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Week 1: Friday Night Fever - HS Football Previews amd Predictions
By Brandon Tadtman, Jared Sleppy, Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
09/02/2022

WEEK 1 – It’s the start of a brand-new high school football season as the 2022 season kicks off on Friday night! Every team starts with zeros and every team has the same goal, winning a State Championship. The road to a Championship starts now! From 6-Man to Class 4A we’ll get you caught up on all the action from our area teams with the Friday Night Fever Show presented by GN Banks.

2022 Pick Records

Brandon

Last week: n/a
Overall: n/a
Last season: 158-31

Justin

Last week: n/a
Overall: n/a
Last season: 157-32

Jared

Last week: n/a
Overall:  n/a
Last season: n/a

Games to be Broadcast

Centralia at Valley Heights – KMZA 92.1 FM
Perry Lecompton at Sabetha – KNZA 103.9 FM & Sabetha Channel
Royal Valley at Hiawatha – Hiawatha Channel
Nemaha Central at Holton – Holton Channel
Ottawa at Atchison – KAIR 93.7

Week 1 Games

6-Man

Wetmore at Southern Cloud

Wetmore moves down to 6-Man after finishing 2021 with a record of 1-8. The Cardinals were playing 8-man football with 8 men for a lot of games. Coach told me about how he has been getting a gauge on how other teams operate at the 6-man level. *play clip* Last year Wetmore’s offense produced 21 points per game, but they scored 54 points in their season finale. They will look to expound on that with Dierk Hanzlicek and Kyler Wommack leading the offense once again. As for the defense, they will look to adjust the change in classifications and hope for better numbers than last year after giving up 51 points per game in 2021. These two teams met last year in the final game of the year in which the Cardinals won 54-12. Wetmore has had their successes against Southern Cloud. The Warriors are the only team that they have beaten 3 times since 2016 and one of two teams they have won multiple games against in that same timeframe.

Like Wetmore, Southern Cloud goes down from 8-Man to 6-Man in 2022. This is the first year that 6-man is regulated by KSHSAA. Wetmore has seemed to get the better of Southern Cloud recently. The Warriors have dropped three straight games against the Cardinals. SC also went 1-8 last year with their lone win coming in their season opener @ Wilson by a final score of 52-8.

Brandon’s Pick: Wetmore
Justin’s Pick: Wetmore
Jared’s Pick: Wetmore

8-Man (Twin Valley League)

Clifton Clyde at Hanover

An early season clash between two of the best teams in the TVL with Clifton Clyde traveling to Hanover. The Eagles were 8-2 last season and won a fourth straight district title. The only two losses for Clifton Clyde last season were against two of the best teams in the state with Little River in week two and Canton Galva in the playoffs. Clifton Clyde averaged 220 rushing yards per game last season and put up over 42 points per game. They return two of the best linemen in the 8-Man ranks with Seth LeClair and Kansas Damman along with running back Trent Long who rushed for over 1,500 yards last season.

Hanover is coming off a 2021 season where they finished 6-4 and 4-2 in TVL play. They got to the second round of the playoffs before being eliminated by Axtell. Matt Heuer returns for his 18th season as head coach and has compiled a 167-31 record during his time with the Wildcats. They return 16 letterwinners with four returning starters on both sides of the ball. Injuries and Covid played a big part in the four losses last season.

Dating back to 2004, Clifton Clyde is 1-7 against Hanover with their lone win in that stretch back in 2005. Hanover won the most recent meeting in 2020 by a final score of 40-20.

Brandon’s Pick: Clifton Clyde
Justin’s Pick: Clifton Clyde
Jared’s Pick: Clifton Clyde

Washington County at Doniphan West

Washington County enters 2022 under second year head coach Thomas Tryon. The Tigers went 2-7 last season with their lone wins coming against Doniphan West and Herington. The Tigers will have some good experience returning this season but have to replace Nathanial Tice and Coy Stamm who were both All-League player’s last season. Washington County averaged 24 points per game last season but were held under 15 points per game in their seven losses. In their two wins they scored 44 against Doniphan West and 66 against Herington.

