Lady Saints Picked Second and Saints Third in Jayhawk
Brock Kappelmann - October 25, 2016 6:18 am
The Jayhawk Conference coaches are expecting a major bounce back season from Bryan Zollinger and the Seward County Saints this year as they have picked the Saints 3rd in the preseason coaches’ poll as announced by the league on Monday.
Seward returns one of the more veteran programs in the league this season including a pair of All-Conference and 16 point per game scorers in guards Charles Beauregard and Kevin Sims. Sims led the Saints in scoring at 16.5 per game in 2014-2015 before taking a redshirt last season while Beauregard rode shotgun alongside All-American Niem Stevenson last year to a 16.3 point per game output. After being punished in the paint a season ago, the Saints worked on getting more size in the middle this year and they did that successfully as 6’6, 210 pounder Micah Littlejohn returns after an injury that cost him last season while 6’8 Spencer Franklin transfers in from Collin College where he scored 7 points per game as a freshman a year ago. Overall, the Saints 15 man roster includes six returners and nine new faces, three of those newcomers being second year transfers.
As expected, Hutchinson holds down the top spot after a 2016 that saw them play for the NJCAA title in March. Dodge City is a surprise pick at #2 as they bring back 2016 Freshman of the Year Josh Boutte while defending Region VI Champs Neosho County check in at #4 and traditional powerhouse Coffeyville rounds out the top five.
Saints fans will get a sneak peek at the team on Thursday at Basketball Preview Night in the Greenhouse before Seward opens their 2016-2017 campaign next Tuesday and Wednesday against Sunrise Christian and Fort Carson.
After finishing as Jayhawk Conference runners-up in each of the past three seasons, the KJCCC coaches are picking the Seward County Lady Saints to contend for the conference crown once again in 2016-2017 after a league release shows the Lady Saints picked second in the coaches poll as announced by the conference on Monday.
The Lady Saints are coming off of a 25-8 season in which they finished 14-5 in Jayhawk Conference action, ending the year as runners-up in both the conference and then the Region VI Tournament. Seward returns a veteran group to the fold including six sophomores. Leading the sophomore group for Seward is 6’8 Joanna Grymek who was a 1st Team All-Conference performer as a freshman, averaging 13.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 60% from the field. Grymek has already committed to Oregon State, who played for the National Championship last season, for 2017-2018. Joining Grymek in the front court is NJCAA All-Star Clitan de Sousa. Fans will see an improved version of de Sousa this season after the southpaw averaged 8.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game a year ago. Along with the six Seward sophomores, the Lady Saints welcome five freshmen into the mix, including a trio of local products.
Leading the coaches poll is once again Hutchinson after the Dragons continued their stronghold on the conference last season with a team made up of primarily first year players. Following Seward is defending Region VI Champions Cowley at #3, Butler at #4, and Coffeyville at #5.
The Lady Saints take on Clarendon in their final exhibition action of the season tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 in the Greenhouse, followed by Preview Night Thursday night and then their 2016-2017 season opener next Tuesday against Otero.