Andover Central had a down year in 2012 by its own standards. In 2013 the Jaguars will be looking to reload for a run at a league title and a return trip to the playoffs.
Coach: Tom Audley (12 year head Central, 80-36 with the Jaguars, 142-101 overall)
2012 Recap: 4-6 overall, 2-3 in the AVCTL Div. II, 2-1 in Districts, playoff appearance
Andover Central had an uncharacteristic start to the season. The Jaguars beat Valley Center in Week 1 and Goddard in Week 2, but only managed to go 2-5 in the first seven games. However, Andover Central reloaded to win its last two to secure a spot in the 5A playoffs.
Returning Starters: Offense 7, Defense 6
2013 District: at Arkansas City, at Wichita West (played at Wichita Northwest), Kapaun
While Andover Central had a tougher time finding wins than the program is used to, the Jaguars are hoping those growing pains will pay off this season. Andover Central is returning seven starters, all of them seniors.
Blake Meier is returning to take the snaps at quarterback. This leadership figures to be huge for the Jaguars. In the backfield, running back Lucas Milner will take the handoffs with fullback Kier Stamp will pave the way as well as providing a bruiser to pound the ball as well.
Andover Central has a proud tradition of big, hard-hitting linemen that make opponents know they were in a football game on Saturday mornings. This year there will be three returning seniors to pick up that torch. Jameson O’Connor is back to put the ball in play, providing valuable experience in the center, quarterback exchange. Sterling Brown and Logan Kirkhart will also provide senior experience on a proud line of scrimmage.
Carson Huslig will join the lineman as a tight end, providing blocking capability as well as a threat in the passing game.
Just as all the returning offensive players are seniors, the defense has a group of returning defensive players that are all seniors.
The Jaguars have a huge group of returners at defensive back. Zach Lock is a returning defensive back, along with classmates Zane Downing and Ryan Banwart. At linebacker, Andover Central should be set as well. Lucas Milner and Kier Stamp are a pair of seniors who should make opposing ball carriers nervous. Both are big, athletic, and hit for keeps.
On the defensive line, Logan Kirkhart returns at defensive end and will have to be a leader as the only returner up front.
Odds and Ends:
Going 4-6 is not the norm at Central. But this season, a large senior class will be looking to get that taste out of their mouths. There are quite a few teams in the league that are losing some quality players, opening the door for the Jaguars to get back in the championship picture. One of the 6A favorites Derby will be coming to Andover in Week 2, giving Andover Central a good chance to measure itself against one of the best teams in the state. Defending champion Maize South with come into Andover on September 27, which will also provide the Jaguars a chance to see how they stack up.
Losing to cross-town rival Andover is another thing the Jaguars haven’t experienced since 2009. The rematch will be on October 4.