Taylor Eldridge’s Player of the Year watch list
Welcome to the first watch list for the Varsity Kansas Player of the Year award, something I have created for this high school football season.
It’s pretty simple: the best players who make the biggest plays in the biggest games will be rewarded. Following this week, Varsity Kansas will publish a new watch list every Monday at 7 p.m. and ultimately crown the Player of the Year on Monday, Oct. 30.
Disclaimer: Players must be in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties to be ranked.
1. Brody Kooser, Derby senior running back
- Week 1 recap: Derby rolled over Eisenhower 48-14, as Kooser looked like the most dangerous weapon in the offense. He finished with 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns, then added a kickoff return for a touchdown on special teams to open the third quarter.
- Season stats: 18 carries, 123 rushing yards 3 touchdowns. 1 special teams touchdown.
- Looking ahead: Derby (1-0, No. 1 in 6A) at Goddard (1-0, No. 2 in 5A)
2. Blake Sullivan, Goddard senior quarterback
- Week 1 recap: After a slow start, Goddard knocked off Olathe Northwest 49-20 on the road with Sullivan in complete control. He threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns, then added 132 rushing yards and two more scores in a near-perfect debut.
- Season stats: 9-14 passing, 168 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. 13 carries, 132 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns.
- Looking ahead: Goddard (1-0, No. 2 in 5A) vs. Derby (1-0, No. 1 in 6A)
3. Federico Harvey, Campus senior quarterback
- Week 1 recap: Harvey had one of the best opening-night games in the state, as he scored seven touchdowns on offense and intercepted three passes on defense in Campus’ 48-20 victory over Arkansas City. Harvey diced up the defense for 303 passing yards with six touchdowns to four different receivers and added 48 yards on the ground with another score.
- Season stats: 14-17 passing, 303 passing yards, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. 11 carries, 48 rushing yards, 1 touchdown. 3 interceptions on defense.
- Looking ahead: Campus (1-0) vs. Valley Center (1-0)
4. Braden Howell, Bishop Carroll senior quarterback
- Week 1 recap: Howell helped Carroll escape a 14-0 hole to begin the game, then led a game-winning drive as Carroll knocked off Northwest 40-35 on the road. Howell finished with 313 passing yards with two touchdowns and 92 rushing yards with two more scores.
- Season stats: 18-31 passing, 313 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. 18 carries, 92 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns.
- Looking ahead: Carroll (1-0, No. 3 in 5A) at Salina South (0-1)
5. Nick Channel, Kapaun Mount Carmel senior running back
- Week 1 recap: Channel started his season in a big way last Thursday, as he scored four touchdowns (three rushing and one on special teams) and came up with an interception all in the first half of Kapaun’s 56-7 win over Southeast. Channel finished the game with 139 rushing yards on just nine carries.
- Season stats: 9 carries, 139 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns. 1 interception on defense. 1 special teams touchdown.
- Looking ahead: Kapaun (1-0) vs. Andover (1-0)
6. Cody McNerney, Collegiate senior quarterback
- Week 1 recap: McNerney was dominant in his season-opening performance in Collegiate’s 42-0 shutout of Rose Hill, as he played a role in all six touchdowns for the Spartans. On offense, he threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 91 yards and another touchdown. On defense, he scooped up a fumble and returned it for his sixth touchdown of the game.
- Season stats: 11-18 passing, 253 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. 11 carries, 91 rushing yards, 1 touchdown. 1 defensive touchdown.
- Looking ahead: Collegiate (1-0, No. 1 in 4A-II) vs. Hoisington (1-0)
7. Jayden Price, Mulvane senior quarterback
- Week 1 recap: Mulvane didn’t need much from Price, as it cruised to a 33-0 shutout of El Dorado. Price still finished with 136 passing yards and 61 rushing yards to go along with a pair of passing touchdowns and a rushing score.
- Season stats: 12-17 passing, 136 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. 12 carries, 61 rushing yards, 1 touchdown.
- Looking ahead: Mulvane (1-0) vs. Rose Hill (0-1)
8. Breece Hall, Northwest junior running back
- Week 1 recap: Northwest lost 40-35 to Carroll on a last-second touchdown, but Hall was a breakout performer in his first varsity start at tailback. Hall finished with just over 200 total yards of offense, as he rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown.
- Season stats: 27 carries, 192 rushing yards, 1 touchdown. 2 catches, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns.
- Looking ahead: Northwest (0-1) vs. Heights (0-1)
9. Trent Scheer, Cheney senior wide receiver
- Week 1 recap: Cheney pulled away for a 49-20 victory over Trinity Academy, as Scheer had a big first game of the season. The senior finished with nine receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
- Season stats: 9 catches, 158 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns.
- Looking ahead: Cheney (1-0) at Belle Plaine (0-1)
10. Colton Terhune, Conway Springs senior quarterback
- Week 1 recap: Conway Springs put up silly offensive statistics in its 98-18 win over Belle Plaine, as Terhune directed the offense. The senior signal caller finished with 156 rushing yards on seven carries with four touchdowns and completed his only pass of the game for a 65-yard touchdown.
- Season stats: 1-1 passing, 65 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions. 7 carries, 156 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns.
- Looking ahead: Conway Springs (1-0) at Independent (0-1)