KCKCC softball camps to focus on offense, pitching, defense

by Alan Hoskins
Two summer softball camps – one focusing on offense and one on defense and pitching – will be held at Kansas City Kansas Community College starting Monday, June 23.
The Defensive Camp and Pitching Clinic will be held Monday through Wednesday, June 23-25, with the Offensive Drill camp the following Monday through Wednesday, June 30-July 2. Both camps will run from 9 to 11 a.m. on the KCKCC softball field at 7250 State Ave.
The camps will be run by KCKCC head coach Kacy Tillery and assistant Taci Beatty with assistance from KCKCC student athletes and former Blue Devil all-conference players. Both camps are open to young players of all ages with all skill levels, from beginners to advanced.
Pitchers will work on proper mechanics, movement of pitches, gaining power and developing location skills. Defensively, emphasis will be on throwing mechanics and the proper way to field ground balls and catch fly balls. In addition, individual attention will be given to the various positions both in the infield and outfield as well as behind the plate.
Hitting, bunting, slapping, base running and sliding will all be covered in the Offensive Drill camp. Participants will go through various drills to help improve swing mechanics, contact and power and strike zone and pitch recognition. Offensive strategies such as bunting and slapping, proper base running and sliding techniques, stealing bases and the mental approach to successful hitting will also be covered.
The cost of each camp is $50 although participants taking part in both camps will be eligible for a discount. Each player needs to bring a glove, cleats or athletic shoes and water bottle. In addition, participants in the Offensive Camp need to bring a bat and warm-up pants for sliding drills. Registration forms are available in the KCKCC Athletic Department in the Field House at the north end of the campus or may be requested by contacting Kacy Tillery at 913-288-7356 or ktillery@kckcc.edu.

KCKCC adds 7-foot center, 6-3 guard to recruiting class

Depth at the guard and center positions at Kansas City Kansas Community College was fortified Monday by the signing of 6-3 Jeremy Holmes of Cleveland, left, and 7-foot Nicholas Alexander of Washington, D.C. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins
A 7-foot center and versatile 6-3 guard are the latest additions to the Kansas City Kansas Community College basketball program.
Nicholas Alexander, a 7-footer who played high school basketball at Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., and Jeremy Holmes, who played at Cleveland Heights High School, are among five out-of-state signees from such widespread cities as Chicago, Ill.; Midwest City, Okla.; Aurora, Colo.; Washington D.C.; and Cleveland, Ohio, announced Monday by Blue Devil head coach Kelley Newton.
“To be successful, it’s important to have diversity,” said Newton, a former standout at Wyandotte High School, Neosho County Community College and the University of Oklahoma. “Not only do we need to recruit locally and the surrounding areas, we have to be competitive at the national level to reach levels not reached before.”
Alexander, who averaged 10 points and 8 to 12 rebounds a game for Theodore Washington, selected KCKCC over at least seven other colleges.

“A friend of mine contacted coach and he recruited me,” said Alexander, who considers rebounding and defense to be his biggest strengths. “I like to set picks, block shots and catch alley oops for dunks.”
“He’s going to be great for our team,” Newton said. “Right now he’s real good at defending and rebounding and will be a definite plus at starting fast breaks and as a defensive anchor. I’m really looking forward to watching him grow over the next two years.”
Holmes averaged 14.9 points and 2.6 assists, led Cleveland Heights in rebounds (5.2) and shot 51 percent from the field.

“KCKCC was the first school to recruit me,” said Holmes, a ball handler who prefers assists over points.
“An extremely versatile player, Jeremy was able to play all five positions at some point,” said Cleveland Heights coach Andy Suttell. “His physical strength made him a very strong perimeter player, able to score as well as distribute the basketball and guard multiple positions on the floor. His game is still growing and with the right mentality, his best basketball is in front of him.”
“I’m really excited about Jeremy being here, he’s going to be a heckuva player,” said Newton, who has been a close observer of Holmes the last couple of years. “His father played at the University of Pittsburgh. Very athletic, he’s a good shooter and defender and a hard worker who comes from a good family.”
Holmes and Alexander will be joined by three other out-of-state recruits announced Monday by Newton:
Austin Hall, a 6-5 forward-guard from Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo.
“Long and athletic, Austin brings a great deal of versatility to the table,” Newton said. “He can play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. With his size, we’ll move him around a lot. His coach and I have been talking for about the five or six months about players in Colorado and Austin is one who stood out.”
Andre Runnels, 5-10 guard from Del City High School in Midwest City, Okla.
“His No. 1 attribute is his defense,” says Newton. “He’s a very, very tough defender who will provide us a lot of toughness and grit we need to play tough-nosed defense. Plus, he’s a very capable ball handler.”
Armoni Shorter, 6-7 forward from Chicago, Ill. Not exactly a newcomer, Shorter spent the spring semester enrolled at KCKCC.
“Armoni never played high school basketball but got his GED and enrolled the spring semester to get his grades and learn how do things basketball-wise,” Newton said. “He’s still got a lot to learn but he’s long and athletic, can shoot the three, rebound, and defend and will be a good asset to our team.”
Previously announced recruits include guard Zach Jackson and forward-center Joe Lendway from Lansing’s undefeated state championship team; C.J. Harper, forward from Piper; guard Dehven Talley from Shawnee Mission Northwest; and guards Tevin Downing and Braeson Sester from Shawnee Heights.
“We’re still looking for a couple of more players but I’m happy so far,” Newton said. “I’m really excited for everyone to be here so we can go to work.” Most players are expected in late July or early August.
The Blue Devils return three veterans, forward Clay Young of Lansing who average 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds, 5-8 guard Anthony Ridley, who led in assists while averaging 8.9 points; and C.J. Vallejo, a 6-4 sophomore guard who was red-shirted last season.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.

Search for hidden cash hits Wyandotte County

A “mystery cash drop” game has hit Wyandotte County.

At a Twitter site called, “Hidden Cash KC” (@HiddenCashKC) is a clue in a game to find hidden cash.

This clue, referring to Kansas City Kansas Community College, says “If you’re an alumni here you might be called a blue Devil.”

The second clue: “Watch your SPEED LIMIT campus police are everywhere.”

The third clue: “jogging trail…”

Early reports on Twitter are that the site was found by a 20 mph speed limit sign by Jenny Schneider.

The game has been played already in several Kansas towns, with a little cash found after clues are given online.