Crusader football preview: 20 things you need to know about the 2014 Crusader football team….

first_imgSept. 19CircleAway Varsity – all games at 7 p.m. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Sumner County sports season officially begins Monday and that includes the Wellington Crusader football team. Here are 20 things you need to know about the 2014 Crusaders…1. It starts today… The Wellington Crusaders, who have spent the summer in camps and PSQs, will “officially” start their season Monday. WHS head football coach Tyler Ryan is embarking on his third year at the helm and expects to have about 70 boys out there for the first day.   2. What to expect when you are expecting to play football… Well, typically, it will be no different than any other football player who has strapped on a Crusader uniform. Practice is 3:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Friday for the first week leading to the first inner squad scrimmage on Saturday. The weather? Sumner County has had a pleasant cool summer, but today temperatures are expected to rise to triple digits and stay that way all week.3. The best time to preview the team … Traditionally, there are two dates the public can get a quick preview – outside looking from the road from afar on any practice night. Some have found the Saturday morning inner-squad scrimmage from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the high school practice field facility to be a more telling sign of what the Crusaders might have in the season ahead even though they have had just two days of pads. The Crusader hamburger scrimmage is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 at Sellers Park. But for pure football is concerned, it tends to be more of an exhibition. Coaches tend to hold things back in case some Augusta or Andale coach might be in the stands looking to pick up a few pointers. 4. What has changed… Sellers Park. Three years ago, many would argue Wellington’s field was less that substandard. But first came the new press box. Then came the metal backings on the bleachers.  Now, Wellington opens the season against Augusta at home on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m., and there are a plethora of improvements.First of all, the turf this spring and summer has gotten the tender loving care of Steve Gill, the former Wellington Golf Club director — who knows a few things about lawn maintenance.Then there is the press box with its impressive mural on back that was brought to us thanks to Steve Sturgis, Samson Ledesma and Impact Bank. Then there is the new decked out grill to fry the burgers. Yes, that comes with the generosity of Impact Bank as well. But that’s not all. Coming Soon Security State Bank will be erecting a new school board including two 45 second clocks on both ends of the field. Crusader Club President Darren Goodrum said the scoreboard may not get here in time for the first official game. The ugly fencing is being replaced with a black vinyl fence. Sellers Park is going to look sharp.5. What hasn’t changed… The Wellington football team. The Crusaders have 11 returning offense and 10 defensive players who saw significant varsity playing time in 2013. This will be the most experienced team Wellington has seen in the 2010s. Ryan is now in his third consecutive year of coach, giving the program stability. That hasn’t been the case when WHS had three coaches in three years during the early part of this decade.6. So what will change for a team that hasn’t changed?… Ryan didn’t elaborate, because maybe some Augusta or Andale football coach may be reading this blog, but let’s just say the flex bone offense will contain a lot of I formations.“We will be running the same plays we ran last year tweaked in an I formation,” Ryan said. “A lot of it looks like the formations (former Wellington head coach) Linn Hibbs used to run.”7. And then there is two-year quarterback starter Trevor Nance…Trevor NanceCrusader fans can’t help but salivate at the fact that the quarterback has returned. Nance, who started as a sophomore, is now a 6-5, 210 pound senior. In 2013 as a junior, Nance threw 1,363 yards in 2013 placing him sixth on the all-time single season Crusader list for passing yards. He is fourth on the all-time passing career list with 2,339 yards.8. And then there is wide receiver Colin Reichenberger…Colin ReichenbergerThe speedy 6-1, 160-pound senior became Wellington’s first 1,000 yard receiver in its near 100 year history, when he caught for 1,001 yards in 2013. Reichenberger is all over the record books. Not only does he own the reception yards for a season record, but he broke the reception yard during the season opener against Goddard where he caught for 269 yards.He is currently second in career receptions with 1,170 yards in two seasons. He trails only Danny Crittenden, who caught 1,494 yards worth of receptions from 1995 to 1997. Reichenberger is 324 yards from breaking the career WHS record.9. Yeah, but…. Ryan says he expects neither Nance nor Reichenberger will duplicate those numbers in 2014.