Player Picks to Click - Week 8

Labette County QB Easton Dean is an Iowa State commit. (photo by Matt Gilmore,
By: John Baetz; Hayden Barber; Sean Boston; Dion Clisso; Matt Gilmore; Chet Kuplen; Brent Maycock, Conor Nicholl
Oct 18, 2018

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In our Picks to Click, we feature eight players or units from across the state that we feel will have breakout performances on Friday night.

This season, we’ve assembled a team of eight media members across the state to each select one player (or unit) each week.  We will track the cumulative statistics of our selections throughout the season similar to fantasy scoring.  

Picks to Click contributors for the 2018 season include: John Baetz (Kansas Pregame Magazine); Hayden Barber (Wichita Eagle); Sean Boston (KSKZ-Radio); Dion Clisso (; Matt Gilmore (; Chet Kuplen (Sports in Kansas); Brent Maycock (Topeka Capital Journal); and Conor Nicholl (

Check back next week as we calculate the final standings for the 2018 season and see how the players performed that we picked this week. See the bottom of this article for details.

Dhimani Butler, LB, Goddard  (Barber)

Butler is one of the best all-around linebackers in the Wichita area. He has speed to cover and power to match. This week, Goddard faces Andover in an AVCTL II championship game. The Trojans will be without their starting quarterback sophomore Eli Fahnestock, so Andover is likely to keep the ball on the ground and throw it short when they don't. That should mean Butler will be all around the ball.

Easton Dean, QB, Labette County (Baetz)

A year after posting one of the best seasons in school history, the Grizzlies' 2018 campaign hasn't went as planned. The 2017 SEK League Champions are 3-4 entering Friday's key match-up with league foe Chanute. The winner will earn sole ownership of second place in the SEK League race. The Grizzlies success hinges on the play of 6-foot-7 senior quarterback Easton Dean, who has verbally committed to play at Iowa State. After throwing for 2,028 yards with 22 TDs against just five interceptions last year, Dean has passed for 1,631 yards through seven games this season. His TD numbers have fallen off (11) and his interception numbers are on the rise (8), but Dean is not a one-trick pony. After rushing for 455 yards last season, Dean already has 456 on the ground through the seven contests of 2018.

The Grizzlies graduated significant talent at running back and receiver, but if Dean and his new supporting cast can put together a complete game on Friday they could deliver a key victory and keep many of the goals for their season still intact.

Dylan Downing, LB, Bishop Miege (Clisso)

Downing has been a rock for one of the best defenses in the state. The senior linebacker has averaged double-digit tackles per game this season having registered 75 stops in seven games. Downing has also registered seven tackles for loss, two sacks, and an interception for the Stags.  He could be a big problem for Blue Valley Northwest this week.

Humboldt Offensive Line (Kuplen)

The Cubs (7-0) haven't seen a challenger so far in 2018 and have been getting it done on both sides of the football. They've been a scoring machine with 56 touchdowns in seven weeks of the season. Humboldt is a run first team with 276.4 yards rushing per game and 97 yards passing per contest. The Class 2A Cubs are averaging 58.1 points per game in 2018. They get Southeast-Cherokee, much improved from last year, but the Cubs will likely score a lot of points in this one as they continue to cruise. 

Cason Liebst, LB, Medicine Lodge, LB, Medicine Lodge (Boston)

The junior linebacker has been the backbone of this Medicine Lodge team all season long. He's up to 115 total tackles, averaging 16.4 a game. He's a two-way player that plays both offensive guard and linebacker for the Indians. Liebst is coming into this week after his strongest performance of the season. He recorded 23 tackles last Friday night in a loss to Argonia-Attica. The week prior to that he racked up 20 tackles in a win over Udall, so if Liebst can continue to fly to the ball then he should have a big week against Caldwell (5-2). I'm calling for Liebst not only to have a big game, but for the Indians to knock off the Blue Jays and hand them their third straight loss on senior night in Medicine Lodge. 

Branden Martin, LB, KC Piper (Gilmore)

Before the season, Piper linebacker Branden Martin was listed by Kpreps as a potential player to have a breakout season. As a freshman a year ago, Martin shined in three games towards the end of the season with 18 tackles, including three for loss.

Seven weeks have passed and Martin (6-0, 175) has had quite a sophomore year. Martin leads the state in tackles with a total of 119 through seven games. That works out to an average of 17 stops per contest. He has added 12 tackles for loss on the season, a sack, and forced a pair of fumbles.

KC Piper currently sits in the middle of the pack in terms of seeding on the east side of Class 4A. The Pirates (3-4) have dropped four consecutive games after a 3-0 start. Those four losses have come to opponents that have a combined record of 22-6. Things don’t get any easier on Friday as the Pirates close out the regular season by hosting Bonner Springs (4-3). The Braves have averaged 45 points per game over the last three weeks – all victories.

