Kpreps Class 2-1A Rankings
Meade's Kellan Hernandez, Photo by Marion McReynolds, For Kansas Pregame/Kpreps.com
Posted: August 25, 2010 - 1:26 PM
Prognosticators from the state’s various media outlets have a much more difficult task this season in naming a preseason favorite for Class 2-1A. Gone from the classification is Smith Center after a dominating 79-1 stint over six seasons that included five state titles. The door is now left open for the next great program to take off in 2-1A. After all, this is the classification that has produced the state’s three longest winning streaks and in consecutive order. Claflin won 51 consecutive games and three state titles from 1997 to 2000 when St. Mary’s Colgan began its run of 66 straight and four championships. After ending the Redmen’s run last fall, is Centralia next?
Class 2-1A features five and six-team districts this season which reduces the playoff field from 32 to 16 teams. The change has created some loaded districts as in the case with District 1 featuring Olpe, Oswego, and St. Mary’s Colgan. Therefore, at least one of our preseason top five will not make the playoffs.
Here’s how we rank the Top 5 in Class 2-1A:
The Buffaloes return seven starters on both sides of the ball from a team that finished 11-1 and fell to Smith Center in the quarterfinals. Scott Moshier's team will have to replace QB Dakota Beaner who accounted for nearly 1,800 yards of total offense and 28 TDs last fall. However, the stable is far from empty. Meade returns four different backs that rushed for over 400 yards last season, including Kellan Hernandez (600 yards) and Jaden Friesen (800 yards). Add in four returning offensive linemen, and the Buffaloes appear equipped for a deep playoff run.
2. St. Mary’s Colgan
Colgan's 2009 season ended a couple of steps short of their ultimate goal with a quarterfinal loss to Centralia. Late season injuries allowed some younger players to gain valuable experience that should help the Panthers this fall. Colgan features two of the state's best in twins Christian and Zach Smith. As sophomores last fall, the duo rushed for 504 (13 ypc) and 351 (15ypc) yards respectively, and posted 122 and 116 tackles on defense. The key for the Panthers will be their play up front as four linemen graduated including Shrine Bowl selection Reagan Kays.
All Andy Fewin has done in his first two seasons at Oswego is lead the Indians to a 16-4 record and a playoff win. This fall, the expectations are much higher as the Indians return nine starters on each side of the ball, including five players who received some level of All-State recognition. QB Lane Martin is back for his third season under center after accounting for nearly 1,500 yards last fall. Nick Billingsly, Caleb Horn, and Hunter Cline all return at the skill positions to give Martin plenty of options. The Indians are also big and talented up front with Brandon Bates (6-2, 340), Zack Garcia (6-3, 255), Zach Campbell (6-4, 240), Logan Spore (6-0, 215), Dustin White (6-1, 175), and Ryan Schenker (6-5, 200).
Chris Schmidt's Eagles return six starters on offense and seven on defense from last season’s 11-1 campaign. Olpe returns the backfield duo of Linden Stueve and Tyson Pettijohn, but must replace graduated QB Matt Redeker. Stueve rushed for 1,425 yards and 18 TDs last fall, and will likely be the Eagles primary offensive weapon with the departure of Pitt State signee Bradley Argabright. Upfront, Austin Bass and Jason Klumpe will help to replace a handful of linemen including Emporia State signee Jace Hubert.
It was a storybook ending to Centralia's 2009 State Championship season. A hard-fought, overtime win to snap Smith Center's 79-game winning streak. As Larry Glatczak and the Panthers look to 2010, they face replacing a large and talented senior class. The Panthers return just three starters on offense, and four on defense. Glatczak's son Michael will move from WR to replace his older brother Tyler at QB. The key for Centralia may be duplicating the tough, hard-nosed line-play that was really evident when watching last year's team. A tough schedule waits, but programs the caliber of Centralia always seem to rise to the occasion.
Others considered: Elkhart, Ellis, Ell-Saline, LaCrosse, Lyndon, Mission Valley, Oakley, Oskaloosa, St. Francis, St. Marys, Troy, Valley Heights
Kpreps.com will feature detailed state rankings for each class updated every Monday throughout the season. Be sure to check out the Rankings section of our site to see who is in our Top 5 each week.
Thursday (8/26): Class 3A Rankings