Varsity Kansas

Football 2015: A look at the Central Plains League

Chaparral's Ramon Valderas, right, returns at receiver for the Roadrunners.
Chaparral's Ramon Valderas, right, returns at receiver for the Roadrunners. The Wichita Eagle

Previews for Cheney, Conway Springs, Garden Plain, Independent and Trinity Academy can be found elsewhere on VarsityKansas.com before opening night.

Belle Plaine

Coach: Jason Jinkens, second season, 0-18. 2014: 0-9. Top players: Cheyden McClellan, RB-LB, 6-0, 170, sr.; Trevor Lawless, RB-FS, 5-2, 125, sr.; Peyton Nolan, WR-CB, 6-1, 165, jr.; Caleb Stover, QB, 6-3, 180, so. ; Danny Smith, OL-DL, 6-1, 250, sr.

Notes: Belle Plaine looks to be much better at many positions, especially on defense, Jinkens said. The Dragons have the pieces in place to be successful, he said, but they will have to execute. “We have a chip on our shoulder and are very hungry for a ‘W,’ Jinkens said.

Schedule: Sept. 4, at Medicine Lodge; Sept. 11, Garden Plain; Sept. 18, at Bluestem; Sept. 25, Trinity Academy; Oct. 2, Douglass; Oct. 9, at Independent; Oct. 16, Chaparral; Oct. 23, at Conway Springs; Oct. 29, at Cheney.

Bluestem

Coach: Perry Warden, first season. 2014: 4-6. Top players: Lane Moran, RB-LB, 6-1, 160, sr.; Weston Scott, QB-SS, 5-11, 165, jr.; Dakota Clift, WR-LB, 6-1, 175, jr.; Hunter Griffin, WR-DE, 6-4, 200, so.; Daylan Fell, OT-DL, 6-2, 250, so.

Notes: Warden must rebuild a Bluestem team that graduated 12 seniors from last year’s team. He said low numbers in the program might also be a factor. “We have a very dedicated and talented core group of kids that will compete and play hard,” he said.

Schedule: Sept. 4, Conway Springs; Sept. 11, at Chaparral; Sept. 18, Belle Plaine; Sept. 25, at Cheney; Oct. 2, at Medicine Lodge; Oct. 9, Garden Plain; Oct. 16, at Collegiate; Oct. 23, Douglass; Oct. 29, at Independent.

Chaparral

Coach: Justin Burke, sixth season, 25-24. 2014: 9-2. Top players: Adam Clark, RB-LB, 5-10, 190, sr.; Ramon Valderas, WR-DB, 5-11, 170, sr.; Estin Overton, RB-LB, 5-11, 185, jr.; Chance Bergman, OL-DL, 6-5, 190, jr.; Tanor Walker, OL-DL, 6-1, 215, sr.; Pierce Bringer, WR-DB, 6-3, 180, sr.

Notes: After winning the CPL and district titles, the Roadrunners will be rebuilding. Burke said the biggest challenge will be shoring up the offensive line and replace QB-DB Shawn Nulik – a Shrine Bowl selection – and all-class receiver Roger Clark.

Schedule: Sept. 4, at Independent; Sept. 11, Bluestem; Sept. 18, Trinity Academy; Sept. 25, at Medicine Lodge; Oct. 2, at Garden Plain; Oct. 9, Douglass; Oct. 16, at Belle Plaine; Oct. 23, Cheney; Oct. 29, at Conway Springs.

Douglass

Coach: Kelley Sayahnejad, first season. 2014: 2-7. Top players: Peyton Henke, OL, 6-3, 245, jr.; Chase Banos, WR-DB, 6-0, 150, sr.; Hunter Chadic, QB, 5-11, 165, jr.; Michael Cochran, OL, 6-4, 260, sr.; Kai Wright, RB, 5-8, 150, sr.; Ben Fulghum, DB, 5-10, 150, sr.

Notes: The Bulldogs have a lot of returning talent, but Sayahnejad said the key will be to find depth and stay healthy. A goal is for the team to improve every week, he said.

Schedule: Sept. 4, Trinity Academy; Sept. 11, Cheney (at Eisenhower); Sept. 18, Medicine Lodge; Sept. 25, Conway Springs; Oct. 2, at Belle Plaine; Oct. 9, at Chaparral; Oct. 16, at Independent; Oct. 23, at Bluestem; Oct. 29, Collegiate.

Medicine Lodge

Coach: Josh Ybarra, second season, 4-18. 2014: 1-8. Top players: Gage Axline, RB-LB, 5-11, 190, jr.; Riley Combs, RB-LB, 6-0, 185, jr.; Thad Ehresman, OL-DL, 6-1, 240, jr.; Ethan Hargett, QB-DB, 6-3, 170, jr.; Ruben Arredondo, DL, 5-7, 300, jr.; Darrek McGrath, OL-DL, 6-0, 240, jr.

Notes: Ybarra said the Indians fought hard during last season and want to be more competitive this season. A lot will depend on the offseason workouts, he said, as far as Medicine Lodge being able to improve..

Schedule: Sept. 4, Belle Plaine; Sept. 11, at Conway Springs; Sept. 18, at Douglass; Sept. 25, Chaparral; Oct. 2, Bluestem; Oct. 9, at Moundridge; Oct. 16, Sacred Heart; Oct. 23, at Sedgwick; Oct. 30, Inman.

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