I’m going to take a break from talking about college football this week and instead talk about high school football. After watching the Lancers play the Derby Panthers in the Kansas State 6A championship game, I can say that, without a doubt, the Lancers held their ground and have so much to be proud of.
Going into the game, all of the talk was about the corn-fed big boys of Derby. They were led by their 6’4 tight end Deandre Goolsby — a Florida football commit and the number three tight end in the country, according to rivals.com. Many fans, myself included, were worried that our small team would not be able to stand up against the bigger Derby team.
I was wrong. Dustin Delaney got us ready and we put up a fight. Goolsby was shut down for the majority of the game, only breaking a few plays open. Their size advantage didn’t manifest itself in the trenches as the Lancers held their own on the line.
Instead, this game found the Lancers holding their own. Junior Alec Dean had one hell of a game at wide receiver, catching two touchdown passes. Senior fullback Luke Taylor continued to put in work going up the gut and opened up the outside rush for the rest of his team. The dynamic duo of slotbacks, juniors Sam Huffman and Jackson Gossick, used their speed to burn past defensive players on a number of plays. Junior Gunnar Englund stepped up to the plate for the Lancers and led them in just his fourth game as a starter. Finally, senior quarterback-turned-wide-reciever Christian Blessen helped to be a leader on the field.
With all this, the Lancer defense isn’t to be left out. Senior Mitchell Tyler laid down the hammer on a variety of players, hitting them left and right. Senior Dominique Atkinson and junior Kyle Ball held the defensive line, stopping the majority of the runs up the gut. The strong core of linebackers led by seniors Ryan Carter and Luis Adame along with junior Sam Pottenger matched up with the Derby offense despite their size disadvantage.
And lets not forget the sophomore Rider Terry — this young linebacker has a very bright future ahead of him with two more years of eligibility. All the way back in pass coverage there was senior David Spivak along with junior Will Oakley who were able to hold Goolsby and the other passing threats in check.
These are just some of the standout players that led the Lancers. Every game had a different Lancer stepping up from juniors Sam Williams and Charley White on defense coming up with interceptions and fumble recoveries to senior Will Mitchell’s touchdown in the closing seconds of the first Olathe North game. But this season is more than just a group of people. It was about what this group of high school boys could do. They may not have been able to win the state championship but they did far more than anyone expected from them. They went farther than any previous Lancer football team.
After this great season and game, remember to hold your heads up boys. Treasure the memories you have made with each other more than any piece of wood and metal that someone can give you.