Wildcat soccer puts three on all-league

Louisburg junior Noah Juarez earned a spot on the all-Frontier League boys soccer team for the third consecutive year as he was one of three Wildcats to earn spots on the all-league squad.


The season may not have started out as well as the Louisburg High School boys soccer team had hoped, but it ended on a positive note with a regional championship.

Louisburg started playing better toward the end of the regular season and the Frontier League coaches took notice. The Wildcats, who finished with 7-11-2 overall record and a 1-9-2 mark in league play, garnered three spots on the all-league team that was recently released.

Junior midfielder Noah Juarez was the Wildcats’ lone first-team selection. Senior defender Cale Schneider earned a second team honor and senior forward Parker Cates was named as an honorable mention.

De Soto led the league with seven spots on the team and Spring Hill was next with six selections. De Soto was second in the state this past season and Spring Hill came in fourth overall.

“I think we were well represented,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “Would I have liked to see a couple other of my players who I felt deserved a little more credit? Yes, but it was a great league this year. With Ottawa, Baldwin, De Soto and Spring Hill, that is 90 percent of everyone on the league team. They probably had a combined (49) wins.

Senior Cale Schneider  was named to the all-league second team as a defender.

Senior Cale Schneider (right) was named to the all-league second team as a defender.

“You are going to have that and we have had years like that ourselves where Louisburg has brought six or seven of the top nominations. It was a fun meeting to be at because I knew our team was good and the other coaches respected the progress we made.”

Juarez is no stranger to the all-league list. The Wildcat midfielder earned first team honors for the third straight season and was also a returning all-state player.

He finished with a team high 11 goals to go along with nine assists and was the focal point of the Louisburg offense.

“It has been fun watching him and it was good to see him mature as a leader in the second half of the season,” York said of Juarez. “He, Cale, Parker and the other seniors really took their roles seriously. He has a chance to be a first team all-state player this year and hopefully he can get that honor because he had a good year.”

Schneider was recognized for his work on the defensive end, even though his season started out as a forward. He opened the year with a hat trick (three goals) against Fort Scott, but the team needed help more on the defensive side.

Senior Parker Cates finished out the season strong and was recognized for it as he was named as an honorable mention.

Senior Parker Cates finished out the season strong and was recognized for it as he was named as an honorable mention.

York moved him to the sweeper spot and he became a vital part of the defense for the remainder of the year.

“Cale was the main reason why we turned our season from one that was mediocre at best to a season where we did something good,” York said “It was the type of year where if we didn’t have a guy show up, we would just be OK. We were not a deep team and it showed how important Cale was to our team when he had to sit in the Spring Hill game because we got it handed to us.

“He is a good field player wherever you put him, but I think his niche was found this year as a sweeper. It worked really well for us and he is a great kid.”

As for Cates, he saved his best performance for last. The Louisburg forward, who finished the year with seven goals, scored six of those in three of the last four games of the season.

“It is hard to tell someone like Parker that his goals are going to come for a long period of time,” York said. “He knew they would come, he just wanted them to come before he graduated. His patience paid off, and once he put one in the back of the net, that confidence started breeding more confidence and he had a great last three or four games of the season. For him to overcome his struggles was great for the underclassmen to see because it shows them if you keep working at something that it will come.”




Forward: Noah Lamar, De Soto, senior; Michael Werlein, Spring Hill, senior

Midfielder: Austin Culver, De Soto, senior; Noah Juarez, Louisburg, junior; Lucas Zoller, De Soto, senior; Lucas Moore, Spring Hill, junior; Stefan Foulke, Ottawa, senior; Brendan Owings, Baldwin, senior; Andrew Dowdy, De Soto, junior

Defender: Kyle Moose, De Soto, senior

Goalkeeper: Patrick Conroy, Ottawa, senior


Forward: Carver Gerstberger, Spring Hill, senior

Midfielder: Keegan Finch, Ottawa, junior; Niklas Kramer, Paola, junior; Jacob Bailey, Baldwin, freshman; Justin Toumberlin, Eudora, senior

Defender: Jonny Wagner, Spring Hill, senior; Kyle Wokutch, Paola, senior; Logan Phillips, Baldwin, senior; Cale Schneider, Louisburg, senior; Keenan Powell, Spring Hill, senior

Goalkeeper: Bret Folks, Eudora, junior


Forward: Ethan Rodriquez, De Soto, sophomore; Noah Buckley, Baldwin, junior; Javon Williams, Ottawa, senior; Parker Cates, Louisburg, senior

Midfield: Sam Campbell, Eudora, junior; Joey Bernhardt, Eudora, senior

Defender: Travis Hodge, De Soto, senior; Byron Fangman, Ottawa, junior

Goalkeeper: Killian Beck, Spring Hill, junior

Wildcats fall to No. 1 ranked Rose Hill

Louisburg senior T.J. Svoboda battles a Fort Scott player for a 50-50 ball during the Wildcats first postseason game in Louisburg. The Wildcats traveled to Rose Hill for the state quarterfinals Tuesday, but saw their season come to an end in a 5-1 loss.


