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Faces in KS: Tanner Cash

Tanner Cash is having a huge junior season for Clearwater. (photo: Greg Proctor)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Nov 7, 2019

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This feature is presented by HD Mills & Sons and M&M Trash Service, proud to support Clearwater High School Football. 

Clearwater, led by head coach Jeremy Scheufler, is having quite the breakout season this year at 7-2 as they remain in the 3A playoffs, one year after going 4-5 in 2018, 1-8 in 2017 and 3-6 in 2015.

A big part of that is eight returning starters on defense and seven on the offense. Despite battling an MCL and Tibia injury in the middle part of the season and missing three games, junior quarterback and safety Tanner Cash has been one of the brightest spots in 3A football when he's on the field so far in 2019. Cash is the definition of the ultimate competitor as he was supposed to be out for six weeks, instead he's turned that into just three and is putting up some crazy numbers in six games. . 

Cash, who plays in the spread offense, has thrown for 1,153 yards this season over six games with 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He’s rushed for 825 more on the ground with another six scores. Cash is one of the top dual threats in the state in 2019 that has the size, speed and athleticism to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Drake Beatty and Tanner Pierce have been his favorite targets as they each have over 400 yards receiving this season with Beatty leading the way at 575 yards (6 TD). Trace Tjaden filled in for Cash when he was out and has also had 582 passing yards, 227 rushing yards and 200 receiving yards where he has been a part of 12 total touchdowns.

Cash, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound, junior, is already a three-year starter that earned all-league quarterback as a sophomore last season, in addition to honorable mention all-state honors. Cash set the school record for single season touchdowns last year as well as single season rushing yards. He’s on pace to set career school records in both passing and rushing this year and has an entire season left in the fall of 2020.

Cash gives his offensive lineman credit for his success as he credits Kip Burge, Austin Carlson, Sean Harris and Brock Demel with big years.

While Cash and his offense have shined, Nolan Streit has been a breakout playmaker all over on defense. He has 125.5 total combined tackles this season for the Indians with 7.5 coming as sacks.

Cash will work to get stronger and bigger in the weight room but he possesses 4.63 40 speed that could get him looks on both sides of the ball in the recruiting class of 2021. He also gets it done in the classroom with a 3.7 GPA at Clearwater High School where his favorite subject is Biology. Cash also participates in track where he was a state qualifier last year in the 4x400 and basketball where he learned all-league honorable mention as a sophomore. He also earned all-league honors in baseball as a freshman.

The Indians, who will have their first winning season since 2013 when they went 5-4, will have a rematch this week as they take on unbeaten Andale, one of the favorites to win it in 3A this season, in a rematch this week. The last time they met up, Andale won 50-12. We caught up with the outstanding junior athlete below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.

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Q&A w/ Cash

How did you get involved in football? 

My parents say I was born with a ball in my hand.  It has been a love of mine for as long as I can remember.  I started playing football in 3rd grade and it just grew from there.  I love the game, the competition, and being out there with my brothers.

What are your goals this season?

I would really like to have Clearwater be seen as a contender.  I want this year to start something that will grow community support for our school and football program.  We’ve been talking about this year for a long time, the senior and junior class, this our year.  Personally, I hope to just get better as a player and leader, to learn as much as I can from my coaches and teammates to help me prepare for the next level.

Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?

Yes.  At this point in the season the team as accomplished more than we have in over 5 years.  Under the Leadership of Coach Scheuffler we are winning games and beating teams we haven’t in a really long time.  We may not be putting up the big points some of the other teams have, but we are getting better every week.  Stronger and confident that we can compete with just about anyone.

What makes you such a force as a player?

I want to compete and I want to win.  I push myself to get better and work harder than the guy next to me or the guy on the other side of the ball.

What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?

There’s nothing like it.  We have one of the best student sections around and the community support is really good.

For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?

We have some of the best players in the state.  Nolan Streit is a beast on the field and so much fun to watch.  He leads our defensive and is one of the top tacklers in the state.  The games are fast paced and exciting.  Our offense in strong both on the ground and in the air.  We have 2 top receivers with Drake Beatty and Lane Pierce.  There’s just a lot of energy at our games.

Who are other key players on your team? 

I have to give credit to our offensive line.  We have some strong lineman that work hard, Kip Burge, Austin Carlson, Sean Harris, and Brock Demel.  Nolan Streit is definitely a key player to our defense along with several others.  He is one of the top tacklers in the state.  Karsyen Pinion has also been a strong defensive player this year.  We have really improved on our passing game as well, Drake Beatty and Lane Pierce are on the list for top receivers too.

Favorite thing about football?

My Favorite thing about football is that it gives me a chance to compete in the hardest sport out there. It teaches life lessons that you can’t learn anywhere else.

Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?

I play basketball and run track too.  Football is my favorite though.  I think we will have a really good basketball team this year too.

What is it like to play for your coach?

This is my second year playing for him.  He pushes me and challenges me so that I don’t get comfortable and always stay ready.  He has helped me be a better quarterback and believes in me.  He is getting me ready for that next level too.  He has confidence in all of us.

What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?

Hit the weight room.  I wish we could get every player in the weight room every day.  That would make the biggest difference I think.  Me and some of the receivers would meet at the field every day after weights and run routes and work on those types of things.  I went to several camps this year.  K State and Butler were a couple of my favorites.  I was also invited to the Sharp Performance Showcase.  The camps really helped and I learned a lot and met some great coaches and other players too.

What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?

I definitely want to play at the college level.  I have had some local colleges contact me and have shown some interest.  With my injury I wasn’t sure how that would go for the rest of the season.  That was some of my motivation to get better so that they could see I want to be on the field.

Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?

Being around my friends, hanging out playing PlayStation or shooting hoops with them.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

My plans are to get a biology degree and work with animals after college.  Maybe working with Dolphins, Lions, or Jaguars (LOL).

Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?

My favorite subject is Biology.  My parents always say school comes first so I work hard on getting good grades so that I can continue to play sports.  I have a 3.7 GPA.

Who is your role model?  

My favorite player to watch and copy growing up was Eli Manning I am a fan of the New York Giants and he has always been someone I love to watch play. I would also say Marcus Mariota is one of my favorite players to watch ever since his college days in Oregon and I would say I model my game after him quite a bit.

Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?

Walt’s burgers.  They’re the best in our area and it is a local hotspot.

One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?

I really like animals and hope to have a career that involves working them.  Ideally, doing something in conservation.