FIVE STATE PLAYERS TO WATCH: EIGHT-MAN DIVISION I
ALEX BARTON, CENTRAL PLAINS
6-3, 185, SENIOR, WR/TE/DB
How many ways did Barton help Central Plains a year ago. Well, he was a first-team All-Central Prairie League pick at four different positions in leading the Oilers to a 10-1 record, earning first-team All-Eight-Man Division I honors at receiver. After a solid sophomore season, Barton nearly tripled his offensive production last year with 47 catches for 815 yards and 17 touchdowns, finishing with 1,414 all-purpose yards. He also ranked second on the team in tackles with 64 and picked off eight passes, returning three for touchdowns. The 4.0 student also punts and kicks for the Oilers.
TRAYTON DOYLE, ST. FRANCIS
6-3, 250, SENIOR, C/NT
A four-year starter on offense and defense for the Indians, Doyle is a relentless worker on the field, in the classroom and the weight room. He was the anchor on St. Francis’ line in a run to the Eight-Man Division I state semifinals a year ago, earning first-team All-Eight-Man Division I honors. Possessing tremendous quickness and agility for a big guy, Doyle ranked third on the team in tackles with 76 and posted a team-high 11 tackles for loss.
CADE MILLER, WEST ELK
5-9, 160, SENIOR, QB/S
West Elk has produced its share of standouts and Miller fits right in with the best of those. A three-year starter at quarterback, he’s rushed for more than 1,110 yards each of the last two seasons, finishing last year with 1,1,240 yards and 29 touchdowns. He upped his passsing production as well, throwing for 1,033 yards and 18 touchdowns. His playmaking ability isn’t limited to offense as he’s picked off 11 passes the last two years combined and also had five return touchdowns.
DENTON SCHURR, OSBORNE
5-9, 165, SENIOR, RB
Despite sharing Osborne’s backfield with 1,600-yard rusher Cullen Grabast, Schurr still put up monster numbers in leading Osborne to a 13-0 season and Eight-Man Division I state title. Averaging 9.9 yards per carry on the strength of his combination of vision, physicality and speed (4.51 40), Schurr rolled up 1,788 rushing yards and a whopping 39 touchdowns, earning first-team All-Eight-Man Division I honors.
DAVID THOMPSON, LOGAN-PALCO
6-0, 210, SENIOR, RB/LB
Eight-Man Division I was loaded with standout backs a year ago and Thompson was right up there with the best of them. In just nine games, Thompson ran for 1,696 yards (188 per game) and 35 touchdowns using a mix of speed and strength to run over or around defenders standing in his way. A player who got stronger the more he touched the ball, Thompson was a first-team All-District 4 selection and also had 99 tackles from his linebacker position in leading Logan-Palco to a 7-2 record.