Kansas City Kansas Community College athletes donated blood recently  for the Community Blood Center. (KCKCC photo)
Kansas City Kansas Community College athletes donated blood recently for the Community Blood Center. (KCKCC photos)


by Kelly Rogge

For the first time, blood drives were held on both the Kansas City Kansas Community College main campus as well as KCKCC-TEC, a plan that worked out well for the student athletes at KCKCC and the Community Blood Center.

“The athletes and nursing students are our biggest supporters when it doesn’t conflict with their practices, games or nursing clinicals,” said Linda Sutton, director of student activities at KCKCC. “Valerie Stambersky (women’s basketball coach at KCKCC) contacted me and asked if the time could be extended because her team wanted to donate, but had missed the time (on the main campus) because of practice.”

In addition to Stambersky, Sutton said KCKCC baseball coach Steve Burleson had sent me an email stating that his team could not donate because they had a game on the original day of the blood drive. After speaking with the Community Blood Center and discovering that it was not possible to extend the day beyond the allotted time, Sutton said they came up with an alternative day, Oct. 17.

“The mini blood drive was a huge success,” she said. “The athletes donated 24 units (of blood) in a three-hour period.”

During the Oct. 15 blood drive, KCKCC collected 53 units, bringing the combined donations of the main campus and the student athletes to 77 units of blood. Sutton said the goal for the main campus was 54 units. The total units from the TEC are not yet available.

“The college has partnered with the Community Blood Center for over 35 years because they are the main provider of blood for the 75 hospitals in the area,” Sutton said. “They (the Community Blood Center) were impressed that our athletes would spend their Friday afternoon donating blood.”

Sutton said she is thankful to all of the coaches, athletes and the entire KCKCC Athletic Department for stepping up to donate “life-saving blood.”

“Also, a big thank you to Jeff Sixta and the Buildings and Grounds staff for their quick setup and getting the room ready for the mini blood drive,” she said. “And most of all, we were proud to dedicate these blood drives to Kelly Fehlhafer, who is currently receiving platelet transfusions. Kelly is the wife of Tom Fehlhafer who works at the TEC campus.”
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor with Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Piper High School debaters recently took fourth place in a debate meet at Olathe South. (Piper photo)
Piper High School debaters recently took fourth place in a debate meet at Olathe South. (Piper photo)

Piper High School – football at Basehor-Linwood
– Varsity won 59-18 (1-0 in district play)

Piper High School – debate at Olathe South
Jalen Zwart and Abby Neal went 3-2-22 in prelims. They dropped to Bishop Miege in quarterfinals to take 4th.
Jana Zeeb and Danielle Krulic went 2-3-29
Junior varsity:
Mikala Sullivan and Carly Johnson went 4-1-20 in prelims. They dropped to Louisburg in finals to take 2nd.
Raven Fletcher and Ariana Williams went 4-1-23 in prelims. They dropped to Louisburg in semifinals to take 3rd.
Matt Romero and Zach King went 1-4-31

Piper High School – state golf at Dub’s Dread GC
– Senior Emily Pennington takes 3rd place with an 82.

Piper High School – football vs. Basehor-Linwood
– Junior varsity won 28-22
– TD’s by VanHoose (2) and Letcher (2)

– From Doug Key, Piper activities director

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Blair Russell (KCKCC photo)
Blair Russell (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College volleyball standout Blair Russell has been named both National Division II Player of the Week by the National Junior College Athletic Association and Jayhawk Community College Conference Player of the Week.

A 5-10 sophomore from Marysville, Kan., Russell is currently ranked second in the nation in the number of kills (432) and eighth in kills per set (3.96).

The Jayhawk Player of the Week award is the second for Russell, who was also chosen the first week of the season. She also becomes only the second player in KCKCC history to earn national player of the week honors, joining Lisa Angello who was selected in 2012.

Russell was selected for her play in a pivotal 3-1 over Jayhawk rival Fort Scott and the Central Nebraska tournament where KCKCC defeated No. 18 ranked Northeast and North Platte while losing to Division I powers, No. 1 ranked Iowa Western and No. 6 Central Nebraska. Russell had a big 21-kill match against Fort Scott and averaged 4.26 kills per set on offense and 3.84 digs per set on offense. She also passed a cumulative 2.1 out of a 3.0 on 95 attempts.

“Blair is very deserving, both as a person and a player,” said KCKCC coach Mary Bruno. “Her time and work ethic put in during the spring have transformed her into one of the Jayhawk Conference’s very best. A smart player, she jumps well and has great contact when she hits.”

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.