Lane Peter, LB, Blue Valley Randolph  (Maycock)

Peter has been a tackling machine for Blue Valley-Randolph this year, recording double-digit tackles in the Rams' last three contests. He had 14 tackles last week in a key win over Doniphan West and also has two games where he's had 11 tackles and two interceptions. For the season, Peter is averaging 11.6 tackles per game and has six interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns.

The 3-4 Rams what appears to be an evenly-matched game this week against Lakeside, which is 2-5, and Peter should have plenty of opportunities to make plays on both sides of the ball.

Jonah Wolters, TE/WR, Wichita Homeschool  (Nicholl)

Junior Jonah Wolters has stepped up for high-octane and undefeated Wichita Homeschool. The 6-foot-4 tight end has become a key pass catcher for junior quarterback Will Day. Wolters had four catches for 42 yards and a score in last week’s 88-66 rivalry win against Wichita Sunrise Christian Academy.

Overall, Wolters had 13 catches for 171 yards and five touchdowns, along with three rushes for 18 yards and a TD. In the team’s three biggest games – against Destiny Christian (Okla.), St. Mary’s and Sunrise – Wolters has multiple receptions and a score.

He has helped the passing offense continue to find success after senior Grant Mellinger (25 catches, 327 yards, four TDs) went down with injury after four games. In his career, Wolters has 45 catches for 588 yards and 12 TDs.

Homeschool is 7-0 behind an offense that has averaged 240 passing and 186 rushing yards a game. Day has passed for 1,680 yards with a 28/5 TD/INT ratio. This Saturday, Homeschool plays Cornerstone (Joplin, Mo.) at Sunrise Christian because the Warriors’ home field is in use.

The KCAA playoffs start the 26th, but Homeschool has a bye. The semifinals game is Nov. 3 with the championship scheduled for Nov. 10.

Week 7 Picks to Click results (scoring):

Garrett Burden, QB, Medicine Lodge – Burden passed for 129 yards and a touchdown but the Indians fell 38-9 to Argonia-Attica. (Maycock – 18 pts)

Zane Colson, RB, Mankato-Rock Hills – Colson carried 17 times for 234 yards and four touchdowns in the Grizzlies’ 50-6 win over Pike Valley. (Baetz – 47 pts)

Kail Dubbert, LB, Beloit St. John’s-Tipton – Dubbert recorded 15 tackles, a sack, and an interception in the Blujays’ 60-0 win over Lakeside-Downs. (Kuplen – 38 pts)

Gabe Hoover, WR, McPherson – Hoover had four receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Bullpups’ 57-7 win over Rose Hill. (Boston – 11 pts)

Hoxie Offensive Line – Hoxie’s big offensive line paved the way for 360 yards of total offense and six touchdowns as part of a 52-6 win over Oberlin-Decatur Community. (Nicholl – 25 pts)

Brogan Myers, RB, Cedar Vale-Dexter – Myers carried 39 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns, but the Spartans fell 22-16 to Oswego.  (Gilmore – 27 pts)

Olathe North Offensive Line – The Eagle offensive line helped produce 528 yards of total offense including 384 rushing yards and seven offensive touchdowns in a 48-23 win over Lawrence. (Clisso – 31 pts)

Alex Schremmer, WR, Great Bend – Schremmer caught five passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 35-6 win over Liberal.  (Barber – 19 pts)

Standings for the 2018 season through Week 7:

  1. Conor Nicholl, Kpreps                                                            308 points
  2. Chet Kuplen, Sports in Kansas                                              296 points
  3. Brent Maycock, Topeka Capital Journal                                 278 points
  4. John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine                               257 points
  5. Hayden Barber, Wichita Eagle-Varsity Kansas                       253 points
  6. Sean Boston, KSKZ-Radio                                                     222 points
  7. Matt Gilmore,                                                      204 points
  8. Dion Clisso,                                                     157 points

 2018 Picks to Click

- The objective will be to have the most cumulative points over the course of the season.

- Participants may select a quarterback, running back, WR/TE, offensive line or a defensive player each week.

- Everyone must pick a WR/TE, offensive line and defensive player at least once.

- Points will be rewarded only for the player's offensive or defensive stats, depending on how you designate the player that week. For instance, if you pick a running back then you will not receive any of his points for defense.

Scoring system


- 1 point for every 10 yards passing, rushing or receiving from a quarterback, running back or wide receiver

- 6 points for every passing, rushing or receiving touchdown

Offensive line

- 1 point for every 50 yards gained as an offense

- 3 points for every offensive touchdown

Defensive player

- 2 points for every tackle

- 4 points for every INT, sack or fumble recovery



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