Redskins host Hutch for Round 2 of district
Thursday, 21 October 2010 13:51
By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Liberal has been where Hutchinson now sits — at the top of the Kansas high school football mountain.
In the 1990s, it was the Liberal Redskins that played in seven consecutive state championships.
Hutchinson is on track to appear in its seventh consecutive state title game this year.
The Salthawks have developed into the premiere Kansas high school football program in the new millennium even though the rankings have Hutchinson as No. 2 in Class 5A behind Gardner Edgerton.
Perhaps the pollsters are missing something, or maybe they are giving the one-point loss to nationally-ranked Kansas City Rockhurst in Hutch’s season opener way too much credit.
Either way, the defending Class 5A champions have outscored their opponents in the last six games by an average of 59 to 10.
In four of those victories, the Salthawks have scored more than 60 points, and two of them reached 70.
Hutch opened district play last week with a 70-7 win over Wichita West while the Liberal Redskins dropped the district opener to Bishop Carroll 42-12.
“There’s no question that Hutch is the top football team in the state,” Liberal coach Wade Standley said. “We are excited to play them. You see where you are. We get to play against the best Friday night. We are up to the challenge.”
Hutchinson’s climb to the top didn’t happen overnight. When Randy Dreiling took over the program more than a decade ago he had four losing seasons before starting the streak of six consecutive state titles.
Standley said developing a program to be a winner on a continual basis includes development at the younger levels.
“It starts with the lower levels,” he said. “You have to bring those guys through the system. You have to have seventh and eighth graders in your summer programs. Those kids that won the Ark River League championship at South, we had 27 eighth graders in our program. So it starts there, you bring them up through the years, develop them as Redskins and change an attitude and a culture. It takes time to develop from the bottom up.”
While Dreiling has developed his program at Hutch, Standley is in his second year at the helm of the Redskin program, and Liberal has not had the consistency Standley would like to see.
“When we can execute the offense we can move the ball against anybody,” he said. “We’ve done that at times against the better teams, but it hasn’t been consistent. We are excited about the opportunity to go out there and play our game.”
Friday’s game will be free to the public thanks to National Beef who has bought out the game. That should provide for a packed Redskin Field.
“I am extremely excited about the crowd,” Standley said “I am grateful to Naitonal Beef. They do a great job of supporting our teams and giving people the opportunity to come out and watch football.
The game will kick off at 7 p.m.