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K-State announces summer camps; Risner announces social media campaign

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Plus, a Kansas State golfer’s basketball legacy

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Now that spring football is actually underway, it’s only appropriate that we return football to the top of the marquee, right?

Well, there isn’t a whole lot to report from spring ball just yet (or ever, really), so here, have this story about Kansas State’s summer camps instead. The school will offer six camps in June for various age groups, including youth camps, a kicking camp for high school and community college players, a football fundamentals camp for high school players, and finally, 7-on-7 and 5-on-5 shootout camps for high school teams.

Coming off a bowl win for the second year in a row (and only the first time that’s happened since the 1999 and 2000 seasons), excitement is high for the Wildcats for spring ball and for the 2018 season. Alex Delton sums it up best, with just this one sentence: “We need to build off it.”

The annual Purple-White spring game is set for April 21 at 1:00 PM at The Bill.

At least one Kansas State player is using spring ball and the upcoming season for more than just football. Dalton Risner has been trying to build a community outreach program around kindness and encouragement. He intended to do this through social media, although his initial idea of going viral might have been thwarted by the NCAA. Instead, he spoke at his alma mater, Wiggins High School in Colorado, and this led to a first video on YouTube and his “Rise Up” campaign. Ultimately, he hopes to play in the NFL and use that platform to reach a wider audience.

Another Kansas State player, former punter Nick Walsh, is also stepping up his game off the field. The former All Big 12 selection will be opening for Jake Worthington and the Eli Young Band at The Hat in Aggieville tonight. This could well be the kick-off to Walsh’s dreams of a career as a singer-songwriter in Nashville, but the NFL is also still in play. He works out for the Kansas City Chiefs next week.

Basketball

The 2017-18 basketball season is in the books, but there are still some loose threads to wrap up.

First things first: Luke Thompson featured K-State Online’s Jeffrey Martin on the latest episode of Bring on the PodCats. Martin, the managing editor at KSO, gives Bruce Weber due credit and is excited about the next season of Kansas State basketball.

Speaking of Weber, he features heavily in Kellis Robinett’s K-State Q&A, including a riff on whether he was ever a serious candidate for the Pitt head coaching gig. (This story was also linked in yesterday’s Slate, so this is basically an Easter Egg to see if all y’all read the Slate. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Baseball

A walk-off single with bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning helped Kansas State get an 11-10 win over Texas at Tointon Family Stadium last night. It was Cameron Thompson’s fifth hit of the game, and it helped seal the BatCats’ first series win over the Longhorns since 1998.

Afterwards, even head coach Brad Hill was speechless. The BatCats had led late into the game, but Texas scored seven runs at the top of the ninth to tie the game and put the outcome in doubt. A lead-off single from Brett Owen in the bottom of the ninth helped Kansas State pave the road to victory and Thompson did the rest.

The series concludes today at 1 PM at Tointon. Justin Heskett will take the mound for the BatCats and the game can be streamed on ESPN3 and/or the WatchESPN app.

Golf

Roland Massimino is a junior on Kansas State’s men’s golf team. If the name sounds familiar—and it should if you’re a college basketball fan—it’s because he’s named for his grandfather Rollie Massimino, the legendary former head coach of Villanova.

Rollie succumbed to cancer last summer, but over the years, he sent his grandson aphorisms and encouragement, not by Twitter or e-mail, but the old fashioned way, in letters. Roland now has a stack of about 30 letters he relies on for motivation and encouragement.

Villanova is now in the Final Four, the team’s first NCAA Tournament run without Rollie on the sidelines or in the stands in 40 years. But there’s at least one Massimino playing for a different Wildcat team who is and will be a fan forever.