Doniphan West enters 2022 with a new head coach as Nick Fuemmeler takes over the program. Fuemmeler has knowledge and experience at D-West after being an assistant and also the head coach from 2011-2013. The Mustangs were 3-6 last season with three of those six losses were by eight points or less. The Mustangs lost nine letterwinners and only return three with one returning starter on offense and two on defense.

Since 2010, Washington County has controlled the series going 8-2 with their last lost to Doniphan West back in 2017. Since then, the Tigers have won four straight including 44-36 last season and also hanging up 82 points in their win over the Mustangs in 2020.

Brandon’s Pick: Washington County
Justin’s Pick: Washington County
Jared’s Pick: Doniphan West

8-Man (Non-League)

Chase County at Frankfort

Chase County has a high-flying offense that will scoring on you while you blink. Last season, the Bulldogs averaged 52 points per game during their 8-2 2021 season. Their season came to an early conclusion after a second-round playoff exit to southeastern KS opponent the Sedan Blue Devils. These two teams are unfamiliar with each other. This is their first meeting since at least 2006 (which is as far MaxPreps’ logs go).

Head coach Nick Anderson returns for his seventh year at the helm in which he has amassed an impressive 38-19 overall record. However, this year will be very different with a lot of new faces and only two returning starters. At quarterback, they have a couple of options in sophomore Ty Smith who was injured last year, or Wes Anderson who is another guy competing for the starting job. The linemen are the most experienced group with all five being upperclassmen. They are led by the dominant senior Xander Hull who will generate a ton of attention up front on both sides of the ball. Some of the guys that will be getting carries are sophomore Lane Loiseau, junior Brock Armstrong and sophomore Carter Olson. The Wildcats have a lot of options, so figuring out their identity and who the best players are in those roles will be the biggest key to success.

Brandon’s Pick: Chase County
Justin’s Pick: Chase County
Jared’s Pick: Chase County

Lakeside at Linn

Last season was certainly an adjustment for the Linn Bulldogs as they were back playing a full season of 8-Man football for the first time since 2018. Linn finished 2-7 and 1-5 in TVL play. Both of their wins were in the first three weeks of the season against Southern Cloud and Wetmore. Linn should improve this season as they only lost one senior to graduation and return seven starters on both sides of the ball.

The Lakeside-Downs Knights posted another strong season in 2021 under head coach Drew Duskie as they finished 6-3 overall. They lost to Frankfort in the first round of the playoffs 60-40 and they haven’t had a losing season since 2018.

Linn and Lakeside haven’t played since 2019 with Lakeside winning that game 62-26. Between 2008-2019 these two teams have played six times with each team winning three. The last win for Linn in this series was 2013.

Brandon’s Pick: Lakeside
Justin’s Pick: Lakeside
Jared’s Pick: Lakeside

Axtell at Cair Paravel

These two are not familiar foes with them only playing once since 2004. That one game was a 70-20 Axtell victory back in 2020.

The champs are back. Axtell achieved perfection a year again going a perfect 13-0 under coach Eric Detweiler, and with them being the consensus #1 team in the Division no matter what poll you look at, they are favored to do it again. Coach Detweiler told me something that should scare everyone in the state. *play clip* They are once again led by senior quarterback Isaac Detweiler who was the Offensive Player of the Year in 8-Man DII. He racked up near 2,000 passing yards with 34 TDs and only 2 picks. He also had a 75% comp pct which was best in the state. Isaac is on pace to possibly set the 8-man record for completion percentage, according to his coach and father. On top of that, he got nearly 1,300 more rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns. They also have a trio of sophomore running backs they can use to divert defenses away from the star QB. Their defense was just as good as their offense with the #1 scoring defense in the state in 2021 averaging just under 13 points per contest.

