KCKCC catcher signs with Bethel College

There were smiles all around as KCKCC sophomore catcher Megan Dike inked her letter of intent to attend Bethel College. She was joined by, from left, KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery, parents Steve and Amy Dike and Bethel coach Stacy Middleton. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College catcher Megan Dike will continue her collegiate softball career at Bethel College in North Norton, Kan.
A sophomore from Lansing, Dike was signed to a letter of intent by Bethel Coach Stacy Middleton Tuesday.
“I’m very excited,” said Middleton, who started the softball program at Bethel three years ago. “Megan is a good catcher and a great hitter; fundamentally solid and well coached. She’s going to bring a great work ethic to our program.”
Dike had a banner season at the plate, catching every game and hitting .365 with one home run and 16 runs batted in. “Bethel is getting an incredible player,” said KCKCC coach Kacy Tillery. “She calls a game as well as any catcher we’ve had here and she pitches as well so she has the know how to help a pitcher out when in trouble.”
The daughter of Amy and Steve Dike, Dike said she was especially attracted to Bethel because of its Special Education program. “I think it’s going to be a good fit on and off the field,” Dike said. “They’ve got a good education program.”

Mayor’s Food Summit sets goal to make healthy choices the easy choice

Mayor Mark Holland will be the host of the 2014 Wyandotte County Mayor’s Food Summit from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, at 6565 State Ave, Kansas City, Kan.

The summit is sponsored by the Wyandotte Health Foundation.

“Our community needs to continue to rally around the cause of health improvement,” Holland said, citing statistics released this month that rated Wyandotte as having some of the worst health outcomes in the state.

“Increased access to healthy food should be one of our rallying cries,” he said. “We conducted a recent survey of Wyandotte County residents that confirmed this is a major felt need. The summit will give cross-sector leaders the tools to meet this need.”

A joint effort of the mayor and the Healthy Communities Wyandotte Coalition, the Food Summit seeks to bring together elected officials, education, business and community leaders and give them the information and resources they need to take action in their communities to increase accessibility to good food.

“Healthy Communities Wyandotte has been working on this issue for over four years; now we want to expand the circle of concern,” he said. “Leaders everywhere can and should take an interest in healthy eating.”

The Food Summit  arose from a transparent community planning process held from 2009 to 2011 that involved hundreds of residents, area experts and public officials, the results of which were compiled in a document titled “Recommendations for a Better Future.”

The recommendations included strategies for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and in fact, the Food Summit is the kick-off for a three-year plan to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among Wyandotte County residents. Holland and others who are the hosts of the Food Summit acknowledge that changing individual behavior is an important component of improving diet, and in order for change to stick, the healthy choice needs to be the easy choice.

Following welcoming remarks by Holland, the Food Summit will feature a keynote address from Dr. Oran Hesterman, a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and author of “Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All.” The Food Summit will also feature Dr. Judd Allen, president of the Human Resources Institute and a national expert on creating supportive cultures for healthy living.

The summit will include the following four breakout sessions featuring speakers, facilitators and panelists from community organizations:
•         Nutritious Food in Schools
•         Ensuring Healthy Food Access for Low-Income Households
•         Transforming Organizational Culture for Health
•         Increasing Physical Access to Healthy Food in Wyandotte County
Lunch will be provided by the Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Culinary Arts Program, led by Chef Cheryl Runnebaum.
To register for the event, visit 2014foodsummit.eventbrite.com.

Split forces KCKCC to open playoffs at Colby Saturday

by Alan Hoskins

The biggest comeback in Jayhawk Conference baseball came to a temporary halt Monday in Kansas City Kansas Community College’s 5-0 opening loss at Allen County.

Off to a 2-10 conference start, Coach Steve Burleson’s comeback kids bounced back to win 20 of their next 22 games – the best record in the league over the past six weeks. Still, the Blue Devils needed a sweep at Allen County to host the first round of the Region VI playoffs.

As a result, the Blue Devils will open a best-of-three series at Colby Saturday. Two games will be played Saturday starting at 1 p.m. with a third game if necessary on Sunday.

“As soon as the game was over, we started the post-season,” said Burleson, whose Blue Devils won the second game 11-1. “You still have to win two of three games wherever you play. We’ve played well on the road and it’s still the same 90 feet.”

John Prochaska, a 6-2 lefthanded sophomore, blanked the Blue Devils on two hits in the 5-0 opener, striking out five and walking four in six innings.

“He pitched well,” Burleson said. “We only had two hits and hit three balls hard. We put a runner on third with no one out in the first and did not score and had men on second and third with one out in the second and did not score and that pretty well set the tone for the game. A run or two then would have changed a lot of things.”

Daniel LaMunyon had a leadoff single in the fourth and Christian Arnold a one-out single in the sixth for the Blue Devils, who had runners reach base in each inning but the seventh. Allen took advantage of a two-out walk in the second and a leadoff walk in the third to take a 2-0 lead and then added a single run in the fourth and two in the sixth off E.J. Merlo.

The Blue Devils bounced back with an 11-hit assault in the nightcap with Garrett McKinzie, Tyler Raymond and Mitch Glessner rapping out three each and LaMunyon and Zane Mapes two apiece.  Mapes drove in four runs with a double, single and two-run bunt. Two of McKinzie’s hits were doubles.

Trailing 1-0 on an unearned run in the first, KCKCC tied the game on Mapes’ two-out double in the second and then went ahead 2-1 on LaMunyon’s two out double in the third. The Blue Devils added two runs in the sixth on singles by LaMunyon, Glessner and Mapes’ sacrifice bunt and then closed out the game with four runs in the seventh and three in the eighth. Glessner, Mapes, Raymond and Arnold had singles and McKinzie a double in the seventh and Raymond and McKinzie started the 3-run eighth with back-to-back doubles.

Jonathan May got the pitching win, allowing just two singles and striking out six over the final six innings.