WICHITA, Kan.—The Wichita Collegiate Spartans would rather still be playing football right now; instead they are picking up awards and looking forward to next year.
The Spartans had an unfortunate loss to Holton on Saturday, November 3rd and their season ended quickly. The team was disappointed in the loss. The Spartans thought that if they could have beaten Holton, they would have won the state championship. Instead, Collegiate finished the season with a 9-2 record.
The team had six players finish the season on the all-league first team with junior quarterback Landon Root, Phox at wide receiver and defensive back, junior kicker Max Moxley, senior lineman Hunter Cusick, junior lineman Mitch Copeland and senior running back Isaiah Franklin.
On second team were Copeland, junior Seth Carder, senior Houston Cusick and senior Connor Fleming. Senior Karsten Barragree received honorable mention.
Collegiate head coach Mike Gehrer was surprised with the difference between his previous coaching experiences with the team and the newly-finished season.
"The biggest surprise is the elevated level of play in 4A from 3A,” said Gehrer. “Each week you compete against schools with larger enrollments and you never get a week to relax.”
Gehrer also mentioned his rising stars who will lead next year's team.
"We have three seasoned leaders in Seth Carder, Mitchell Copeland and Landon Root,” said Gehrer. “These three along with their classmates will have to lead a very competitive group of underclassmen. We will be a very competitive team again next season .”
Coach Gehrer and the rest of the team thinks the 2013 team will be just as good as this year’s. One crucial facet of the future team is the sophomore class and the talent it possesses.
"Our entire sophomore class will be crucial to our success next season," said Gehrer.
Watching the senior class become selfless in their approach to the team's success was, in Gehrer's opinion, the best part of the season for the coaches.
Copeland, nicknamed "Baby Bull" by his teammates, was a big part of the offensive and defensive line this year, both metaphorically and physically. He thinks that next year will be just as successful as this year.
"In my opinion I thought we performed great this season,” said Copeland. “We won our district, bi-district, and won the AVCTL championship so I feel like we got a lot accomplished, but one thing we didn't win was a State Championship and that was our main goal going into the season.”
Even though the team did not win a state championship, which was the goal at the start of the year, the Spartans will be working hard to achieve that goal next year.