2019 Louisburg Sports Zone Athlete of the Year nominees

For the past three years, Louisburg Sports Zone has given out Athlete of the Week awards during each of the three sports seasons. I do it to recognize special athletic achievements and to highlight the athletes.

For the second straight year, Louisburg Sports Zone will be handing out an Athlete of the Year honor to a male and female athlete at Louisburg High School. I wanted the opportunity to recognize those who exemplify what it means to be an “athlete.”

Although I am giving out the award, I wanted the process to be subjective, so I asked the head coaches at LHS to help me out. I asked each coach to send me nominations of who they thought exemplified the Athlete of the Year honor. They will then vote for their top 3 male and female athletes and then I will tabulate the results and determine the winner. In the next week, I will announce this year’s recipients.

Below are the nominees for this year’s award in alphabetical order by last name. Congrats to all those who were nominated and best of luck!

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

CARSON BUFFINGTON – SENIOR – BASKETBALL, SOCCER, VOLLEYBALL

Carson was a 3-time letter winner in her senior season and
was named as a team captain in volleyball, basketball and soccer.

In volleyball, Buffington earned second team All-Frontier
League honors as she helped lead the Lady Cats to a Class 4A state runner-up
performance. She also moved from her starting setter position to the outside
hitter spot and had a lot of success for the Lady Cats as she tallied 130 kills
in her new position. With all that success, Buffington was also selected to the
Greater Kansas City Volleyball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Match.

Buffington also wrapped up a strong career for the Louisburg
basketball team as she averaged eight points and seven rebounds to go along
with three steals a contest. She was named as a Frontier League honorable
mention this past season, and she also was selected as an all-state honorable
mention.

In girls soccer, Buffington was the starting goalie for Louisburg in all 20 games. She posted 13 shutouts, which is a school record and had a .952 goals against average, which is also a school record. Buffington had 90 saves on the season that ended as a Class 4-1A state runner up for the second consecutive year. For her efforts, she was also selected second team All-Frontier League. Buffington was also named first team all-state goalie and was named Goalkeeper of the Year.

ANNA DIXON – SENIOR – VOLLEYBALL

Anna wrapped up her fourth volleyball season as a varsity starter for the Lady Cats and guided Louisburg to its second consecutive Class 4A-state runner-up finish.

Dixon, who is currently with the Kansas State volleyball
team, ended her senior season with 584 kills and had a hitting percentage of
.260. She also added 325 digs, 50 aces and 42 blocks as she played all six
rotations. With those lofty numbers, Dixon earned several big time honors in
her final season.

She was selected as an All-Frontier League first team player
and was also named to the 4A State All-Tournament Team. Those honors continued
as she was named the Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association Class 4A Player of the
Year and earned a spot on KVA All-State First Team.

Following the season, Dixon was also named as an
Under-Armour All-American also earned MaxPreps/American Volleyball Coaches
Association Player of the Week honors.

ALYSE MOORE – SOPHOMORE – BASKETBALL, SOFTBALL, TRACK AND FIELD

Alyse is a 3-sport varsity letter-winner this past year as she earned letters for the basketball, softball and track and field teams. This past spring season, Moore went to state in two different sports and became the first Wildcat athlete in recent memory to do so.

In her first season in track and field, Moore threw the
javelin for the Lady Cats and went on to become regional champion as she
eclipsed her personal best throw by almost 25 feet in just her third
competition of the season. The following week, she medaled fourth at the Class
4A state tournament with a personal best throw of 131 feet and 9 inches.

Moore was also the starting shortstop for the Lady Cats as
she helped Louisburg to its first regional championship since 2014.

During the basketball season, Moore was a starter for the
Lady Cats and averaged six points, five rebounds and three steals a game.

TRINITY MOORE – JUNIOR – CROSS COUNTRY, SOCCER

Trinity is 2-sport letter-winner for Louisburg this past
year as she had state performances in both cross country and soccer.

During the fall, Moore was the top runner on the Louisburg girls cross country team as she helped the Lady Cats to a regional runner-up finish and qualified for state as a team for the first time in school history. Moore medaled fourth at the Class 4A state meet in Wamego and currently holds the school record for the fastest time in program history. She also earned first-team All-Frontier League honors for her third place finish at the league meet.

In soccer, Moore was a starter on the Wildcat team that recently finished as the Class 4-1A state runner-up for the second consecutive year. At the midfield spot, she finished the season with 12 goals and six assists and was also named to the All-Frontier League first team.

DELANEY WRIGHT – FRESHMAN – BASKETBALL, CROSS COUNTRY, TRACK AND FIELD

Delaney is a 3-sport letter-winner as she took part in cross country, basketball and track and field and competed at the state level in two of those.

Wright found most of her success in track and field as she
earned four medals at the Class 4A Kansas State Track and Field Championships
in Wichita this past month. She medaled in the long jump, 400-meter-dash,
200-meter dash and as a member of the 4×400-relay.

