Kpreps helmet stickers - Week 3

Artwork by Joe Wachter
Sep 18, 2016

Share This Story:

New to Kpreps this fall is our most important performance of the week powered by Athletic Strength Institute (ASI).  Each Sunday our experts will hand out helmet stickers to a team or individual that delivered the most important performance of the week in their opinion.

Check out Athletic Strength Institute (ASI) – building better athletes in Lawrence (Kan.) and the surrounding area.  If you mention Kpreps, you will receive a free initial screening and 15% off your initial training package. Check them out online at and follow ASI on Twitter @AthleticSI or Facebook

Helmet sticker: Great Bend (John Baetz – Kansas Pregame)

Great Bend has opened the year with a 3-0 start thanks to offensive weapons  like quarterback Jacob Murray, receiver Bryce Lytle, and running back Cal Marshall. Add in that the offensive line has paved the way for an average of 50 points per game thus far, and you have a recipe for success for first-year head coach Erin Beck. On Friday, the Panthers jumped to a 41-27 lead over Wichita Northwest at halftime, and held the Grizzlies at bay in the second half to secure the 58-47 win.  The road win over a quality 6A opponent may signal Great Bend’s readiness to challenge in Class 5A this season.

Helmet sticker: Alex Barton & the Central Plains Oilers (Conor Nicholl – Kpreps)

The Oilers have started 3-0 after a 13-0 season and Eight-Man, Division I state championship in 2014 followed by a 9-2 mark last year. Central Plains owns road victories against Victoria and Otis-Bison and the schedule should be significantly easier the rest of the regular season. The Oilers could be 9-0 entering the playoffs.

Central Plains, just outside of the rankings in Division I, have shades of that 2014 season with junior Alex Barton and senior lineman Trey Schulte as three-year starters. Barton has always had comparisons with Oiler standout Layne Bieberle, who led the state title team, broke multiple eight-man records and now plays at Fort Hays State. Barton had eight catches for 103 yards and a score and intercepted two passes, including a 79-yard pick-6 on the game's final snap to secure a 40-28 victory.

However, Chris Steiner has done a great job of building depth with talented sophomore and junior classes. Despite multiple injuries in the backfield, Central Plains still ran the ball well with freshman Lawson Oeser and juniors Dalton Beck and Jacob McAtee. Sophomore Devin Ryan, in just his third career start at quarterback, continues to play like a veteran. The Oilers' front-end talent has been noticed across Kansas for several years, but its great depth that allows Central Plains to stay among the elite.

Helmet sticker:  Glenn O’Neil & Topeka Seaman (Chet Kuplen -- Sports in Kansas)

Glenn O'Neil inherited a Topeka Seaman program that went 2-8 a season ago and he has already bettered that win total in his first year as the head coach of the Vikings. This marks the first 3-0 start for the Seaman since 2012.

The Vikings picked up an impressive 14-0 shutout over traditional state power Topeka Hayden on Friday. The victory was the 100th in O'Neil's career as head football coach.  He totaled a 97-14 record as the head coach at Scott City with one state title coming in 2012. O'Neil also won five state basketball championships as the head coach for the Beavers. 

Helmet sticker:  Valley Center (Matt Gilmore -- Kpreps)

The Valley Center Hornets are one of only three teams on the West side of Class 5A that remain unbeaten after three weeks. It is quite an accomplishment for a program that has won just 26 percent of its game (23-87) since the beginning of the 2004 season. In fact, in the past 12 seasons, Valley Center has won more than three games in a season only once; a 4-5 mark last season. 

Coach Caleb Smith has things going the right direction at Valley Center.  Now in his fourth season, Smith is 10-19 overall, but 10-11 since the beginning of the 2014 season. His father, Mike, was the Valley Center head coach for ten seasons ending 2001.  The Hornets won 64 games during Mike Smith’s tenure before he left to take over the coaching job at Garden City.

The 2016 Hornets are an experienced group that returned 19 total starters from last year’s 4-5 mark, but did have to replace an all-state player in safety Chase Crawford. Still the Hornets opened with a 27-9 win over traditionally-strong Salina South, and have followed it up with wins over Haysville Campus (34-7)  and Arkansas City (29-7). Junior quarterback Wyatt Lange has led the Hornet offense in completing 65 percent of his passes for 565 yards and eight touchdowns in his first three games. Keyon Saunders has eight catches for 197 yards and two scores to lead the receiving group. But the Valley Center defense has been exceptional, surrendering less than eight points per game.  Should the Hornets be able to ride this momentum the remaining weeks, they’ll likely get a favorable seeding on the west side of the bracket for the playoffs.  Somewhere they haven’t been since the 1998 season.

Athletic Strength Institute (ASI) – DID YOU KNOW?

Adjusting Training Volume During the Season -

Many high school athletes haven’t yet figured out how to “listen to their bodies”. Additionally, many trainers and coaches are unaware of additional stress student-athletes may be under.

As the season progresses, feedback from the athletes should determine training volume and practice intensity. For example, coaches should give athletes three options to describe how they feel on any given day and use that to adjust training:

  • “STRONG” – Rested & ready to train hard = Full training volume
  • “OK “– Not fully rested or ready to train, sore, fatigued, or injured = Reduce volume by 1 set
  • “BEAT “– Adjustments in the training program are needed = Reduce volume by 2 sets

Everything else being equal, healthy, well-rested athletes will outperform sore and tired athletes every Friday night.

For more information on how to adjust training volumes contact

Helmet Stickers (2016 Season)

Week 1 – Atchison, St. Francis, Holcomb, Mill Valley

Week 2 – Hoisington, Junction City, Plainvile, St. Marys


Use your Facebook account to add a comment or start a discussion. Posts are subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.