Coach: Randy Dreiling, 17th season, 155-34
2012: 10-3. Top players: Cole Cruz, C, 5-11, 275, sr.; Colby Turner, LB, 5-11, 185, jr.; Turner Wintz, QB-S, 5-10, 160, jr.; Dalton Luce, DT, 5-8, 235, sr.; Kassidy Lemons, K, 6-0, 180, sr.; Heath Davidson, TE-DE, 6-0, 250, sr.
Notes: After proving last season there is no such thing as a down season at Hutchinson by reaching the state title game for the ninth time in 10 years, Dreiling is optimistic once again. A new era on offense begins and Wintz is expected to be the maestro of the flexbone offense. The entire backfield is inexperienced, but producing gaudy rushing stats has never been a problem. Turner is a three-year starter at linebacker and Luce will help spearhead the defense.
Schedule: Sept. 6, Salina Central; Sept. 13, at Campus; Sept. 20, at KC (Mo.) Rockhurst; Sept. 27, Newton; Oct. 4, at Salina South; Oct. 11, at Derby; Oct. 18, Dodge City; Oct. 25, at Garden City; Nov. 1, Maize.
Coach: Michael Hall, eighth season, 39-31
2012: 3-6. Top players: Malik Veal, HB, 5-9, 180, sr.; Clint Ryan, HB, 5-10, 230, jr.; Quintavian Hill, DL, 5-11, 235, sr.; JW Maldaner, QB, 6-2, 195, sr.; Barret Koch, OL, 5-11, 220, sr.; Tanner Robl, LB, 6-2, 195, sr.
Notes: Only seven starters return from last season’s three-win campaign, but the Mustangs return three key pieces to their backfield. Veal is the flash and Ryan is the brute power, while Maldaner looks to compliment them at quarterback after shifting over from receiver. Inexperience is rampant on both sides of the ball, so Hall is putting it on Central’s senior class to lead the way.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at Hutchinson; Sept. 13, Newton; Sept. 20, at St. Thomas Aquinas; Sept. 27, Derby; Oct. 3, Maize; Oct. 11, at Andover Central; Oct. 18, Salina South; Oct. 25, at Great Bend; Nov. 1, at Hays.
Coach: Sam Sellers, fourth season, 22-17
2012: 10-2. Top players: Justin Stonebraker, QB, 5-11, 160, sr.; Mike Smith, HB, 5-8, 160, sr.; Zach Nachbar, WR-CB, 6-2, 170, sr.; Kole Smith, DT, 6-2, 275, sr.; Ethan Mitchell, DE, 6-3, 220, sr.; Aaron Mar, WR-CB, 5-9, 165, sr.
Notes: Fifteen starters are back from a 10-win team that won the program’s first AV-CTL Division I title. The offense is as potent as ever with Stonebraker returning his dual-threat ability at quarterback. Mike Smith has track star speed out of the backfield and Nachbar has a knack for the big play. The defense is solidified by five three-year starters, including Kole Smith and Mitchell, who anchor the defense from the line.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at Derby; Sept. 13, at Maize; Sept. 20, Blue Valley; Sept. 27, at Campus; Oct. 4, Hutchinson; Oct. 11, Newton; Oct. 18, at Salina Central; Oct. 25, Hays; Nov. 1, Great Bend.
Coach: Braden Smith, first season
2012: 6-4. Top players: Blake Haley, LB, 5-9, 215, jr.; Tyler Tracy, RB, 5-10, 220, sr.; Hayden Headrick, WR, 6-0, 180; Malcolm Pink, DL, 5-10, 210, sr.; Jaylin Lolar, OL, 6-0, 330, sr.; Mitch Rowe, RB, 5-10, 170, jr.
Notes: The task for Smith, a long-time assistant at Ark City, is to keep the momentum going from last season’s first playoff berth since 2003. That won’t be easy with so much lost production on offense, but Ark City expects its defense to remain stingy after pitching four shutouts in 2012. Haley anchors a defense that will have to be great until the offense finds its identity. Accelerating that process is Tracy, a returning second-team all-league pick in the backfield.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at Maize South; Sept. 13, Andover; Sept. 20, KC (Mo.) Center; Sept. 27, at Eisenhower; Oct. 4, Valley Center; Oct. 11, at Augusta; Oct. 18, Andover Central; Oct. 24, Kapaun; Nov. 1, West (at NW).
