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Local Sports News
High School Football Season Preview: Twin Valley League
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

The 2019 high school foootball season is set to kickoff Friday evening and with that we at Kanzland Radio want to start our coverage this week with a preview of each league throughout Northeast Kansas and today we take a look at the TVL. 

Nine of the last 11 years at least one Twin Valley League has claimed a state championship in football including Hanover repeating at the 8-Man Division II State Champs last year. The TVL didn’t disappoint again last year with competition at a high caliber on a weekly basis throughout the season. The landscape changed last season with Doniphan West and Washington County making the move to eight man leaving just three 11-man teams in the TVL. There seems to be much more parity in the league heading into the season which should once again show why the Twin Valley League is one of the best in the state of Kansas!

CENTRALIA, for the second straight season produced an 8-3 record and earned a spot in the playoffs in 2018 along with once again claiming the 11-man TVL title. The Panthers overcame just four starters back on each side of the ball and made it all the way to the sectional round of the playoffs before falling to Olpe 20-18. Head Coach Larry Glatczak returns for his 14th season (121-40) at the helm with yet another tough schedule and big-time athletes to replace but a solid core of guys back with high hopes of another special season in Centralia.

VALLEY HEIGHTS went through an up and down 2018 season finishing 6-4 which included a 35-20 loss to Jackson Heights in the first round of the playoffs. The Mustangs were competitive in every game they played, but couldn’t seem to get over the hump against the better teams on their schedule. Head Tony Trimble returns for his 15th year in the program with nine starters back on each side of the ball with expectations of not only a league and district title but a deep playoff run in 2019.

TROY is coming off a winning season in which they made the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six years. They lost a pair of one-point heart breakers before losing eight solid seniors to graduation.  Eight new seniors return with vast experience for Coach Derek Jasper, who has won 50 games in his first six seasons at Troy Head Coach. The Trojans will continue to spread the field and throw the football with a third-year QB in Kipp Jasper. But new targets must emerge and three new lineman starters are needed to compete in this tough 2019 schedule.




HANOVER for the third straight year claimed the 8-Man Division II State title and won their fifth state title in the last 11 years, while having made a trip to at least the Sub-State round of the playoffs 10 of the last 11 seasons. The Wildcats have a strong senior class to replace but with head coach Matt Heuer at the helm you can fully expect another run at a league title and a deep playoff run. The talent pool never runs dry in Hanover.

Over the past 10 seasons, CLIFTON-CLYDE has notched multiple winning seasons making the playoffs seven times including last year. The Eagles finished 9-1 last season but had their season cut short after getting upset in the second round of the playoffs by Hoxie. That team returns 10 starters on each side of the ball setting up another possible magical season.

FRANKFORT had a season to remember last year as the Wildcats won seven games and produced the program’s best record since 2011 finishing 7-3. The Wildcats also picked up their first playoff victory since 2008 and the only losses on the season came to Axtell once and twice to Hanover who ended up winning the state championship. Coach Nick Anderson enters his fourth season at the helm with high hopes once again as six starters are back on each side of the ball which should allow the Wildcats to once again be fast and physical in 2019.

AXTELL also had a season to remember in 2018 finishing with 10 wins and reaching the sub-state round of the playoffs before eventually falling to Hanover. Axtell continued their aerial attack and put together one of the best passing attacks in Kansas history which included Hunter Koch setting the state record for touchdown receptions in a single season with 33 in an offense that averaged 56 points per game. While Koch has since graduated head coach Eric Detweiler enters his seventh season with five key starters back on both sides of the ball with high hopes of another playoff run in 2019.

BLUE VALLEY  took a huge step in the right direction last season improving their record by four wins and finishing the 2018 season 5-4. The Rams had won two or less games the past five seasons heading into last year but put that all to rest and were able to overcome having just nine guys on the roster. Coach Matt Schreiber enters his 15th season with high hopes after the success from last year and with six starters back it shapes up to be another fun season.

DONIPHAN WEST transitioned to 8-man a year ago and had only 14 players out and 10 of those were freshman. The Mustangs lost their starting quarterback in week three, but responded to win their next three games. With only two seniors gone, D-West returns a still young, but more seasoned roster as they adjust to another new coach in Perry Smith. With six starters back on each side of the ball, if Doniphan west can stay healthy and keep improving, they should be better and have a chance for a couple more wins in the tough TVL.    

LINN had a season to forget in 2018 finishing with just a 1-8 record which included falling in the final three games of the year. The Bulldogs faced not only learning a new system under first year head coach Ron Smith but also dealt with key injures that made it a long season. Linn heads into 2019 with a strong backfield and experience that should help see an increase in the win column. 

WETMORE is looking to continue to establish a program foundation in just their third year as a varsity program. The Cardinals are led by Head Coach Rick Schnacker who is now entering his third season with the team and looking for improvement off of his two-win season last year. Despite the two wins, Coach Schnacker felt that his team was able to compete in more and more games last season. However, this team does return 11 letterwinners from last season so experience will be on the side of the cardinals this year.

ONAGA ended the 2018 season on a high note winning the final three games on the schedule which matched the Buffaloes win total from the previous three years combined. Head Coach Ben Kolterman brings back five starters on each side of the ball with high hopes of continuing to push the program onward and upward.

Washington County made the switch to the 8-man game a season ago and the switch paid off as Washington County won three games. The Tigers also had a 12-point loss in the second game of the season to Thunder Ridge but struggled down the stretch losing their final three games of the year. The Tigers now head in 2019 with high hopes and a veteran team made up of nearly all juniors and seniors giving head Coach Doug Thompson plenty to work with going into the season.

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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