ROSE HILL – The Louisburg boys soccer team knew it was heading into its most difficult situation of the season – on the road against the No. 1 team in the state with its season on the line.

No pressure, right?

The Wildcats didn’t feel the pressure, in fact, they hung with defending state champion Rose Hill for much of the Class 4-3-2-1A state quarterfinal match Tuesday at Rose Hill High School. The match did get away from the Wildcats midway through the second half in their 5-1 loss, but coach Ben York saw some good things out of his team.

“Rose Hill was definitely as advertised,” York said. “They are a great team and they won state last season for a reason. They probably have 10-11 seniors on their team this year and all of those guys were a part of their state championship last season.

“I am just proud of the way our guys didn’t back down and that we were able to put pressure on them and be physical. I think that caught them a little off-guard at first because I don’t think they expected a team with a losing record to come at them like we did.”

Louisburg didn’t have a shot on goal in the first half, but it made it difficult on Rose Hill defensively as it gave up two goals that took unfortunate bounces for the Wildcats.

Rose Hill scored its first goal early in the first half on a misplay by the Wildcat defense and the Rockets scored their second goal on a free kick that deflected off of a player and in the net to take a 2-0 halftime lead.

“The guys were feeling pretty good at halftime and there a lot of positives coming from the huddle,” York said. “We gave up two goals that we probably shouldn’t have and those were the only two they scored so we were still in the game.”

The Rockets took charge to start the second half and grabbed another goal to take a 3-0 lead, but the Wildcats didn’t go away.

Junior Noah Juarez got the ball at the top of the box, dribbled past a Rose Hill defender and hit a shot past the goalie to give the Wildcats some life.

It didn’t last long as Rose Hill answered with a goal in the next minute to all but seal the win and end the Wildcats’ season.

“That goal took the wind out of our sails for sure,” York said. “Noah just put in a great goal and we seemed to have some momentum and they came right back and scored. That is a tough thing to overcome at that point in the game.

“We left it all out on the field and our boys tried their best and that is all a coach can ask for in these types of games. Other than maybe two positions, Rose Hill was more athletic and skilled than we were and that is tough to overcome sometimes.”

The Wildcats finished their season with a 7-11-2 record on the season that included three postseason victories and a regional championship. It also marked the final game for Louisburg seniors Cale Schneider, Jairus Brown, Hunter Mitchell, Parker Cates, Michael Minster and T.J. Svoboda.

“I am just so glad these boys got to experience a postseason run like we went on,” York said. “It had been awhile since we have gotten this far, but I always said that this team was better than our record showed. I didn’t care about wins and losses as much as playing well at the end of the season when it mattered most and I thought that we did that. This was a fun group to coach.”

Louisburg soccer claims regional crown

The Louisburg boys soccer team poses with its regional championship trophy following the Wildcats’ 2-0 victory over Coffeyville-Field Kindley on Thursday in Coffeyville. The Wildcats advance to the state quarterfinals where they will meet No. 1 Rose Hill on Tuesday in Rose Hill. 

Photo courtesy of Christy Svoboda


COFFEYVILLE – The Louisburg boys soccer team didn’t strike fear in any one team during the start of the Class 4-3-2-1A playoffs.

The Wildcats entered the playoffs with only four wins and didn’t win a match in their last five opportunities. It isn’t exactly a recipe for postseason success.

Despite that, the Wildcats can now call themselves regional champion.

For the first time since 2010, Louisburg won the regional championship game with a 2-0 victory over Coffeyville-Field Kindley on Thursday in Coffeyville and advanced to the state quarterfinals. The Wildcats also had victories against Fort Scott and Independence earlier in the week that helped them advance to the title match.

“To be honest I am not that surprised,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “Some people might be if they look at our record, but I know what our team is capable of. I am just so ecstatic for our guys because I know how hard they have worked to get to this point. We didn’t have a great start to our season, and there were times where things haven’t gone right for one reason or another, but they have stuck with it and now we are playing pretty well. It is a great feeling.”

Along with the Wildcats, senior Parker Cates seemed to catch fire at just the right time.

The Wildcat forward accounted for both Wildcat goals in Thursday’s regional title match and he finished with six goals over the three-game span.

“I am very happy for Parker because he, like a lot of other players, have had a rough year at times especially offensively,” York said. “But he has put in a lot of work over the four years and has made a commitment to get better. It is just good to see him have success. He, and the rest of the team, have had a good week-and-a-half of soccer.”

It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to get on the board as Cates scored the first goal two minutes into the contest and from there Louisburg (7-10-2) was able to take control of the possession.