“I fully expect to have more diversity in offense than we had last year,” Ryan said. “I expect us to run the ball 60 percent of the time and pass the ball 40 percent of the time.”10. Did you know?…Austin DunnWellington’s Austin Dunn was a first team all Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League running back in 2013. Now as a 6-0, 215 pound, sr., Dunn could be even tougher to bring down. To say Wellington has an extremely talented starting backfield may be a huge understatement.11. So we have the skill positions, what about the offensive line?  Ryan made this statement at the AV-CTL Media Day in Wichita the other day. “This might be the best line we’ve had in quite awhile.”There most certainly is some size. Trevor Colter (6-0, 275, sr.) will join Jason Norris (6-1, 265, jr.); Vincent Ast (5-11, 175, sr.) and Nick Hyde (6-2, 225, jr.) making for a very cohesive, experienced unit.Let’s not forget Brenton Troutman (6-1, 180, sr.) who will work the tight end position.Did we miss anybody? Oh, yeah. Skylar Brand (5-11, 215, sr.) who returns as a first team AV-CTL DIV players.“We are clicking a lot better than we have in the past,” said Brand, a right guard, defensive end with astronomical potential. “We are really excited to get out there and show people what we are made of.”12. Utility player…Connor PhelpsConnor Phelps, a 5-10, 170, jr., may be a hard player to pinpoint. He could be anywhere. Phelps is listed as a wide receiver, and a running back, and a line backer.“He is just one of those players we could put in any position, and he would play it well,” Ryan said.And, while the thought of losing Nance is as scary as any Steven King novel, look for Phelps to be the backup quarterback.13.  We are not getting defensive here about the defense! …Chances are if you have good offensive players, you will play defense for Wellington as well. But Ryan likes to spread the wealth and platoon as much as possible.Of course, certain athletes are just too good to play just one way.But look for these potential one-way starters to shine:•Adam Condit, a 6-1, 210, sr. is a head hunter type who returns as a second team all league defensive end in 2013.•Andrew Pelkey, a 5-10, 165, sr. returns as a first team all-league linebacker.Others to watch:•Remington Gilkey (5-10, 160, jr.) at defensive back;•Jaden Hines (5-9, 215, sr.) at linebacker;•Zach Bodkins (5-10, 165, sr.) at linebacker;•Joey Haydon (5-10, 165, sr.) at linebacker.14. Kicking things around… Nance will return as an all-league punter. Reichenberger will kick things off. Phelps and Dunn will share duties returning the ball. Wellington hasn’t kicked a field goal in a couple of years. Nothing was listed for that position on the preseason scouting report.15. New coaches… The absence of John Gifford, a WHS assistant from 1971, cannot go understated.“I feel like something is missing already,” Ryan said. “I always loved going into his office to talk about the game plan.”Ryan Elder, a WHS graduate from the 1990s, will be coaching the defensive back-tight end positions. Jesse Dale is helping as an offensive coordinator.Ryan said he himself will call most of the plays.16. Now the bad news… This season would be great if it wasn’t for the opponents. Wellington has a brutal schedule – perhaps the most daunting since 2010. Here is the schedule for 2014. Rose Hill, Mulvane and Ulysses are district games.2014 SCHEDULE Sept. 26ClearwaterHome DateOpponentHome/away Sept. 5AugustaHome Oct. 31UlyssesAway Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (7) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +5 Vote up Vote down WHSALUM · 312 weeks ago LOVE Sam Wylie representing our Community, School and Crusader Football Team! I really do hope that he returns! It was AMAZING to see him ride out on the field! Go Big Red! Report Reply 0 replies · active 312 weeks ago -3 Vote up Vote down Crusader Fan · 312 weeks ago Just want to make some corrections. Mulvane isn’t in our league, rather Augusta is. Also, you posted 4A Division 2 ranking instead of Division 1 rankings. Report Reply 1 reply · active 312 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 312 