Cair Paravel has moved up in classifications by actually becoming classified. In the past, they had been in the independent Kansas Christian Athletic Association which hosts other Christian schools and homeschool programs throughout the state. They move up to 8-Man DI after a dominant KCAA State title last season. In 2021, they never scored fewer than 50 points, and they never gave up more than 14 points per game. However, this is a whole different level of competition for the Lions. Coached by Doug Bonura, Cair Paravel will find out quickly how good they are with a much more difficult schedule in the Kaw Valley Conference.

Brandon’s Pick: Axtell
Justin’s Pick: Axtell
Jared’s Pick: Cair Paravel

Blue Valley at St. Paul

The Blue Valley Rams enter 2022 with Matt Schreiber back once again as head coach. The Rams posted a 2-7 record last season but will look for big improvements in 2022. The Rams offense was potent in their two wins against Linn and Wetmore where they scored 52 against Linn and 66 against Wetmore but they combined for just 74 points in their seven losses. The Rams defense will also look to improve this season as they gave up 58 points per game last year.

The St. Paul Indians enter 2022 after putting up a 6-4 record last year. They went 4-1 in district play and 4-1 in Three Rivers League play. They never lost back-to-back games and they had their season come to an end in the second round of the playoffs against Lebo.

First time in a long time that these two teams will meet on the gridiron.

Brandon’s Pick: St. Paul
Justin’s Pick: St. Paul
Jared’s Pick: St. Paul

11-Man (Non-League)

Onaga at McLouth

The Buffaloes are hoping to get over .500 after just barely failing to do so in 2021 with a final record of 4-5. Their fifth-year head coach Ben Kolterman will work with 5 returning starters on offense that produced 38 points per game last year. They return their senior quarterback Zac Fisher who is hoping to go out on a high note after starting at QB every year of HS, who has been a high-quality kid with great leadership skills. Their experienced O-Line will be blocking for him and an array of RBs. Freshman Josh Daniels and junior Landon Koelling (KOH-ling) will get carries out of the backfield and so will junior fullback Hunter Lamond (luh-MOND). will likely be mixed in some as well. As good as their offense was, their defense had some rough stretches allowing 38 points a game last year. If they can tighten things up a little, this could be a team that could improve on their record.

McLouth is coming off a season in which they were unable to get a win. Their first two games were canceled vs. MHMA and @ Bishop Ward. In their first four games, they gave up at least 50 points and only combined for 6. In their final three games, their defense played better and gave up fewer than 35 points. However, there was only one game where they scored more than 10 points. The Bulldogs, led by head coach Gary Freeman, have no where to go but up as they move down from 2A to 1A in the NEK League.

Brandon’s Pick: Onaga
Justin’s Pick: Onaga
Jared’s Pick: Onaga

Wabaunsee at Troy

Troy enters 2022 with head coach Derek Jasper entering his 10th season at the helm of his alma mater. Jasper has tallied a 59-36 record so far in his tenure including a 5-5 record last season. The Trojans finished the regular season 4-4 and then went 1-1 in the playoffs. This team returns 15 letterwinners and nine seniors in what could be an exciting season in Troy. Troy has one of the best athletes in the state with Jerrit Norris (6’4 185 SR) who earned First-Team All-State honors last season with 51 catches for 756 yards and eight touchdowns.

Wabaunsee was stout last season going 7-3 with a playoff win over Northern Heights before getting bounced out by Lyndon. Troy was one of the Chargers three losses last season as Troy won their week three matchup 10-6 at Wabaunsee. Trojans scored all 10 of their points in the second quarter and the defense racked up seven sacks in the game.

Both Troy and Wabaunsee were considered for the top-five rankings in Class 1A from K-Preps as they released their rankings earlier this week. Troy has won three of the last four meetings dating back to 2015. Wabaunsee’s last win over Troy was in 2020.

