Husker look to hold on to top spot

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 21, 2015 - 7:56 PM



Carrollton

Head Coach: Greg Hough, 10th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 2-8/1-4

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/7

Biggest Challenge: It’s been a tough few years for the Trojans. This senior class hasn’t seen many wins so taking that next step and expecting to find victories will be a big test early against a strong non-conference schedule.

Outlook: Carrollton has good numbers returning and that experience should help. This group has seen some tough times but having players with Friday night time will help them gain traction early in the season. The schedule is tough every week so any early momentum could be key to a successful season.

Coach’s thoughts: “The kids I have this year are a good group of hard working kids. We’ve had 22 kids participate in our offseason workout. We’ve had over 90 percent attendance rate. We really challenge our kids to get at least 25 days of lifting in this summer and every one of our kids had their 25 days in plus some. Our kids have not shied away from hard work at all.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Trenton
8/28 Westran
9/4 @ Odessa
9/11 Salisbury
9/18 @ Knob Noster
9/25 Richmond
10/2 @ Lexington
10/9 Holden
10/16 @ Lafayette County

Holden

Head Coach: Mike Hedrick, 4th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 5-5/4-2

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 3/4

Biggest Challenge: The Eagles are young this year and while there is some talent a lot of the players haven’t been on the field in meaningful minutes on Friday nights. The new players will need to overcome that initial shock and learn what it takes to compete on Friday nights.

Outlook: This is the youngest team that Hedrick has had in his four-years at Holden. His first year team was similar except it had record-setting tailback Max Mickey in the backfield. This season could see some growing pains but it could set up the Eagles for success down the line.

Coach’s thoughts: “I think one of the best things as a coach is you hope every year the kids come ready to play and they love the game. We’ve been great with that. Our kids love it. They did a great job in the summer. They know the fact that they all get a chance to play this year they want to get after it.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Oak Grove
8/28 @ Southwest
9/4 Trenton
9/11 Odessa
9/18 Lexington
9/25 Lafayette County
10/2 Richmond
10/9 @ Carrollton
10/16 Knob Noster

Knob Noster

Head Coach: Richard Villigram, 2nd season

2014 record (overall/conference): 0-10/0-5

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/6

Biggest Challenge: There have been quite a few coaches go through Knob Noster over the last six seasons and the effects of that can be seen in a lack of depth. Villigram is there for his second year so some consistency has steadied the program and as that continues the Panthers should see their numbers go up.

Outlook: There are a good group of freshmen to replace the seniors who graduated so the numbers are stable this year. A solid number of starters are back and if the younger players can fill in some holes and the team can stay healthy Knob Noster might be in line for a few wins this season.

Coach’s thoughts: “That consistency has really helped out. We didn’t have to crawl before we could walk. We were able to hit the ground running and add some things that we weren’t able to get to last year offensively and defensively. So that has really helped our kids out a lot.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Versailles
8/28 @ Lighthouse Christian Academy
9/4 Summit Christian Academy
9/11 El Dorado Springs
9/18 Carrollton
9/25 @ Lexington
10/2 Lafayette County
10/9 @ Richmond
10/16 @ Holden

Lafayette County

Head Coach: Steve Cook, 9th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 11-1/5-0

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 7/7

Biggest Challenge: The tradition is strong at Lafayette County so this time of year is when the younger players learn that tradition. The Huskers are a veteran team and those leaders should handle the job well.

Outlook: Lafayette County hasn’t lost a regular season game in two years. This could be another strong run and with seven starters back on both sides of the ball a deep run could be possible. This is a team to watch all season.

Coach’s thoughts: “One thing I like about this team is senior leadership has been great. We have 14 seniors on this year’s team and they are contributors. They will definitely set a tone for us. A lot of them have gotten great experience all throughout high school and seeing a lot of playing time in varsity games. I’m just really proud on how they have come along.”

2015 Record:
8/21 @ Concordia
8/28 Boonville
9/4 Kansas City Central
9/11 @ Trenton
9/18 @ Richmond
9/25 @ Holden
10/2 @ Knob Noster
10/9 Lexington
10/16 Carrollton

Lexington

Head Coach: Kyle Barkley, 2nd season

2014 record (overall/conference): 2-3/6-4

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/7

Biggest Challenge: The Minutemen have experience and talent along with a good work ethic. The one piece that is missing is that vocal leadership that could push them to the next level. If Lexington can find that voice it could be a good year.

Outlook: Lexington did well out of conference last year on its way to a winning record. The next hurdle is to find a way to have a winning conference record and go even further. The Minutemen will need to be focused in the conference and out with a schedule that includes an improved Wellington-Napoleon, Trenton and Tipton. A good run through the non-conference will set Lexington up for another good season.

Coach’s thoughts: “The experience level that we have with this group is something you don’t see…Just that experience that we are bringing and the cohesion of the team will allow us to be successful this year.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Tipton
8/28 Trenton
9/4 @ Northeast
9/11 Wellington-Napoleon
9/18 @ Holden
9/25 Knob Noster
10/2 Carrollton
10/9 @ Lafayette County
10/16 @ Richmond

Richmond

Head Coach: Rob Bowers, 21st season

2014 record (overall/conference): 2-8/1-4

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 7/6

Biggest Challenge: There is talent and experience but the depth is lacking. Right now the team needs to find a full level of commitment so the talent and experience can be converted into wins.

Outlook: Richmond has been a top-flight program over the last few years but youth and injuries set the Spartans back last season. If this year’s team can buy into the tradition of the past it could be a bounce back.

Coach’s thoughts: “We have some experience offensively that we feel like will pay off for us. Defensively we are replacing a few more people. Experience wise compared to last year we are much better than last year and I don’t think there is much substitute for experience.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ O’Hara
8/28 @ Lawson
9/4 Excelsior Springs
9/11 Harrisonville
9/18 Lafayette County
9/25 @ Carrollton
10/2 @ Holden
10/9 Knob Noster
10/16 Lexington