Previews for 18 other AV-CTL teams can be found on their school pages at VarsityKansas.com.
Coach: Ryan Cornelsen, second season, 8-6. 2014: 8-6. Top players: Colton Fee, LB, 6-0, 185, sr.; Gabe Raigoza, LB, 5-9, 180, sr.; Austin Fletcher, OL, 6-0, 220, sr.; Josh Rivas, OL, 6-5, 330, jr.; Braden Archer, LB, 5-11, 195, jr.; Peyton Pendergrass, DB, 5-11, 175, jr.
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Notes: Cornelsen turned a 2-4 start last season into Hutchinson’s 10th appearance in a state championship game the last 12 years. He’ll start with more skepticism this season, as Hutch graduated virtually all of its offensive production. Fee, Raigoza, and Archer all return at linebacker to strengthen the defense, but the offense will be a question mark outside of Fletcher and Rivas on the line.
Schedule: Sept. 4, at Olathe South; Sept. 11, Newton; Sept. 18, at Salina South; Sept. 25, at Derby; Oct. 2, Maize; Oct. 9, Salina Central; Oct. 16, at Garden City; Oct. 23, Dodge City; Oct. 30, at Wichita Northwest.
Coach: Michael Hall, 10th season, 50-41. 2014: 6-4. Top players: Dalton Peters, RB, 5-8, 175, sr.; Cort Enriquez, OL, 5-11, 225, sr.; Michael McMullen, RB, 5-11, 230, sr.; Dylan Wentzel, RB, 6-0, 165, jr.; Adrian Castelli, LB, 5-11, 175, sr.; Kyle True, LB, 5-11, 175, sr.
Notes: The ground game should be stellar with Peters, who rushed for more than 1,600 yards last season, McMullen, Peter’s lead blocker, and Enriquez, who Hall said is easily one of the best linemen he’s had in his 10 years. The defense has eight starters to replace, but Castelli and True are all-class talents that will anchor the unit from their linebacker positions.
Schedule: Sept. 4, at Lawton (Okla.); Sept. 11, Derby; Sept. 18, at Maize; Sept. 25, Eisenhower; Oct. 2, at Campus; Oct. 9, at Hutchinson; Oct. 16, Salina South; Oct. 23, at Great Bend; Oct. 30, at Newton.
Coach: Sam Sellers, sixth season, 42-22. 2014: 10-2. Top players: Dylan Becker, WR, 6-2, 160, sr.; Jacob Marcotte, WR, 6-0, 175, sr.; Trace Kochevar, TE, 6-7, 220, sr.; Cole Calvert, DB, 5-9, 160, sr.; Jacob Yarochowicz, QB, 6-4, 195, sr.; DeAngelo Turner, RB, 5-9, 170, sr.
Notes: A fourth straight 10-win season and semifinal appearance is the expectation with what Sellers is calling his fastest team yet. Yarochowicz is next in line to take over the reins at quarterback and he’ll have a stable of talented receivers to throw to in Becker, an all-class talent, Marcotte, and Kochevar to once again form one of the state’s most potent offenses.
Schedule: Sept. 4, at McPherson; Sept. 11, at Campus; Sept. 18, Hutchinson; Sept. 25, at Goddard; Oct. 2, Andover; Oct. 9, Derby; Oct. 16, at Salina Central; Oct. 23, Newton; Oct. 30, Great Bend.
Coach: Braden Smith, third season, 6-12. 2014: 3-6. Top players: Tanner Spencer, WR-DB, 5-11, 175, sr.; Brock Dowler, QB, 6-1, 180, jr.; Kendall Biddle, LB, 6-0, 185, sr.; Grant Hess, OL-DL, 6-0, 250, sr.; Evan Miller, WR-DB, 6-0, 170, sr.
Notes: The top two playmakers from last season return in Spencer, who will split time in the backfield and at receiver, and Dowler, the junior quarterback who accounted for 70 percent of the offense. Biddle is capable of anchoring the defense from his position at linebacker, as Arkansas City will rely on the strength of its skill players to offset the inexperience it will start on both of its lines.
Schedule: Sept. 4, Winfield; Sept. 11, at Valley Center; Sept. 18, Andover; Sept. 25, at Newton; Oct. 2, Maize South; Oct. 9, at Pittsburg; Oct. 16, at Eisenhower; Oct. 23, Goddard; Oct. 30, at Liberal.
