2018 SIK Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Honors

Ed Fritz of Blue Valley Northwest named all-classes & 6A COY. (Photo: Mahmood Khatib)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen & Conor Nichol
Mar 18, 2018

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2018 Sports in Kansas All-Classes Coach of the Year - Ed Fritz, Blue Valley Northwest

Fritz has led BVNW to back-to-back state titles and fourth crown since 2013. The Huskies finished 21-4 with a perfect record against Kansas schools. BVNW won each state game by double figures, including 51-40 versus Lawrence Free State in the final. He is 613-271 all-time, including 180-41 in the last nine years. Fritz has coached the Huskies for the last 16 seasons with state tournament appearances eight of the last nine years. Fritz is the brother of Willie Fritz, the former head football coach at Central Missouri and current Tulane head football coach. Fritz has two former players on Loyola-Chicago, a No. 11 seed that has qualified for the Sweet 16 and drawn national attention for their NCAA tournament run, two last-second wins and its 98-year-old chaplain, Sister Jane. On Saturday, Loyola defeated Tennessee on a last-second shot from Clayton Custer, a former BVNW standout and Missouri Valley Conference player of the year this season. The Huskies’ Ben Richardson is also on Loyola’s roster and was the Missouri Valley defensive player of the year.

2018 Sports in Kansas 6A Coach of the Year – Ed Fritz, Blue Valley Northwest

Fritz has led BVNW to back-to-back state titles and fourth crown since 2013. The Huskies finished 21-4 with a perfect record against Kansas schools. BVNW won each state game by double figures, including 51-40 versus Lawrence Free State in the final. He is 613-271 all-time, including 180-41 in the last nine years. Fritz has coached the Huskies for the last 16 seasons with state tournament appearances eight of the last nine years. Fritz is the brother of Willie Fritz, the former head football coach at Central Missouri and current Tulane head football coach. Fritz has two former players on Loyola-Chicago, a No. 11 seed that has qualified for the Sweet 16 and drawn national attention for their NCAA tournament run, two last-second wins and its 98-year-old chaplain, Sister Jane. On Saturday, Loyola defeated Tennessee on a last-second shot from Clayton Custer, a former BVNW standout and Missouri Valley Conference player of the year this season. The Huskies’ Ben Richardson is also on Loyola’s roster and was the Missouri Valley defensive player of the year.

Congrats to the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies on their 2018 6A state title. Also congrats to Joseph Pleasant on your 6A Player of the Year honor and Coach Fritz on your 6A Coach of the Year honor from the Blue Valley Northwest Athletic Department!

2018 Sports in Kansas 5A Coach of the Year– Mike Dominick, Bishop Carroll

Bishop Carroll was ranked ninth in the preseason, opened with three straight losses, then eventually captured its first-ever boys’ basketball championship with a 43-41 overtime win against Salina Central. Luke Evans was the only senior for a team that found roles throughout the year, especially Carsen Pracht, Gunner Lynch and Tanner Mans. Lynch was a J.V. player the first six games before he was a solid defender and rebounder down the stretch. Carroll went 19-1 down the stretch for Dominick, in his second year. The Golden Eagles, seeded fourth, finished 20-5.

2018 Sports in Kansas 4A-I Coach of the Year– C.J. Jennings, Arkansas City

Jennings led Arkansas City to a third place showing in 4A-I and 19-6 overall record. The No. 4 seeded Bulldogs opened with a 45-29 win against Wamego, then fell 54-44 to McPherson. In the third place game, Ark City defeated Andover Central, 57-55. Jennings, in his second year at Arkansas City, took over a long struggling program. AC had won a combined 13 games in the previous four years before he became head coach. Jennings led the Bulldogs to an 11-10 record in his first season. Junior Cevin Clark averaged more than 20 points a game this year.

2018 Sports in Kansas 4A-II Coach of the Year– Anthony Houk, Parsons

Houk, with three sophomores and two juniors, led Parsons to a 17-8 record and fourth-place finish in 4A-II. Parsons opened with a 72-68 win against Anderson County, then lost 66-62 to top-seeded Holcomb. The state victory marked the first for the program since 1996. In the third-place game, Parsons lost to Andale, 53-46. Houk led a big improvement after a 10-11 season last year. He is now 48-41 in his career with the Vikings. Look for a bright future from Houk and the Vikings as they return everyone after having one of the most exciting and young teams to watch in Kansas this season. 

