CIK Season Preview: Andover Central hopes for another winning season in new stadium
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In the first year under head coach Derek Tuttle, Andover Central’s football team made it all the way to the 4A State Championship game before falling to Bishop Miege.
The Jags lost a lot of skilled players but have gained a new football field that is solely theirs.
Andover Central head coach Derek Tuttle said, “Things fell in place really well last year for us that was largely attributed to the great senior class we had and the outstanding job our coaches did.”
Falling short of a state championship and walking away as runners-up, the Jaguars are looking to finish the job this time around.
Senior running back and linebacker Jacob Rees said, “I’m pretty sure most people think we’re not going to be as good as last year, just because all the star players that left but they don’t realize a lot of us are still here and we didn’t lose too many so we’re looking to show that we still are a good team.”
Having lost quite a few skilled guys and a lot of experience on defense, players say this season’s strength will be their offense.
Senior quarterback Chase White said, “People’s first though is our defense is going to be a big loss just because last year our defense was insane. Everyone’s going to doubt us but I think we’re going to be good. Our offense for sure is definitely going to be our best part.”
But with a new stadium to call their own, players and coaches say they have more to fight for this year in defending a home turf that is solely their own.
“It’s jaw dropping, You grow up your whole life going over to district and like, ‘I’m going to play here when I get older.’ But then you come out here and see this and it has Jaguar stadium on it, this is our field and we don’t have to share it,” said White.
Tuttle said, “It’s really cool because we get to play the first time in the history of our school, we actually have a home game rather than driving across town.”
“Since we’re so used to just sharing it, just one city but it’s different now that it’s just our school and it kind of brings more pride to it,” said Rees.
“But when Andover comes here, we want to win and show them this is our part of the town,” said White.
Andover Central opens the season at Newton on September 4th.
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