Ten high school football teams in the Wichita area will finish the 2019 season with no more than two losses.
With Maize traveling to Derby in a meeting of undefeated teams, as many as nine of those teams can finish the season unbeaten. That is believed to be the most in the history of Wichita-area high school football.
Here is what an 8-0 regular season would mean in terms of history for each unbeaten.
Derby is seeking its fifth undefeated regular season since 2000.
The Panthers won the Class 6A title in 2018 and 2016, the last two times they went 8-0. Derby went undefeated in the regular season from 1999-2001 but reached the state quarterfinals only once; that came in 1999, when the Panthers lost to Garden City.
Before that stretch, Derby went 8-0 in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, the Panthers captured their first undefeated state championship season in school history, beating Lawrence. A season later, they went unbeaten until the title game, losing to Lawrence.
Derby has the second-toughest path to an undefeated regular season outside of the team it faces Friday. The Panthers welcome undefeated Maize in Week 8 to decide the AVCTL I championship in one of the biggest games in Kansas this season.
Friday will be one of the most important games in Maize Eagles history.
The Eagles go to undefeated Derby to decide the league title and potentially capture the No. 1 seed in Class 5A West.
Maize has never finished a regular season undefeated. Last year, the Eagles lost to Derby on the final week of the regular season before reaching the 5A semifinals.
Friday’s outcome comes with bragging rights and the chance for the Maize seniors to say they did something no one else ever has: go 8-0 at Maize High.
Maize South Mavericks
Maize South is in the same boat as its crosstown rival.
The Mavericks are in their 11th season of varsity football, but they have never had an undefeated regular season. In Week 6, Maize South beat Eisenhower 10-0 to start 6-0 for the first time in school history.
Two weeks later, the Mavericks face winless Wichita North with a shot at even more history. Last year, Maize South beat North 59-22.
The Mavericks haven’t lost a regular season game since Sept. 14, 2018.
Wichita Northwest Grizzlies
Northwest is eyeing its second straight 8-0 start for the first time in school history.
In 1991-92, the Grizzlies finished each season 8-1, but in 1991, they started 7-0. Northwest went undefeated through the regular season last year en route to the Class 5A state championship game, where the Grizzlies lost to St. Thomas Aquinas.
In 2015, Northwest went undefeated in the regular season but lost to Lawrence Free State in the 6A quarterfinals. A decade earlier, the Grizzlies reached the same round and lost to Garden City.
With a win Friday, McPherson can go unbeaten through its first eight games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 65 years.
The Bullpups finished 8-0-1 in 1953 and 7-1-1 a year later, losing to Emporia in Week 9. This year’s team might be a bit better. McPherson reached the Class 4A semifinals last year, losing to Goddard. The Bullpups are the No. 1 seed in 4A West this season.
The only other time McPherson started undefeated through eight games was in 1921.
Of all the undefeated teams in the Wichita area in 2019, Andale has the most experience in this spot.
Andale has started 8-0 fourteen times since 1974. In those years, the Indians have won three state championships and reached 11 quarterfinals, six semifinals and four title games.
Andale has a challenging route to 8-0 this year, hosting 6-1 Cheney. The Cardinals haven’t beaten Andale since 1998.
Halstead has gone undefeated in the regular season only once this century but six times since 1979.
The Dragons reached the Class 3A state semifinals in 2015, but before that, 1991 was the most recent time Halstead started 8-0.
The Dragons must handle business at 2-5 Chapman on the road Friday to seal an unbeaten regular season. Last year, Halstead beat Chapman 30-22 in overtime at home.
Garden Plain Owls
Outside of its school district rival, Andale, Garden Plain has the most experience among unbeaten teams in the area of reaching 8-0.
Garden Plain won the state title in 2007 after an undefeated regular season. In 2008, the Owls reached the semifinals. And in 2012, the most recent time they were 8-0, Garden Plain finished in the quarterfinals.
Garden Plain has started 8-0 thirteen times since 1968. The Owls face a huge challenge against 6-1 Conway Springs for the district title Friday.
Sedgwick is believed to be going for the third 8-0 start in school history.
The Cardinals finished the regular season undefeated in 2015 but lost to Smith Center in the regional round. They finished in the same round against Conway Springs in 2011 after another unbeaten regular season.
Sedgwick faces a tricky game in Week 8 at Heart of America rival Inman (4-3).
Canton-Galva, in 8-Man Division I, is still perfect this year.
The Eagles compete in the Wheat State League north of Wichita and East of McPherson. Canton-Galva’s only recent undefeated regular season came in 2005, when it started 8-0 and finished 9-1.