Everything you need to know about the 2021 Butler County high school football teams

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette

The 2021 season is upon us and a lot of teams in Butler County are pretty excited to get started. After a rough season in 2021 with COVID protocols, leading to cancellations, reschedules and other things, a lot of people are just happy to be playing.

Here are the 2021 capsules for all 10 football playing teams in Butler County. Who are the best teams in the county? Who are the top returning players for each school? What has each school done in the last five seasons? All of those questions and previews of each team will be answered below:

All scheduled kickoffs are for 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

ANDOVER TROJANS 

Andover

Andover will have to replace some pieces on defense but it will be the offensive side that will see the largest growth for the Trojans heading into the 2022 season. Their ability to grow behind junior quarterback Brady Strausz will be important. 

Max Middleton returns on offense, one of the most explosive runners in the area last season. He missed the final game of the season due to COVID-19 but should be a large force in the success of Andover this season. Expect his recruiting to skyrocket as the season continues.

One thing Andover will have to fill is a few holes on defense. They lost a lot of experience in Ashton Ngo, Isaiah Maikori, among others. If they can fill those quickly, the Trojans could be a force to be reckoned with.

Head Coach

Ken Dusenbury, second season at Andover (5-4), seventh overall (47-15)

2020 at a glance

  • 5-4 overall record
  • 4-2 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League II
  • Lost to Wichita Heights (28-22) in the first round of the Class 5A Playoffs.

Key Losses

  • Eli Fahnestack — QB
  • Isaiah Maikori — WR/DB
  • Ashton Ngo — RB/LB
  • Ethan Richardson — WR/DB
  • Dillon Schobourgh — DE
  • Josh Sparks — LB

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 vs. Maize
  • Sept. 10 at Arkansas City
  • Sept. 17 at Salina Central
  • Sept. 24 vs. Goddard Eisenhower
  • Oct. 1 vs. Wichita Heights
  • Oct. 8 at Valley Center
  • Oct. 15 vs. Andover Central
  • Oct. 21 at Goddard (Thursday)

Players to watch

  • Quentin Born, WR/OLB, 6-2, 175, Sr.
  • Avery Fahnestock, OL, 6-0, 240, Sr.
  • Chandler Goodnight, LB/FB, 6-0, 200, Sr.
  • Tayton Klein, DB, 5-11, 155, Sr.
  • Max Middleton, RB, 5-11, 170, Sr.
  • Brady Strausz, QB, 6-2, 170, Jr.;

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 5-4 (Ken Dusenbury)
  • 2019: 3-7 (Cade Armstrong)
  • 2018: 3-6 (Cade Armstrong)
  • 2017: 5-5 (Cade Armstrong)
  • 2016: 6-4 (Tony Crough)

More:AVCTL coaches give their predicted order of finish for upcoming football season

ANDOVER CENTRAL JAGUARS

Andover Central

The Jaguars are downplaying their expectations but with a loaded offensive line back and a very capable quarterback in Kai Kunz, the Andover Central Jaguars should be at no worse, a state semifinal team if things work out right. 

Ashton Barkdull had a great spring in track and will look to be the lead back on offense this season. He's a solid defensive presence as well. If Kunz-Barkdull combination works out, this offense could be a high-flying one. 

Brock Stupka on the wings and... that's all I can really think of at this moment without digging into the roster. Having to fill the roles of Davin Simms, Jack Bell and Kyle Kohman will be no easy feat. 

There's questions in the secondary having to replace those guys as well but you shouldn't be too worried about the front seven for Central. They're going to be just as strong as the last few seasons.

Head Coach

Derek Tuttle, third season at Andover Central and third overall (18-4)

2020 at a glance

  • 7-2 overall record
  • 5-1 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League II (Champions)
  • Lost to Arkansas City (33-28) in the Class 4A Regional Final.

Key Losses

  • Chase White — QB/K
  • Jack Bell — WR/DB
  • Kyle Kohman — WR
  • Davin Simms — WR/DB
  • Jacob Rees — RB/LB
  • Karyen Parrott  — DB

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 vs. Newton
  • Sept. 10 vs. Buhler
  • Sept. 17 at Goddard Eisenhower
  • Sept. 24 at Goddard
  • Oct. 1 vs. Valley Center
  • Oct. 8 at Salina Central
  • Oct. 15 at Andover
  • Oct. 22 vs. Arkansas City

