Men’s assistant McKinstry becomes new women’s coach at KCKCC

A veteran of eight seasons as an assistant coach including last year as men’s assistant at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 34-year-old Joe McKinstry was announced as the new women’s head coach at KCKCC. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
A veteran of eight seasons as an assistant coach including last year as men’s assistant at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 34-year-old Joe McKinstry was announced as the new women’s head coach at KCKCC. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

As assistant men’s basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College last season, Joe McKinstry was a first-hand observer of one the best Blue Devil women’s teams in history.

Today, the 34-year-old McKinstry is head coach of the KCKCC women’s program, succeeding 16-year coach Valerie Stambersky who stepped down in July to take a position in Warrensburg, Mo., where her husband is assistant baseball coach at Central Missouri University.

“I watched a lot of games so I’m very familiar with the players and the style of play they played last season,” McKinstry said. “While it will all be new from a coaching point, having familiarity with the players and program is certainly a benefit. Obviously I’m very excited about this opportunity. My goal is to continue to build off the foundation built by coach Stambersky and coach (Alicia) Roth and continue to be one of the top teams in the Jayhawk Conference. ”

McKinstry takes over a Blue Devil team that finished 24-8 and 28-4 the last two seasons. One of only two teams to defeat national champion Johnson County this past season, the Blue Devils tied for first in the Region VI final standings, tied for second in the Jayhawk and came within one win of a national tournament berth. Eight members of that team will return this season.

A 1999 graduate of Oak Park High School, McKinstry played four years of basketball at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, while earning a degree in Physical Education. A point guard, McKinstry finished his four years of collegiate play as No. 5 on the all-time assist list and in the Top 10 in assists, steals and made 3-point shots.

McKinstry began his coaching career as a full-time assistant at William Penn after earning his degree. In his seven years as assistant, William Penn won two Midwest Collegiate Conference championships, qualified for the NAIA Division II national tournament four times and finished runnerup in 2013. He joined the KCKCC men’s coaching staff last year as assistant to Kelley Newton and helped the Blue Devils finish 23-9.

While this will be McKinstry’s first season as women’s coach, he expects a smooth transition.

“There are a few differences, basketball is basketball and my job as coach is to recognize what skills and talents each player brings and combine those talents to achieve a common goal of a winning program.

“I had a coach who believed in me and opened up opportunities to me and made me believe that I could achieve academically and athletically. My hope and what I aim for is to be that kind of coach. My eight years as an assistant coach have put me in position to take on the duties and responsibilities of a head coach. My whole reason for becoming a coach was to aspire to have my own program and to help young student athletes.”

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.

T-Bones get walk-off win in 12

Robby Kuzdale laid down a perfect suicide squeeze that gave Kansas City the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday night, but it was his hit four innings later that sealed the game for the T-Bones as they beat Laredo, 10-9, in 12 innings at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

In the 12th inning, with the American Association’s use of the international tiebreaker rule, Jake Blackwood started at second base for Kansas City, after the Lemurs took a 9-8 lead in the top of the inning.

Adam Bailey led off the bottom of the 12th with a high chopper that pitcher BJ Hyatt couldn’t handle and both runners were safe for Kansas City. After Kyle Robinson struck out, the Lemurs intentionally walked Vladimir Frias.

With the bases loaded, Blackwood was unable to score on a short fly to right by Alex Marquez. Kuzdale, however, with a 2-0 count, roped a single to left that scored Blackwood and Bailey, and gave the T-Bones the win.

It’s a far cry from the ominous start more than four hours earlier, when Laredo sent 10 to the plate and tagged Kansas City starter Jeremy Strawn for five runs on seven hits in the first inning.

The T-Bones came right back, though, in the bottom of the first and got three runs. Starlin Rodriguez led off the inning with a single and then Nate Tenbrink, who was announced earlier in the day as the league’s Player of the Week, launched a two-run home run to right.

Blackwood then doubled and went to third on a groundout by Bailey. Robinson gave Kansas City another run with a sacrifice fly to deep center that scored Blackwood, making it a 5-3 game.

Kansas City tied the game in the bottom of the third on a home run by Bailey. The two teams then exchanged runs and remained tied at 6-6 until the T-Bones’ half of the eighth.

After Frias led off the inning with a triple and Brian Erie struck out, Kuzdale put down a perfect suicide squeeze that scored Frias, who got a great jump, and gave Kansas City a 7-6 lead.

Closer Fernando Hernandez was unable to get his 21st save, however, as Laredo tacked on a run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Ty Morrison got his third hit of the night and went to second on Abel Nieves’ fourth hit of the game. Then, with Kevin Taylor at the plate and Morrison running on an 0-2 pitch, Taylor grounded the ball back to Hernandez, who got the force at second, but on the double-play attempt, the ball bounced out of Blackwood’s glove, allowing Morrison to tie the game.

