Countdown to Kickoff: East brings high-powered offense, high expectations into ‘23

Countdown to Kickoff: East
Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 10:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Ask those on the Wichita East football team, and they’ll give you many different one-word answers to describe the offense ahead of the 2023.

Among them: Dynamic and fast.

“I think every element offense we have we’re special at,” said head coach Ene Akpan. “We’ve got a great O-line, I think the best running back in the city, the best quarterback in the city, also with the best receivers. Put all those guys together, it’s a matchup nightmare for a lot of defenses.”

The Blue Aces are coming off a 6-4 season that ended in the second round of the playoffs to future 6A state champion Manhattan.

They also lost the season-opener to Washburn Rural, 49-42, with another one-score loss to Bishop Carroll. East also fell to Northwest, but came away with a Week 2 statement win against Kapaun.

“We can be great. We can be at a point where teams don’t wanna play us,” senior receiver MJ White said.

East returns 10 starters on offense, powered by signal-caller Daeonte Mitchell. The senior quarterback is nearing the City League career passing record, with nearly 6,000 yards under his belt through three season. He tallied more than 2,200 yards with 24 touchdowns and just two interceptions last year. He added 800 yards rushing and eight scores on the ground.

He’s doing his best to now step up as a senior leader for the Blue Aces.

“Everyone has the same goal - winning state. In order to do that, you have to have a leader and have to step up to that plate,” Michell said.

He admits benefitting from an experienced, fast and talented skill ground around him. MJ White, LT Robinson and Ashton White lead the receiving corps by Rayvelle Leak powering the backfield.

The defense brings back four starters, led by Dayontay Standifer.

“We wanna win city. We wanna win all our playoff games and get to the state championship game. I think we fell short of that last year, obviously,” Akpan said. “There’s no more excuses. You can’t say my bad coach and wait until next year when we play these guys again. It’s the last chance - gotta get the job done.’”

East begins the season Sept. 1 at Washburn Rural.