Brandon’s Pick: Troy
Justin’s Pick: Troy
Jared’s Pick: Wabaunsee

Ottawa at Atchison (KAIR 93.7)

The Atchison Phoenix put together a stellar 2021 season as they went 8-2 overall and swept the KCA League to win the League Title. Atchison was able to pick up a first-round playoff win against Fort Scott before losing in the second round to Eudora. They lost their first game and last game of the season, so they had rattled off eight straight wins before the season ended which was their longest winning streak since 2006. Jim Smith enters his 25th season as head coach and he’ll have one of the best running backs in the state. Jesse Greenly (5’11 220 SR) returns after posting over 1,700 yards and 27 touchdowns last season which earned him All-League and All-State honors.

The Ottawa Cyclones enter 2022 under second year head coach Walt Alexander. They went 2-7 last year in his first year at the helm. They started their season 2-3 with wins over Baldwin and Bonner Springs before losing four straight games to end the season.

Brandon’s Pick: Atchison
Justin’s Pick: Atchison
Jared’s Pick: Atchison

Twin Valley League

Centralia at Valley Heights (KMZA 92.1 FM)

These two teams met twice last year with Centralia winning both matchups and scoring 41 points in both games. The Panthers won the first game September 24th 41-16, and then the second matchup was a 41-0 shutout in the second round of the playoffs. Centralia is 12-1 against Valley Heights since 2004 with the lone win coming in 2016.

Centralia comes into the 2022 season with a new coach, but a familiar face in Roger Holthaus who is also their women’s basketball coach. Last season saw Centralia going 8-3 and winning their 5th straight TVL title. They, unfortunately, fell just short of winning the state title when they lost to eventual champions Olpe in the sub-state round. They come into the season pre-ranked #8 according to Catch It Kansas and are among the others considered by Kpreps’ rankings. In comes their new QB in Sr. Trenton Talley who will be alongside senior running back Drew Gibbs. Overall, the Panthers are going to remain a contender unless proven otherwise and will have a lot of speed mixed with some inexperience at spots.

Valley Heights will be going into year two under head coach Cody Trimble who led them to a 4-5 record in 2021. They return with some solid experience with 8 returners on O and 9 on D. However, they do lose their dynamic running back in Trenton L’Ecuyer. (Luh-CURE) He is being replaced by sophomores Caden Dummermuth and Jayden DeWalt who will be in the backfield. Their starting quarterback this season will be sophomore Mack Shanks who stands at 6-foot and 140 pounds. Originally, the plan was to start senior Caden Parker, but he unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury on the first day of pads, according to Trimble. The trenches on both sides of the ball will be a strength with only one player not coming back from last year’s team. Their LBs and DBs provide a lot of athleticism as well.

Brandon’s Pick: Centralia
Justin’s Pick: Centralia
Jared’s Pick: Centralia

Big 7

Perry Lecompton at Sabetha (KNZA 103.9 FM & Sabetha Channel)

The Kaws of Perry Lecompton will enter 2022 with plenty of expectations after they went 6-4 last season and made the second round of the playoffs. Mike Paramore enters his 22nd season as head coach and has compiled 117 wins at Perry. 22 letterwinners return with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball. Gunnar Ball will lead the Kaws at quarterback as he was Honorable Mention All-League last year throwing for 1,242 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also added 583 rushing yards and eight more scores. They also return four starters on the offensive line.

Plenty of expectations for the Sabetha Bluejays in 2022 with a lot of talent back after a 4-5 season last year. Sabetha went 4-2 in Big 7 league play, but they were 0-3 against non-league opponents. The Bluejays have the luxury of returning 21 letterwinners compared to just seven lost so head coach Garrett Michael has plenty of talent to work with. Michael enters his 14th season as head coach and 25th season overall at Sabetha. Matthew Garber will lead Sabetha at quarterback after throwing for over 580 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

Sabetha was bounced out of the first round of playoffs last year by Perry Lecompton 28-21 with Gunnar Ball throwing for 281 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Kaws. Sabetha is 8-5 in the last 13 meetings with Perry Lecompton dating back to 2010. Sabetha had won six straight in the series before their loss to the Kaws last year.