Coach: Steve Warner, eighth season, 66-19
2012: 9-4. Top players: Riley Allen, HB, 6-0, 175, sr.; Luke Berblinger, QB, 6-0, 200, sr.; Brendan Martens, DE, 6-1, 195, sr.; Denton Branscom, DB, 5-11, 175, sr.; Ryan Norquist, DB, 6-0, 165, sr.; Jace Williams, QB-DB, 6-3, 180, so.
Notes: Allen is the star, returning after rushing for more than 2,000 yards as a junior. He has the size and the speed to pose a scoring threat with every touch and Warner won’t be shy in getting him the ball. Berblinger is an expert game manager at quarterback and Martens and Branscom return from injury to solidify the defense. A talented senior class hopes to keep the wins coming, as Buhler has averaged 10 since 2008.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at Rose Hill; Sept. 13, Collegiate; Sept. 20, at Mulvane; Sept. 27, McPherson; Oct. 4, at El Dorado; Oct. 11, Winfield; Oct. 18, Andale; Oct. 25; at Cheney; Oct. 31, at Nickerson.
Coach: Tom Young, eighth season, 59-17
2012: 10-2. Top players: Kyler Kinnamon, QB, 5-11, 180, jr.; Collin Harvey, WR-CB, 5-11, 170, sr.; Garret Larson, T-DL, 6-3, 265, sr.; Ty Hart, HB-LB, 6-3, 215, jr.; Devon Ronsee, G-LB, 6-2, 205, sr.; Andy Zeitlow, G-LB, 6-0, 210, sr.
Notes: Question marks are everywhere on the field, but Young’s concerns are eased by Kinnamon. The junior was dynamic last season, throwing and rushing for, as well as catching a touchdown on his way to racking up over 3,000 total yards. He’s the Bullpups’ best weapon who Young considers a game-changer. Answering the questions on defense is a must with returners such as Harvey, Larson and Hart in charge of the task.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at El Dorado; Sept. 13, at Hays; Sept. 20, Rose Hill; Sept. 27, at Buhler; Oct. 4, at Winfield; Oct. 11, Mulvane; Oct. 18, Smoky Valley; Oct. 25, at Abilene; Oct. 31, Chapman.
Coach: Tyler Ryan, second season, 2-7
2012: 2-7. Top players: Trevor Nance, QB-P, 6-5, 190, jr.; Tyson Hodson, OL, 5-11, 270, sr.; Skylar Brand, OL, 5-11, 215, jr.; Colin Reichenberger, WR-DB, 6-0, 160, jr.; Austin Dunn, HB, 5-10, 185, jr.; Taylor Lamkin, DE, 5-10, 195, sr.
Notes: For the first time in three seasons, Wellington will have a returning coach entering the season. Ryan thinks the continuity will help, as will the depth added to both lines. The offense struggled in Ryan’s first season, but Nance is a 6-foot-5 gunslinger that can keep the Crusaders in games this season. The senior class isn’t deep, so Wellington will have to depend on its underclassmen to take the next step in the rebuilding process.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at Goddard; Sept. 13, Concordia; Sept. 20, at Augusta; Sept. 27, Collegiate; Oct. 4, Circle; Oct. 11, at Andale; Oct. 18, at Clearwater; Oct. 25, Mulvane; Oct. 31, at Winfield.
Coach: Justin Price, eighth season, 25-40
2012: 4-6. Top players: Sam Camp, WR-LB, 5-10, 170, sr.; Logan Mays, WR-DB, 6-1, 170, sr.; Jordan Johnson, RB-DE, 5-10, 205, sr.; Aubrey Herlocker, WR-DB, 5-10, 170, sr.; Elijah Muldrow, OL-DL, 5-11, 230, sr.; Ethan Hood, OL-DL, 5-10, 205, sr.
Notes: After a strong start, the offense dissipated toward the end of last season. Winfield will look to jump start its offense through the air with targets like Mays, Herlocker and Camp, and Johnson is a steady presence at halfback. Camp is the leader of the defense, which should again be a strength for the Vikings, who are looking for their second straight playoff berth.
Schedule: Sept. 6, at Marysville; Sept. 13, Circle; Sept. 20, at El Dorado; Sept. 27, Rose Hill; Oct. 4, McPherson; Oct. 11, at Buhler; Oct. 18, at Mulvane; Oct. 25, Clearwater; Oct. 31, Wellington.