Kpreps Helmet Stickers - Week 10

Artwork by Joe Wachter
By: Matt Gilmore, Conor Nicholl, Chet Kuplen for
Nov 5, 2018

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Back to Kpreps this fall, our contributors will hand out helmet stickers to a team or individual that delivered the most important performance of the week in their opinion. Check back each week to see that week’s helmet stickers, and follow @Kpreps on Twitter and Facebook to watch as the Kpreps helmet fills up with stickers as the season goes on.

Helmet sticker:  Ark City (Matt Gilmore – Kpreps)

If you go by seed, Arkansas City may be the Cinderella story of the 2018 playoffs thus far. The 13-seeded Bulldogs entered the bracket with just two wins, but have since doubled that total with consecutive victories over 4-seed Mulvane and 5-seed Coffeyville.

The Bulldogs have now won three of their last four games and have advanced to the state quarterfinals against unbeaten and top-seeded McPherson. On the season, three of Ark City’s five losses have come by 10 points or less. This is the first year back at Ark City for Jon Weimers after previously serving as the Bulldogs coach back in 2011 and 2012 before moving on to the collegiate level.

In the bracket opener, Ark City trailed 26-14 in the third quarter after a Mulvane touchdown. The Bulldogs then answered with a touchdown run by senior quarterback Cevin Clark to pull within 26-21.Ike Abrams then scored the winning touchdown from three yards out with just three minutes left to put Ark City up by the final margin of 29-26.  

Last week, Ark City led Coffeyville 7-6 at halftime before Clark’s short scoring run pushed the Bulldog advantage to 14-6. The Bulldog defense then forced a turnover and Ark City scored again on a 25-yard touchdown run by Abrams. Abrams rushed for 160 yards and two scores in the 28-6 win over the Golden Tornado. Coffeyville is coached by former Arkansas City coach Darrin Wegner, who Wiemers followed with his first stint at the school.

Helmet sticker:  Dighton (Matt Gilmore – Kpreps)

We wanted to give out a sticker to coach Ken Simon and the Dighton Hornets. Dighton is an amazing story this season, having reached the state quarterfinals in Eight-Man, Division II despite a roster of only nine total players. Not only have the Hornets avoided injury in order to still be playing, they’ve produced a strong 8-2 record with both losses coming to teams ranked in the Eight-Man, Division I top five.

Hodgeman County defeated Dighton, 38-12, in the season-opener, and Saint Francis beat the Hornets, 54-20, back in Week 3. Since then, Dighton has won seven straight games and has done so by an average scoring margin of 53 to 9.

Seniors Blair and Dalton Hoffman pace the Dighton offense. The twin brothers combined for 226 yards rushing in Friday’s 52-6 win over Northern Valley.  Blair rushed for 106 yards and three scores, while Dalton rushed for a touchdown and caught two touchdown passes. Blair passed for 120 yards and three scores in the win.

It’s the second time in the past few years that Dighton has made a deep playoff run with a small roster. The Hornets reached the Division II state championship game in 2016 despite only having 15 players.

The Hornets have a challenge on their hands with a quarterfinal matchup against Otis-Bison. Regardless of how far Dighton is able to extend its season, Coach Simon and the Hornet’s ability to excel with such a limited roster will be one of the more memorable takeaways from the 2018 season.

Helmet sticker: Bob Campbell of Fort Scott (Matt Gilmore of Kpreps & Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas)

We wanted to extend our congratulations and extend a word of thanks to Fort Scott coach Bob Campbell.  Campbell announced that he would retire from coaching at the end of this season – a season that came to a close with Friday’s 31-14 loss at Basehor-Linwood. Campbell’s son, Matt, is the senior quarterback of this year’s team.

Campbell served as the Tigers coach on two separate stints, returning to lead the program in 2010 after a four-year break. Overall, Campbell compiled a 186-63 record with his teams capturing Class 4A state championships in 1996 and 2000. Campbell’s teams also finished as state runner-up three more times including once in Class 5A in 1999.

He conducted his football program as he has all aspects of his life, with great respect and class. Fort Scott football has been one of the most consistent programs in the state of Kansas under his leadership, and we wanted to offer our congratulations and best wishes to Coach Campbell and his family.

Helmet sticker: Otis-Bison (Conor Nicholl -- Kpreps)

Otis-Bison defeated Hutchinson Central Christian, 66-52, in an Eight-Man, Division II Round of 16 contest last Friday in a game that featured a variety of unique numbers.

Central Christian ran 101 plays for 496 yards, while Otis-Bison had 35 snaps for 405 yards, all on the ground. Central Christian recovered two onside kicks to start the second half. However, Otis-Bison had another huge game from senior quarterback Anton Foust. Known for his powerful running, Foust finished with 17 carries for 297 yards and seven rushing scores.

Senior Luke Higgason, a four-year starter, and like Foust a long-time well-known player, had a big game blocking and on defense. He was part of three tackles for loss (two sacks) and delivered three quarterback hurries. Otis-Bison limited the visiting Cougars to 4.9 yards per play. Central Christian entered the game with 9.3 yards per play.

This year, Eight-Man, Division II is known for big seasons from returning quarterbacks, including Foust. He has completed 35 of 62 passes for 596 yards with 21 scores against zero interceptions. He has rushed 71 times for 1,113 yards and 20 TDs. The 8-1-1 Cougars travel to 8-2 Dighton for the quarterfinals this week.

Higgason easily leads the team with 12 TFLs and six sacks. Additionally, Starr has been extremely pleased with four juniors, Seth Hoopingarner, Bevan Gradig, Hunter Mitchell and Kendall Steinert. Starr said the group has “come a long ways.”

Up front, Steinert took over for all-state center Landon Hoopingarner and has played very well, including multiple key blocks in the middle to spring long touchdown runs Friday. Mitchell is a returning starter at guard. They have helped replace senior Kaden Schwartz, a returning starter on the line who has missed all but three games with injury.

Seth Hoopingarner capably played quarterback in Week 1 against Victoria when Foust was out with cramps in the second half. A physical runner, Hoopingarner has moved to the backfield as the year has progressed and had 14 carries for 114 yards and two scores Friday. He has played with a hurt wrist.

Gradig started the year with a torn muscle in his arm. He has played multiple offensive roles and easily leads the team with 82 tackles after 99 a year ago. Senior Caleb Cheely, at 5-foot-6, had several nice plays on special teams and has 48 tackles after limited playing time earlier in his career. Otis-Bison has reached its sixth quarterfinal in 14 years with Starr, all since ’09.


Helmet Stickers (2018 Season)

Week 1 – Chapman, Salina Central, St. James Academy, Southeast-Cherokee, Wichita North

Week 2 – Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Russell, South Central, Washburn Rural

Week 3 – Colby, Ellinwood, Flinthills, Sylvan-Lucas Unified

Week 4 – Blue Valley North, Centralia, Gardner-Edgerton, Ness City, Smith Center

Week 5 – Bishop Miege, Newton, Olathe West, Oswego, Phillipsburg

Week 6 – Dodge City, Cimarron, Hillsboro, Jackson Heights, Junction City

Week 7 – Canton-Galva, St. Thomas Aquinas, Scott City, Wellington, Wichita Homeschool

Week 8 – Altoona-Midway, Eureka, Hugoton, Louisburg, Shawnee Mission South

Week 9 -- Axtell, Beloit, Stafford, Sacred Heart, Victoria


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