The Wildcats put up 15 shots on goal for the match and held Coffeyville to just six attempts as Louisburg played solid defense thanks to senior goalie Michael Minster along with the defensive front of Jairus Brown, Hunter Mitchell, Cale Schneider and Scott Murphy.

“Coffeyville really didn’t have too many good looks at the goal and their shots came from pretty far out,” York said. “Still I thought that Michael made some good saves back there and our defense played well, too.”

Later in the first half, the Wildcats doubled their lead when sophomore Raistlin Brewer took a shot that bounced around near the goal and Cates was there to knock it in.

Louisburg’s defense didn’t allow many Coffeyville opportunities in the second half and the Wildcats left with their sixth regional title in the last 10 years.

“It was great to see the kids knock down that wall and get that big win that we have been looking for,” York said. “Now they know what it feels like to win something big like this and it only helps us for later in the playoffs and also into next season.”

It will get a lot more difficult for the Wildcats in their state quarterfinal match Tuesday. Louisburg will square off with Rose Hill, the No. 1 ranked team in the state and defending state champion. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Rose Hill High School.

“They are a very good team and they are the No. 1 team in the state for a reason,” York said. “They are a very experienced group with a lot of seniors that have played in a lot of big games. We are going to have our hands full, but I am excited about the opportunity and to see what our guys can do.”

Wildcats one win away from regional title

Louisburg senior Parker Cates tries to beat a Fort Scott player to a 50-50 ball Monday during the first round of the regional playoffs in Louisburg. The Wildcats knocked off No. 2 seed Independence on Tuesday and will play for the regional title Thursday in Coffeyville.


INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – The Louisburg High School boys soccer team is one step closer its goal of a regional championship.

The Wildcats, the No. 7 seed in the regional tournament, pulled off a big upset Tuesday when it ousted No. 2 Independence with a 3-1 victory at Independence High School.

With the win, the Wildcats are now in the regional championship game against No. 3 seed Coffeyville-Field Kindley. Coffeyville defeated No. 6 Paola in double overtime. Louisburg will travel to Coffeyville for a 4:30 p.m. start Thursday.

“Independence is a very skilled team and they played well, but this was a great win for us obviously,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “It puts us in the regional title game and we are playing well right now. We are not the team that entered the tournament with a 4-10-2 record. We are a better team than that now. We just had a rough start to our season. I have always felt that we could play with anybody.”

The Wildcats (6-10-2) wasted no time proving that as they got on the board 20 minutes into the match. Senior T.J. Svoboda passed to fellow senior Parker Cates, who scored his first of two goals in the contest.

Defender Hunter Mitchell knocks the ball away from a  Fort Scott player Monday in Louisburg.

Defender Hunter Mitchell knocks the ball away from a Fort Scott player Monday in Louisburg.

A few minutes later, Independence tied the match on a lapse in the Wildcat defense, but Louisburg would respond.

Late in the first half, Louisburg scored on another give-and-go as Svoboda found junior Noah Juarez who struck the ball at the top of the box passed the Independence goalie. The Wildcats had a 2-1 lead at halftime.

“We did a lot better job of moving the ball around and we did a good job of getting good shots,” York said. “It was definitely one of our better games of the year. These guys know that it is win or go home and it is also nice to have everyone healthy and have our full lineup out there.”

Louisburg put the game away in the second half when sophomore Christian Scholtz took a shot on goal. The shot was saved, but Cates got the rebound and put the ball in the back of the net.

“It was great to see Parker get those two goals, and he also got two goals in the game against Fort Scott, so I am sure that is giving him some confidence right now,” York said. “He, and a lot of other guys were struggling to convert those opportunities but we have gotten a little better as of late.”

The Wildcats defense also picked up the slack as they allowed just the one shot on goal. Defenders Scott Murphy and Jairus Brown helped mark up on the Independence scoring threats and senior sweeper Cale Schneider also provided solid play as well.

Now, the Wildcats are hoping they can get that one more win when they get to Coffeyville Thursday that will put them into the state quarterfinals

“After doing a little bit of research, I think Coffeyville is pretty comparable team to Paola and a few other teams we have played,” York said. “We have every opportunity to go down there and get a win but we have to play well and I know the guys are excited about the opportunity.”


Wildcats roll Fort Scott

Just like in its season opener against Fort Scott, the Louisburg boys soccer team made quick work of the Tigers.

The Wildcats scored five goals in each half on their way to 10-0 victory in the first round of the regional playoffs Monday in Louisburg. The match was ended with six minutes left due to the 10-goal mercy rule.

It was a sluggish start, but once the Wildcats scored their first goal in the 27th minute, the flood gates opened. Seniors Parker Cates and T.J. Svoboda, along with junior Noah Juarez, each scored two goals in the contest.

