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Ravens pull away in second half for 34-27 victory over Saints -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Wildcats prep for Jayhawks -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

KSU beats Purdue in Maui, No. 3 Arizona next -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers earn all-region honors -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Berry out with possible cancer -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

No. 11 Kansas returns to form in 87-60 win -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Lehman named MIAA Player of the Week -11/24/2014, 11:09 AM

Romo rallies Cowboys past Giants for 31-28 win -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Dolphins collapse, lose to Broncos -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Wichita State routs Newman, now 3-0 -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

TCU closing in on program's first Big 12 title -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

KSU's Weber has strong ties with Purdue, Painter -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers' Page wins at UNK Open -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

FHSU soccer falls in quarterfinals -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers move on to Elite Eight -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tiger men pick up second win -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tigers search for new coaches -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Phillipsburg drops a heartbreaker to end season -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

KVA all-state volleyball teams -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Tiger women roll to second straight win -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Knights claim state title -11/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

Jordy Nelson sets early tone for Packers' offense -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Kentucky blasts KU -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

Defense leads Wildcat women -11/19/2014, 10:05 AM

K-State looks to run stronger -11/19/2014, 10:13 AM

No. 11 Wichita State rolls over Memphis -11/18/2014, 8:05 PM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

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

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

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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Prep preview '13 -- Quarterback battle in Monarchs' preseason

Published on -9/5/2013, 10:31 AM

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By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

The week of the La Crosse game in late September last season wasn't a good one for the Thomas More Prep-Marian High School quarterbacks.

It started when backup quarterback Max Megaffin broke his collarbone at Wednesday's practice, putting an end to his season. Two days later the team's starter, Shane Zimmerman, suffered an ankle injury that would keep him out of that night's game.

That left freshman Jared Vitztum to lead the 1-3 Monarchs against the mighty Leopards, a team that would eventually make it to the Class 2-1A state semifinals.

"It was a lot of pressure and it was really sudden," Vitztum said. "Shane went down and I had to go right in, not warming up or anything. They threw it all at me right away. I tried to handle it the best I could."

The end result was a 50-0 win for La Crosse, but it gave Vitztum valuable in-game experience that otherwise would have gone to Megaffin, then a sophomore.

"I felt like that would have been my opportunity to earn some respect from my teammates by stepping in and helping them out as best I could," Megaffin said. "But Vitz stepped in there, and he did a good job last year for a freshman quarterback being thrown right into the fire."

With Zimmerman's graduation, Megaffin and Vitztum have been battling all summer to take his spot at the top of the depth chart, a battle that will likely go all the way to the season's opening kickoff on Friday against Ellinwood.

Regardless of who wins the job, TMP will have a much different quarterback leading them than in previous seasons.

"The last few years we've had to take a guy and transition him into a quarterback. Last year we had Shane Zimmerman, who for three years had played wide receiver for us," TMP coach John Montgomery said. "This year we have two guys in Max Megaffin and Jared Vitztum who are quarterback guys. This is the position they play."

Both Megaffin and Vitztum are prototypical pocket passers. Megaffin is 6-foot-1, with Vitztum about an inch taller. Both possess strong arms and are undoubtedly quarterbacks. Although neither are great runners, something Zimmerman was good at.

Whether this ends up being good or bad is anyone's guess.

"I've always liked the pocket passers a lot more. Shane was kind of a head case trying to figure out where he's going to go," senior lineman Adam Schibi said. "It seems like these guys can read the pocket pretty good and know where to deliver it. If they need to get out, they can get out, but it's not always a guessing game for us."

Megaffin entered the offseason as the leading candidate to win the starting quarterback job despite his lingering physical setbacks. His collarbone healed in time for basketball season, but it took him well into the summer before he was back in football shape.

"It wasn't the best of situations but you got to go through it," Megaffin said. "I was rusty. My arm strength was very, very pathetic after coming back from the collarbone injury. It took me a while to get the strength back."

What stood out to the coaching staff more than Megaffin's physical skills was his work ethic and desire to get better. It was Megaffin who led a lot of the team's offseason workouts, a key reason he entered the season as a slight favorite to win the starting job.

"He comes in as a guy that has really worked to develop individually," Montgomery said of Megaffin. "And not only as a player with skills, but also as a leader. His maturity has grown tremendously from sophomore year to junior year."

But hot on his heels has been Vitztum, the only one of the two to have started a varsity game. Vitztum was also the junior varsity quarterback a season ago, giving him a lot of experience to work with despite being a year younger than Megaffin.

"He delivers a nice ball. We are just working on a lot of things that are typical of a young kid who is a sophomore," Montgomery said of Vitztum. "But the great thing is he's a competitor and he comes to work every day looking to get better. He wants to be a good quarterback."

And something both players have is a desire to do what's best for the team. While they have been competitive in practice, always trying to one-up the other, they have been able to remain friends off the field.

Seeing the two interact in person, it's impossible to tell they are in a heated race only one will win. But whoever that winner is, there is little doubt that each will have each other's back regardless of who is taking the snaps.

"It's going to be disappointing for whoever is stuck on the bench," Megaffin said. "But it's what is best for the team. We are trying to have a great season as a team and whoever fits that role is going to get it."

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