The Lions seniors will play a big role in leading Bluestem’s young football team. This season, head coach Kyle Wallis says the goal is still the same: compete every day and focus on the process.
Coach: Kyle Wallis (second year as head coach at Bluestem; 3-7 record in 2011)
2011 Recap: 3-7 overall, 2-1 in Central Plains League. Bluestem ended the 2011 season with a three game consecutive winning streak, breaking a 29-game loss record, and made the Kansas State Playoffs for the first time in school history. They scored an average of 13.5 points per game in their 10-game season.
Key Returning Players: Patrick Hurd SR OL/DL, Cooper Minnick SO RB/LB, Adam Wolfe JR OL/DL, Josh Muckenthaler SR RB/LB, Brett Elsen JR WR/LB, John Stiger SO DB
District: Sedgwick, Remington, Wichita Independent School
Offense: Key returning offensive players put Bluestem’s young and growing team on track for a second playoff appearance. Returning senior Patrick Hurd, a 2011 All-CPL Honorable Mention for offensive and defensive line, leads the front of the spread offense. The offense will be looking for running back seniors Cody Easterday and Josh Muckenthaler as well as sophomore Cooper Minnick to lead the ground attack. Easterday scored 3 touchdowns for a total of 18 points last season for the Lions, a statistic he will hopefully repeat, or better.
Defense: The tough CPL competition will test the young defensive players early. Sophomore DB John Stiger as well as Minnick, a 2011 All-CPL Honorable Mention Linebacker and brother of former Bluestem Lions player Cade Minnick, will be key assets in Bluestem’s defense. Six of the eleven returning players are defensive starters. Returning senior Muckenthaler had two tackles last year, while Easterday had one.
Odds & Ends: Bluestem is still getting adjusted to second-year coach Kyle Wallis, as well as five fairly new coaching assistants. A new perspective and continued teambuilding should prove to be beneficial to Bluestem’s morale. Last year’s three game consecutive winning streak and spot in the Kansas State Playoffs helped improve Bluestem’s losing mentality.
“Building off the momentum started by last year’s team will be the focus of the football program,” said head coach Kyle Wallis.
Though their record was 3-7, the winning streak against Fredonia, Independent and Eureka broke a 29 game losing streak and a improved a team record that was 1-89 in the 10 years before that. The Lions aim to defeat the odds of their previous seasons…starting with their offseason preparation.
“The kids have been working extremely hard in the weight room and the numbers for the football team continue to increase,” said Wallis.
The Lions play their first game August 31st at Conway Springs, who just happens to be the defending state champion.