“The environment to this game was all about the first time we played them,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “I think the guys had that in the back of their minds and that is why we got off to a little bit of a rough start. They were a little uptight to start, but I just let them figure it out and they were finally able to get going and we did a good job at putting some shots away.”

Cates put the Wildcats on the board first when Juarez put a shot on goal, it was saved, but Cates was there to put in the rebound. Sophomore Christian Schultz and Svoboda scored goals in the next two minutes to make it 3-0.

Raistlin Brewer and Juarez scored goals of their own to make it 5-0 at half. Five minutes into the second half, Cates found the back of the net for his second goal to continue the onslaught.

In the 45th minute, Juarez had a ball come sharply back to him 40 yards away, and with the Fort Scott goalie away from the net, struck the ball to the empty goal for a 7-0 advantage.

The Wildcats had another nice goal in the 49th minute when Brewer hit a cross into the box and Svoboda slid in between two Fort Scott defenders to get his second tally.

Louisburg sealed the win when Curran Conklin and Cale Schneider each scored to give the Wildcats 10 goals.

Wildcats fight hard on senior night

Louisburg’s Noah Juarez goes up for the bicycle kick in the box during the Wildcats’ final home contest Thursday against Ottawa. The shot found the back of the net for the Wildcats’ first goal, but Louisburg fell 3-2. The Wildcats also honored their seven seniors during the senior night ceremony following the game.


As Louisburg High soccer coach Ben York looked onto the field in the waning seconds of his team’s final regular season contest, he saw one thing.

York saw a never-give-up attitude – especially from his seniors.

It was fitting that his seniors left it all out on the pitch in the Wildcats’ 3-2 loss on senior night to Ottawa on Thursday in Louisburg. It was a night filled with mixed emotions as Jairus Brown, Parker Cates, Hunter Mitchell, Michael Minster, Cale Schneider and T.J. Svoboda were recognized following the contest.

“Most of these guys have been varsity from the very first second that they came into the program,” York said. “It has been fun to watch them progress. Our whole team progression goes as our seniors go. When they play well, we play well.”

For the most part, the Wildcats played strong, considering Ottawa blanked Louisburg back in early September. Playing without sophomore midfielder Grant Ryals who was out with an illness, Louisburg was forced to reshuffle their lineup again.

The injury moved Brown to midfielder and brought Curran Conklin off the bench to start on defense. Despite that, the Wildcats were ready to go from the start.

Cates, Brown and Mitchell all had shots on goal in the first two minutes of the contest, but the Wildcats didn’t let up on their shots on goal.

Junior Noah Juarez received a cross into the box when he decided to go up into the air in a group of Ottawa defenders for a bicycle kick. The move worked as he fired the goal into the right corner and gave the Wildcats a 1-0 in the 11th minute.

“That was the best goal I have seen here in probably seven or eight years,” York said. “That is something that he practices all the time. He got a great cross and he got on the end of it. I was fortunate that I was at the right angle where I was able to see it, because if I would have missed it then it would have been a real bummer. It was fantastic and the goalie didn’t have a chance to stop it.”

Louisburg High School soccer seniors were honored on senior night Thursday. The LHS seniors (from left) are Michael Minster, T.J. Svobda, manager Lilly Scott, Cale Schneider, head coach Ben York, Jairus Brown, Parker Cates and Hunter Mitchell.

Louisburg High School soccer seniors were honored on senior night Thursday. The LHS seniors (from left) are Michael Minster, T.J. Svobda, manager Lilly Scott, Cale Schneider, head coach Ben York, Jairus Brown, Parker Cates and Hunter Mitchell.

Ottawa went on the attack in the 27th minute when the Cyclones struck a shot on goal, but was saved by Minster as he came out of the goal. The shot rebounded back to an Ottawa player who had an empty net, but his shot was knocked away by Schneider.

The scrum around the goal continued as Minster saved another shot, but this time the Cyclones were there for the rebound again and tied it up.

Sophomore Christian Scholtz had the best chance to give the Wildcats the lead back in the 36th minute, but his shot from the left shot rolled across the top of the post and rolled out. The game stayed tied 1-1 at halftime.

Ottawa scored two goals within minutes of each other, with the final one coming in the 58th minute to put the Cyclones up 3-1.

The Wildcats (4-10-2) didn’t give up as Juarez had a shot in the box that was deflected by Ottawa, but sophomore Raistlin Brewer was right there for the rebound and found the back of the net in the 63rd minute to make it 3-2.

“We conceded some silly goals,” York said. “It hurts not playing with your starting midfielder in Grant, and we are not a team that does well when we are not our full unit. We don’t have a whole lot of depth in our group. Our seniors did a good job to carry us to the result we had, which was a more reasonable result than 3-1 would have been.

“We had a lot more possession of the ball and we did a lot more with it than we did the last time we played. We have progressed a lot since the beginning of the season.”

