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June 28, 2018
Harvey County IndependentJune 28, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Sedgwick Family Hosts Summer College Baseball Players

Posted 6/28/2018

By Pilar MartinENZO Bonventre, Cale Thompson and Brody Mariotti (back row, left to right) have been staying with the Morton family in Sedgwick this summer as they play baseball for the Newton Rebels and McPherson Pipeliners. Members of the Morton family are Roger Jr., Mandy, Bradlynn, Jacob (in front) and Roger Sr., (not pictured).  ENZO Bonventre, Cale Thompson and Brody Mariotti (back row, left to right) have been staying with the Morton family in Sedgwick this summer as they play baseball for the Newton Rebels and McPherson Pipeliners. Members of the Morton family are Roger Jr., Mandy, Bradlynn, Jacob (in front) and Roger Sr., (not pictured).

SEDGWICK – For the past two years, the Roger Morton family has opened their Sedgwick home during the summer to collegiate baseball players.

The players come from states away, just for the opportunity to play baseball during the summer when school is out. The Mortons learned of the need for host families for the Newton Rebels team.

“I heard through a friend that some of these young men needed somewhere to stay,” Mandy said. “We have a love of the game and room in our home, so we hosted last year for the first time. It has been a great experience for everyone.”

The Newton Rebel players come from all over the country. They play college ball during the school year, signing up and paying to play in collegiate leagues during the summer months. The Newton Rebels are part of the Sunflower Collegiate League. The Rebels are one of those teams that finish their season at the National Baseball Congress, NBC tournament in Wichita each summer. The Rebels were the surprise team of 2015 at the NBC, earning a top 10 finish that year and named top offensive team.

Most of the Rebel players are from Kansas or go to college in Kansas. But when you look at the Rebel’s roster, you see players from Oklahoma, Nevada and Arizona. The adopted boys of summer at the Mortons’ house are from Indiana, California and Michigan.

Brody Mariotti hails from Yorktown, Indiana. He just finished his freshman year at Concordia College in Chicago. Mariotti plays first base and talks to his parents just about every other day, he said.

Cale Thompson, comes to Kansas from San Jose, California. He just graduated from West Valley Community College and will be going on to a four year school August. He plays shortstop and calls home every day.

Enzo Bonventre isn’t with the Mortons for the whole summer, just as a temporary guest, while housing can be found for him. Bonventre, from Michigan, doesn’t play for the Rebels but the McPherson Pipeliners. He is a catcher and will be a sophomore next year at the University of Montevallo.

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Adams Steps Down After 13 Years With Housing Authority

Posted 6/28/2018

By Jared JanzenMARILYN Adams, left, accepts a recognition award from Halstead Housing Authority Executive Director Nikki Willis for her 13 years of service to the housing authority’s board of directors. MARILYN Adams, left, accepts a recognition award from Halstead Housing Authority Executive Director Nikki Willis for her 13 years of service to the housing authority’s board of directors.

HALSTEAD—For the past 13 years, Marilyn Adams has dedicated many hours of her time to serving the community as a member of the Halstead Housing Authority executive board. She was recognized last week for her years as a volunteer, as she’s decided not to start a new term.

“I love the job; I love being involved with these people—they’re great, for the most part,” she said. “But I’m old enough to be living out here, and my health is going down…and it was time to stay at home and let someone new come along.”

Adams joined the board in January 2005 at the recommendation of then executive director Bonnie Sheffler

“She thought I would be a good fit for them,” Adams said.

After checking to make sure it wouldn’t be a conflict of interest since her husband, Phil, was a city councilmember, she agreed.

Since then, Adams has played an active role on the board, including serving as chairperson for five or six years.

One aspect of Adams’s responsibilities as chair was to keep up-to-date on regulations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which Adams said there were about 2 million of. She was required to sign off on a monthly letter regarding government rules and regulations.

“It’s just a matter of keeping things rolling,” Adams said.

Adams said she’d seen a lot of changes at the housing authority during her years of service there and that things were “so much better” now.

Housing Authority Executive Director Nikki Willis said Adams would be sorely missed and that it had been a great honor to have Adams as her supervisor.

“Being the chair is not an easy responsibility, because HUD has expectations, and it’s not a paid position, so she’s done all of this work just because she’s that kind of person,” Willis said.

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O'Neal Scores 10 Points In All-Star Game

Posted 6/28/2018

KASON O’Neal, shown here playing for Halstead last season, participated in Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star game last Saturday. KASON O’Neal, shown here playing for Halstead last season, participated in Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star game last Saturday. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Halstead’s Kason O’Neal had one final fling in his high school basketball career last weekend when he had the privilege of playing in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star game.

O’Neal’s team, which was coached by Halstead Head Coach Lonnie Lollar, lost by five points in overtime, 98-103. The game took place last Saturday at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina and featured 22 graduated seniors, the best of the best in Kansas from classes 1A through 6A.

“It was definitely crazy,” O’Neal said. “I didn’t know that good of players came out of Kansas.”

The players had been divided into teams a month beforehand by the coaches, and they had time to hang out and get to know each other during the two-day experience. Originally 24 players had been selected, but two were unable to make it, O’Neal said.

During practices before the game, the players walked through different plays, and O’Neal said it felt like high school again to be playing under coach Lollar.

He said the game itself felt kind of like a pick-up game, albeit a pretty competitive one.

O’Neal said all the players there could dunk, but only two did it during the game and he wasn’t one of them. He totaled 10 points off of two three-pointers, a lay-up and two free throws.

The game was played with 20-minute halves, and players would rotate five minutes in the game, five minutes out.

With this being the off-season, O’Neal said that did have an effect on the players’ conditioning.

“It was definitely a little slower paced, but I didn’t notice it much actually,” he said.

His parents and some of his Dragon teammates came out to support him during the All-Star game.

O’Neal averaged 12.6 points during the Halstead Dragons 2017-18 state championship season and led the team in steals, assists, total rebounds and other categories. He will be continuing his basketball career at Pratt Community College this fall. 

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