takes honors

TOPEKA — Halstead High School cross country coach Curtis Vermillion was named the National Federation of High School Associations Section 5 Coach of the Year in boys’ cross country.

Section 5 includes Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

Halstead won the Class 3A state title last fall. Vermillion was previously named state coach of the year.

Rule changes

in volleyball

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Federation of State High School Associations announced several rule changes for high school volleyball, which take effect in the fall of 2018.

• Substitutions will not be allowed for a team charged with unnecessary delay until the completion of the next rally.

A new signal for unnecessary delay will be used by officials — “The new mechanics call for the official to raise the hand on the side of the offending team, beside the head with palm facing the shoulder, and hold the appropriate card on the wrist of the raised hand.”

• Teams will be allowed to warm up in their playing area between sets, but balls may not be hit over the net.

• Team members are not allowed to assist a player who is making an attempt to play the ball, including players on the bench.

Several minor rule changes and points of emphasis were also made and are available at, selecting volleyball from activities and sports.


sign players

WICHITA — The Wichita Wingnuts baseball team signed three players for the upcoming season.

Players signed include infielder Abel Nieves, pitcher Austin Boyle and shortstop Leo Vargas.

Nieves is a 12-year pro who played for Wichita in 2013 and 14 before he was traded to Grand Prairie. He spent 2015 and 2016 with Laredo. He spent six seasons of affiliated ball in the Los Angeles Angels organization, reaching as high as Class AAA.

Lifetime, he is a .295 hitter with 38 home runs and 414 RBIs.

Boyle is a third-year pro. He spent 2016 with Garden City of the Pecos League, where he was 8-3 with a 4.03 earned-run-average. Last season, he played 35 games with Wichita, where he was 1-1 with a save, 44 strikeouts and a 2.56 ERA. He threw four scoreless innings of relief in the playoffs last season.

Vargas begins his fifth pro season. He spent his rookie season with Lincoln and the past three with Wichita.

He hit .241 with seven home runs and 95 RBIs. He had a .978 fielding percentage at second base and a .949 fielding percentage at shortstop.