2021 Football Preview: Butler County's upperclass football players to watch this fall

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette

We know who the underclassmen are to watch but all football teams need is upperclassmen leadership. That's where this list comes into play. This is part III of a six-part football preview as we head into the season that less than 32 days away. 

There are some obvious ones like the entire junior class for El Dorado that has been playing since their freshman season. Then, you have seniors like Luke McGinnis from Circle and Holt Williams from Augusta. 

While we could have listed every player from every team, we may lose you half way through the rather long list. So, From Andover to Flinthills we picked five players from each team's upperclassmen rosters.

One thing to note, this isn't the "best" players in the county. This is a list of players players to keep an eye on as the season progresses. 

So, here are 45 upperclassmen you should watch this season:

Andover

Quinton Born

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Senior

Born really had his moments last season, like a pick six score against Salina Central.. He should be an even bigger target this year, especially defensively.

Chandler Goodnight

Running Back/Linebacker, Senior

Arguably the best player in the county returns and will see action on both sides of the ball. He was a first team All-AVCTL last year. He'll take over the role Ashton Ngo had last season on offense.

Max Middleton

Running Back, Senior

Prep Redzone Kansas (PRK) has Middleton as the 150th prospect in the state of Kansas heading into his senior year. he ran for 1,030 yards on 184 carries last year for eight touchdowns.

Max Middleton (middle) had an explosive junior year in a new offense. He should have a banner year as a senior.

Matt Rudy

Tight End/Defensive End, Senior

Rudy is a stud defensive player and will look to have an even bigger season this year. PRK has him ranked higher than Middleton (No. 148 in the 2022 class). Expect him to use his speed and athleticism to live in the backfield this season.

Brady Strausz

Quarterback, Junior

Strausz should see some instant growth on the field this season aftera a year in the system. He's the right fit for Dusenbury's system. 

Andover Central

Ashton Barkdull

Running Back/Linebacker, Senior

A state champion track runner and an All-league linebacker, expect Barkdull to be the leader of a Jaguar team who should be looking at another late November run. 

More:2021 Football Preview: Butler County's underclassmen football players to watch this fall

Isaac Sheeran

Tight End/Defensive End, Senior

Sheeran had a great summer, attending camps and making a name for himself. Sheeran will continue to make that name on a defensive side who will look to dominate the AVCTL-II.

Drew Daniels

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

Daniels may be one of the top linemen in 5A and the state. PRK has him ranked as the 54th best prospect and sixth best linemen in the 2022 class. His size and footwork set him apart from this peers. 

Nate Peak

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

An accomplished writer and a heck of an offensive linemen. He's part of a line group who will be why the Barkdull should have a bang of a senior season. 

Andover Central's offensive line with Andrew Mann (66), Nate Peak, (55) and Drew Daniels (68) should be an unmovable force this season.

Kamden Wilson

Fullback/Linebacker, Senior

At six-foot, Wilson will use his size to muscle opponents on the defensive side. He was a second team all-league selection last season as a defensive end. Looks like he'll move to linebacker this season.

Augusta

Holt Williams

Linebacker, Senior

Holt Williams was a second team All-league last season for the Orioles. With the graduation of Ely Wilcox and Ryan Andrews, Williams will be looked upon as a leader.

Caleb Husselman

Offensive Line, Senior

Husselman returns as the best offensive linemen for the Orioles. He'll provide some stability in the front seven with a new backfield learning on the fly.

Preston Bratton

Defensive End, Senior

Bratton was mentioned an honorable mention last season. He'll want to step his game up for this senior season. The Orioles have talent all around and Bratton is no different.

Sebastian Flower

Wide Receiver, Senior

While the Orioles don't throw it much, it's nice to have a 6-foot wide out with speed on the wings to make plays. He'll be one of the tallest returning wideouts in the league this season at 6-foot-2.

Kaden McDaniel

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Junior

McDaniel is a game changer and we mentioned Wilcox graduating, looking for McDaniel to step into that defensive back "Roy Williams" type of roll where he just roams the field making plays. PRK has McDaniel ranked 43rd best prospect in the 2023 class and the sixth best defensive back.

Bluestem

Kolby Hebb (54) should be an issue for opposing defenses this fall.

