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Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Jones didn't wait to impact Kansas State -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Tiger golfers finish 10th on home course -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

Chiefs' Smith in a groove -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

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Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

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Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

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St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

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Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

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Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Area Game of the Week -- Norton not short on returning talent

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Area Game of the Week -- Norton not short on returning talent

Published on -9/5/2013, 10:41 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Norton High School returns just two offensive and three defensive starters from a 7-3 Class 3A playoff team in 2012. The Bluejays, among other positions, lost a quarterback, and Shrine Bowler and multi-purpose threat Jacob Brooks, plus their top seven tacklers. But Norton has solid numbers with 51 players, returns several all-league players and plenty of talent.

Norton's makeup -- whether it has some elite players emerge or has a solid unit across the board -- won't receive an answer until at least Friday night in the season opener at rival Smith Center.

"We have got several kids that can play," eighth-year Norton coach Lucas Melvin said. "They are all about the same level, which I think is a good thing. I feel like we have got some depth in some areas, where in other areas we don't have as much depth. I feel like there is a lot of kids that could help us, but that's still yet to be seen."

The Bluejays, defending MCL champions, enjoyed a four-win improvement from a 3-6 mark in 2011. Senior center/defensive lineman Cole Renner (40 tackles) and junior nose guard Stewart Whitney each collected honorable mention all-league honors last fall.

"We don't know who is going to emerge as one of those guys who is maybe going to be a little more standout," Melvin said.

"I am content with having a bunch of guys that play hard, too. Hopefully that's what we have."

Melvin labeled his fall camp "pretty good" and said his squad has had to combat the heat. Because of the unusual late start, Norton started school before the Bluejays got to start two-a-days.

Norton has continued to practice in the afternoon, but has been aware of how players performed physically in the conditions. Junior Kendall Miller, the JV quarterback for a couple of seasons, and sophomore Jordan Dole, a move-in from Nebraska, have battled for the position. Melvin said the position is "still up in the air." Melvin didn't rule out both players seeing some time.

"They are both pretty talented kids, they both have the potential to do some good things," Melvin said.

At running back, senior Tanner Furbush and Austin Hager are expected to see time. Furbush collected 160 yards and three TDs, two in a season-opening win against Smith Center. Hager, the starting kicker, delivered 21 extra points and six field goals. They are part of an 11-man senior class for Norton.

"He is a talented kid, pretty tough, physical kid," Melvin said of Furbush. "He is going to have to be a leader for us and step in and do a lot of things for us."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Renner will be a key player for a defense that has annually ranked among Class 3A's best units. Norton has allowed more than 20 points per game just once in Melvin's tenure.

"Cole is going to have to be a big leader on both sides of the ball," Melvin said. "Offense and defense. I think he is ready to do that. I think he did a good job last year. We look for him to kind of pick up where he left off and keep going."

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