Top 11 and All-Class football teams are selected by The Wichita Eagle with the help of coaches across Kansas.
Every coach in the state is mailed a ballot to return to The Eagle, by mail or online, by the end of the season. Coaches may nominate their own players and players from other teams. They also are asked to supply statistics and comment on players they nominate.
The teams were selected by Joanna Chadwick. She tabulated nominations from the ballots and received additional input from coaches and other media members.
Top 11 teams are selected regardless of position, while All-Class teams are selected by position.
“When he first came in, he was 6-1, maybe 210, 215. I saw him mature big time on and off the field. He grew a lot and became a physical presence in there. He had great feet. He worked on those feet, worked with us, worked with his dad.”
“I think (the injury) forced him to trust the offensive linemen and the pass protection blocking and forced him to stay in the pocket a little more. In the past he’d have flushed and ran and made the play with his feet.”
“ His emergence as a superstar really opened up our offense. I think our success running the ball came a lot from our passing game. We were able to exploit teams that were stacking the box.”
“Some of the plays he’d make His sophomore year was when I bought into the fact that he was pretty good. I knew he was going to be good, but when he was at defensive end, he makes the play on the quarterback, who is running the option. He tackles the quarterback, who got the pitch off and then tackles the pitch man for a three-yard loss.”
“ In the middle of the season we had seven starters out for three games. In those three games we lost by a field goal, in overtime and another on a touchdown late. The fact of the matter is, he carried us through that time when we could have just folded. He carried us through until we got our guys back and won five games in a row.”
“He took the quick-foot ladder and he did drills that will help him with pass protection at the next level, even though we don’t pass much. He worked on quick steps and footwork and he got a little bit faster. He got stronger, too, and I don’t know how that happened.”
“ He’s a complete back in that he can run inside, he can go outside. He’s very good at finding cutbacks, using his blockers. At 6-1, 205, he’s a great-looking kid, and he’s fast. He has the size and speed to play on Saturday, and hopefully more than that. He is really, really quality.”
“We made tons of adjustments for each team we played, especially in the playoffs. We all had a goal of winning state, and we all knew we could do it. He knew how hard we worked, and he told us to go get it.
“We’re all a big family. We spend a lot of time together in the summer, too, and we’d do anything for the guy next to you and for coach. We fought really hard to win for him.”