By CONOR NICHOLL
Leoti-Wichita County finished 10-2 and advanced to the Eight-Man, Division I semifinals. The Indians continued their massive rise under second-year coach Brant Douglas and tied the 1990 season for the best showing in school annals. The Indians averaged 56.7 points per contest and only took losses to St. Francis in district play, 46-0, and again in the semifinals, 66-20.
Kayde Rietzke completed 139 of 198 passes for 1,862 passes for 32 touchdowns against three interceptions. He delivered 235 carries for 1,670 yards and 25 scores. Junior Jesse Gardner finished with 117 carries for 933 yards and 19 rushing TDs. At 5-foot-10, 263 pounds, A.C. Hermosillo led an offensive line that churned out 221 rushing yards a game and 6.7 yards per carry.
Junior Sheldon Whalen finished with 61 carries for 1,063 yards and 17 receiving scores. Six players had a receiving touchdown. Whalen led the squad with 75 tackles. Senior Aron Castillo was second with 71 stops and paced with six sacks. Whalen also had an excellent year defensively with six interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a pair of forced fumbles. He had three defensive touchdowns, two pick-sixes and a scoop-and-score. WC forced 27 turnovers.
Douglas had a 6-3 mark in his first season last fall and stands at 16-5. That included three playoff victories versus Victoria (88-66), at Clifton-Clyde (54-38) and versus Little River (74-38) in '19. Before this year, the Indians were 3-6 all-time in the playoffs.
WC had long struggled before Douglas came. From '04-17, WC had three winning seasons, all 5-4 marks. WC is expected to be a strong eight-man contender next fall with Rietzke, Whalen, Gardner and Hermosillo all back.
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