Through the Uprights Mile Lavieri 11/11
By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Mill Valley has all the makings of a state contender, and this might be the best year for the Jaguars to win the whole thing.
Head coach Joel Applebee took over the program in 2010, becoming the second coach in school history, and has made the playoffs every year since. His best finish was in 2013, when the Jaguars were 10-1 and fell to eventual state champion Blue Valley.
The interesting thing about that 2013 season was it was Logan Koch’s first year as starting quarterback.
Koch, now a senior, has gone through his share of ups and downs and injuries, but he has been consistent, and that’s exactly what the Jaguars need Friday at Pittsburg and for the remainder of the season.
As Koch goes, so goes Mill Valley. He can make plays with his legs and his arm, which makes it difficult for defenses to scheme against.
But he’s not the Jaguars’ only offensive threat. They also have Christian Jegen, who has offers from Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, UNLV and North Dakota State among others. Jegen makes catches that make your mouth open in disbelief. He has tremendous hands and is one of the best athletes on the field on any given night.
Koch also has 6-foot-7 receiver Lucas Krull to throw it up to. For a receiver of his size, you’d think Krull would play tight end, but he moves so gracefully that he presents matchup nightmares. Like Jegen, he also has terrific hands. Anything that is thrown in his general direction, he seems to bring in.
Unlike Jegen and Koch who will definitely play at the next level, Krull’s football career is winding to an end as he’s committed to play baseball at Arkansas.
While these three get a lot of recognition, and for good reason, offensive lineman Ben Hecht deserves some love, too. Hecht has committed to play at North Dakota State next fall. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound guard will push defenders around.
This Mill Valley team is fast and physical, and it starts with Hecht, who continues the lineage of big, powerful Jaguar lineman. Last season it was Kansas State signee Evan Applegate. Before them it was Coleman McCann, Zach Callahan and Chris Mayer.
A championship recipe for this team is there: A coach with a decorated resume, seniors with experience and a hunger to succeed, and overcoming struggles from a season ago.
Not to mention that the bracket is set up nicely for them to make it to the championship. The Jaguars play a Pittsburg team that was throttled by St. Thomas Aquinas a few weeks ago – a Saints team that was no match for Mill Valley in week one.
If Mill Valley goes on to win, they’ll face those Saints or St. James, a team Mill Valley handled with ease in week seven.
But they need to take care of business these next two weeks to even have a shot at winning a title, which will most likely be a date with last season’s Class 5A champion, Bishop Carroll.
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