Kolby Hebb

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

Hebb could be one of the best players to come out of Bluestem in the recent years. He was just voted the Vype Wichita Area Small School Pre-season Offensive Lineman of the Year with more than 43 percent of the fan vote. 

Gavin Worrell

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Junior

Worrell had a good summer work out and was an honorable mention all-district last season as a sophomore. Worrell will continue to grow at 5-foot-9, 265 lbs. He could really fill that immovable guard on the offensive side and a bulldozer on the defensive side.

Landen Wilson

Running Back/Linebacker, Senior

Wilson as an honorable mention all-state defensive back as a sophomore and after a bit of a rough defensive season last year, the senior will look for some redemption this year. 

More:Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference adjusts out-of-state scholarship restrictions

Christian Solis

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Junior

Solis is the brother of freshman Ayden Mashaney. He's started two years already as a wideout. Look for him to be a four-year starter when all things are said and done.

Bob Fiebiger

Tight End/Defensive Back, Senior

Dont' let his size fool you, Fiebiger can get into the backfield. However, there's always room for growth and the sky is the limit for Fiebiger and the Lions.

Circle

Luke McGinnis

Quarterback/Linebacker, Senior

McGinnis had a solid junior year at quarterback but injuries caught up at the end. He's in a tough league full of quarterbacks but he can definitely hold his own.

Ty Smith

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Junior

Could Smith be the fastest wide receiver in the league? Maybe 4A? that remains to be seen but him winning medaling at track state gives that some... legs. Either way. He had a solid sophomore season and will be a defensive target for his junior year. 

Dylan Bougher

Running Back/Defensive Back, Senior

Bougher handled the majority of rushing duties last season and will do so again. He's surrounded by weapons that should make his job a lot easier. 

Sam Uhlman

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

Uhlman is one of those senior linemen that can help the Thunderbirds take that next level. if they can provide the right protection, Circle has the weapons to do something nice on offense. 

Zach Foes

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

Like Uhlman, Foes can help this team succeed to not seen heights. There will be some learning curve as they have to fill other spots but with the leadership of Foes, the Thunderbirds should be in a good spot.

Douglass

Dalton Hilyard

Running back/Linebacker, Senior

Hilyard may be the best running back in the county. KRP has him ranked 135th in the 2022 class. He had a massive season last year, rushing for 848 yards in only seven games. Hilyard, while being an BCTG All-County selection, he was also unanimous first team Central Plains League running back. 

Joe Martin

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

While Bluestem's Hebb won the Vype Wichita Area Small School Pre-season Offensive Lineman of the Year, Martin was a comfortably second in the fan voting. He's a solid body that provides a great running lane for Hilyard.

Brady Roberts

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Senior

Roberts had seven receptions for 42 yards last year and with the graduation of Cole Martin, Roberts is the next man up that will see a majority of the targets when they do throw the ball. 

Dalton Hilyard (22) and Jared Stoffel (15) will be a dynamic 1-2 punch for the Bulldogs this season.

Jordan Stoffel

Quarterback, Junior

Stoffel was solid at quarterback as a sophomore. He threw for 607 yards and six touchdowns in a run-dominate offense. If he can make some strides in the passing game, the Bulldogs may return to form of a couple seasons ago when they won seven games.

Mason Megli

Offensive Line, Junior

Megli may be a bit undersized but as a junior, he has plenty of time to grow. He'll focus primarily on the offensive side and that could be a huge thing for an offense that saw some roadblocks toward the end of the season.

More:Andover Central's QB Kai Kunz added to national All-American Bowl watch list

El Dorado

Gavin Bell

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

Bell has seen his stock skyrockets this summer, traveling to multiple Division I schools for camps and visits. He'll be the lynchpin on the Wildcats' O-Line that will see another dominate running game. 

Connor Clausing

Linebacker, Senior

Clausing blossomed last season at linebacker and was picked as honorable mention in a loaded position in the league last year. He should see another growth step this season for El dorado. Clausing could be that centerpiece on a defense that was the best in Class 4A last season.

Levi Wittenberg

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Junior

Being good at football is in the Wittenberg blood line and someone said Levi may be the best of them. He dictates everything at the line as the center. He's a part of the large junior class who has turned around the El Dorado program. 

