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SLATE: McPherson on Lott IMPACT Trophy short list

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Volleyball releases 2021 schedule, Kokoska named first-team All-Region

The senior DB joins an illustrious list of former Wildcat greats.
The senior DB joins an illustrious list of former Wildcat greats.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

You know it’s officially summer because your Benevolent Despot is leading with football.

Yesterday, senior defensive back Jahron McPherson was named to the 2021 Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, which recognizes the defensive player who most exemplifies the badassery of NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. McPherson is the eighth Wildcat to draw the committee’s eye in the preseason over the 18 years the award has been active. The others? Oh, just guys like Arthur Brown, Ty Zimmerman, Ryan Mueller, Dante Barnett (twice), D.J. Reed, and Denzel Goolsby.

That’s a pretty good list to be on.

Another good list to be on is the Football Writers Association of America’s Super 11 list, honoring the college game’s best football sports information staffs. Kansas State, led by Kenny Lannou and Ryan Lackey, was named to the Super 11 for the second consecutive year. Other honorees for the 2020 season were Appalachian State, Boston College, Clemson, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina and West Virginia, along with a special award for San Jose State. The Spartans had to deal with the challenge of providing media access while being forced to play and practice on the road all season, and that effort was acknowledged.

Basketball

In yesterday’s Sports Extra, Austin Siegel caught up with Selton Miguel, who’s in Barcelona with the Angolan men’s national team trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Volleyball

K-State released the 2021 volleyball schedule yesterday. The slate continues the two-match series model introduced for conference play last year, with the home teams reversed from last season. That means home doubleheaders with Baylor, West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Kansas. The Cats will also host the K-State Invitational, in which the Wildcats will host Ohio, Loyola-Chicago, and Fresno State in the lone home non-conference event for the season. All home games will be at Bramlage, rather than Ahearn; the team is still using the venerable field house as their practice facility, but Bramlage will now be the home arena until the new facility is finished.

Road games include a season-opening visit to Lincoln in August for the Nebraska Invitational along with Tulsa and Colgate, a September trip to Santa Barbara for the Gaucho Invitational against UCSB, Pepperdine, and San Diego State, a one-off road match at Missouri, and the Omaha Invitational featuring Weber State and Nebraska-Omaha. The road conference schedule includes Oklahoma, TCU, Iowa State, and Texas. No Oklahoma State, because they don’t play volleyball. We can’t mock them since we don’t play softball.

Former Wildcat Dru Kuck, who entered the transfer portal, has emerged... in Tuscaloosa.

Baseball

The American Baseball Coaches Association announced their all-region teams on Wednesday, and Wildcat outfielder Zach Kokoska was named to the Central Region first team. That makes him eligible for the ABCA All-American ballot, the results of which will be announced Saturday. It also means second-team all-region pitcher Jordan Wicks... is not eligible.

Wicks is still getting drafted in the first round according to the latest mock draft from mlb.com’s Jonathan Mayo, so he’ll get over it. Mayo still has Wicks going at 15 to the Brewers, but suggest the Giants may jump at 14.

Tennis

K-State’s tennis team is one of nine teams to earn regional ITA Community Service Awards, being named the Central Region winner. The Wildcats, along with Alabama-Birmingham, Austin Peay, Boise State, Dartmouth, Georgia, Gonzaga, Notre Dame, and South Carolina, are now finalists for the national award which will be announced Monday.

Golf

Irish golfer Luke O’Neill, a freshman Wildcat last season, shot a 4-under over 36 holes at the British Amateur Championship at Nairn, Scotland earlier this week to qualify for the match play portion of the event. His score was the third-best of the 141 competitors who completed the two rounds. Unfortunately, on Wednesday he was ousted by fellow Irishman Jake Whelan, who was seeded 61st, in a 4-and-3 rout.