Kapaun Mt. Carmel had a monster 2013. The Crusaders surprised almost everyone with an 8-1 regular season and a run to the state semifinal, where they lost to Salina South. This season will tell a different story with so many new faces.
Coach: Dan Adelhardt (57-36 in nine seasons at Kapaun, 106-59 in 16 seasons overall.)
2013 Recap: 10-2 Overall, 3-0 District
2014 District: Emporia, Andover, Heights
Returning Starters: 4 Offense, 4 Defense
Key Returning Players: Mickey Boulanger, Ben Powers, Brock Monty, Alexander Norris, Colton Ocker, Michael Lickteig, Matt Roberts, Luke Singer
This offense will have to do some work. With only four returning starters, it could be tough for the Crusaders to be potent in its scoring attack. Kapaun put up 371 points in 2013, good for a 30.9 points per game average.
The guys that are returning are the pillars of a good offense. Quarterback Brock Monty will be one of the top players in the state and he is only a junior. He won’t have any of his receivers from last year, though.
Instead, running back Alexander Norris, also a junior, will be in the backfield with Monty. Norris is small, strong and shifty and will likely prove to be invaluable as the season progresses.
Two of Kapaun’s offensive linemen are back for their senior campaigns. Ben Powers and Mickey Boulanger will be the anchors for a fairly inexperienced group. You can count on these two to show up big for the Crusaders. Weighing in at 240 and 255 pounds, these guys will do nothing but clear the way for Norris or give Monty the time he needs.
This is a group that didn’t allow more than seven points in its first four games of 2013, including a 26-6 trampling of Northwest to open the season, then held Heights to a touchdown a few weeks later.
That was the highlight for the unit as it allowed an average of 21.3 points per game. After its 8-1 regular season performance, it allowed 40, 42 and 34 points in three playoff games.
Kapaun has just four players returning from 2013, so it will have some gaps to fill. Its line will be solid, though.
With Colton Ocker and Michael Lickteig coming back, they will be a couple of linemen to watch. These two are virtually identical physically. They’re both tall and strong and will make opponents limit running attacks.
Matt Roberts and Luke Singer will be the leaders on a depleted secondary, but they’re not about to go out on a sour note for their senior seasons.
ODDS AND ENDS:
Kapaun has a rich football history that hasn’t been what it was in recent years. Last season was a taste of what Crusader football is all about. It played in the state semifinal which was the furthest it had played in years. Since 1969, this program has six state titles, the last coming in 1987, a 26-year drought.
Head Coach Dan Adelhardt said the key to this team’s success will be locking down the offensive and defensive lines. It will be a tough task because graduation really hurt the squad, but Adelhardt is entering his tenth season and is a proven winner, so he will be able to figure something out.
Kapaun’s schedule doesn’t give any favors. It opens with four straight tough games in East, Northwest, Carroll and West. Then the Crusaders’ district is one of the toughest in the state with Emporia, Andover and Heights.