By CONOR NICHOLL
Pittsburg St. Mary’s Colgan has enjoyed a banner fall sports season. The Panther girls’ golf team won their third straight 3-2-1A state title and set a state record.
Colgan had its volleyball and girls’ cross country teams qualify for state. Football is in the Class 1A Round of 16.
Colgan volleyball went 1-2 in 2A this past weekend in Dodge City and narrowly missed qualifying for the final four. The Panthers finished 24-18 under longtime coach Cathy Oplotnik. Lauren Torrance, a first team all-state basketball player, paced Colgan with four kills per set and a .228 average. Lauren Flood had 2.5 kills per set and a .199 mark. Torrance paced with 90 blocks, while Delanie Meek led with 341 digs. Addi Dewey delivered 400 assists, and Caroline Imhof has 352.
The cross country squad won its regional and took ninth in 2A for a second straight season. SMC girls’ cross country finished sixth in ’20, eighth in ’19, fifth in ’18 and eighth in ’17. Colgan has qualified for state six straight years.
Junior Lily Brown, also an all-state basketball player, paced Colgan with a 27th place showing in 22 minutes, 16.64 seconds. Junior Polona Kalan finished 52nd, senior Leyna Ortega was 70th, sophomore Merly Lara took 71st, Gianna Constantini was 75th and sophomore Mimi Fleming finished 79th.
As expected, the Panther football team bounced back from a 4-5 mark, their first losing record since 1997. Colgan is currently 8-1 and ranked fourth in 1A. The Panthers will play Jayhawk-Linn in a Round of 16 contest this week. Colgan has outscored 386-77.
Colgan has 181 rushing yards a contest and 7.3 yards per carry. Junior Cooper Simmons has 97 carries for 691 yards and 10 scores. Junior Tucker Harrell has 52 carries for 422 yards and 10 TDs. Harrell has also passed for 340 yards with six TDs against two interceptions. Senior Colin Hite paces the receivers with 13 catches for 223 yards and five scores. Colgan has a balanced defense headlined by four juniors: 6-foot-4, 230-pound Tristan Voss, strong safety Connor Vanbecelaere, Harrell and defensive end Jade Tenry.
Earlier this month, Colgan golf shot a 660 over two days at Carey Park in Hutchinson. Colgan set a new school mark. The Panthers had the best 3-2-1A score since state golf went to two days in 2019. Colgan won by 57 shots over runner-up Colby. That was a bigger difference than between second and fifth. Colgan shot a 338 in the first round and 322 in the second round.
Colgan’s score would have won 4A by 14 shots and taken second by a sizable margin in 5A. The Panthers would have finished top-six in 6A. Colgan senior stalwart Ali Scripsick was second with a 154. Senior Greta Ison was fourth with a 165. Sophomore Ava Scripsick took fifth in 168. Senior Audrey Goetting was seventh at 176. Sophomore Molly Swezey delivered a solid 187. Senior Zoey Smith fired a 193.
Colgan and Colby have finished 1-2 in each of the last three years. SMC has head coach Kim Scripsick and assistant Jeff Wilbert. Ali Scripsick was top-three at state the last three years. Colgan had shot a 713 and 705 at state in the last two seasons.