While we’ve been working on featuring top athletes, juniors and seniors around the state through Faces in Kansas over the last seven nigh school sports seasons, something we’ve decided to do is highlight underclassmen, freshman and sophomore, from time to time. We feel it's important to highlight the states rising stars. In this edition of Faces in Kansas Underclassmen, we go to Andover, Kansas, where one of the top sophomore quarterbacks in Kansas plays. That quarterback is Eli Fahnestock, a sophomore at Andover High School in the Wichita metro.
Fahnestock, a 6’0” 185-pounder, was an immediate impact player for the Trojans as a freshman last fall. He passed for 1,753 yards with 13 touchdowns to go along with 509 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. All of this also being done at the 5A level as a freshman in high school. Not something that is common for even a sophomore to do at the 5A level and Fahnestock did it one year removed from junior high, a year ago.
He earned second team all-conference and all-state honorable mention. He was also named his teams Most Valuable Player on offense. The Wichita Eagle also has him listed as one of the top returning players in the Metro on their 20 to Watch list in the area for 2018.
Not only is Fahnestock one of the top sophomores in the entire state of Kansas in football, he also is in baseball. He’s a preseason Under Armour All-American in baseball for 2019.
He also continues to get stronger in the weight room as he features a clean of 260 pounds and benches nearly 250 pounds as a freshman last spring.
The Trojans, led by head coach Cade Armstrong, were 5-5 one year ago and return five starters on the offense and five on the defense. Two of those five losses were by four points (Goddard, Campus). Andover opens up the 2018 campaign at home this Friday against 5A Great Bend. It will be a game with two premier 5A quarterbacks in Fahnestock and senior Koy Brack of Great Bend. We caught up with the rising sophomore below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.
This feature is presented by Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, proud to support Eli Fahnestock and the Andover Trojans.
How did you get involved in football?
I’ve always grown up around the game of football and started playing flag football at the YMCA when I was young before starting tackle football in 3rd grade.
What are your goals this season?
My goal is to continue to grow and develop as a person and player. I want to be a leader of men both vocally and by example for our team and make memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
I think we have a great chance to make a run this year. We’re in our 2nd year under Coach Armstrong and have a better understanding as a team of what it takes to be successful at the highest level.
What makes you such a force as a player?
I believe that any success I have had up to this point is because of the abilities that God has given me and I am thankful for that. I have been blessed athletically and try to work as hard as I can each and every day whether it’s on the field, in the weight room, or in the classroom, to be the best that I can be.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
Andover is a great place to live and go to school. We always have an amazing atmosphere and truly get home field advantage. It’s a loud, exciting environment that is awesome to be a part of.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
Football is all about being a family, and that’s exactly what our team is. Coming to our games is an opportunity to watch a team play for each other and give everything they have no matter the situation.
Who are other key players on your team?
Every player on our team is important and plays a role in making us better.
Favorite thing about football?
My favorite thing about football is the brotherhood. It creates relationships and memories that will stay with you long after football is over.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that?
Yes, I also play basketball and baseball.
What is it like to play for your coach?
Being able to play for someone like Coach Armstrong is the greatest opportunity. There aren’t many people that care about the success of our team becoming young men as much as he does.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better and plans to get better this summer?
Our team spent a lot of time in the weight room and practicing when we could. We wanted to prepare ourselves so that we could hit the ground running when our first practice came, and that’s what we did.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I’m currently seeing some interest from mostly NAIA and Division II schools. My family and I have been in contact with Division I programs as well. My plans after high school are to play football, baseball, or both in college.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
Spend time with my friends and family.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself continuing to play sports or working in a job relating to sports or fitness.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
I don’t have a favorite school subject, but I am a hands-on visual student and have a 4.0 GPA.
Who is your role model?
My parents are my role models. They teach me so much about the importance of character and honoring God.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
Dempsey’s Burger Pub, Gangnam Kitchen, and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
I played soccer for one year when I was in pre-K.
Anything else to add?
Thank you Sports in Kansas for taking the time to select me and make me a part of the Faces in Kansas.