Brandon’s Pick: Perry Lecompton
Justin’s Pick: Sabetha
Jared’s Pick: Perry Lecompton

Royal Valley at Hiawatha (Hiawatha Channel)

Royal Valley enters the 2022 season under second year head coach David Boucher. Panthers had a tough go last year as they finished 1-8 and finished seventh in the Big 7. Boucher has a lot to work with this season as he returns 20 letterwinners with eight starters back on offense and nine on defense. Aidan McKinsey will lead Royal Valley at quarterback, and they also return their top two rushers from last season in Treyson Murata and Jamison Shane.

The Redhawks of Hiawatha took another big step in the right direction last year as they were a 12-10 opening night loss to Troy away from posting a winning record for the first time since 2013. Hiawatha went 4-5 and even shocked Perry Lecompton in week two. They also had big wins over Royal Valley, Jefferson West, and Riverside. Michael Downard enters his fourth season as head coach and will return nine starters along with 17 total letterwinners.

Hiawatha won the matchup last season with Royal Valley 56-0 and have lost the last two meetings in the series. Royal Valley won three straight from 2017-2019 and dating back to 2004 the series has been tight with Royal Valley winning 10 of the 18 games.

Brandon’s Pick: Hiawatha
Justin’s Pick: Hiawatha
Jared’s Pick: Hiawatha

Nemaha Central at Holton (Holton Channel)

Holton seems to be Nemaha Central’s Achilles heel as they are just 3-11 against the Wildcats since 2004. If there’s one thing that we know about these two teams when they get together is that they’ll both play tough. Since 2015, the margin of victory between these two teams has always been two touchdowns or less. NC has not won against Holton since 2017.

Nemaha Central – Year two under head coach Michael Glatczak, and year one you can certainly deem it a success. I’m sure that coach Glatczak won’t say that, though, as they lost in the second round to the eventual state champs Rossville. The Thunder will look to follow up on their 7-3 season by continuing their high-powered offense which scored 34 points per game. It will be led by senior dual threat QB Brayden Uphaus (UP-house) who got 650 total yards and 6 TDs a year ago. Their backfield is led by Cooper Hajek (Hike) who both earned an All-Big 7 honorable mention in 2021. Their defense was just as dominant giving up just 12.7 points per game.

Late field goals have decided this week one battle the last two years with Holton squeaking out 15-13 and 25-24 wins to start each season.

The Cats finished 11-1 last year only falling at Frontenac in Sub State and will look to four new starters up front to help pave the way for a 25th consecutive playoff campaign.  The reigning league champion Wildcats return what may be one of the most experienced and talented backfields in the state. Four seniors all ran for more than 650 yards last season in QB Matt Lierz, fullback and D1 signee Jace Boswell and talented tailbacks Jayden Fletcher and Garyson Booth.  Plus several other seniors will be key contributors on a deep roster that will be undersized most games.

Brandon’s Pick: Holton
Justin’s Pick: Holton
Jared’s Pick: Holton

Jefferson West at Riverside

The Jefferson West Tigers will enter 2022 under second year head coach David Bowen after they went 2-7 in 2021. Jeff West picked up their first win against Royal Valley in week four and then closed out their season with an 8-6 win over Osawatomie. Bowen notes that they are building this team the correct way and they are hoping for big improvements this season as they return 12 letterwinners and seven starters on both sides of the ball. They will have a difficult schedule this season with the Big 7 plus the addition of Hayden in week four.

Riverside fought hard all season long in 2021 with a very limited number of players. They ended the year on a win against McLouth and return five starters on both sides of the ball. However, they will need a new QB after Kobe Davis graduated. Kobe’s cousin Beckam Griffin, who is a freshman, will look to improve an offense that scored 12 points per game. Percy Duncan and Elijah Moore will be their RB’s and Duncan will play some WR alongside Ryder Davis. Their defense looks for some major improvement as well after allowing 33 points per game. Their LBs are experienced with Todrick and Percy Duncan and Caylub Irby-Tyler flying all over the field and being the leaders of the D.