Despite the loss, the six Wildcat seniors will have at least one more home game. Louisburg begins the regional playoffs at 4:30 p.m. today as the No. 7 seed Wildcats host No. 10 Fort Scott (2-14) in the East Regional. The Wildcats defeated Fort Scott 10-0 earlier in the season.

Should the Wildcats advance, they will travel to No. 2 Independence (9-7) for a 4 p.m. start Tuesday with the regional championship set for Thursday.

“We have the type of team that can surprise some people in the playoffs,” York said. “We can play with any team in our region. We have played two of the top teams in our region and we have played them pretty tough. We have to get this first game out of the way, but I feel like we are an uptick and we can play well. If we can win two games then we are in the regional championship, and that is what we want.”

Wildcats hang with state-ranked De Soto

Louisburg’s Christian Scholtz makes a move past a Baldwin defender during Monday’s contest in Louisburg. The Wildcats lost the contest 2-0 and also fell to De Soto on Tuesday, 2-0.


If facing the No. 2 team in Class 4A on the road wasn’t hard enough, the Louisburg High School boys’ soccer team had to do it down a goal.

The Wildcats made their way back to De Soto on Tuesday after the game was postponed on Oct. 8 due to bad weather. De Soto managed to score a goal in the first five minutes before the game was called.

When it was finally over, the Wildcats still fell 2-0 to De Soto, but Louisburg coach Ben York couldn’t have left more encouraged from what he saw.

“To be honest, that might have been one of the better games we have played all season,” York said. “I thought it was the best we have played as a group this season and we played hard. Sure we came in down 1-0, and we could have easily just it played out, but when we started back up we played like it was 0-0 again and that was good to see. They didn’t back down and we had our chances to score.”

Louisburg (4-9-1) did have its opportunities to find the back of the net. The Wildcats had eight shots on goal, including three chances that were close to the 6-yard box.

Senior T.J. Svoboda got past the De Soto defender for a 1-on-1 with the goalie near the box, but the shot sailed just wide of the goal.

Junior Noah Juarez slides to knock the ball away from a Baldwin player Monday in Louisburg.

Junior Noah Juarez slides to knock the ball away from a Baldwin player Monday in Louisburg.

Junior Noah Juarez also had a couple different opportunities on deflections near the goal, but his shot either hit off a De Soto defender or was saved by the goalie. Cale Schneider, Herman Knipp and Christian Scholtz also had shots on goal.

“It seems like have been saying this all season, but we are getting plenty of chances to score, we just need to get better at finding the back of the net,” York said. “It will come and then I think it will just open up for these guys. We are really close, but haven’t turned the corner yet. It will happen though.”

The Wildcats also limited De Soto to just five shots on goal and had one of their better games defensively, according to York.

“I thought Michael (Minster) really made some nice saves in goal for us,” York said. “I thought defensively we played pretty well and I thought it was our best overall game as far as our ability to defend and then attack. We did both things well and hopefully we can turn things around in our next two games. We are probably the best 4-9-1 team out there and I know we are better than our record shows. We just have to put it together.”

Louisburg will try and snap its 3-game losing skid today when it travels to Eudora. The Wildcats will return home one final time Tuesday when it hosts Ottawa on senior night.


Wildcats fall to Baldwin

Louisburg had a chance to avenge a loss from earlier in the season Monday when it hosted Baldwin, but the Wildcats couldn’t muster the offense.

Baldwin scored a goal in each half to pull away for a 2-0 victory over Louisburg. The Wildcats had their chances, especially in the second half.

After Baldwin scored a goal in the 15th minute to take a 1-0 lead into halftime, the Wildcats put together several shots on goal in the second half. Their best chance came early on when the Baldwin goalie was called for a penalty after picking up the ball in the box after it was passed to him by his own teammate.

Louisburg had an opportunity just inside the 18-yard box, but the kick was knocked away by the De Soto defense. With 28 minutes left in the game, T.J. Svoboda blew past his defender for a shot in the box, but went wide left.

Just three minutes later, midfielder Grant Ryals sent a pass up to teammate Christian Scholtz, whose shot sailed just over the post.

Baldwin put the game away later in the second half when Noah Buckley scored his second goal of the game on a 1-on-1 opportunity with the goalie.


Louisburg comes up short against Spring Hill

Louisburg had another shot at revenge from a loss earlier in the year when the Wildcats hosted Spring Hill on Oct. 6.

It didn’t work out the way the Wildcats had hoped.

Spring Hill put the game away with two second half goals in the 4-1 victory over Louisburg. The Broncos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half and never looked back.

Louisburg did cut Spring Hill’s lead in half when Grant Ryals’ shot hit off the right post and into the net in the 37th minute.

Four minutes into the second half, Spring Hill scored after the Wildcat defense misplayed a ball and then scored again a few minutes later on a cross into the box.