During the regional meet, Wright broke two school records
(long jump, 400 dash) and earned a regional and Frontier League title in the
long jump. She also earned a medal in the long jump at the Kansas Relays
earlier in the season.

In cross country, Wright was a member of the Louisburg team
that finished as a Class 4A regional runner-up and qualified for the state meet
as a team for the first time in school history. In basketball, Wright saw
playing time at the varsity level as a freshman at different points throughout
the season.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

BLUE CAPLINGER – SENIOR – BASEBALL, FOOTBALL, TRACK AND FIELD, WRESTLING

Blue is a 4-sport letter-winner in football, wrestling,
baseball and track and field and competed at the state level in two of the
sports.

In football, Caplinger was an All-Frontier League player on
both sides of the ball as he was named to the first team defense as a defensive
back and second team offense as a multi-purpose player. On defense, Caplinger,
who helped Louisburg to a 10-1 record and a regional championship, had 31
tackles from the safety spot and also had two tackles for a loss, two fumble
recoveries and an interception. Offensively, he had 544 total yards and six touchdowns.

On the wrestling mat, Caplinger was a regional champion at
170 pounds and finished his season with a 33-5 record. The Louisburg senior
fell one match short of state medal with a 2-2 record at the Class 4A state
tournament. He currently holds the school record for most career reversals (72)
and most career escapes (86). Following the season, he was also named to the
KWCA Academic All-State first team.

Caplinger split time between baseball and track and field in
the spring. Although he spent time as a reserve and pinch-runner on the
baseball team, Caplinger found a lot of success on the track.

He qualified for state as a member of two relays. Caplinger was a member of the 4×400 relay team that won the Class 4A state championship in 3 minutes and 25 seconds. Caplinger also helped the 4×100 relay to a fifth place finish and went on to garner two state medals.

Caplinger will join the Benedictine football team this fall.

AUSTIN MOORE – SENIOR – FOOTBALL, TRACK AND FIELD, WRESTLING

Austin is a 3-sport letter winner in football, wrestling and
track and field and was among the state’s best in two of the sports.

Moore thrived on the football field for the Wildcats as he helped Louisburg to a 10-1 record and a regional championship. Moore was a first team All-Frontier League player on both sides of the ball and was the league’s leading vote-getter. He went on to rack up all-state awards as the Louisburg senior earned Class 4A first team all-state honors as a running back from the Topeka Capital-Journal and the Kansas Football Coaches Association. Moore was also named as a Class 4A first team all-state linebacker from the Wichita Eagle.

When the season was all said and done, Moore tallied 1,554
total yards from the running back spot, including 1,428 yards on the ground,
and had 21 touchdowns before he broke his collarbone during the regional
championship game.

With those numbers, he was named the Kansas Small Class
Player of the Year by 810 Varsity and was All-Purpose Player of the Year by
Kpreps.com. Earlier this year, Moore was also named to the Kansas Shrine Bowl
roster.

On the wrestling mat, Moore missed more than half of the
season with his broken collarbone, but came back in a big way. Moore won his
first 14 matches when coming back at 220 pounds, which included a regional
championship. He went on to earn his first state medal as he finished fourth at
the Class 4A state tournament with a 3-2 record. He was also named to the KWCA
Academic All-State first team.

During the spring, he was a member of the Louisburg track and field team and threw the javelin for the Wildcats. He was also on the throwers relay that ranked Top 5 nationally at one point in the season.

Moore will join the Kansas State football team this fall.

KIEFER TUCKER – SENIOR – FOOTBALL, TRACK AND FIELD, WEIGHTLIFTING

Kiefer is a 2-sport letter winner in football and track and
field and also went to state competition in two activities.

Tucker was a presence on the line of scrimmage for the
Louisburg football team as he was a first team All-Frontier League player on
both sides of the ball and helped the Wildcats to a 10-1 record and a regional
championship.

The Louisburg senior was among on the leaders on the
offensive line as he helped pave the way for more than 3,500 yards of total
offense. On defense, Tucker recorded 55 tackles from the defensive end spot,
including three tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and
a sack. Those numbers helped earn him honorable mention all-state honors and was
also named to the all-state team by the Kansas Football Coaches Association.
The honors kept coming for Tucker as he was recently selected to participate in
the Kansas Shrine Bowl.

During the winter, Tucker was a member of the Louisburg
powerlifting team and certainly made his mark there as well. Tucker won the Class
4A state championship in the 220-pound class and broke a 24-year-old record in
the bench press with a lift of 375 pounds.

In track and field, Tucker qualified for state for the first time in the discus. He finished as a regional runner-up and went on to take ninth at the Class 4A state meet in Wichita, just one spot away from earning a state medal.

Tucker will join the Emporia State football team this fall.

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