Coach: Steve Warner, eighth season, 79-20. 2014: 9-3. Top players: Jace Williams, QB-DB, 6-5, 205, sr.; Jaden Abernathy, OL-DL, 6-3, 280, sr.; Dillon Engelland, RB-DB, 5-10, 175, sr.; Connor Ridder, WR-DB, 5-11, 165, sr.; Dalton Roberts, OL-DL, 6-2, 205, sr.; Tristan Hawkinson, WR-DB, 5-10, 155, sr.
Notes: Williams, the quarterback who led Buhler to a state championship two years ago, returns to operate the offense as one of the state’s top talents. He’ll be joined by Engelland in the backfield with Ridder and Hawkinson out wide, while the offense promises to once again be explosive to pair with a solid defense.
Schedule: Sept. 4, Andale; Sept. 11, at Mulvane; Sept. 18, Winfield; Sept. 25, at Augusta; Oct. 2, at Rose Hill; Oct. 9, El Dorado; Oct. 16, at Hays; Oct. 23, McPherson; Oct. 30, Abilene.
Coach: Jace Pavlovich, first season. 2014: 7-3. Top players: Spenser Wine, WR-DB, 6-3, 185, sr.; Luke Stucky, TE-DL, 6-2, 210, sr.; Derek Hall, OL, 6-0, 210, sr.; Casey Cheek, WR-DB, 5-9, 165, sr.; Klayton Goering, RB-LB, 6-2, 205, sr.; Jack Reifschneider, DB, 5-9, 165, sr.
Notes: Pavlovich is tasked with replacing 15 starters to keep McPherson’s playoff streak, now at nine consecutive years, alive in his first season as coach. Nearly all of last season’s production graduated, but Pavlovich is encouraged by senior leadership and upcoming talent that he believes will keep McPherson competitive.
Schedule: Sept. 4, Salina South; Sept. 11, at Andale; Sept. 18, Augusta; Sept. 25, Rose Hill; Oct. 2, at El Dorado; Oct. 9, at Winfield; Oct. 16, Abilene; Oct. 23, at Buhler; Oct. 30, at Hays.
Coach: Justin Price, 10th season, 35-50. 2014: 3-6. Top players: Brett Roark, WR-DB, 6-0, 170, sr.; Layke Hoffman, WR-DE, 6-6, 200, sr.; John Mull, OL-DL, 6-2, 180, sr.; Devon Smith, WR-DB, 5-9, 145, jr.; Adam Rush, TE-LB, 6-2, 190, jr.; Gavin Pickering, OL-DL, 5-10, 200, jr.
Notes: The offense must be completely retooled, as the returning cast combined for less than 10 percent of last season’s production. The eight returning starters, including Roark and Hoffman as standout receivers, will be relied upon early while the team transitions to a younger roster.
Schedule: Sept. 4, at Arkansas City; Sept. 11, Rose Hill; Sept. 18, at Buhler; Sept. 25, at El Dorado; Oct. 2, Silver Lake; Oct. 9, McPherson; Oct. 16, at Augusta; Oct. 23, at Independence; Oct. 30, Coffeyville.
Coach: Tyler Ryan, fourth season, 12-15. 2014: 5-4. Top players: Connor Phelps, RB-LB, 6-0, 180, sr.; Jason Norris, OL-DL, 6-1, 240, sr.; Jace Lowe, OL-DL, 5-10, 245, sr.; Nick Hyde, OL-DL, 6-2, 190, sr.; Remington Gilkey, RB-DB, 5-10, 160, sr.; Jared Shields, QB-DB, 6-2, 170, sr.
Notes: Wellington flirted with returning to the playoffs last season, but is still looking for its first berth since 2011 now with a mostly new cast. Norris, Lowe, and Hyde solidify the lines and Phelps is back at tailback, but the Crusaders will be counting on a handful of underclassmen to lead a resurgence this season.
Schedule: Sept.4, at Augusta; Sept. 11, Eisenhower; Sept. 18, Circle; Sept. 25, at Clearwater; Oct. 2, at Andale; Oct. 9, Collegiate; Oct. 16, at Rose Hill; Oct. 23, Mulvane; Oct. 30, Ulysses.