weeks ago Mulvane and Augusta switched Divisions this year. Report Reply +1 Vote up Vote down Crusader Player · 312 weeks ago You made an error I saw. The 6’0, 275 pound senior is Trey Coulter, not Trevor Colter Report Reply 0 replies · active 312 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down no on special · 312 weeks ago I’m personal glad all we could pick out to gripe about are type o’s. Good article Tracy. As a parent in went to the assembly about being Crusader Committed. I hope everyone keeps the slogan in mind and supports all Wellington sports. Don’t forget that a lot of kids who run cross country, play volleyball, softball, baseball, wrestle ect take the time to learn about and support football, so you football payers and fans take sometime to look at all the different sports and support them to. Report Reply 2 replies · active 312 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Daren · 312 weeks ago And hopefully have a impressive write up for all!! Report Reply +3 Vote up Vote down Guest · 312 weeks ago As well as academics and the arts. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Oct. 17Rose HillHomecenter_img Oct. 24MulvaneAway Sept. 12Goddard EisenhowerAway Oct. 10CollegiateAway Aug. 28Hamburger ScrimmageHome 17. Who the heck scheduled a regular season game in Ulysses?!!It kind of makes you want to punch a wall, doesn’t it?  Ulysses is 256 miles from Wellington which is about a five hour drive one way. And that game is scheduled on Halloween night. Here’s the lowdown why the game was scheduled.Class 4A has been divided into two classifications this year from 64 to 32 teams. Class 4A Div. 1 is the top 32 tier teams and D2 is the second tier. Ulysses was put in the top tier, while some of its neighbors (if you can call them that since it’s western Kansas) was relegated to Division II.Believe it or not, Wellington is now one of the closest schools to Ulysses in Class 4A Div. 1, and therefore was stuck in the same four-team district.Take solace, Ulysses comes here in 2015.18. No Thursday games… Now that Class 4A is divided into two 32-team classifications, all regular season games will be played Friday night just like Class 6A and 5A. And if the Crusaders make the playoffs they will play on Friday night as well.When Class 4A was a 64-team classification, the state sandwiched three games into two weeks so everyone could play their state championship games on Thanksgiving weekend.19. Playoff drought… Wellington went 18 consecutive years making the playoffs. But now the Crusaders have gone three straight years without making the playoffs. A key to returning to post season play is finally beating Mulvane – something Wellington hasn’t been done since 2005.20. Preseason magazine predictions… It’s early but the Vype Magazine coaches poll went with the following order in AV-CTL Div. IV.1. Andale.2. Collegiate.3. Wellington.4. Mulvane.5. Clearwater.6. Circle.Kansas Pregame – produced in Pittsburg, Kans. made no league predictions, but it did come out with the first statewide poll:Class 4A – Div. 1- preseason ranking:1. Bishop Miege2. Topeka Hayden3. Buhler4. Hays5. K.C. PiperOthers: Baldwin, Chanute, Coffeyville, Fort Scott, McPherson, Ulysses, Winfield. Oct. 3AndaleHome Odds and ends…Sam Wylie was the Crusader who rode in on Thunder to escort the football team onto the field in 2013.A group of students called “Crusader Committed” is a program through Life of an Athlete. It has initiated a rather aggressive approach to how athletes conduct themselves on and off the field. The Wellington football team signed a Code of Conduct form outlining certain things they will not do on or off the field. One part of the program is study hall. Each Thursday for an hour after school the high school team will study instead of immediately going out to practice. Ryan said it is to emphasize that academics come first over athletics…… Add “Be the Hammer” a rallying cry for the 2013 Wellington football team to the list of traditional Crusader rituals like crossing the bridge and ringing the victory bell. The chant said in unison before the start and after football games last season will again be part of Wellington…… Will he or won’t he? Local resident Sam Wylie stirred emotions when he rode  “Thunder” the horse before the start of the home football games. Thunder, unfortunately, died during the off season. Wylie has another horse and has expressed interest in coming to another game. No word yet though if this will indeed be the case.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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