#1 Ranked Teams

6A #1 Shawnee Mission East (0-0)
Last: won their first ever football state title with a 33-14 win over Hutchinson

All Dustin Delaney has done in his first two seasons at Shawnee Mission East is post a 24-2 record, reach the 6A state championship game each year, and claim the schools' first ever state football championship. The Lancers certainly have the pieces returning to make a run at another title. SM East returns 13 total starters including Kpreps 6A All-State running back Wyatt Edmisten who rushed for 1,523 yards and 32 touchdowns a year ago. Edmisten will run behind three returning starters up front which should help ease the transition to a new quarterback after Gunnar Englund graduated. On defense, the Lancers return seven starters, but must replace a disruptive force in all-state defensive lineman Kyle Ball and the ultimate utility guy in Shrine Bowl selection Charley White.

Next: 9/4 vs. Gardner-Edgerton (at SM South)
5A #1 St. Thomas Aquinas (0-0)
Last: lost 39-7 to Bishop Carroll in the 5A state championship game

Despite a seemingly endless number of injuries, Randy Dreiling somehow led the persistent Saints to the 5A state title game where they were overmatched by Bishop Carroll. Aquinas lost its right guard, center, linebacker, cornerback, backup running back and slotback to injury at some point during the 2014 season. One of those injuries was to running back James Cosentino who broke his leg in a Week 9 loss to Pittsburg. Cosentino, one of 14 returning starters, led Aquinas with 1,296 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Karter Odermann returns at quarterback after rushing for 1,074 yards and 13 touchdowns and passing for 795 yards and 10 scores. The backfield will get help from Shawnee Mission Northwest transfer Duron Lowe who rushed for 591 yards and averaged 9.2 yards per carry a year ago. Tight end C.J. Perez also came over from SM Northwest and will join a veteran group of four returning linemen up front. The defense line should also be solid with Angel Dominguez and Christian Chalabi joined by Hutchinson transfer Kyle Walker. The defense is led by Kpreps All-State defensive back Chris Schilling.

Next: 9/4 vs. No. 5 Mill Valley
4A-I #1 Bishop Miege (0-0)
Last: won the 4A-I state title with a 42-35 win over Topeka Hayden

Bishop Miege returns 12 total starters from a team that dominated the 4A-1 competition until getting a stiff test from Hayden in the title game. Gone is all-state quarterback Ryan Willis and his 3,000 passing yards, but the Stags return plenty of firepower on offense. Senior running back Dawson Downing returns after rushing for 1,955 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. The wide receivers are talented with senior Danny Murphy (541 yards, 7TD) and Jafar Armstrong (1,205 yards, 9TD) who was a Kpreps All-State selection as a sophomore last season. There are some holes to fill upfront, but the defensive line should be solid with the likes of Kaelin Key (6-1, 255) returning.

Next: 9/4 vs. Blue Valley Northwest
4A-II #1 Andale (0-0)
Last: won the 4A-I state title with a 42-35 win over Topeka Hayden

Andale rolled to the inaugural 4A-II state championship by completing a 13-0 season with a 49-6 win over Columbus in the title game. The Indians return only four starters on each side of the ball, but remain on the short list to challenge for the 2015 state title in the newest classification. Andale returns lineman Mark Hageman, Daniel Bergkamp, and tight end Jeff Ast up front. The backfield will have to replace Hunter Knoblauch and Hank Eck, but look for Bo Knoblauch to step in and have a breakout season. Anthony Capul suffered carried the ball a lot in 2014, but suffered an injury and has chosen not to play football this season. Hageman and Cameron Cothran will anchor the defensive line and try and keep blockers off of the linebacker group of Knoblauch and Zach Meyer.

Next: 9/4 at 4A-I No. 2 Buhler
3A #1 Rossville (0-0)
Last: won the 3A state championship 21-14 over Scott City

Rossville captured the schools' first state football championship with a 21-14 victory over Scott City. Derick Hammes returns 12 total starters from a year ago including one of the state's most exciting players in senior quarterback Tucker Horak. All Horak did last season was rush for 2,089 yards and 28 touchdowns, and pass for 1,651 yards and 22 more scores. In the title game, he produced 212 yards on the ground and scored the game-winning touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining. Tucker has rushed for 4,085 yards and 64 scores, and passed for 3,440 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career. Rossville will have to replace Horak's brother Thatcher who produced more than 1,500 yards of total offense a year ago. Also graduated is fullback/linebacker Nick Reesor, but the Dawgs return their top receiver in Christian Roduner (556 yards, 6TDs). Up front, Rossville returns four offensive linemen who will help Horak put up big numbers again this season.

Next: 9/4 at Clay Center
2-1A #1 Meade (0-0)
Last: season ended with a 34-0 loss to La Crosse in 1st round of 2-1A playoffs

Scott Moshier has built an incredibly consistent program at Meade. The Buffaloes had little experience entering the 2014 season and still finished 8-2 with another playoff appearance. This season is a different story as the Buffs return 15 total starters including eight on defense. Linebacker Kash Larrabee returns after an all-state junior campaign, and is joined by all-district performer DelRay Welsh. The offense will feature a pair of all-district performers up front in Emmett Reimer and tight-end Tristin Lewis-Derking (6-8, 225). Kale McCullouch and Lawson Luetters will likely be two of many featured in the backfield throughout the season.

Next: 9/4 vs. Leoti-Wichita Co.
8M-I #1 Central Plains (0-0)
Last: defeated Hanover 42-30 to win the 8M-1 state championship

The Oilers captured the school's first state football title since the consolidation of Claflin and Quivira Heights. Chris Steiner's team returns seven starters on offense and six on defense for 2015. Back is Kpreps All-State quarterback Braedan Crites who passed for 2,106 yards and 39 touchdowns while adding 555 yards on the ground and 18 scores. Central Plains will have to replace all-state receiver Layne Bieberle who was arguably the state's best 8-man player a year ago. The Oiler defense returns all-state defensive lineman Trustin Kreft (80 tackles, 10 sacks) and District 5 Defensive MVP Cody Price (135 tackles) at linebacker.

Next: 9/4 at 8M-II No. 1 Victoria
8M-II #1 Victoria (0-0)
Last: captured the school's sixth state title with a 52-8 win over Argonia-Attica in the 2014 8M-2 championship game

The Knights appear poised for a run at another title with six returning starters on both sides of the ball. Doug Oberle's group must replace dynamic running back/returner Bryan Dome and wideout/linebacker Noah Dreiling. Brady Dinkel returns at quarterback for the Knights after rushing for 976 yards and 19 touchdowns and passing for 1,052 yards and 20 scores a year ago. Dinkel was a Kpreps All-State selection at defensive back last year and joins fellow all-state selections Brandon Brungardt and Eric McAlonan on the line.

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Last updated: August 31, 2015 - 12:31 am

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