Derby keeping family first in 2021 campaign
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) -For the past decade, there hasn’t been a 6A team better than the Derby Panthers and if history is any indication of how this season will go, any challengers to the 6A title have their work cut out for them.
Winners of the six out of the last eight state titles the Panthers have gone from hunters to the hunted.
“I think it is earned, nothing is given to us because at the end of the day we have to play 13 games and we are going to try to get to the state championship. It is a goal but we are taking it one game at a time,” shared running back Dylan Edwards.
Leading the way, Edwards is fresh off of a sophomore season that saw him rush for more than a thousand yards and an eruption on the recruiting scene. While deserving of the recognition, Edwards is quick to give the credit to his teammates up front.
“My offensive line is great, everything I do is because of them, it is because of them that I am in this position. I know they are going to do a great job so I am hoping I do, too,” he finished.
The offense puts up a lot of points thanks to the play up front. Senior lineman Alex Key says the secret is keeping things simple.
“Just to be able to play and not have to think. We have been running the same playbook since third grade so we add on to it a little bit as we go,” Key smiled.
Derby Head Coach Brandon Clark agrees, calling the offensive line a strong suit of this team, but also noting the defensive line play and importance of their play to the Panther success.
“They got better as the year went on last year and they are a heck of a lot better this year,” Clark explained. “Now we have a new group of linebackers and when you control the line up front with three guys it makes their job a whole lot easier,” he said.
However if you ask this team the secret to their success the answer isn’t about the x’s and o’s but the comradery in the locker room.
“We’re all one close knit group, being close to the seniors, I know I am going to miss them when they are gone. It is always bitter sweet bug I know at the end of the year it is going to be all worth it,” Edwards finished.
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