Wildcats overcome odds to beat Paola

Louisburg junior Noah Juarez (right) boots the ball away from the Wildcat net during their match with Paola last month. The Wildcats traveled to Paola on Thursday and came away with a 3-1 victory to avenge a loss earlier in the year.


PAOLA – Playing with a full 11 players on the soccer pitch is hard enough to get a win, but to compete with only 10 makes it extremely difficult.

The Louisburg soccer team played all but 15 minutes with a man down during Thursday’s road contest in Paola. In the end, the Wildcats made it look a lot easier than it actually was.

Louisburg strung together three second half goals on its way to a 3-1 win over the Panthers. The win was an even bigger one for the Wildcats as they avenged a loss to Paola from earlier in the season and have now won three in a row.

“I am not sure why, but it seemed like we played better when we had just 10 guys on the field,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “I am not sure if we were just more focused or fired up because of what happened, but we were able to control most of the game, which was great to see. We had to move some guys around in different spots, but everyone responded well and we played together.”

It all started 10 minutes into the match when defender Cale Schneider and a Paola player both received yellow cards. A few minutes later, the Wildcats were awarded a free kick. Schneider set the ball quickly and kicked it.

The ball hit the Paola player, who wasn’t the required 10 yards away from the play according to York, and Schneider received his second yellow card, which became a red and was forced to leave the game. The red card also means Schneider will miss the next contest as well.

“Cale was just trying to play fast and get the ball up the field,” York said. “I didn’t agree with the call as I didn’t think he did anything wrong there, but you have to go with what the official called. It was unfortunate for us, but I thought our guys responded well to the challenge of playing a man down.”

With Schneider, the Wildcats’ defensive leader out of the game, York moved midfielder Noah Juarez back to stopper to help contain the Paola attack. Defenders Hunter Mitchell and Jairus Brown also made up for the loss of Schneider with strong play in the back as well.

As it turned out, it was Juarez who led the Wildcat offensive attack as well. Juarez scored two goals to give Louisburg a scoring boost and senior T.J. Svoboda added a goal of his own.

After a scoreless first half, Svoboda scored in the opening minutes of the second half to put Louisburg up 1-0, but the lead didn’t last long as Paola responded and tied the match just minutes later.

Louisburg (4-6-1) took the lead for good midway through the second half as Paola was called for a foul in the box, the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick and Juarez converted the opportunity.

Juarez gave the Wildcats a two-goal lead later on a free kick from 25 yards out that found the back of the net.

“I thought we really controlled possession as we had a lot of shots on goal, especially in the second half,” York said. “I think we had like 20 for the game, so that was definitely great to see.”

Louisburg will try for another revenge win at 4 p.m. today when it hosts Spring Hill. The Wildcats fell to the Broncos 2-1 earlier in the season and they hope they can add another win to their streak.

“You can tell with the games we have had recently that we have gotten more opportunities and we are gaining more confidence, which is what we need,” York said. “We are playing better and we are a better team than when we played Spring Hill a few weeks ago. We just need to go out and show it, and I think we can.”

Junior varsity soccer off to good start

Louisburg’s Chris Williams (left) battles a Piper player for a 50-50 ball during a home match last month. The Wildcats are 6-2-2 to start their season and have 36 goals so far on the season.


The Louisburg High School junior varsity soccer team has had no problems scoring goals this season and it has picked up its fair share of wins along the way.

The Wildcats currently have a 6-2-2 record on the year and have scored 36 goals in their 10 games so far. Louisburg won three of its first four matches to start the season and outscored its opponents 14-1 with blowout wins over Fort Scott, Ottawa and Paola.

New junior varsity coach Tanner O’Hara couldn’t have asked for a better start with his new group and he likes what he sees from his team moving forward.

“This season has been pretty good for us, especially with this being my first season and new to the kids, as they are with me,” O’Hara said. “I am still trying to figure out where my players will be most effective for us. They have played very hard every game and even if we get down by a goal they never give up. I am very pleased with their work ethic.

“I am still tweaking the lineup to give us the best opportunity for the game. The skill level of the team is there, it’s just a matter of getting more chemistry with each other and knocking the ball around. With the season being halfway over, I see a very bright future for the team.”

The Wildcats squared off with De Soto in their fifth game of the season and recorded their first tie. Jonathan Ventre scored the two goals for Louisburg in the 2-all match.

Louisburg responded in a big way as it blanked Baldwin 4-0 in its next match. Eric Vazquez, David Holiday, Calvin Cassida and Ty Martin all had goals for the Wildcats. After a 2-0 loss to Piper gave the Wildcats their second defeat on the season, they responded once again.

The Wildcats defeated Eudora, tied with Bonner Springs and downed Paola on Thursday.