Jefferson West and Riverside have split their last four meetings dating back to 2014. The Tigers won the last matchup in 2017, 36-12 while Riverside last beat Jeff West in 2016, 21-14. Jeff West won in 2015 and Riverside won the matchup in 2014.

Brandon’s Pick: Jefferson West
Justin’s Pick: Jefferson West
Jared’s Pick: Jefferson West

Northeast Kansas League

ACCHS at Valley Falls

The 2021 season was a historic season for the Tigers of ACCHS as they posted their first winning season since 2012, first playoff appearance since 2011, and won the NEKL for the first time since 2010. The Tigers went 6-3 and they were a perfect 4-0 in league play. Despite all of the success they were one and done in the playoffs as they had to go on the road to juggernaut Silver Lake and their season ended with a 62-20 loss. SR Bricen Lee returns at quarterback to lead ACCHS as he compiled over 1,400 total yards last season and 20 touchdowns and was Second Team All-League and earned Honorable Mention All-State honors.

The Dragons are making the jump from 8-Man this season. Head coach Wyatt Hofstra and co. will have a tough task ahead of them, but they will be ready for it. Valley Falls with their jump in classifications will need more bodies on the O-Line, a unit that lost quite a few players from last year’s team. Senior QB Dylan Cervantez is the lone returning captain. He threw for 607 yds with seven passing touchdowns and added 627 more rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Their skill position players are very young with only two starters being upper classmen. Soloman Drinkard will be the MVP of the defense once again this year after posting 98 tackles and 14 tackles for loss with 6.5 sacks. The Dragons’ defensive captain has added 15 pounds of muscle and grown a few inches, according to Hofstra. VF and ACCHS are “frenemies” when they play. Hofstra told me a lot of the kids know each other which creates an extra level of competitiveness to Friday’s contest.

ACCHS and Valley Falls haven’t played each other since 2013. From 2008-2013 they played six times with ACCHS winning five of the six games including five in a row. The last time Valley Falls beat ACCHS was in 2008.

Brandon’s Pick: ACCHS
Justin’s Pick: ACCHS
Jared’s Pick: ACCHS

Jefferson County North at Pleasant Ridge

The 2021 season for Jefferson County North was solid to say the least. They Chargers finished 7-3 and got to the Sectional Round of the playoffs before losing to eventual State Champion Olpe. JCN won the Regional Title and finished second in the NEKL standings behind ACCHS. Jeff Schneider returns for his 8th season as head coach as he took over the JCN program back in 2015. He has led the Chargers to winning seasons in six of his seven years. Look for JCN to compete with ACCHS atop the NEKL this season as they return 17 letterwinners and eight starters on both sides of the ball. Senior Blake Fowler enters his third year as the starting quarterback and was Honorable Mention All-League last year after rushing for 865 yards and passing for over 600 yards.

After a 2-5 season in 2020, the Pleasant Ridge Rams posted a strong season last year as they finished 5-4 overall and 4-1 in NEKL play. The Rams lost to ACCHS 22-0 in week two and a win would’ve given them the league title as they swept the rest of their league opponents. The offense will look to be more consistent as they scored 37 points per game in their five wins compared to just 11 points per game in their four losses. Logan Fritz enters his third season as head coach and has posted a 7-9 record in his first two seasons.

Pleasant Ridge beat JCN last year in a thriller 24-22. Prior to that, JCN had won four of the last five meetings in the series. Dating back to 2004, Pleasant Ridge leads the series winning 13 of the 18 matchups. Pleasant Ridge won 11 of the 12 matchups from 2004-2015 with the lone loss to JCN in that stretch in 2012.

