


AUBREY WILSON WINS KJCCC VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS

Volleyball | 08.25.15

Sophomore Aubrey Wilson had a tremendous all-around weekend in helping No. 20 Hutchinson to a 4-0 weekend at the New Mexico Military Classic in Roswell, N.M.

That performance helped Wilson earn Jayhawk West Volleyball Player of the Week honors for Week No. 1 Wilson is a 5-foot-11 setter/right-side hitter from Bennington, Kan. This is the second conference weekly honor Wilson has earned in her Blue Dragon career.

In four matches and 12 sets played in New Mexico, Wilson hit .438 with only three attack errors in 64 swings.

She averaged 2.58 kills, 2.58 digs, 5.33 assists and 0.83 blocks as a setter/right-side hitter.

On Friday, combined against Eastern Arizona and No. 19 Odessa, Wilson combined for 17 kills and a .607 attack percentage. She posted her first double-double of the season with 11 kills and 23 assists in a 3-0 win over No. 19 Odessa.

(HCC Sports Information)


TWO MORE SWEEPS FOR HCC IN NEW MEXICO; DRAGONS 4-0 TO OPEN 2015

Volleyball | 08.22.15

ROSWELL, N.M. – The No. 20-ranked Hutchinson Community College volleyball team closed out an impressive season-opening weekend with two more sweeps on Saturday at the New Mexico Military Classic.

Playing a 9 a.m. (MT) match against Pima College to start Saturday, the Blue Dragons weren’t as efficient as Friday, but still swept the match 25-19, 25-22, 25-15. Hutchinson then closed out the tournament with a tough 27-25, 25-22, 25-17 victory over Yavapai to finish the NMMI Classic 4-0 for the first time in five appearances in Roswell.

The Blue Dragons start a season 4-0 for the first time since 2007. It’s the first time since the magical 43-1 season of 2004 that HCC swept its first four opponents to start a season.

Hutchinson will be off until Sept. 1 when the Blue Dragons open the 2015 home and Jayhawk West season against Seward County in a 6:30 p.m. match at the Sports Arena.

PIMA MATCH RECAP
Sophomore Aubrey Wilson continued her strong play to lead the Blue Dragons with six kills on .263 hitting against Pima. She added 10 digs, four block assists and seven set assists.

For the third-straight match, sophomore Jai Chapman led HCC with eight kills, but hit only .033 on 30 attacks. Chapman did have a very good passing game for HCC. Freshman Johanna Voss hit .600 with six kills on 10 swings and had five block assists.

Sophomore libero McKenzie Steele, who broke the 650 career dig mark on Saturday, had a team-high 14 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Morgan Little posted a career-high 13 digs. Sophomore setter Tarynn Stueder had 17 set assists.

The Dragons had eight team blocks and six service aces against Pima.

YAVAPAI MATCH RECAP
Sophomore middle Petra Silic cranked out a career-high five service aces, while Wilson had her second double-double of the weekend and Chapman tallied a career-high dig total as HCC and Yavapai went point-for-point for nearly two full sets before the Blue Dragons prevailed.

Silic had a team-high nine kills and hit. 278 on 18 attacks to go with her performance from the service line to lead the Blue Dragons.

Chapman had eight kills – she totaled 39 kills in four matches this weekend – on .179 hitting. She added a career-high 20 digs.

Wilson posted her career 12th double-double with 10 digs and 14 assists. She hit .429 and had seven kills on 14 attacks. Wilson tallied 30 kills over the weekend.

Stueder finished with 20 assists. Steele had 14 digs.

HCC totaled five blocks and five service aces, all from Silic.

TEAM NOTES – The Blue Dragons go 4-0 in a regular-season tournament for the second time under head coach Patrick Hall. The Blue Dragons swept four matches in the 2013 Blue Dragon Invitational at the Sports Arena. … Patrick Hall moves into fourth place on the Blue Dragon coaching wins list with 86 wins. He moves past Linda James. … With 80 assists this weekend, Tarynn Stueder moves up to eighth place on the HCC career set assist list with 939. … The Blue Dragons are 12-8 in five NMMI Classic appearances.

