August 13, 2010
Coach Jeff Savage led an astounding turnaround in his first season at 8-man Division 1 Central Burden in 2009, taking a program which had won two games in the past four seasons and winning seven games to make the playoffs. The Raiders are in line to win another district title after averaging 58 points per game in 2009 district play.
Juniors, quarterback Bo Savage and running back Ky Biddle, chief purveyors of Central’s explosive offense, return. The Raiders’ Week 4 game at home against 2009 state finalist Quivira Heights, coach Savage’s former team, will be a game to watch.
Udall, Oxford and Cedar Vale-Dexter, playing its first season in consolidation, join Central in District 1.
Pretty Prairie, which has won at least one playoff game in two of the past three seasons, advanced to sub-state in 2009, but fell 50-6 to Baileyville after scoring 40 or more points in the first two rounds.
The Bulldogs are led by senior running back and safety Daniel Krehbiel, who The Hutch News named their 8-man defensive player of the year for 2009. Krehbiel moved from linebacker to safety, where he compiled 112 tackles. He gained 1,615 yards and scored 28 touchdowns on offense, leading Pretty Prairie back to sub-state for the first time since 2001, the year before coach C.T. Young took over. Young’s teams are 47-15 with five playoff appearances in the past six seasons.
8-MAN DIV. 2
After hovering around .500 for three seasons, Caldwell had an undefeated regular season and ended at 10-1 with a sectionals berth in 2009. Returning senior quarterback Braden Lebeda, a hurdles state champion in the spring, nearly combined rushing and passing for 3,000 yards, including a 394-all-purpose-yards performance against South Haven in District 4 play.
Argonia, also in District 4, completed its third consecutive season of going 6-3 and missing the playoffs. Argonia last made the playoffs in 2006 (10-1, sectionals), the end of a streak of nine straight apperances which began in 1998 based on a coin flip to break a three-way district tie with Attica and Cedar Vale. Senior running back and linebacker Alex Hemberger, first-team all-league on both sides of the ball in 2009, returns, though Argonia likely will need to end a three-game losing streak to South Haven to make the playoffs.