After losing one of the best passers in the state last season to graduation, Basehor-Linwood will lean on the experience at the skills positions, including leading rusher Zack Sisemore, for offensive production in the 2020 season.
“Offensively, we bring back Zack Sisemore at running back who split time as a sophomore and led our team in rushing,” said 7th-year Bobcats head coach Rod Stallbaumer.
Sisemore, who earned an Honorable Mention in last year’s Wichita Eagle 4A Running Back postseason honors recorded a combined 753 yards rushing and receiving as well as 5 touchdowns in his sophomore campaign.
“We also return stand-out receivers in Ethan Huber, and Jordan Brown who combined for 87 catches 1,142 yards and 11 TD’s.”
Huber earned 1st Team United Kansas Conference as well as All-Class Honorable Mention in 2019. Brown made the Honorable Mention list in the United Kansas Conference last season.
Last season the Bobcat offense averaged close to 36 points per game.
In addition to replacing Torkelson at the quarterback position, which Stallbaumer said is down to senior Isaac Stanton and junior Brady Garrison, the offense will replace four linemen, also lost to graduation.
Sophomore Levi Cooley, named 2nd Team United Kansas Conference last season, will lead the front line offensively for the Bobcats. The battle in the trenches will be a work in progress throughout the season for Basehor-Linwood.
“The lack of size on the defensive and offensive lines is a concern for us in 2020.”
Stallbaumer noted that the Bobcats have close to 95 players out this season. That team size should give Basehor-Linwood plenty of options and opportunities for the vacancies on their team.
For the Basehor-Linwood defense, they will rely on the returning experience at the core of the defense with leading tackler junior Aidan Ingram and Sam Hicks.
“Senior Anthony Onstott stepped up at Outside Linebacker after an injury to Brock Hofer in week 2.”
Hicks recorded 46 tackles in 7 games, while Hofer attributed to 18 tackles in his only 2 games played.
The defensive line will use the rotating experience of Dalton Harris as well as Drake Courtney to fill the roles of 2 graduating seniors.
Harris recorded 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for losses in 2019.
The defense surrendered on average 30 points per game and will be a point of emphasis of improvement this season, especially with a loaded Class 4A in 2020.
Stallbaumer noted, “4A East looks to be a very loaded field with Miege returning the most talented roster along with Piper returning most key players from last season. St. James dropping down from 5A will be a contender as well as Paola and Louisburg from the Frontier League.”
The Bobcats begin their season with 3 of their first 4 games at home, including the season-opener hosting Tonganoxie, week 2 hosting Leavenworth, and week 4 at home against KC-Turner.
Basehor-Linwood will then go on the road for 3 straight games, week 5 against Shawnee Heights, week 6 against KC-Washington, and week 7 against Lansing, with week 8 wrapping up at home against the Pittsburg Purple Dragons.
“The [United Kansas Conference] will be competitive again with DeSoto returning a talented bunch as well as Lansing, Leavenworth and Shawnee Heights as well.”