Three women gymnasts from the Kansas City area — Leanne Wong, Kara Eaker and Aleah Finnegan — have a shot at making the United States' Olympic team when the USA Gymnastics national championships get underway at the Sprint Center on Thursday. None of the three is scheduled to graduate from high school until 2021.
The Kansas City T-Bones have 17 seasons and 3 independent baseball league championships to their name. But for almost a year, they’ve been up for sale with no takers and behind on their bills. “The market has changed. Kansas City has changed, so a lot of things have changed,” T-Bones general manager Chris Browne said.
Major League Baseball is staring down a gender problem. And despite initiatives meant to bring more women into its dugouts, executive offices and broadcast booths, everyone — including women in high-powered positions — says things won’t change quickly. “Look, I think there’s no sugar-coating this. There’s a lot to do,” said Renee Tirado, MLB’s chief diversity officer.
Blue Valley Northwest graduates Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson helped Loyola Chicago through their bracket-busting run in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last year. They also helped revive the Missouri Valley Conference, a mid-major that relies on men’s tournament money, often from a lone team.
Since the 1930s, Missouri and Kansas high school boys wrestlers have gone to the mat to find out who’s the best in their respective states. This year, Missouri added girls’ wrestling to its state championship lineup, only the 12th state to do so.
Just four quarters, barring any overtime, stand between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Super Bowl. That, and the NFL’s most consistent franchise in a generation in the New England Patriots. If you’re reading this and already are confused, keep going. Here’s what you’ll want to know when you’re watching Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium (5:40 p.m., CBS).
In the last year, three boys high school basketball coaching stalwarts in and around Kansas City, Missouri — Willie Bowie, Bud Lathrop and William Madison — have died. As holiday tournaments get underway, the coaches’ longevity and success are sure to be remembered, all while the next legends establish themselves.
No matter how many different puzzle pieces fit together to make the Kansas City Chiefs a success this season, the perception is that it’s The Patrick Mahomes Show. The starting quarterback has capitalized on not only being surrounded by high-level skill players, but also a marketing team that has positioned Mahomes to make good money — and for more than just himself.
Les Miles is 65, but he’s not prepared to dig into his retirement savings nor the $1.5 million buyout settlement he agreed to last week with LSU football. Far less than what LSU had agreed to pay Miles through 2023, the buyout paved the way for him to accept a new challenge: turn around the moribund football program at the University of Kansas.
Despite smaller budgets than major college football teams, NCAA Division II football is in the midst of a sports facility “arms race,” and school administrators don’t deny it. “It’s kind of like the Division Ones,” said Mel Tjeerdsma, Northwest Missouri State’s legendary former football coach and former athletic director. “You have to keep up with the Joneses. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Kansas City-area officials celebrated in June when the U.S., Canada and Mexico won their combined bid to host the men’s World Cup soccer tournament in 2026. That’s because the city is one of 17 in the U.S. that have a chance at hosting matches. “Kansas City is probably shining as much as it can and we still have so much room to grow,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James said June 14.
The Kansas City Royals are on pace to break a team record. It’s not one they’ll be proud of. In 2005, the team lost 106 games. There are 29 left this season, and whatever the Royals’ record is by then, it may not be the worst in baseball. This weekend’s series between the Royals and Baltimore Orioles will have a say: Two teams mathematically eliminated only four years after they played each other in the American League Championship Series.
Ike Opara was 26 in 2015, in the prime of his career and facing the possibility of retiring from professional soccer due to a torn Achilles tendon. “I thought that was it for me,” Opara said. This year, the defender is one of the major reasons Sporting Kansas City is a MLS Cup contender. Opara is one of a handful of Kansas City professional athletes who have demonstrated that an Achilles injury no longer is considered a career-ender.
Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is taking place this week in Washington, D.C., with Salvador Perez representing the Royals. But there’s another Kansas City tie: The first All-Star game was played in 1933, the same year the Washington (D.C.) Senators went to the World Series with a first baseman who was known around Kansas City, Missouri. His name was Joe Kuhel (pronounced “cool”).
Bethany College track and cross country coach Aaron Yoder spends a lot of time on the treadmill in the Lindsborg, Kansas, school’s cardio room. It doesn’t seem unusual unless you see what he’s doing — running backward.
Golfers in this week’s U.S. Open will be trying to avoid hitting a ball into the sand. But at courses in Harrisonville, Missouri, or Leonardville, Kansas, finding the sand is equivalent to a day at the beach.
The U.S. men’s soccer team won’t be in this summer’s World Cup in Russia, and the organization is trying to figure out how to re-enter the world’s consciousness. In that, Kansas City plays a prominent role —in more ways than one.
Patty Gasso has spent her last 24 years in the dugout, coaching Oklahoma’s softball team to 12 Women’s College World Series appearances. But she’s an anomaly in the Big 12 Conference: one of only three women heading a softball team. Among the Power 5 conferences (Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12), the Big 12 is the only one to have more men running softball teams than women.