Players to watch

  • Ashton Barkdull, RB/DB, 6-0, 170, Sr.
  • Drew Daniels, OL/DL, 6-2, 270, Sr.
  • Kai Kunz, QB, 6-3, 187, Sr.
  • Andrew Mann, OL/ DL, 6-4, 260, Sr.
  • Jackson Rees, RB/ DB, Sr.
  • Isaac Sheeran, OL/DL, 6-4, 230, Sr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 7-2 (Derek Tuttle)
  • 2019: 11-2 (Derek Tuttle)
  • 2018: 5-5 (Tom Audley)
  • 2017: 5-6 (Tom Audley)
  • 2016: 2-7 (Tom Audley)

More:Butler County high school football: What we learned on the first day of practice

AUGUSTA ORIOLES

Augusta

Head coach Jason Filbeck has some development to do this season. With sophomore quarterback Gavin Kiser under center, the Augusta Orioles will be young but don't let that underestimate them. They do return four offensive linemen from last year's squad.

Expect Kaden McDaniel to step in that Ely Wilcox role and be a ball hawker on defense. Holt Williams is an all-league linebacker and Preston Bratton is just waiting to hit someone. 

Offensively, there could be some hiccups. Replacing someone like Ryan Andrews will be a tough thing to accomplish. It felt as if he was the heart and soul of the team the last couple of seasons. For the amount of touches Andrews had, his productions will be hard to repeat. 

All of that said with the struggles last season, the Orioles were a couple of plays away from being a lot better of a record than they actually were. This team wasn't 4-6 last season. Injuries among other things derailed their season. 

Augusta doesn't believe they are the second worst team in the AVCTL-III (according to the coaches' poll) and they are out to prove it.

Head Coach

Jason Filbeck, seventh season at Augusta and seventh overall (35-33)

2020 at a glance

  • 4-6 overall record
  • 2-3 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League III
  • Lost to McPherson (52-20) in the Class 4A Regional Final.

Key Losses

  • Ely Wilcox — LB/S
  • Ryan Andrews — FB
  • Duke Lichlyter — Slot/DB
  • Nate Volkman — OG
  • Tyler McConathy — SS/Slot
  • Zack Timberlake — OT
  • Jett Hand — WR

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 at Coffeyville-Field Kindley
  • Sept. 10 at El Dorado
  • Sept. 17 vs. Circle
  • Sept. 24 vs. Rose Hill
  • Oct. 1 at Buhler 
  • Oct. 8 at Winfield
  • Oct. 15 vs. Abilene 
  • Oct. 22 vs. McPherson

Players to watch

  • Preston Bratton, DE, 6-0, 190, Sr.
  • Sebastian Flower, WR, 6-2, 155, Sr.
  • Caleb Husselman, OL, 6-2, 270, Sr.
  • Gavin Kiser, QB, 6-4, 210, So.
  • Kaden McDaniel, FS/WR, 6-5, 190, Jr.
  • Holt Williams, LB, 6-0, 215, Sr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 4-6 (Jason Filbeck)
  • 2019: 5-5 (Jason Filbeck)
  • 2018: 3-6 (Jason Filbeck)
  • 2017: 5-4 (Jason Filbeck)
  • 2016: 6-4 (Jason Filbeck)

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

BLUESTEM LIONS

Bluestem

For Bluestem football, the only way to go is up after losing every game last season. Despite all of that, the Lions are excited about getting back on the football field and improving their game.

Coach Ethan Haworth is excited about the young players he has in his program this year. There are some real exciting players that other coaches are really worried about already, such as Kolby Hebb, the 6-2, 255 lb. offensive line/defensive linemen. One coach said he could be the scariest team they play in the first few weeks. 

Offense was really the struggle last season and the Lions will spread it out a little more. They feel if they can do that by getting the passing game going, they'll be more successful this season. 

Head Coach

Ethan Haworth, third season at Bluestem and third overall (1-17)

2020 at a glance

  • 0-9 overall record
  • 0-3 in Tri-Valley League
  • Did not qualify for Class 2A Playoffs.

Key Losses

  • Kendall Keeton — RB/DB
  • Logan Walden — WR/DB
  • Michael Harrison — OL/DL

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 at Humboldt
  • Sept. 10 at Cherryvale
  • Sept. 17 vs. Eureka 
  • Sept. 24 at Chaparral 
  • Oct. 1 vs. Belle Plaine
  • Oct. 8 at Douglass
  • Oct. 15 vs. Kingman
  • Oct. 22 at Garden Plain

