WICHITA, Kan.—The City League is a league of tiers with the traditional powers up top and the rebuilding teams on the bottom with a couple in tweeners in the middle. Here is how I think the league will shake out this year.
Weston Schartz likes to run the ball. That is no secret. This year he has a First-Team All-League transfer in Skyler Krehbiel in the backfield to go with Deron Thompson and Zac Franklin, who are two of the best sprinters the City has to offer. Jacob Davis at linebacker is one of the best the City has to offer defensively. It has been a few years since Northwest has beaten Carroll, but I like their chances to get it done with the Golden Eagles at home this year.
3. Bishop Carroll
Alan Schuckman has a program and it works, that is evident. While other programs hit peaks and valleys, Carroll is consistent with the season likely constituting a “valley”. Only five total starters return from last season’s team, and that kind of inexperience against Heights and Northwest will catch up to the Golden Eagles. They still make the playoffs in my opinion, but just struggle in the City more than they are used to.
The Crusaders lost a First-Team All-League running back and quarterback, but the difference between the haves and have-nots starts here. Kapaun is always in the mix and its big offensive line will help out Jack Martin in his first season as a feature back.
East returns some of the most experience in the City this year with 10 defensive players and seven offensive players back. Coach Brian Byers has yet to make the playoffs entering his fifth season at East, but the experience East boasts could help that change.
The Pioneers have averaged a little less than two wins a season under fourth-year head coach Heath Henderson, but I like their chances to win three City games this year to climb into the second third of the league.
Chris Asmussen is in his first season at Southeast taking over a program that finished 2-7 last year. The GWAL is generally not easy on first year coaches and the Golden Buffaloes will likely experience some growing pains with new philosophies in the program.
The Titans came back to earth last year after a stellar first season by Brack. South returns 13 total starters including many key skill positions, but South has a tough schedule as it plays all of the top teams in the league.
The Redskins are currently rocking a nine-game losing streak and only have one All-League player returning this year. Their quarterback is just a sophomore that threw for just 602 yards last season with a one-to-three touchdown-to-interception ratio. Next year with more seasoning, the Redskins could move up but not this year.