On Sept. 22, Louisburg traveled to Eudora and left with an 8-0 victory. Ventre led the way with a two goals and two assists, while Jacob Benne added two goals. Martin, Kristoffer Aye, Kris Light and Jon Paul Totta each found the back of the net to complete the scoring.

Louisburg tied Bonner Springs 3-3 on Sept. 24 before taking care of business against Paola in a 5-1 win. Martin finished with two goals to lead Lousburg over Paola, while Cassida, Jacob Arnett and Jacob Anderson also scored goals.

Macyn White, Kolten Ragan, Timothy Smith, Chris Williams, Nick Hamamy and goalie Ambrose Stefan also are playing for the junior varsity team this season.

Late goals lift Wildcats in overtime

Louisburg sophomore Grant Ryals pumps his fists as teammates (from left) Noah Juarez, Hunter Mitchell, T.J. Svoboda and Cale Schneider mob him after Ryals scored the game-tying goal in the 78th minute in the Wildcats 2-1 overtime victory Monday in Louisburg.


For 78 minutes, the Louisburg boys soccer team was staring at another gut-wrenching defeat.

The Wildcats have been a part of too many of them already this season – six to be exact. Down a goal with two minutes left in Monday’s home match with Heritage Christian, the Wildcats were in desperate need of one.

Sophomores Grant Ryals and Christian Scholtz were happy to oblige.

Ryals hit a shot in the 78th minute that found the back of the net to force overtime. In the extra period, Scholtz answered with a goal of his own on a run down the left side of the field that gave the Wildcats a 2-1 victory.

“The kids played hard,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “I kept telling them it was eventually going to come and we will get a goal. Grant tucked a nice shot away and put it right in the corner.

“We are learning how we work offensively. We are learning where we want to play certain balls and it is just trial by error for these guys. Typically you have those things ironed out before the season, but we will take it now. A few game here in the middle of the season have allowed us to do that.”

The Wildcats (3-6-1) have two victories and a tie in their last three matches and have been struggling to score goals. It was frustrating at times Monday for Louisburg as it peppered the Heritage goalie with nearly 20 shots on goal.

Christian Scholtz sends his game-winning goal into the back of the net Monday in Louisburg.

Christian Scholtz sends his game-winning goal into the back of the net Monday in Louisburg.

Seniors T.J. Svoboda, Parker Cates, junior Noah Juarez, along with Ryals and Scholtz, all had shots on goal throughout the game, but came up empty. Heritage Christian scored its lone goal with less than a minute left in the first half when a high-arching free kick from 40 yards out was placed just out of the reach of Louisburg goalie Michael Minster and gave it a 1-0 halftime lead.

The Wildcats had their best chance at a goal late in the second half when Heritage was called for a foul in the box. Juarez was awarded a penalty kick, but the Heritage goalie made the diving save to keep the Wildcats scoreless.

Then came the dramatics.

Ryals struck the ball near the top of the box that snuck past the outstretched hands of the Heritage goalie to tie the match in the 78th minute to force overtime.

Heritage Christian gave the Wildcats a scare on a couple different occasions in overtime. Three minutes into the extra period, Heritage hit a free kick from 35 yards away that was heading for the corner of the net but Minster was able to knock it away.

Minster came up big again just minutes later as another Heritage shot on goal deflected off a player and the ball rolled to the line. The Louisburg goalie dove to make the save just before it reached the line.

Defenders Jairus Brown, Scott Murphy, Cale Schneider and Hunter Mitchell all made big slide tackles at times to relieve some of the Heritage pressure.

“We are still in the game because Michael makes an extremely athletic play that most goalkeepers don’t make,” York said. “The one shot from 35 yards out was heading for the upper 90 and Michael did what Michael does. He saved a goal right there. He really excited the guys through his play. He is one of the more athletic guys on our team and he was able to redeem himself a little bit.”

Nine minutes into overtime, Scholtz added a little flair of his own as he used his left foot to send a rocket shot that found the corner of the net and gave the Wildcats the 2-1 victory.

“Christian had a real good game,” York said. “I put him in a different spot offensively that has allowed him to have more touches on the ball and more freedom to move. He has a wicked left foot and he leads our team with eight goals this year. It was good to see him get a solid shot on goal. That keeper thought he was going far post and he went near post and the keeper couldn’t move.”

The Wildcats will go for their third straight victory Thursday when they travel to Paola and they hope to redeem a loss from earlier in the season.

“We are going into Paola’s game with good confidence and I know that we can win,” York said. “I also know that if we make silly mistakes that we can concede silly goals to Paola as well and that has already happened. So we just need to play smart and finish our shots which I know we can do.”


Louisburg downs Bonner Springs

Louisburg was able to get its first win since the beginning of the season last Thursday when it traveled to Bonner Springs.

The Wildcats were able to get a late first half goal which gave them the momentum they needed to pull away for a 3-1 victory over the Braves.

