Avila joins

KCAC in 2018

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Avila University has been accepted for membership in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference for the 2018-19 school year.

"We are delighted to have Avila University join our ranks,” KCAC commissioner Dr. Scott Crawford said. “This addition further establishes the KCAC as a flagship conference within the NAIA. … Avila's presence provides several opportunities in the Kansas City market to our current membership. It allows for additional alumni networking, increases the recruitment of student-athletes, and strengthens geographic balance within the conference footprint."

Avila is located in Kansas City, Mo., and will be the 13th conference member. The school was founded as St. Teresa’s College in 1916, changing its name in 1963.

The school is a Catholic college, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. It was an all-women’s two-year college, expanding to a four-year school in 1940.

The school became coeducational in 1969.

Avila has a current enrollment of 1,710 (1,288 undergraduate), making it the second-largest school in the conference behind Friends at 3,000.

The school currently offers men’s baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s cheerleading, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s football, women’s dance, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s track and field, women’s softball and women’s volleyball. All of the sports offered are KCAC championship sports.

Avila will be the third non-Kansas school in the conference, joining Oklahoma Wesleyan in Bartlesville, Okla., and York College in York, Neb.

Avila joined the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1994, then joined the Heart of America Athletic Conference in 2000. The school began play in football in 2001.

Avila won HAAC titles in baseball in 2016, 2012, 2010 and 2003; women’s golf in 2012; and spirit squad (a non-KCAC competition) in 2017, 2008 and 2003.

"Avila University is delighted to be accepted into the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference,” Avila President Dr. Ron Slepitza said. “The KCAC is made up of colleges and universities that reflect similar missions to Avila, and I believe our membership will allow us to continue to grow as an institution. We look forward to joining such a long-standing and prestigious conference that shares many of our same values for the academic and spiritual development of student-athletes."

"Joining the KCAC is a major step forward for Avila, both from a department and university standpoint," Avila athletic director Cirtina Cowan said. "The KCAC and its members have been very welcoming through this entire process, and I speak for myself and all of our coaches in saying we are beyond excited to start this new journey."

The KCAC membership currently includes Bethany, Bethel, Friends, Kansas Wesleyan, McPherson, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Ottawa, Southwestern, Sterling, Tabor, Saint Mary and York. Benedictine, Clarke, Johnson & Wales (Colo.), Midland, Missouri Valley and St. Ambrose are sport-specific associate members.

Newton grad

named finalist

WICHITA — Newton High School graduate Taylor Stahly, a sophomore at Hutchinson Community College, has been named a finalist for the Junior College Female Athlete of the Year by the Greater Wichita Sports Commission.

Stahly set the school and Jayhawk Conference record for career 3-point shooting, leading HCC to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament this past season.

Athletes were nominated by area coaches and athletic directors. Finalists were named by a media panel. The winners will be named June 29 at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet. The Johnny Bench Award for national college baseball catcher of the year also will be announced.

The complete list of nominees are below:

Lynette Woodard High School Female Athlete of the Year: Haley Albers, Cheney; Jewell Bolden, Andover Central; Emma Whitaker, Kapaun

Barry Sanders High School Male Athlete of the Year,: Collin Ellis, Clearwater; Matt Pile, Eisenhower; Thomas Wells, Kapaun

Junior College Female Athlete of the Year: Courtney Griffiths, Cowley; Brynn Minor, Butler; Taylor Stahly, Hutch

Junior College Male Athlete of the Year: Andre Ewers, Butler; Shakur Juiston, Hutch; Mike’l Simms, Cowley

College Female Athlete of the Year: Chelsea Baker, Friends; Emily Harvey, Newman; Nikki Larch-Miller, Wichita State

College Male Athlete of the Year: Toby Baxter, Friends; Dustin Reed, Newman; Hunter Veith, Wichita State

Area Professional Athlete of the Year: Macoy Erkamps, Thunder; Mikendric Harper, Force; T.J. Mittelstaedt, Wingnuts

Wingnuts rally

from deficit

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — The Wichita Wingnuts overcame an early three-run deficit for a 4-3 win over the Texas AirHogs Friday night in American Association play at AirHog Stadium.

The win was Wichita’s third straight. The AirHogs drop their 13th straight.

Denis Phipps drove in a run for the AirHogs in the bottom of the first on a fielder’s choice. Michael Miller scored on a solo home run in the bottom of the second. Phipps hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third.

Wichita came back with a Martin Medina RBI double in the top of the fourth. Medina drove in a run with a single in the sixth inning. Wichita added two runs in the seventh inning on a wild pitch and a Brent Clevlen RBI single in the seventh inning.

Medina finished three for four hitting. Matt Chavez went two for four.

Wichita starter Ryan Kussmaul (2-2) went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Jess Pratt, James Campbell and Mike Devine each pitched a scoreless inning with Devine getting the save.

Texas starter James Russell lasted six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. T.J. Bozeman (1-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts in two innings. Luis De La Cruz finished the game, striking out a batter in the ninth.

Miller went three for five hitting. Beamer Weems and Phipps both went two for four.

Wichita is 14-8, two games ahead of Cleburne. Texas drops to 4-17. The series concludes at 7:05 p.m. today.

Wichita;000;101;200;—4;10;0

Texas;111;000;000;—3;10;0

Kussmaul (W, 2-2), Pratt 7, Campbell 8, Devine (S, 1) 9 and Medina; Russell, Bozeman (L, 1-1) 7, De La Cruz 9 and Miller. HR — T: Miller (1). Time — 2:53. Attendance — 1,492.