Players to watch

  • Ethan Buxton, OL/DL, 6-0, 275, Jr.
  • Bob Fiebiger, TE/DB, 6-1, 190, Sr.
  • Tucker Gibb, WR/FS, 5-10, 135, So.
  • Kolby Hebb, OL/DL, 6-2, 255, Jr.
  • Brody Meyers, RB/LB, 5-8, 160, So.
  • Gavin Worrell, RB/DL, 5-9, 240, Jr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 0-9 (Ethan Haworth)
  • 2019: 1-9 (Ethan Haworth)
  • 2018: 1-8 (Jeremiah Fiscus)
  • 2017: 3-6 (Jordan Echer)
  • 2016: 2-7 (Jordan Echer)

More:2021 Football Preview: Top underclassmen Butler County football players to watch for this fall

CIRCLE THUNDERBIRDS

Circle

It's hard to look at a 1-6 record and see success but that's what you saw with Circle last season. They dominated in their only win and played in some close ball games. They had a couple of last second games go the wrong way. 

Then, probably two easy wins were erased due to COVID, with Mulvane and Independence.

The season that never really was. 

This year, the Thunderbirds feel they can have a successful, winning season by just sticking to the game plan of coach Logan Clothier. In his fifth season, things could be in the right position to steal some wins and position themselves for a good playoff spot. 

They even may get some revenge on some of those losses last season. That will start with Luke McGinnis back at quarterback. He missed the season's final two games and is as healthy as he's been heading into this season. 

Head Coach

Logan Clothier, fifth season at Circle and fifth overall (4-30)

2020 at a glance

  • 1-6 overall record
  • 0-4 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League III
  • Lost to Buhler (47-0) in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Key Losses

  • Jake Shaults — WR/DE
  • Lukas Rogers — WR/DB
  • Cort Ott  — LB

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 vs. Chanute
  • Sept. 10 at McPherson
  • Sept. 17 at Augusta
  • Sept. 24 vs. Mulvane
  • Oct. 1 vs. Winfield
  • Oct. 8 at Independence 
  • Oct. 15 vs. El Dorado 
  • Oct. 22 at Buhler

Players to watch

  • Luke McGinnis, QB/LB, Sr.
  • Ty Smith, WR/DB, Jr.
  • Dylan Bougher, RB/DB, Sr.
  • Jake Hagemann, QB/DB, Sr.
  • Zach Foes, OL/DL, Sr.
  • Sam Uhlman, OL/DL, Sr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 1-6 (Logan Clothier)
  • 2019: 1-8 (Logan Clothier)
  • 2018: 2-7 (Logan Clothier)
  • 2017: 0-9 (Logan Clothier)
  • 2016: 1-8 (Heath Henderson)

More:2021 Football Preview: Top 10 most interesting high school football games this season

DOUGLASS BULLDOGS

Douglass

If they just had those games back... that's what Douglass thought was after last season. They missed two wins due to COVID and saw themselves on the outside of the Class 2A playoffs looking in. This season, they're trying to put their playoff hopes back in their own hands.

This season the Bulldogs bring back a lot of talent in Dalton Hilyard at running back and second-year starting quarterback, Jordan Stoffel. The two will be a fearsome duo that may use their chemistry to overpower teams. 

The loss of players like Cole Martin and Dylan Lockwood will cause some issues but Coach Kelley Sayahnejad seems confident the Bulldogs can get back to where they were in 2018. The pieces are there to get back. They just have to execute the game plan.

Head Coach

Derek Tuttle, third season at Andover Central and third overall (18-4)

2020 at a glance

  • 3-4 overall record
  • 1-3 in Central Plains League
  • Did not qualify for Class 2A playoffs.

Key Losses

  • Cole Martin — WR/LB/K
  • Dylan Lockwood — WR/LB
  • David Arevalo  — WR/DB
  • Hunter Glaves — RB/LB
  • Clayton Elliott — OL/DL

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 vs. Remington
  • Sept. 10 at Marion 
  • Sept. 17 vs. Wichita Trinity
  • Sept. 24 at Garden Plain 
  • Oct. 1 at Kingman 
  • Oct. 8 vs. Bluestem 
  • Oct. 15 at Chaparral 
  • Oct. 22 vs. Belle Plaine 

Players to watch

  • Dalton Hilyard, RB/LB, 5-11, 180, Sr.
  • Konnor Kielhorn, WR/DB, 5-11, 160, Jr.
  • Joe Martin, OL/DL, 5-11, 245, Sr.
  • Mason Megli, OL, 6-2, 205, Jr.
  • Brady Roberts, WR/DB/K, 5-10, 165, Sr.
  • Jordan Stoffel, QB, 5-10, 160, Jr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 3-4 (Kelley Sayahnejad)
  • 2019: 3-6 (Kelley Sayahnejad)
  • 2018: 7-2 (Kelley Sayahnejad)
  • 2017: 3-7 (Kelley Sayahnejad)
  • 2016: 3-7 (Kelley Sayahnejad)

More:Butler County high school football: Second day of football practice highlights

EL DORADO WILDCATS

El Dorado

The Wildcats want to build on their success last season and prove it's no fluke. That'll start with Jaydon Sundgren carrying the load that Zach Wittenberg did last season. Sundgren has shown he can do it in practice so far. He's bulked up and ready to carry 20-30 times a game this season. 