Eye Care Associates of Parsons, Wayne Gilmore O.D., and Craig Newland, O.D., would like to congratulate the 4A-II Coach of the Year Anthony Houk and the Parsons Vikings on their fourth-place finish in 4A-II.

The Parsons High School Booster Club would like to congratulate the Vikings on an outstanding season. Congrats to the Vikings on their top four finish at state and congrats to Coach Houk on the 4A-II Coach of the Year!

2018 Sports in Kansas 3A Coach of the Year–Lonnie Lollar, Halstead

Halstead entered the season unranked and eventually captured its first crown since 2001 when Dennis Latimore earned 3A Player of the Year. Latimore went on to play at Arizona and Notre Dame. The Dragons were seeded fifth and finished 23-2 with a last-second 44-43 win against Phillipsburg in the final. Lollar, in his second season with Dragons, had previously coached Bishop Carroll for 11 years (129-122 record). Carroll qualified for state six times with a second and third place finish at state. Lollar finished 12-11 in his first year with the Dragons. This winter, Halstead did not lose after a 61-52 loss to Cheney on Jan. 19. After the defeat, Halstead went 4-0 in games decided by five points or fewer/overtime, including close wins in the first round of state against Caney Valley (65-63) and the finals versus Phillipsburg. Halstead led the 3A state tournament in three-pointers (20) and three-point shooting (38.5). In the final, Halstead limited Phillipsburg, which averaged 65 possessions a game, to just 49 possessions in the final.

2018 Sports in Kansas 2A Coach of the Year – Brett Rolfs, Central Plains

Brett Rolfs had enjoyed multiple outstanding Oiler teams, including 2A second and third place showings in the last four years. This winter, Rolfs, with an improved defense, piloted the Oilers to a 26-0 record and state title. Central Plains is the consolidation of Claflin and Quivira Heights. None of the three schools had ever won a boys’ basketball title. The Oiler girls finished 26-0, too. The Oilers joined 2011 Wichita Heights as the lone school to have perfect boys’ and girls’ teams in the same year. CP won every game at state by double figures, including 47-34 versus Colgan in the state title game. CP permitted more than 45 points just once all year. The Oilers returned five of its top-six starters from a team that didn’t make the state tournament in  2017.

2018 Sports in Kansas 1A-I Coach of the Year –Mark Applegate, South Gray

Applegate collected his fourth state title and his first undefeated crown this season. The Rebels lost to Hanover in the 1A-I state title game last season. This year, with improved guard play and another big season from forward Gilbert Peters, SG rolled through its regular season with an average margin of victory of more than 40 points a game. Last year, guards Austin Jantz and Clifton Miller combined for 11 points a game. This season, the duo collectively averaged 30. After a 33-point victory versus Rural Vista in the first round, SG beat St. John (43-37) and Hanover (65-54) to capture the title. Applegate is 654-214 in 36 years all at Montezuma and South Gray (consolidation of Montezuma and Copeland). He previously captured titles in ’97, ’07 and ’08.

South Gray High School Booster Club would like to congratulate the 2018 South Gray Rebels on their undefeated 1A-I state championship. They would also like to congratulate Gilbert Peters on 1A-I Player of the year and 1A-I Coach of the Year Mark Applegate.

2018 Sports in Kansas 1A-II Coach of the Year –Chuck Fessenden, Northern Valley

Northern Valley won just six games two years ago. The Huskies enjoyed an 18-4 year last winter. This season, NV finished 25-1 and won its first title since 1991. The Huskies had an average margin of 69-41 after 64-49 last season. The Huskies have averaged nine 3s a game and shot 39 percent from beyond the arc in each of the last two years. Northern Valley had just one senior this year and captured every state game by double figure margins. Fessenden is one of the state’s rare three-sport head coaches. He has been with the Huskies for more than 40 years and also serves as head football and track coach. Fessenden has captured three football titles, the last in ’90.