Faces in KS: Kyler Alderson

Kyler Alderson is looking to lead Wamego to playoffs for first time since 2007. (Trisha Lueker)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Sep 24, 2014

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It's been seven years since Wamego has won or made an appearance in a football playoff game and the program only has four all-time wins in the state playoffs in the playoff era (1969-present). Wamego senior, Kyler Alderson, one of the states top signal callers, is ready to change that in the brand new 4A Division II Classification. 

"We want to win our league for the third consecutive year first and make the playoffs, which we fell short of last season losing to Holton and Hayden as we finished 7-2," Alderson said. "We want to be able to hang a banner in our gym." 

Alderson, a 6-foot-2 185 pound senior who threw for 2,133 yards and 34 total touchdowns (23 pass/11rush) a year ago, will be the biggest factor in determining a long playoff run for the Red Raiders this season. Last season was a breakout year for Alderson in his first season at the quarterback position after moving over from receiver. He has picked up right where he left off last season, throwing for 625 yards (13 TD) and also adding four rushing touchdowns on the ground over the first three games for the Red Raiders (3-0) in 2014. Alderson also handles kicking and punting duties.

"He does everything but drive the team bus." Wamego head coach, Dale Burkholder said. 

Alderson's favorite target this season has been senior, Wyatt Totten. Totten, a 5-foot-10 160 pound senior receiver, has caught 15 balls for 316 yards and six touchdowns over the first three games. He has already passed his junior season total of 294 receiving yards in 2013. 

"Wyatt has stepped up and taken on the role of Trenton York for us last year. He's a big player for us on both offense and defense." Alderson said. 

Wamego, like many schools in 4A, fell victim to being one of the smaller schools competing in the very brutal 4A classification. That will no longer be a problem as the 4A classification is now split into two classifications (4A-I & 4A-II) with 32 schools each. It also didn't help that the past four years Wamego was put into the same district with state powers, Holton and Topeka-Hayden. Hayden is now 4A-I and Holton is on the opposite side of the bracket in the 4A-II East. Wamego has to like their chances in the brand new 4A-II classification.

"We have a brand new district in the new 4A-II with Smoky Valley, Nickerson, and Chapman," Alderson said. "We have to do the little things and go game by game not overlooking any opponent in order to be successful." 

So far, so good for Wamego as they have outscored opponents 131-to-39 in 2014 with wins over Rock Creek, Jeff West and Marysville. The Red Raiders are one of three teams on the western part of the bracket ranked in the Kpreps top five poll after week three of the season, coming it at number five this week. 

The schedule gets much tougher for Wamego this week as they take on their league rival, Abilene (4A-I), a team that has also started 3-0 in 2014. 

"Abilene is by far our biggest rival. We both are very talented programs that love to win games. Last year we played Abilene tough in our closest game of the year which we won 49-35. Stakes will be high this year in deciding who will be league champs." Alderson said. 

Look for Alderson and the Red Raiders to be a serious contender in the brand new 4A-II this season. If the bus driver ever calls in sick, you always have Alderson as a back-up plan. We caught up with the outstanding senior QB below. 

Q&A w/ Alderson

How did you get involved in athletics?

My parents were the ones who influenced me to play sports from the very beginning.

Talk about how last football season went for you and your team?

We went 7-2 winning the league for the second straight year. We were stopped short of post season play with our only two losses in district to Holton and Hayden.

Any goals for you this season?

Win league for the third straight year. Make a run in the playoffs and hang a banner in the gym.

What are the teams expectations in 2014?

Win league for the third straight year. Make a run in the playoffs and hang a banner in the gym.

What will it take to make a run in 4A-II this season?

A lot of hard work throughout the season and that’ll come from good senior leadership. We have to do the little things and go game by game not overlooking any opponent.

What do your opponents look like this season?

We have three new teams that we have never played before. We played a talented Jeff West team and beat them. Abilene and Concordia will stand in the way of repeating as league champs. Then we have a brand new district in Smoky Valley, Nickerson, and Chapman.

Biggest rival?

Abilene is by far our biggest rival. We both are very talented programs that love to win games. Last year we played Abilene tough in our closet game of the year which we won 49-35. Stakes will be high this year in deciding who will be league champs.

How has the season went so far for you?

The season has started off the way we planned starting off 3-0 for the second straight year. We have a lot of hungry players who are ready for anyone.

Talk about some of the key players for the Red Raiders?

Sr. Wyatt Totten will be big player on both offense and defense filling in the role of Trenton York. Jr. Kasey Feyh is also another key player for us on defense and will be tough for offenses to keep him out of their backfield.

 What do you use as motivation to become a better player?

The community is defiantly my motivation with all the little kids and even players that look up to me just makes me want to continue to not only better myself but my teammates.

As far as colleges who are you being recruited by, seeing any football looks?

I've been on a couple visits to butler and will be attending a visit to Kansas State this October.

Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject is math. Ever since I was young I’ve always loved doing math.

What is it like to grow up in Wamego?

Growing up in Wamego Kansas is something I’m thankful for. The community is great with all the support they bring towards athletics. In Wamego you are able to walk around and have a conversation with anyone and everyone knows you.

How is it to play for your football coach?

Having coach Burkholder as my coach is an amazing honor. The guy knows so much about the game and loves teaching us kids about it. He loves to goof around and crack jokes to keep everything fun but also at the same time be serious and get the job done. I believe that is why

Best opposing player you've faced in high school?

I’ve faced a lot of talented players it’s hard to name just one but id have to say Trent Tanking from Holton who now plays at Kansas State.

Jayhawks, Wildcats or Neither?

Wildcats for sure! Both my parents have graduated from K-State and my sister is currently going to school there. Ever since I was young I’ve been going to basketball, baseball, and football games. I just love the atmosphere that Manhattan brings and the tradition they have.

When you aren't playing sports, what do you do for fun?

I love to hang with my friends and family. Love to watch college football on Saturdays and just relax and play video games.

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

I love to cook. Just relaxing hobby I enjoy and I get to eat food.