By Matt Browning
Wichita East went into the 6A semifinals last season with a record of 18-1. While the Aces wound up finishing fourth, they have plenty of
talent returning this year to advance further.
East brings back first team all-state forward Ivan Quezada and second team all-state forward Calixtro Gutierrez. Add in six other players who
were honorable mention all-league, and the Aces will again be the team to beat in the City League.
Wichita Heights had a strong team a year ago and several of those pieces are back this season.
Midfielder Monty Almaliky was a first team all league selection a year ago, while forward Faisal Arshad and defender Evan Jensen made second team all-league.
Campus went 9-6-3 last season and the Colts return two first team all-league players in Hassan and Alaa Alamood.
Derby was one of the top teams in the area a year ago, but the Panthers must replace five starters, who were either first or second team all-league.
Maize South made it all the way to the 5A championship game last season and the Mavericks have two first team all-state players returning in forwards Raul Gerhardus and Landon Eskridge.
Maize South also brings back first team all league defender Adam Dyer. The Mavericks are poised to make another deep run in the 5A postseason.
Eisenhower was undefeated and the No. 1 seed heading into the 5A semifinals last season but were knocked off by Blue Valley Southwest before beating Shawnee Heights in the consolation match.
The Tigers return three all-league first team players: midfielder Cory Gleason and defenders Carlos Vidvio and Hunter Salinas. Eisenhower will again be a top contender in 5A.
Andover Central lost just twice last year and they were to Maize South and Eisenhower. The Jaguars lost a significant amount of talent off that team, but do return midfielder Jared Cromly, who was a second team all-league selection.
Maize went 8-7-3 a year ago, but return several core pieces from that team including forward Andy Nam and defender Zack Pappan.
Wichita Trinity went just 5-11 in the regular season thanks to a schedule that featured mostly 6A and 5A schools, but the Knights advanced to the 4-1A title game where they fell to Bishop Miege.
While Trinity has to replace some key pieces that graduated, it does return two all-state players in defenders Ben Dixon and Ethan Cary.
Augusta advanced to the 4-1A quarterfinals last season and has a loaded roster returning. Three first team all-league selections are back: forward Payton Ball, midfielder Anthony Orocio and defender Wyatt Pankratz.
Berean Academy finished the season 10-6-2 and return two all-state caliber players in midfielder Grant Busenitz and defender Chase Wiebe.
Rose Hill won a playoff game for the first time since 2015 and the Rockets return first team all-league forward Caden Dinkel and second team all-league midfielder Drew Leck.
Classical School is still in the infancy stages of its program, but the Saints do return all-state forward David Darrah off last year’s team that went 8-7-3.