Under third-year head coach, Wes Bell, the Wildcats defense were near the top of Class 4A in terms of yards per game last season. In fact, they were No. 2 in yards allowed per game heading into the playoffs, with only KC Piper allowing more. There were some graduations but a large portion of the starters will be back.

Can the Wildcats be efficient in the air? That's for third-year starting quarterback, Gannon White to decide. He's improved immensely each season. However, if the Wildcats really want to have an offense that is unstoppable, they're going to need to complete a couple of passes per game. 

El Dorado's biggest strength will be the offensive line, which will make things a lot easier for Sundgren. They return a large chunk of their starters from last season and their core of Gavin Bell, Michael Riddle and Levi Wittenberg will provide the foundation to a successful flexbone offense. 

The schedule lines up nicely for the Wildcats. There are big tests against Augusta in Week 2 and then at Buhler and vs. McPherson in weeks 4 and 5. Games against Wellington should help with the W-L count at the end of the year.

Head Coach

Wes Bell, third year at El Dorado and third year overall (7-7)

2020 at a glance

  • 5-3 overall record
  • 3-1 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League III
  • Lost to Wamego (21-18) in the Class 4A Regional Final.

Key Losses

  • Zach Wittenberg — RB/LB
  • Dravin Fowler — RB/DB
  • Dez Stitt — OL/DL

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 at Independence
  • Sept. 10 vs. Augusta
  • Sept. 17 vs. Labette County
  • Sept. 24 at Buhler
  • Oct. 1 vs. McPherson
  • Oct. 8 at Wellington
  • Oct. 15 at Circle
  • Oct. 22 vs. Winfield

Players to watch

  • Gavin Bell, OL/DE 6-4, 278, Sr.
  • Connor Clausing, TE/LB, 6-4, 215, Sr.
  • Michael Riddle, OL, 5-10, 180, Jr.
  • Jaydon Sundgren, RB, 5-10, 183, Sr.
  • Gannon White, QB, 5-9, 165, Jr.
  • Levi Wittenberg, OL/DL, 6-2, 189, Jr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 5-3 (Wes Bell)
  • 2019: 2-7 (Wes Bell)
  • 2018: 2-7 (Bill Shaw)
  • 2017: 4-5 (Bill Shaw)
  • 2016: 3-6 (Jason Nichols)

More:High School Football Roundtable: Who will win each AVCTL division and answers to other questions

FLINTHILLS MUSTANGS

Flinthills

In his first year as the head coach, Chase Casteel sees a bright future for the Flinthills Mustangs. They're young but they have the kids to do it. Even in high school football, sometimes it just takes the right coach to turn things around. Your first example, look at El Dorado. 

Hunter Lowmaster at quarterback and Tayler Brown at running back should be a tough combination on offense. The sophomore class is full of athletic guys who will be asked to step in immediately. 

Last year, the Mustangs turned it over a lot and struggled with penalties. If they can find a way to take care of the ball, they may surprise some teams. It helps the schedule is in their favor. There are easily winnable games against Udall, West Elk and Oxford. Games against Sedan and Madison will be tough and the rest will be toss up contests, depending on how Flinthills can perform. 

Four wins over the last five season and three winnable games, the opportunity to improve is there for the Mustangs.

Head Coach

Chase Casteel, first year overall and first year at Flinthlils (0-0)

2020 at a glance

  • 1-8 overall record
  • 1-5 in South Central Border League
  • Did not qualify for 8-Man I playoffs.

Key Losses

  • Austin Mantanona — OL/DL
  • Tucker Travnichek — WR

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 at Cedar Vale-Dexter
  • Sept. 10 vs. Sedan
  • Sept. 17 vs. West Elk
  • Sept. 24 at Oxford
  • Oct. 1 vs. Chase County
  • Oct. 8 at Central Burden
  • Oct. 15 at Madison
  • Oct. 22 vs. Udall

Players to watch

  • Tayler Brown, TB/LB, Sr.
  • Gavin Girty, TE/LB, Sr.
  • Brandon Gleason, TE/DE, Sr.
  • Hunter Lowmaster, QB/CB, Jr.
  • Cael Sorum, OL/DE, Sr.
  • Cooper Studebaker, OL/DE, Sr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 1-8 (Daniel Scribner)
  • 2019: 1-8 (Daniel Scribner)
  • 2018: 2-7 (Daniel Scribner)
  • 2017: 0-9 (Daniel Scribner)
  • 2016: 0-9 (Chuck Bisbee)

More:Butler County high school football: What we learned on the third day of practice

REMINGTON-WHITEWATER BRONCOS

Remington-Whitewater

For head coach Simon McKee, the early parts of his tenure at Remington weren't pretty but they're starting to see the fruits of their labor pay off. 

