Just when you thought Derby would be depleted after losing 20 of its starters from last year’s 6a state championship team, Darreon Jackson, one of the best defensive backs in the nation transfers in from Texas.
With Scholarship offers from notable division one schools such as Kansas, Army, North Texas, Southern Illinois and Tulsa, Jackson is a highly touted three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Jackson and returning defensive starters, Chase Bransetter and Dan Conner will be expected to lead Derby on defensive side. Last season the defense held 10 of its 12 opponents under 21 points, and had one shutout against Hutchinson. Jackson is ranked by 247Sports as the 12th best player in the state and 108 nationally for his position.
Derby lost its opening game to Wichita South 41-35, but after that Derby dominated every opponent all the way to the state championship. With a 12-1 record, Derby finished the season with a national ranking of 148 by MaxPreps.com.
Derby’s spread offense was prolific, averaging 47 points a game. The state didn't have an answer for Derby’s offensive arsenal, as they had six games scoring over 50 points, 76 being the highest. In every game Derby scored at least 28 points.
With no returning starters the offensive this year will have a new supporting cast when they open their season against a talented Maize team. Curtis Whitten, transfer running back from Wichita Heights will help carry the load with Garrett Xanders, whom was a backup last year.
With seven consecutive playoff appearances, Derby will be looking to make it an eight despite its uncertainty on both sides of the ball.