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SLATE: Two Wildcats make USA Today’s Preseason All-America Team

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About time to get busy.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Baylor
Deuce was an easy pick. But who was the other Wildcat honored by USA Today?
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There’s some Wildcat news to share, so a quick Slate is in order.

Football

USA Today has named its preseason All-America team, which includes nine players from the Big 12. Two of them are Wildcats. Running Back Deuce Vaughn made the first team, and special teams phenom Phillip Brooks was named to the second team as a kick returner.

Only 19 days remain until opening day, and BracketCat celebrated the occasion by refreshing our memory about two number 19s: Tight end Sammy Wheeler and defensive back Ross Elder.

We had all hoped to be living in a post-COVID world by now. Alas, things have not worked out that way. After its 2020 campaign was rocked by virus-related absences, the football team continues to deal with masking, vaccinations and safety protocols associated with the pandemic as practices begin for the 2021 campaign. Skylar Thompson says they are doing their best not to let the distractions derail them.

Athletic Director Gene Taylor tried to pump up the sunshine by reassuring K-State fans there is no need to panic over the latest gut punch of conference realignment dealt by our greedy southern turncoats, Oklahoma and Texas. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m less panicked than...let’s say “perturbed.” That’s a non-offensive version a more vernacular p-word that accurately reflects my mood. Also, Gene is right to push the party line. But there is plenty of reason for K-State fans to panic. I hope to find time for some commentary in the coming days.

Basketball

In another year that will see nearly wholesale roster changes, the coaching hierarchy in Bruce Weber’s program is seeing some shifts and additions, as well. Recent graduate Curtis Kelly will join the staff as a graduate student manager. Zack Price will serve in the same capacity. Nate Michael, who had been a graduate student manager the past two seasons, will move up to the video coordinator post.

Soccer

Aliyah El-Naggar knocked home an equalizer with seven minutes to play, securing a draw for the Wildcat soccer squad in its final exhibition game against Wyoming. Despite the draw, K-State was the aggressor in the match, outshooting Wyoming 19-4, including an 11-2 lead in shots-on-goal. The regular season opens Thursday, August 19 when the Wildcats host Weber state at 7 p.m.