By CONOR NICHOLL
Goodland girls’ sports have enjoyed plenty of attention during the last couple of years. Volleyball went to state the last three falls, and basketball won the past two 3A state titles. They’ve also enjoyed success in track. Talexa Weeter and Lindsey Cure are among Kansas’ most well-known athletes.
However, the Goodland boys have quietly enjoyed a nice improvement, especially in baseball and boys’ basketball. Goodland baseball finished the regular season 15-4 and gained the No. 2 seed in its own regional that will start next week.
Junior Cole Linton is in the conversation for 3A pitcher of the year. He carries a 4-0 record with a 1.26 ERA in seven games. Linton has struck out 57 against nine walks in 33.1 innings. Junior Kacen Sederstrom has worked 40 innings with 43 strikeouts. Senior Octavo Gonzalez has four saves. Goodland has allowed 5.6 runs a contest.
Goodland has a plus-four win improvement off last spring’s 10-10 mark. This is the Cowboys’ best baseball season since a 15-6 record in 2016. Goodland has not won more than 15 games in a year in at least a decade.
Goodland is part of a highly intriguing regional that features Russell/Victoria (19-1), Goodland, Scott City (15-4), Holcomb (14-4) and Colby (10-10). Goodland opened with splits against Colby and Garden City in late March. Since then, Goodland has not lost to a Kansas team and took a pair of losses to Limon (Colo.).
Goodland defeated Scott City, 9-3, on April 25, and was supposed to finish the regular season Thursday with a single game against SC. However, the game was cancelled Thursday morning.
Goodland won the GWAC baseball title for the first time since 2016, per GHS broadcaster Ross Volkmer.
Senior Kyan Ensign carries a .423 mark. Junior Manny Gonzalez has a .383 average. Senior Mason Hernandez is at .373. Sederstrom is at .371. Senior Maverick Spresser and Linton are both hitting .333. Goodland remains outside the top-10 in the latest Kansas baseball coaches poll released this week.
Manny Gonzalez starts at left field, Sederstrom at shortstop, Ensign in right field, and Hernandez at catcher. Spresser is in left field, senior Octavo Gonzalez at centerfield, senior Brysun Waters at first base, senior Gentry Deeds at third and freshman Braylon Mull at second. David Avila is head coach.
The Scott City victory ended four-game losing streak in the series that stretched back to 2019. Before this year, Goodland had also lost four in a row to Garden City.
In the winter, Goodland basketball finished 14-9 and doubled its win total. Goodland tied for its most wins in at least 15 years. Gonzalez and Linton were both key basketball players. Sophomore Brady Brumbaugh led basketball with 12.2 points per game. High-flying sophomore Linkon Cure posted 7.1 points a game. Senior Devontay Hardy had 9.3 points and seven rebounds a contest.
Goodland softball completed a 12-8 regular season and is part of the Scott City regional that features seven of eight teams at .500 or better. Jaxi Mitchek, a key basketball player, has led Goodland softball for multiple years. She has worked 88.1 innings this season and collectively carries a .519 average in the last two springs.