The 2019 Kansas high school football season saw some impressive play-making from quarterbacks in the Kansas City area. Considering how many of those quarterbacks were only juniors and sophomores, there's no reason to think why 2020 shouldn't be an even better year of high school football in the Sunflower State.
Here's a breakdown of some of the top quarterbacks who are expected to return next fall with at least one season of varsity experience.
Arland Bruce IV (Olathe North, junior)
404 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, two interceptions, 2,487 rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns
While the 2019 Thomas A. Simone winner split time between quarterback and running back during his junior campaign, he made defenders miss wherever he was lined up in the Olathe North backfield. Bruce IV guided the Eagles to their first 6A state title game appearance since 2010. He set the 6A state title game record for carries in the Eagles' loss to Derby.
Jake Wolff (Blue Valley, junior)
2,118 passing yards, 15 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions and five rushing touchdowns
The 6A East semifinal featured Wolff's Blue Valley squad and Bruce IV's Eagles. Wolff Tigers doubled their win total from 2018 by going 8-4. The junior signal caller has many of his top weapons returning next fall as well between the receiving duo of Dorian Stephens and Sterling Lockett and the one-two backfield punch of Chase Jans and Greyson Holbert.
Ty Black (Shawnee Mission Northwest, junior)
2,655 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions, 700 rushing yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns
Black earned all-Simone second-team honors after leading one of the most explosive offenses in the state this fall. About half of Black's passing yards went to speedster Ty Lindenman, who hauled in 70 receptions for 1,358 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Jackson Dooley (Lawrence High, junior)
2,151 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, one interception and one rushing touchdown
Dooley and fellow junior Devin Neal engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in the state, as the Lions went from 1-8 in 2018 to 8-2 this fall. While Neal was a consistent threat to break a big run all season long, Dooley and his favorite target Chris McGee kept defenses on their toes.
Henry Martin (Blue Valley North, sophomore)
2,071 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, seven interceptions and 110 rushing yards
Despite playing in arguably the toughest league in the state, Martin put up dazzling numbers in his sophomore season. Martin and the Mustangs rebounded from a 1-4 start before a 21-20 loss to Blue Valley ended their season with a record of 5-6.
Mikey Pauley (Blue Valley Northwest, sophomore)
1,861 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 532 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns
Speaking of sophomore quarterbacks being thrown into the fire of the Eastern Kansas League, Pauley led the Huskies in passing and rushing yards.
Austin Berggren (Olathe East, sophomore)
Berggren and the Hawks finished the season 7-3, which was a three-win improvement from 2018. The Hawks have a terrific offensive trio in place for next fall with Berggren, running back Ma'rrell Fountain and wideout Darius Bibbs.
Cooper Marsh (Mill Valley, junior)
2,020 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 925 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns
Marsh and the Jaguars didn't let a 1-3 start rattle them, as they closed the season on a nine-game winning streak to win Mill Valley's third 5A state title in five years. The dynamic dual-threat quarterback will have four of his five top receivers back next fall with Ty Reishus, Jacob Hartman, Kendrick Jones and Jared Napoli returning along with tailback Quin Wittenauer.
Blake Anderson (St. Thomas Aquinas, junior)
1,293 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, three interceptions, and one rushing touchdown
With standout running back Tank Young racking up 2,025 yards of total offense and 35 total touchdowns, the Saints didn't need Anderson to fill up the highlight reel. He did anyway in his limited passing opportunities, as Anderson helped the Saints to another double-digit win season at 10-1. The lone loss came to Marsh and Mill Valley in overtime in the 5A semifinals.
Jackson Miller (De Soto, junior)
1,242 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, two interceptions, 619 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns
Miller put on almost identical passing numbers as Anderson in a run-first, pass-second flexbone offense. The De Soto junior did his fair share of damage on the ground as well in his second full season under center. Miller and the Wildcats also saw their 10-1 season end at the hands of Mill Valley.
Alex Birge (Olathe West, junior)
1,279 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, 380 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns
Birge and sophomore running back Anthony Favrow (1,324 yards and 16 touchdowns) propelled the Owls to their first winning campaign in only the season year of the program. After starting the season 0-3, Birge guided Olathe West to six straight wins before a second-round playoff loss to Mill Valley.
Tanner Curry (Blue Valley Southwest, junior)
1,883 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 13 interceptions, four rushing touchdowns
After finishing the regular season 1-7, Curry and the Timberwolves made a run to the 5A state semifinals with back-to-back convincing wins over Washington and Schlagle. Curry will have his top receiver back next season in Tristen Everard, who corralled 59 receptions for 640 yards and five touchdowns.
Timothy Dorsey (Bishop Miege, junior)
2,500 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, 158 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns
Another year, another 4A state crown for Dorsey and the Stags. Dorsey will try to lead Miege to its seventh straight state championship next fall. While the Stags will look to replace Otis Taylor Award winner Daniel Jackson and running back Brison Cobbins, Dorsey will still have two big playmakers returning in wideout Phillippe Wesley and one of the state's best tight ends back in Mack Moeller.
Garrett Williams (Paola, junior)
646 passing yards, eight touchdown passes, 722 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns
The Panthers lost Williams and standout running back Connor Hasz during their playoff run, but the dynamic duo played a big role in leading Paola to an 11-1 season. The lone loss came to Miege in the 4A state semifinals.
Blake Poje (Tonganoxie, junior)
1,743 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns and eight interceptions
Opposing defenses had plenty to worry about as is with trying to slow down Cooper Cunningham (2,124 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns), which freed things up for Poje and the Tongie passing attack. Poje will have top target Dallas Bond back, as the Chieftains try to improve on a 10-1 season. The Chieftains were undefeated prior to falling to Miege in the 4A quarterfinals.
Karson Schaunaman (Piper, sophomore)
641 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns, two interceptions, 223 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns
Schaunaman's sophomore season was limited to six games due to injury. The Piper offense will plenty of returners next fall, including Schaunaman, running back La'james White and receivers Camaro Scott and Blake Porter.
Zeke Reazin (Eudora, junior)
In Reazin's second season under center, the Cardinals saw a two-win improvement from 2018. Eudora’s starting running back Cael Lynch is also set to return next fall.