Class 1A football championship preview: Inman vs. Olpe

By Blake Chadwick

Class 1A

Who: Inman (12-0) vs. Olpe (12-0)

When: 1 p.m., Saturday

Where: Fort Hays State

Inman Teutons

Coach Lance Sawyer

Key players

QB/DB Jace Doerksen, senior, 6-0, 175 pounds (1,698 passing yards, 22 touchdowns/3 interceptions, 8 rushing touchdowns and 82 total tackles)

RB Kendyn Blank, senior, 5-11, 160 pounds (76 rushes, 852 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns)

TE/OLB Eli Brunk, junior, 6-4, 170 pounds (57 total tackles and 4 receiving touchdowns)

WR/DB Tanner Heckel, sophomore, 5-10, 155 pounds (318 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns and 62 total tackles)

WR Harrison Brunk, junior, 5’10, 165 pounds (621 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns)

DL/G Dawson Mannebach, senior, 6-3, 200 pounds (75 total tackles)

T Grant Thimmesch, senior, 6-1, 200 pounds

C Christian Winsky, senior, 5’10, 275 pounds 

 

What makes your team special?

“Our guys are so unselfish. We have so many weapons that you cannot key on one guy. Everybody blocks and everybody can run. We have an extremely fast collection of guys that are skilled.  Our defense plays fast and free. We have a really good offensive and defensive front that can move.  

Who have been key players for you this season?

“Our senior class of Jace Doerksen, Kyler Konrade, Kendyn Blank, Dawson Mannebach, Grant Thimmesch and Christian Winsky have been tremendous. Jace Doerksen has set every passing record at Inman, Kendyn Blank has set the single season scoring record, Dawson Mannebach has set the school record with sacks in a season, and Kyler Konrade has probably been one of the best defensive players in the state. Add in Harrison Brunk, Eli Brunk, and Tanner Heckel we have been tough to stop.”

Have any players been a surprise?

“First year starters Harrison Brunk, Dominic Nuese-Rasmussen, Zaden Johnson and Josiah Buller have all had tremendous seasons. We had a lot of guys coming back from our semifinal run a year ago but without these guys stepping up we would have never made it this far.”

What got your team into the state championship game?

“The weight room. Four years ago we went winless. Four years ago this senior class decided to dedicate themselves to getting better in the offseason. By their example, the entire team has dedicated themselves to getting stronger everyday. We have consistently gotten better each year and this season we have the strongest team that I have ever had.” 

What does your team need to do in order to win the state championship game?

“Play free and have fun. Not many players get this opportunity. Olpe is a solid team that has talent all over the field. However, if we take care of the ball, play physical up front and just enjoy playing the game, I like our chances.”

 

Olpe Eagles

Coach: Chris Schmidt

Key Players

QB Damon Redeker, senior ( 1,346 passing yards, 28 touchdowns/3 interceptions, 901 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns)

FB Garrett Cole, junior (460 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns)

DB Blake Redeker, junior (37 total tackles and 6 interceptions)

LB Derek Hoelting, senior (81 total tackles and 4 interceptions)

What makes your team special? 

“The seniors have been great leaders, we are a family!”

Have any players been a surprise? 

“Blake Redeker and Blake Skalsky have really come on this season.”

What got your team into the state championship game? 

“Good defense and unselfish play. We play for each other!”

What does your team need to do to win the state championship? 

“We need to be physical, trust each other to do their job. Execute, block, tackle and be relentless.”