Player Picks to Click - Week 1

Great Bend QB Jacob Murray runs against Maize South last fall. (Everett Royer,
By: John Baetz; Dion Clisso; Matt Gilmore; Chet Kuplen; Conor Nicholl; Mark Schremmer
Aug 31, 2016

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The Kpreps Picks to Click feature is back for the 2016 season!

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

Like last season, we’ve assembled a team of six 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 2016 season include: John Baetz (Kansas Pregame Magazine); Dion Clisso (; Matt Gilmore (; Chet Kuplen ( & @sportsinkansas); Conor Nicholl (; and Mark Schremmer (

Check back next Thursday to see our picks for Week 2, and how the players performed that we picked the week prior. See the bottom of this article for details.

Will Bruna, QB, Hanover  (Kuplen)

Bruna (6-1, 175) rewrote the 8-man record book as a junior last fall in leading his team to a runner-up finish in 8M-I. He passed for a state record 3,452 yards and 56 touchdowns in 2015. The most impressive thing is he only threw four interceptions in 301 passing attempts. Although many of their top receiving targets graduated, Hanover always has athletes and Bruna is the top returning signal caller at the 8-Man level for 2016. Expect another all-state season for him and a huge night on Friday against Lebo. 

Dawson Hammes, RB, Rossville  (Schremmer)

A year ago, Hammes rushed for 1,111 yards and 10 touchdowns as he helped Rossville to its second straight state championship. With dual-threat quarterback Tucker Horak lost to graduation, expect Hammes to have an even larger role in the offense this season. Hammes should get off to a good start on Friday at Marysville. 

Hunter Kaufman, RB/WR/Ret, Pratt   (Baetz)

Kaufman, an all-purpose offensive weapon for the Greenbacks, had an exceptional summer, camping across the Midwest, playing 7-on-7, and working hard in the weight room. The 5-11, 170-pound track standout and champion powerlifter recorded a 4.46 40-yard dash at one camp, and posted a video of an impressive 315-pound hang clean on Twitter on August 23rd. He'll try to translate that summer, and those numbers, into a big season opener against a rising Larned program.

Jacob Murray, QB, Great Bend   (Gilmore)

Great Bend will be a team to watch with 12 total returning starters for first-year coach Erin Beck. Murray (5-11, 200) put plenty of pressure on opposing defenses a season ago when he accounted for nearly 2,500 yards of total offense and a combined 31 touchdowns.  Murray completed 55 percent of his passes for 1,703 yards and 14 touchdowns, while adding 772 rushing yards and 17 more scores. He’ll have a capable receiver in Bryce Lytle, a Kpreps 5A all-state selection last year after posting 57 receptions for 1,049 yards and eight touchdowns.  The Panthers open at home against a Coffeyville team that finished winless in 2015.

Taylor Rogers, RB, St. Francis  (Nicholl)

Rogers and St. Francis have a marquee Week 1 home game versus Sharon Springs-Wallace County. Rogers delivered 1,900 total yards and 30 scores on a 10-1 team last fall.  He has plenty of help behind a veteran offensive line led by junior Trayton Doyle and senior Jerry Nietzel. St. Francis averaged 50.5 points per contest last season.

Sammy Wheeler, QB, St. James Academy  (Clisso)

Wheeler (6-4, 200) is an exceptional athlete that is ready to step in at quarterback and lead a St. James team with high expectations.  The Kansas State commit completed 21 of 37 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns last season in a backup role as his primary position was wide receiver. This season the job is his and the schedule will be challenging as the Thunder join the Eastern Kansas League. St. James opens the season this week at defending Class 5A champion Mill Valley.  

The final standings for the 2015 season were:

  1. Matt Gilmore,                                                            357 points
  2. Conor Nicholl, Hays Daily News                                                  291 points
  3. John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine                                   287 points
  4. Dion Clisso,                                                          257 points
  5. Chet Kuplen, & @sportsinkansas         253 points
  6. Mark Schremmer, The Joplin Globe                                           244 points


2016 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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