Class 6A Rankings

#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)
#2 Blue Valley (0-0)
Last: lost 27-14 to Olathe North in the 6A quarterfinals

Eric Driskell enters his sixth season as head coach and has led the Tigers to a 48-13 record, five playoff appearances, three championship game appearances, and two state titles. The Tiger football program has been a model of consistency over the past ten seasons, posting a 91-29 record and winning three titles in that time. This season, Driskell welcomes a solid nucleus back including a lot of offensive firepower. Quarterback Colton McCumber returns to guide the pistol offense after rushing for more than 600 yards and nine touchdowns, and passing for nearly 1,000 more yards and eight scores. The backfield features returnees William Evans and A.J. Totta. Evans rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago, while Totta added nearly 800 yards and ten scores while averaging nearly 7 yards per carry. While the offensive line will have to replace one of the state’s best in A.J. Harris, the defense boasts experience and along with the secondary will be a strength.

Next: 9/4 vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest
#3 Derby (0-0)
Last: lost 35-28 to Hutchinson in 6A quarterfinals

After winning the 2013 6A state title, Derby returned little experience into the 2014 season. Somewhat quietly, Brandon Clark guided the Panthers to a 9-2 record and a state quarterfinal appearance. Entering this season, Derby returns 15 total starters including senior quarterback Brady Rust; a dual-threat quarterback capable of putting up big numbers. In all, nine starters return from an offense that averaged 38 points per game last season. Garrett Xanders will move from receiver to the primary ball carrier for the Panthers and get to follow linemen Trevor Hudson (6-4, 290) and Tyler Lovett (6-2, 290).

Next: 9/4 vs. Maize
#4 Lawrence (0-0)
Last: lost 35-7 to Shawnee Mission East in 1st round of 6A playoffs

Few teams enter the 2015 season with as much talent on paper as Lawrence. The Chesty Lions return eight starters on both sides of the ball, and have some of the state's top recruits. Defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe tops most recruiting lists in Kansas and is joined on the defense by standout LB Price Morgan and the rising stock of Trey Georgie. On offense, Lawrence returns Kpreps All-State back JD Woods. Woods led the Sunflower League in rushing last season, going for 1,497 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per carry. The Lions will get a test right off the bat against Blue Valley West. The Jags beat Lawrence 37-13 to open the season last year.

Next: 9/4 vs. 5A No. 4 Blue Valley West
#5 Topeka High (0-0)
Last: lost 64-46 to Hutchinson in the first round of the 6A playoffs

The talent is there for Topeka High. The Trojans return 15 total starters including several that are receiving significant interest to play at the next level. Mike McCoy (6-3, 220) returns at running back after rushing for nearly 1,100 yards last season. He'll be joined by Saylor Caraway who added 600 yards on the ground a year ago. Gone is all-state quarterback Alec Beatty, but Corey Thomas will make the switch from wide receiver to quarterback. Up front, the Trojans are led by an experienced group including Oklahoma State commit Teven Jenkins (6-6, 310), Ryan Luna (6-2, 275), Dakota Williams (6-2, 285), and Billy Wagemaker (6-1, 235). Dante Brooks has big-play potential from his wide receiver position. The defense returns seven starters, but will have to be better for the Trojans to make a playoff run.

Next: 9/4 at KC Schlagle

Others Considered: Junction City, Lawrence Free State, Olathe North, Shawnee Mission West, Wichita Northwest

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

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