Raistlin Brewer gave the Wildcats their first goal of the game late in the first half when he headed the ball into the net on a cross and Louisburg took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Senior T.J. Svoboda came through in the second half for Louisburg. Svoboda scored in the opening minute and tacked on another goal 20 minute later to put the game away.

“The game against Bonner Springs was more of an accurate representation of what type of team we actually are,” York said. “It was more of a normal setting for us because we were able to play under the lights with junior varsity playing first. They were amped up and when it came down to it, we were the better team and we were able to finish. I thought we played very well.”


Wildcats end losing streak with tie to Eudora

Louisburg senior Jairus Brown clears the ball away during Tuesday’s home match with Eudora. The Wildcats ended their six-game losing streak with a 2-2 tie to the Cardinals.


The Louisburg boys soccer team saw one streak go by the wayside, while another stayed intact following Tuesday’s home contest with Eudora.

For the Wildcats, both were positives.

Although it wasn’t a victory, Louisburg ended a six-game losing skid with a 2-2 tie of Eudora after the Wildcats rallied from a two-goal deficit in the first half.

The other streak remained alive as Louisburg has still not lost to Eudora in the 13-year program history. Those were enough to leave some positive vibes around the team despite not getting a victory.

“I would have rather us got the win, but those things mean something about being able to fight back,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “We are this close, with a little shift in confidence and a couple of things going are way, that we can turn it around. We have the potential to win several games down the stretch.”

Louisburg (1-6-1) possessed the ball for much of the second half and two overtime periods. With that, the Wildcats had plenty of chances to win the game in regulation and several opportunities in overtime.

The Wildcats had 23 shots on goal for the game, with a lot of those in the final part of the match. Whether the ball wasn’t struck just right, or a shot hit off the post or the goalkeeper made the save, they put themselves in a position to win.

“The hardest part about this game is not clearing a ball out of the back, but it is taking a shot and you only have eight feet on one side or the other of the goalie to finish those shots,” York said. “We work on it in practice, but we haven’t had a lot of opportunities in games.

Midfielder Grant Ryals heads the ball away Tuesday during the Wildcats' home match with Eudora.

Midfielder Grant Ryals heads the ball away Tuesday during the Wildcats’ home match with Eudora.

“We have to find a way to finish those and we will. We haven’t been that offensive to have a lot of those opportunities and that is one of the more frustrating things when you are trying to build a team. We could have scored literally eight goals and we just couldn’t finish. Eudora played really hard and really tough and that is the best Eudora has looked in a long time, but we need to finish those.”

Eudora jumped on Louisburg early as it opened the game with two first half goals, but the Wildcats didn’t hang their heads and fought back. Sophomore Christian Scholtz cut the lead in half with the team’s first goal, then senior T.J. Svoboda followed that up to tie the game late in the first half.

The Wildcats also made a defensive adjustment late in the first half as they moved senior forward Jairus Brown back on defense to help mark up on Eudora’s main offensive threat.

The Cardinals didn’t get many chances to score in the second half, while the Wildcats took over and peppered Eudora with shots in the overtime. Svoboda, Scholtz, Herman Knipp, Curran Conklin, Grant Ryals and Noah Juarez all had shots on goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Louisburg, despite playing a close match the day before, had more energy than Eudora toward the end of the match, which kept the Wildcats in it.

“We were tired and we didn’t come out strong to start,” York said. “However, our conditioning is what kept us in it till the end. You say it and say it to the guys, but our conditioning is the reason we were able to get all those opportunities in the end. You watch their guys come off with cramps, and we had played a game the day before and then went to double overtime in this one, and we were still making runs and getting shots.”

Louisburg will try for a win tonight when it travels to Bonner Springs. The Wildcats will then return home Monday to play Heritage Christian.


Wildcats fall to Piper

Louisburg was on the verge of seeing its losing ways come to an end Monday when it hosted Piper.

Instead, the Wildcats watched as the Pirates scored two goals in the final six minutes and fell 3-2. Louisburg had the lead on two occasions, but both times Piper answered the Wildcat score.

In the 23rd minute, junior Noah Juarez gave Louisburg an early lead with a strong shot in the box and the Wildcats held that lead at halftime. To start the second half, Piper scored in the 47th minute to tie the game.

It stayed that way until the 73rd minute when sophomore Christian Scholtz hit a shot that sailed over the goalie’s head. The momentum stayed with the Wildcats for about 30 seconds, which was when Piper tied the game with a quick goal.

In the 89th minute, Piper struck the ball hard and the shot went off the right post and bounced in.

“The most frustrating part about it is we don’t know what it feels like as a team, when we are up late, how to put the opponent away because that is where we had them,” Louisburg coach Ben York said. “It was a step in the right direction though. We were able to score some goals which we hadn’t done in a while. Plus, now these guys know what they have to do to put teams away when we are up late and it is a good learning experience for them.”