Catch it Kansas is starting a preview series looking at each position group entering the 2019 season. We start the series with a look at the top quarterbacks entering the new school year.
Aug, 31, 2018; Wichita, Kansas, USA; during a City League football matchup between the Bishop Carroll Eagles v the Northwest Grizzlies at Carroll Family Stadium ©Kelly Ross CIK
1.Wichita Northwest’s Reagan Jones – After a standout sophomore year at Andover Central, Jones had a massive season with Wichita Northwest last fall. He helped Northwest to a state-best 726 points, a 12-1 record and 5A state runner-up to St. Thomas Aquinas. Jones threw for 2,414 yards with a 31/5 TD/INT ratio. He rushed for 1,393 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Northwest defeated Bishop Carroll, 84-67, in the quarterfinals and delivered the most single game points in school history. Jones has posted a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash and has an offer from the University of North Dakota. Jones finished third in 11-man passing yards last year, according to MaxPreps’ statewide lists. He is the only one of the top-13 passers in ’18 that is back for ’19.
2. Maize South’s Colin Shields – After an 0-3 start, Maize South captured six straight victories behind Shields. He threw for 1,406 yards as a sophomore. Maize South is loaded with talent this year, including defensive back Trevion Mitchell and linemen Zach Seville and Cody Fayette. Maize South should play a pivotal role in Class 5A.
3. Goddard’s Kyler Semrad – Semrad, a junior, helped Goddard to a 4A state runner-up appearance to Bishop Miege last fall. Semrad, in his first year starting, passed for 1,963 yards and a 18/12 TD/INT ratio. Goddard came back in playoff wins versus Wellington and McPherson.
4. Andover’s Eli Fahnestock – A starter since his freshman year, Fahnestock threw for 1,753 yards and accounted for 24 scores as a freshman. Last year, he passed for 1,079 yards with six touchdowns. Senior running back Peyton Henry is back after an injury-plagued ’18 and recently picked up an offer from Southern Nazarene.
5. Plainville’s Jordan Finnesy – Plainville has posted state runner-up and back-to-back state semifinal showings the last three years. Finnesy and fullback Jared Casey, both seniors, are one of the state’s top 1-2 combinations. Finnesy has cleared 2,400 offensive yards and accounted for 21 offensive touchdowns apiece in each of the last two years. Fifth-year coach Grant Stephenson led Plainville to 31.8 points a contest. Plainville should again be a leading contender in the Mid-Continent League and 1A.
6. Norton’s Kade Melvin – Like Finnesy, Melvin is a returning dual threat quarterback in the MCL. Melvin is the son of the longtime Norton coach Lucas Melvin. Kade, a senior, tallied 20 offensive scores, along with 569 rushing yards and 1,419 passing yards. Norton returns at least 65 percent of its rushing/receiving yards.
7. Hutchinson Central Christian’s Caleb Lambert – There is no question that this could be a special season for Central Christian, known for its explosive offenses in the last three years. The Cougars are the likely preseason west favorite in Eight-Man, Division II. Senior Caleb Lambert passed for 2,055 yards with 38 scores, and also had 798 rushing yards and 22 TD. CC returns its entire offensive skill group.
8. Hodgeman County’s Isaac Salmans – The Salmans brothers (junior Isaac and senior Eli) are back to lead the Longhorns again. HC was 9-2 last year after a state runner-up showing in ’17. Their dad, Oliver Salmans, is the longtime Longhorn assistant coach. Isaac passed for 1,237 yards with an 11/3 TD/INT ratio, along with 916 rushing yards and 25 rushing TDs. Eli rushed for 1,829 yards and 24 rushing scores.
9. Canton-Galva’s Landon Everett – Like Lambert and Salmans, Everett leads a talented eight-man squad. C-G, after a big turnaround and semifinals showing in ’18, is a significant preseason favorite in Eight-Man, Division I. Everett cleared 2,700 offensive yards for a team that finished 10-2. As well, Everett has standout sophomore wide receiver Tyson Struber.
10-13. Saline County quarterbacks – the three Salina schools, South, Central and Sacred Heart, along with nearby Southeast of Saline – all return their quarterbacks. SE of Saline junior Jaxson Gebhardt, son of longtime SES coach Mitch Gebhardt, helped the Trojans to an 8-2 season last fall. Gebhardt threw for 1,393 yards with a 10/12 TD/INT ratio, and rushed for 509 yards and five scores. Key skill players Bryant Banks and Tyler Breeding return.
For SC, senior Jackson Kavanagh is back after he helped the Mustangs average 31.7 points per game. He accounted for 1,510 passing, 362 rushing and 20 offensive scores. Junior Terran Galloway (1,144 passing) returns for South, while Mac Hemmer stepped in and threw for 215 yards in a playoff victory at Ellis.
14-15. Left-handers: Chanute’s Ty Bowman, Maur Hill’s Jack Caudle – Bowman is one of the top quarterbacks from the non-CIK area. A four-year starter, Bowman passed for 1,472 yards with 16 touchdowns. He has multiple junior college offers. Caudle, the son of former KU player Todd Caudle, is also a four-year starter. He passed for 1,885 yards with 21 scores last year. Caudle tallied 29 offensive scores.
16-18. KC area - Arland Bruce IV, the son of former professional football player Arland Bruce III, accounted for 35 offensive touchdowns. He cleared 1,200 rushing and passing yards. Burdette delivered 44 offensive scores, and more than 2,000 yards of total offense for MA, a 6-3 team in Eight-Man, Division I. St. James’ Jack Moellers threw for 1,530 yards and 11 scores. De Soto’s Jackson Miller had a 14/2 TD/INT ratio as a sophomore.
Other key quarterbacks – Clearwater’s Tanner Cash; Scott City’s Parker Gooden; Phillipsburg’s Ty Sides; Conway Springs’ Collin Koester; Riley County’s Garrett Harmison; Sabetha’s Gabe Garber; Centralia’s Kamble Haverkamp; South Barber’s Trevor Rooks; Marysville’s Brandon Schroedl