A New Chapter: Inman football made rare playoff appearance last year and brings back bulk of that team.
By Jim Misunas, VYPE Kansas Correspondent / Photos by Kendall Shaw
Inman wrote a great chapter for the Teutons’ first football playoff trip in 15 years.
Now, the Teutons want to build on last year’s playoff story that ended in a 53-10 loss to Elkhart in the Class 1A playoffs.
Inman, 6-4 last year, owns seven playoff trips in its history, highlighted by a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Sharon Springs, 24-6 in 1991. The Teutons return nine defensive and six offensive starters. Inman is 6-7 all-time in the playoffs.
Inman coach Lance Sawyer led Attica/Argonia to back-to-back Eight-Man 2 state runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015 to champion Victoria.
“We take a ton of confidence from last season, the best year Inman has seen in 15 years,” Sawyer said. “We’ve realized we need to play physical on both sides of the ball.”
The Teutons are undersized weight-wise, but feature an athletic team, led by QB-DB Jace Doerksen, RB-LB Luke Shober, C Jacob Roop, RB-LB Justin Schroeder and WR-DB Derick Johnson.
“We’re fast and athletic,” Sawyer said. “Our guys continue to dedicate themselves to the weight room. Our growth has been tremendous. We’re as strong as any team I’ve coached. We are ready to see the results on the football field.”
Shober and Schroeder headline a run-oriented offense. QB Doerksen and WR Johnson lead the passing game.
“Running the ball and stopping the run will be our main priority in 2019,” Sawyer said. “We will continue to get better on both sides of the ball.”
The district features Sedgwick, Sublette and Meade. Sawyer expects Hutchinson Trinity Catholic to be the Teutons’ biggest challenge during the regular season.
Around Class 1A
Sedgwick has reached the playoffs 14 times, including four times in the state quarterfinals. Smith Center ended Sedgwick’s 9-2 season with a 61-27 victory in the quarterfinals last year.
Sedgwick returns six defensive and six offensive veterans from a no-huddle, spread formation offense that showcases the quarterback. QB Lance Hoffsommer inherits the duties from four-year starter Hooper Schroeder. RB Kale Schroeder (233 rushing; 768 receiving, 4 TDs) and WR Mason Lacey (476 yards, 6 TDs) will key the offense.
Creighton Park, Gannon Resnik and Sam Culp headline the offensive line.
“We return two big-play offensive players in Kale Schroeder and Mason Lacy,” said Sedgwick coach Jeff Werner. “We’ll have very good team speed on both sides of the ball. We return three key offensive line starters.”
LB Lacey (8 tackles per game) and LB Gannon Resnik will lead the defense.
“The defense has good team speed and will play an attacking style,” Werner said. “Our defense will slant and stunt on every play. Our key is to play downhill and run to the football.”
Werner considers Hutchinson Trinity Catholic and Ell-Saline the top Heart of America League contenders.
Marion has reached the playoffs 12 times with an all-time record of 7-12. Wichita Collegiate beat the Warriors 28-6 in the 1994 state championship game.
Marion finished 2-7 last season and returns six offensive and six defensive starters. LB Luke Lanning is an All-Heart of America League veteran. Two-way starters are RB-LB Jaxton Tracy, G-DE Todd Palic and G-DT Matthew Christensen. QB Will Alleven and RB Hunter Helmer and RB Anthony Brooks will bolster the backfield.
“Our biggest strength is experience in the offensive line with Matt Christensen, Todd Palci and Luke Lanning,” said Marion coach Shaun Craft. “On the defensive side, we started figuring things out in Districts. Hopefully, that will carry over.”
Marion’s biggest challenge is a squad that may feature just 20 players. The district features Hillsboro, Olpe and Bluestem.
“We should be able to compete in the league and make a run in the playoffs if we stay healthy,” Craft said.
Ell-Saline doesn’t want to see rival Plainville in the 1A state playoffs after losing 31-28 and 27-20 in two overtimes the past two seasons. Plainville beat Ell-Saline in overtime on a controversial finish marred by inaccurate down and distance on the field and on a last-play field goal.
Ell-Saline is well equipped for an encore playoff performance keyed by 10 players with starting experience.
WR Sawyer Kramer is a threat along with WR Treyton Peterson and Owen Bradley.
C-DT Colton Bunting, RG-DT Carter Underwood, NG Eli Hopkins DL Jesus Calzada and DE Caleb Hammonds provide the Cardinals with several experienced linemen.
Ell-Saline is 17-18 all-time in the playoffs, highlighted by the 1989 Eight-Man I state championship in a 14-12 victory over Northern Valley. Olpe beat the Cardinals 26-24 in the 2014 2-1A state championship game.