Bailey and Tenbrink each had three hits for Kansas City. Tenbrink, who leads the T-Bones with 22 doubles, was a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

Following his homer in the first, Tenbrink hit an RBI single in the second and a lead-off triple in the fifth. In his final two at-bats of the night, he was hit by a pitch in the seventh and grounded out in the ninth.

With the win and three games remaining in the series, Kansas City is now 3 1/2 games behind Laredo for first in the wild-card standings. Joplin is a half-game behind Laredo.

The T-Bones (49-43) and Lemurs (52-42) are scheduled to play game two Tuesday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the box office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618 or online at
– Story from T-Bones

KCKCC golf to rebuild after 5th place finish in 2015 national

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Gary Shrader has a tough act to follow in his 15th season as Kansas City Kansas Community College golf coach but then he has no one else to blame but himself.

Last year, Shrader assembled the most successful Blue Devil golf team in history. With a team made up entirely of Kansas City, Kan., area players, the Blue Devils finished fifth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament. However, with success comes graduation and four of the five Blue Devils who played in the 2015 national tourney have departed for four-year schools.

Only Mark McClain, a sweet swinging southpaw from Bonner Springs returns. First team All-Region and All-Jayhawk Conference honorable mention, Shrader expects McClain to lead the way in 2015-16.

“Mark is capable of playing in the red (below par) every time he goes out,” Shrader said.

From there, it’s a real shootout for the other four starting berths.

“For a few of our practice rounds we’ve had 10 players shooting under 80,” Shrader said. “Getting those kinds of scores this early from new young players on courses they don’t know is exciting. I would say on any given day we have about six players who could play the No. 2 position.”

To break up the logjam of challengers, Shrader is taking 10 players to the opening meet of the year, the Allen County Quadrangular to be played at Emporia Golf Club.

“I’m going to take as many two five-man teams to tournaments as I can,” Shrader said.

While McClain is the only returning starter, sophomore Colton Allen of Shawnee Mission Northwest and UMKC mid-term transfer Evan Shartzer of Blue Valley North saw varsity action this past spring as did Zach Spencer, a transfer from Baker University. In addition, there are three candidates who red-shirted last year, sophomore Dalton Ayres of Newton and freshmen Jeremy Dunham and Matt Thayne of Hesston.

“It’s a pretty solid lineup of seasoned players,” Shrader said. “Allen and Shartzer played behind a pretty strong lineup.”

Heading the list of promising newcomers are Cody Foster of Shawnee Heights Tecumseh, Jack Barnhart of Hesston and Micah Morris of Guthrie, Okla., the team’s lone non-Kansas player, along with Blaine Smith of Piper and Zach Wurtz of Topeka Hayden.

“Some have been impressive with their work ethics,” Shrader said. “But until you get into tournament conditions at the college level you just never know. That’s why we will play as many players as we can.”

After the opening Allen County Quadrangular at Emporia Golf Club Sept. 2-3, the Blue Devils will compete in invitational tournaments held by William Woods April 11-13, Central Methodist Sept. 20-22 and Missouri Valley Oct. 6-8.The final two events are in the Kansas City area, the Avila Invitational at Swope Park Oct. 11-13 and the Park Invitational at The National’s two courses in Parkville Oct. 19-20.

Kansas City Kansas Community College
2015 Golf Schedule

Sept. 2-3 – Allen County Quadrangular Emporia GC
Sept. 11-13 – William Woods Invitational Fulton, Mo. (Tanglewood)
Sept. 20-22 – Central Methodist Invitational Boonville, Mo.
Oct. 6-8 – Missouri Valley Invitational Marshall, Mo.
Oct. 11-13 – Avila Invitational Swope Park
Oct. 19-20 – Park Invitational National, National II

2015-16 Golf Roster
Yr. Hometown (High School)
Colton Allen Soph. Overland Park, KS. (SM Northwest)
Dalton Ayres Soph. Newton, KS. (Newton)
Mark McClain Soph. Bonner Springs, KS. (Bonner Springs)
Evan Sharzer Soph. Leawood, KS. (Blue Valley North)
Blaine Smith Soph. Kansas City, Kan. (Piper)
Zach Spencer Soph. Olathe, KS. (Olathe East)

Jack Barnhart Fr. Hesston, KS. (Hesston)
Jeremy Dunham Fr. Derby , KS. (Derby)
Cody Foster Fr. Shawnee Heights, KS. (Tecumseh)
Micah Morris Fr. Guthrie, OK. (Guthrie)
Matt Thayne Fr. Hesston, KS. (Hesston)
Zach Wurtz Fr. Topeka, KS. (Hayden)

Head coach – Gary Shrader (15th season)