Rising Star: Independent football out to 4-0 start

Wichita Independent is turning a corner, reaching new heights under a new head coach.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 1:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) -Wichita Independent underwent massive change in the last year. Struggling to compete at 11-man football, including two forfeits late last season with one coming in the postseason, the Panthers dropped down to 8-man in 2022.

They also underwent a coaching change, welcoming in Leterius Ray, who has helped coach many of the players since middle school.

“I was there when they were taking a lot of butt kickings,” Ray said of a program that had just four winning season since inception in the late ‘90s.

“We haven’t had a lot of success in the past. … It’s hard to tell them to keep coming back.”

Behind a large and motivated senior class, an offseason of dedication to the weight room and building chemistry is paying off. Heading into Friday’s game against Argonia/Attica, Independent is out to a perfect 4-0 start.

“Our goal for our senior year is for all of us to change the program,” said senior Joseph Recalde-Phillips. “I feel like it all just kinda came together.”

Senior Cooper Randleas said all he ever knew being around the school was losing seasons. He was motivated to leave the program in a better place.

“It was expected we’d do things that hadn’t been done before at this school,” Randleas said. “Knowing that after our time, we’re gonna leave a winning season and a winning program.”