Brandon’s Pick: Jefferson County North
Justin’s Pick: Jefferson County North
Jared’s Pick: Jefferson County North

Horton at Jackson Heights

It was another tough season for the Horton Chargers in 2021 as they finished 0-9 and saw their losing streak reach 38 games. Battling overall numbers and getting kids to play has been a struggle at Horton in recent years. There is a new head coach for the Chargers this season as Kyle Gurss takes over for David Losey. The Chargers will have some familiar faces back and will look to find some stability in 2022 with the hope of being able to snap their current losing streak.

Jackson Heights will enter this season under veteran head coach Caleb Wick who enters his 11th season with the Cobras. Jackson Heights went 5-5 overall last season with a 2-1 mark in league play while going 3-3 in district play. They went 4-4 in the regular season and won a first-round playoff game against Central Heights but lost the following week to eventual State Champion Olpe 35-0. The Cobras return 17 letterwinners and will have five returning starters on offense and eight on defense.

Jackson Heights is 11-4 against Horton in their last 15 meetings dating back to 2004. The Cobras have won six straight in the series including last season 48-7. Horton last been Jackson Heights in 2014 with their other three wins in that stretch coming in 2007, 2008, and 2012.

Brandon’s Pick: Jackson Heights
Justin’s Pick: Jackson Heights
Jared’s Pick: Jackson Heights

Maur Hill-Mount Academy at Oskaloosa

Maur Hill has historically played well against Oskaloosa with 7 wins in their 9 meetings since 2004. The series has been exceptionally lobsided in recent years with the Ravens winning the last five straight by no fewer than 25 points. The Bears are looking for their first win against MHMA since 2013.

The Ravens have a new head coach in Zack Fredrickson who was on staff last year as an assistant, overseeing the offense that averaged about 32 points per game. He takes over for a team that went 4-4 a year ago. They return about half of their starters from last year’s squad which includes their senior quarterback, Mark Harris. Four members of their O-Line coming back, and they will be blocking for running back Thomas Rziha (SHEE-yuh). Coach Fredrickson told me he had a great offseason and is very excited to see him run. Their defense will hope to improve after allowing 31 points per game in 2021. It was a hot-and-cold unit that allowed just 13.8 points per game in their wins, but 48.5 points per game in their losses.

The Bears also have a new coach with Eddie Minor taking over after Oskaloosa went just 1-8 in 2021. Unfortunately, Oskaloosa has had their struggles over the years with last year’s lone win vs. McLouth keeping them from going winless for a third consecutive season. Sophomore Trenton VanHoutan will start as their QB and coach Minor says that he has been improving his game little by little every practice. Junior Nicholas Bradshaw, sophomore Colsen Perry, and sophomore Carter Subelka are all key guys that will be handling the ball out of the backfield and at receiver in 2022 for Oskaloosa.

Brandon’s Pick: Maur Hill-Mount Academy
Justin’s Pick: Maur Hill-Mount Academy
Jared’s Pick: Maur Hill-Mount Academy

North Central Kansas League

Marysville at Abilene

The Marysville Bulldogs will have a new head coach this season as Tony Trimble takes over for a team that finished 2-6 last season and 1-3 in North Central Kansas League play. The two wins for Marysville were against Council Grove and Clay Center and they had their season end in the first round of the playoffs to Southeast of Saline. It will be a good mix for Trimble in year one with youth and experience. He’ll have five returning starters on offense and five on defense.

Abilene is looking for something to turn their program around. Brad Nicks enters his third season as head coach of the Cowboys, and they haven’t won a game since 2018. They finished 0-9 last year, 0-6 in 2020, and 0-9 in 2019. The Cowboys have lost 25 straight games entering this season.

Marysville and Abilene haven’t played each other since 2017 in which Marysville won that game. Before that, Abilene had won eight straight games in the series. Between 2004-2017, Abilene leads the series against Marysville winning 10 of the 14 games.

Brandon’s Pick: Marysville  
Justin’s Pick: Marysville
Jared’s Pick: Marysville


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