(HCC Sports Information)


 


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				    Join HCC head coach Rion Rhoades each Monday Night for Dragon Talk on KWBW-AM (1450). The first show of the new season is at 6 p.m. on Monday. (HCC Sports Information photo)

Football | 08.22.15

FIRST DRAGON TALK WITH RION RHOADES SET FOR MONDAY ON KWBW

Sophomore Jai Chapman had a tremendous day for the Blue Dragon volleyball team with a combined 23 kills to lead No. 20 HCC to a pair of sweeps against Eastern Arizona and No. 19 Odessa on Friday in the NMMI Classic in Roswell, NM (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Volleyball | 08.21.15

BLUE DRAGON VOLLEYBALL RACKS UP A PAIR OF SWEEPS ON OPENING DAY

Outside hitter Jai Chapman is one of seven sophomores returning to the Blue Dragon volleyball team for 2015. HCC opens the season on Friday at the New Mexico Military Classic. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Volleyball | 08.20.15

SOLID SOPHOMORE BASE TO HELP HCC VOLLEYBALL BUILD IN 2015

Sophomore Tarynn Stueder and the Blue Dragon volleyball team open the season ranked No. 20 in the preseason NJCAA Division I volleyball poll released on Wednesday. (Andrew Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Volleyball | 08.19.15

BLUE DRAGON VOLLEYBALL OPENS AT NO. 20 IN NJCAA POLL

Renee Gillespie and the HCC women's soccer team starts the 2015 season ranked No. 11 in the NJCAA preseason Division I poll, releaed on Thursday. (HCC Sports Information photo).

Soccer | 08.18.15

BLUE DRAGON WOMEN’S SOCCER OPENS AT NO. 11 IN NJCAA POLL

Sophomore Aubrey Wilson and the Blue Dragon volleyball team is the preseason pick to win the 2015 Jayhawk West championship, according to the league's preseason coaches' poll released on Tuesday. (HCC Sports Information photo)

Volleyball | 08.18.15

HCC VOLLEYBALL PICKED TO WIN JAYHAWK WEST IN 2015

The Blue Dragon football team opens the season No. 6 in the NJCAA preseason football poll released on Thursday. (Steve Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Football | 08.13.15

DRAGONS START AT NO. 6 IN NJCAA PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLL

Sophomore Jennifer Currie is one of six returning players to lead the 2015 HCC women's soccer team into action this season. The Blue Dragons are the preseason pick to win the conference title in 2015 (Steve Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Soccer | 08.13.15

BLUE DRAGON WOMEN’S SOCCER 2015 PRESEASON PICK IN JAYHAWK

				Blue Dragon football coach Rion Rhoades speaks to members of the media and coaches on Friday at Newman University in Wichita the annual Jayhawk Conference Football Media Day. For the first time since 1996, the Blue Dragons were picked to win the Jayhawk Conference title. (Steve Carpenter/HCC Sports Information)

Football | 07.24.15

BLUE DRAGONS PICKED TO WIN JAYHAWK FOOTBALL TITLE IN 2015

Track | 07.24.15

HCC TRACK TEAMS SWEEP NJCAA COACHES ASSOCIATION ACADEMIC HONORS

Athletics | 06.17.15

JOSH GOOCH TO BECOME HCC'S FIFTH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Alex VanSyckle finished sixth in the women's pole vault of the 2015 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at Gowans Stadium. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)

Track | 05.15.15

VANSYCKLE, FUENTES LEAD HCC WOMEN ON DAY 2 OF NATIONAL MEET

HCC sophomore Austin Vaden finishes eighth in the Decathlon of the 2015 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at Gowans Stadium. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)

Track | 05.15.15

BLUE DRAGON AUSTIN VADEN FINISHES 8TH IN NJCAA DECATHLON

Golf | 05.15.15

COBLE FINISHES AS NJCAA GOLF ALL-AMERICAN; DRAGONS GET TOP 10 FINISH

				HCC's Austin Vaden competes in the NJCAA Outdoor Championship Decathlon high jump on Thursday at Gowans Stadium. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)

Track | 05.15.15

HCC’s VADEN 6TH AFTER DAY 1 OF NJCAA DECATHLON AT GOWANS STADIUM