Another weekend, another three days of BracketCat's annual countdown. Friday, Zach Trujillo took the spotlight; Zach Heiman stepped forward on Saturday, and on Sunday it was Dominique Heath taking a bow.
Oh, and there was also the small matter of the beginning of Derek's backward march through K-State's 2014 schedule as he cast his eye upon the Baylor Bears.
And now, with one huge and important exception, we move on to a fairly brief but action-packed baseball-only edition of the Slate.
Once again the Cleveland Indians drafted a Wildcat in a round beginning with a one. Unfortunately for Ross Kivett, who passed up the chance to sign with his hometown team last year to return to K-State, the Indians didn't grab him again this year. Kivett did, however, improve his position by a full four rounds, as he was taken in the sixth round by the Detroit Tigers. It was Austin Fisher grabbed by the Indians, two picks before selection #400 in the 13th round. Mitch Meyer may be on his way to Milwaukee, having been snapped up by the Brewers in the seventh. (Selected right after Fisher: his high school teammate at Olathe Northwest, Arkansas Tech RHP Ryan Taylor. The pair were joined by a third ONWHS teammate in the 29th round when the Mets picked up Middle Tennessee State RHP Matt Blackham.)
Also drafted were two K-State signees: Neosho County CC 3B Connor Goedert, taken in the 15th round by Houston, and Ryan Lilliard from Urbandale (IA), selected in the 30th round by the Royals. Lilliard is already passing on the contract and honoring his commitment to the Wildcats, largely because he's having Tommy John surgery. Goedert hasn't announced his decision yet, and both Fisher and Meyer have decisions to make as well.
Some other draft notables: the Padres drafted Johnny Manziel in the 28th round, and a round later the Yankees drafted some kid named Mariano Rivera II. In the 15th round, the Washington Nationals really thumbed their nose at their local rivals, selecting Ryan Ripken.
Another K-State commit has also turned up in the newspaper. A feature in the Peoria Journal-Star on the Metamora Redbirds mentions senior-to-be Ethan Skender, who led the area in home runs last year and has given Brad Hill his commitment. Metamora plays in the Rock Island Supersectional of the Illinois 3A high school playoffs tonight, facing Sycamore.
Meanwhile, Texas and Texas Tech are on their way to Omaha, and TCU will join them with a win tonight over Pepperdine. Jump on that #ToadToOmaha bandwagon and let's hope 37.5% of the College World Series field is from the Big 12, eh?
And now for that exception. You may remember Ashley Reid, who was a jumper out of Olathe East a few years ago who had received a track scholarship to K-State. Most won't, unfortunately, because Reid had a really rough go of it in Manhattan, including a suicide attempt, before transferring to Johnson County CC after only one year.
She ended up at Colorado State, and Friday -- having experienced even more horrible life events in the last three years on top of her trials at K-State -- Reid was honored with the Wilma Rudolph Award, given to a student-athlete who overcomes "tremendous personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics". Colorado State's official site details her journey; meanwhile, Mike Brohard, the sports editor at the Boulder County Daily Camera, wrote an extensive profile feature on Reid ahead of the Mountain West track championships last month which you should definitely check out as well.
Sometimes things just don't work out for people who are, after all, still teenagers when they arrive on campus. Ashley Reid's time in Manhattan was a harrowing nightmare for her -- and it might be fair to question whether K-State did enough to help her at the time. We can never forget that some things are more important than the nonsense we get worked up about here every day, however. So while Ashley was a Wildcat for only the briefest time and couldn't possibly be blamed for being bitter about that year of her life, although a check of her Twitter feed would give the impression she's not at all -- as far as we're concerned she's still part of the Wildcat family. I can't imagine overcoming everything she did, and if you read both stories above you'll see just how much she fought through... and how well she ended up doing it. It's also likely to get very dusty in your room.
I'm thrilled her story has reached a happy intermission, and hope we haven't heard the last of her.