CIK Season Preview: Andale reloads ahead of title defense
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - 2019 was a year to celebrate for Andale. After years of coming so close to reaching the top, the Indians came away victorious, a 35-7 win over Perry-Lecompton in the Class 3A State Title game in Hutchinson.
The championship ended a five-year drought for the Indians, and was the first won by coach Dylan Schmidt.
“I think hopefully our kids kind of have a recipe for success there, and they know what it takes, and they kind of follow that again,” said Schmidt ahead of Andale officially kicking off their 2020 campaign.
This year, for the Indians to repeat that level of success, they’ll look to a new core of leaders. Gone are the likes of Easton Hunter, Mac Brand, and Scotti Easter, all three among the best in the classification in 2019.
But at Andale, as cliche as it might sound, they don’t rebuild. They just reload.
“I think the thing that’s made me most proud at Andale is year-in, year-out, guys that you haven’t heard about, they end up being stars for us,” said Schmidt. “We’ve known about them all along, and it just seems like once guys get to be that junior or senior, they’re ready to go and they come out and they show it.”
One of those such players we saw a glimpse of last season. Noah Meyer will step in for Hunter as the new starting quarterback for the Indians, taking on a new role after playing all over the offense in 2019.
But he’s not completely without starting quarterback experience. Schmidt moved Meyer to quarterback when Hunter was injured last season, giving him a taste of what’s to come in 2020.
“Those previous games that I had, just reading defenses and getting the feel for it, it’ll help a lot,” said Meyer.
His backfield mate carries perhaps the most experience of any returner for Andale. Eli Rowland finished as one of the top running backs in 3A in 2019, putting up over 1,200 yards along with 22 scores on the ground.
He’ll play two ways, bringing senior leadership to an otherwise inexperienced secondary.
On defense, the Indians will be lead by DL Cayden Winter and LB Caden Parthemer. Winter is a returning all-state selection along the line.
Andale will open things up on the road at Rose Hill on September 4.
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