A losing record doesn't usually bode well heading into next season but one of those wins was a playoff win for Remington. Plus, they have a large portion of their experience back as well. 

Remington has a lot of talent returning from last year's squad, including players like David Fasnacht, who looked like lightning in a bottle at practice at running back. The offensive line is led by junior Angel Lopez, who saw time at some college camps this year. 

Braden Scribner had some success throwing the ball last year with a handful of touchdowns. He'll be the real leader this season and hopefully advance another round in the playoffs. 

Head Coach

Simon McKee, fourth year at Remington and fourth year overall (8-20)

2020 at a glance

  • 4-6 overall record
  • 0-2 in Heart of America
  • Lost to Inman (50-6) in Class 1A Regional Final.

Key Losses

  • Owen Thiel — RB/LB
  • Braden Hays — OL/DL

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 at Douglass
  • Sept. 10 at Conway Springs
  • Sept. 17 vs. Wichita Independent
  • Sept. 24 vs. Sublette
  • Oct. 1 at Stanton County
  • Oct. 8 vs. Sedgwick
  • Oct. 15 vs. Inman
  • Oct. 22 at Elkhart

Players to watch

  • Evan Claassen, WR/CB, Sr.
  • Sam Entz, TE/LB; Jr.
  • David Fasnacht, RB, Sr.
  • Duke Kinley, WR/CB, Jr.
  • Angel Lopez, OL, Jr.
  • Braden Scribner, QB/LB, Sr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 4-6 (Simon McKee)
  • 2019: 2-7 (Simon McKee)
  • 2018: 2-7 (Simon McKee)
  • 2017: 1-8 (Ben Wertenberger)
  • 2016: 2-7 (Ben Wertenberger)

More:Butler Community College football notes: A quarterback battle highlights early practice storyline

ROSE HILL ROCKETS

Rose Hill

When head coach Lee Weber took over the Rockets' program, it had seen better days. Advance four years later and he took Rose Hill back to the playoffs and won a game. 

A large portion of that first freshman class has graduated and now it's time to move onto the next phase of the plan, make the winning consistent. They do return 21 lettermen from a team that lost Spencer Nolan, Bryce Bischler, Bryson Evans and Noah Bolticoff. Whlie losing that must talent is tough, there is some really talented players in the underclassmen that will battle for starting positions.

Keagan Beavers and Chase Green will be two players that will be leaders and are a scary duo in the secondary. Beavers, who will see a lot of time on offense at running back, is an honorable mention all-state kid that can fly to the ball. 

The youth of the Rockets will immediately hit some tough teams in Andale and Collegiate but there will be opportunities along the season to have some real success. There's talent here to win another playoff game. 

Head Coach

Lee Weber, fourth year at Rose hill (10-18) and 21st overall (88-99).

2020 at a glance

  • 6-4 overall
  • 2-3 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League IV
  • Lost to Buhler (42-8) in the Class 4A Regional Final.

Key Losses

  • Noah Bolticoff — OL
  • Spencer Nolan — RB
  • Bryson Evans — QB
  • Bryce Bischler — WR
  • Dalton Dockers — OL
  • Brandon Kelly  — LB

2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 at Andale
  • Sept. 10 vs. Clearwater
  • Sept. 17 vs. Wichita Collegiate
  • Sept. 24 at Augusta
  • Oct. 1 vs. Wellington
  • Oct. 8 at Mulvane
  • Oct. 15 at Winfield
  • Oct. 22 vs. Independence

Players to watch

  • Keagan Beavers, DB, Sr.
  • Chase Green, WR/DB, Sr.
  • Cade Evans, LB, Sr.
  • Peyton Helget, OL, Sr.
  • Noah Paredes, LB, Sr.
  • Pierce Probasco, DB, Jr.

Last 5 seasons (head coach)

  • 2020: 6-4 (Lee Weber)
  • 2019: 3-6 (Lee Weber)
  • 2018: 1-8 (Lee Weber)
  • 2017: 1-8 (Ray Boese)
  • 2016: 3-6 (Ray Boese)

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.