Levi Wittenberg (52) will be helping the Wildcats get back to the playoffs this season.

Jaydon Sundgren

Running Back/Linebacker, Senior

Gone is Zach Wittenberg and it will be Jaydon Sundgren taking a majority of the carries this season. While there were games where Wittenberg carried it 35-plus, Sundgren will have to elevate his game to get the Wildcats to the next level. 

Gannon White

Quarterback, Junior

White is a burst of lightning when he takes off but as a quarterback there is room for growth. He's a smart leader who always appears calm and under control. If he can find a way to expand the Wildcat passing game, this El Dorado team will be even more dangerous.

Flinthills

Hunter Lowmaster

Quarterback/Linebacker, Junior

Lowmaster controls the offense and it should be how Lowmaster goes, the Mustangs will go. We'll see how he adapts quickly to the new coaching system in his third year starting at quarterback.

Gavin Girty

Tight End/Defensive Tackle, Senior

Girty can make plays on either side of the ball and is one of the top returning players in the South Central Border League. He'll be a key for any opponent's game plan.

Taylor Brown

Running Back/Linebacker, Senior

Tucker Travnichek graduated and while Taylor Brown saw action last season, expect Brown to step into a similar role this season. He already showed some flashes last season. 

Cael Sorum

Offensive Line/Defensive End, Senior

Another player from this rather large senior class. Sorum will try to help the line open holes for Brown and protect Lowmaster as Flinthills is expecting one of their best seasons in the last few years.

More:'We have to be better': Butler Community College football's Tim Schaffner looks to improve defense in fall

Brandon Gleason

Tight End/Defensive End, Senior

Gleason will be a darkhorse teams may have to worry about. He's coming off an injury but new head coach Chase Casteel is expecting the senior to be a big impact player for the Mustangs.

Remington

Braden Scribner

Quarterback/Linebacker/Punter, Senior

The senior quarterback ran for 230 yards, while throwing for 775 last year as Remington won a playoff game. They want to go farther this season and that'll start with Scribner.

David Fasnacht

Fullback/Linebacker, Senior

Fasnacht had 405 rushing yards and five touchdowns last year. He also had some nice defensive plays as a junior last season. He'll see a bigger role this season for Remington.

Angel Lopez (70) has seen his stock rise this summer as he's attended camps to better his game.

Angel Lopez

Offensive Line/Defensive End, junior

Lopez has spent the summer betting his game by going to camps and will be a high impact player on the line for the Broncos. Only a junior, the upside his high for htis one.

Duke Kinley

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Senior

Kinley was an honorable mention all-state defensive back last year. He had 10 pass break ups and 35 tackles. He's a lockdown defender that forces opposing offenses to adjust their game plan around him.  

Rodolfo Vargas

Offensive Line/Defensive End, Junior

Vargas was a brick wall as a sophomore. He had 11 knockdown blocks and helped Remington to 2,454 rushing yards lsat year. Expect much of the same this season.

Rose Hill

Keegan Beavers

Running Back/Defensive Back, Senior

Beavers should be an all-state defensive back this season and might be the best defensive back in the AVCTL-IV division that has Andale and Collegiate in it. He's a natural leader. He'll jump into the lead running back position this season as well. 

Chase Green

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Senior

Green is a nice counterpart to Beavers on the other side of the secondary. Both work well off one another, limiting opposing teams from passing with any efficiency. He's a solid wideout that should see some Bryce Bischler's productivity come his way.

Cade Evans

Linebacker, Senior

At 6-3, Evans will provide a large size that may be difficult for other teams to deal with. He will primarily play linebacker for the Rockets this season. Their defense may be the strong suit this season with all of this talent. 

Noah Paredes

Wide Receiver/Linebacker, Senior

Paredes didn't get to play until late due to having to sit out. However, when he did play, he was a playmaker and should be a large impact player for the Rockets. One person calls him "the ultimate game changer."

Peyton Helget

Offensive Line/Defensive Line, Senior

Helget is looking to follow up that list of solid Rose Hill Rocket offensive linemen. While they do lose Noah Bolticoff, it appears the Rockets will trust Helget to lead the mantle this seaosn.

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.