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American Implement Western KS Team of Week: Wichita Co.

Wichita County named Team of the Week.
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas
Sep 30, 2019

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Second-year coach Brant Douglas continues his huge turnaround with Leoti-Wichita County, long a struggling program. Douglas is from Cheyenne, Wyo. and played college football at University of Nebraska-Kearney. He coached in Houston and Nebraska.

His wife, Haylie, worked for Cabela’s, which was bought out by Bass Pro Shops. Haylie needed a job and wanted to move closer to family. She is from Tribune, which is a short drive from Leoti. Douglas installed the spread offense – and also made a huge defensive improvement – in a 6-3 season last fall. Lineman Jesse Hermosillo was a KPreps first team all-state player.

Leoti averaged 44.2 points per game and allowed 17.6. The Indians had a top-10 scoring defense in eight-man football, along with the biggest eight-man scoring defense improvement from ’17 to ’18. The Indians took three losses to state powers Hoxie (36-20), St. Francis (44-6) and Victoria (34-28). SF and Hoxie both finished the year ranked in the top-4 of the final KPreps poll, and Victoria was 7-3.

This year, Wichita County had an unusual schedule with three straight non-home games to start 2019. However, the Indians defeated Pretty Prairie, 74-0, in Spearville in Week 1. Then, WC beat Wallace County, 70-0. In Week 3, the Indians easily beat Logan-Palco, 68-14. L-P entered the game 2-0.

Last week, Wichita County continued its improvement with a 56-26 win against Hoxie in the home opener. In its last 31 contests, Hoxie was 27-4 with a state title. Two of the losses had come to St. Francis.

While Wichita County remains just outside the top-five ranking in Division I, the Indians lead the classification with 268 points and are just outside the top-10 with 60 points permitted.

Senior Kayde Rietzke has led the offense again. Through the first three games, he had completed 23 of 26 passes for 436 yards with nine scores against zero interceptions.

He was also the team’s leading rusher with 28 carries for 258 yards and five scores. Junior Jesse Gardner had eclipsed 200 rushing yards, and senior Sheldon Whalen has more than 200 receiving yards.

Sophomore Tristen Porter and senior Gabe Hernandez had each delivered a special teams score. Leoti is home against WaKeeney-Trego this week before a big road matchup at St. Francis, ranked second in the classification.

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