Neodesha Football head coach David Gillett is hoping the youthful 2019 season pays dividends to an improved 2020.
When speaking of challenges from 2019, the 2nd year head coach noted inexperience as one of the many challenges the Bluestreaks faced.
“Injuries in key areas, lack of depth, and playing young athletes who should not have been playing Varsity football was our biggest challenge last season.”
Back in blue for Neodesha is senior Phoenix Carpenter. The two-way starter recorded 395 yards on the ground with 3 touchdowns as well as 123 yards receiving.
Defensively, Carpenter contributed to 72 tackles with 14 tackles for losses.
Carpenter was named Honorable Mention All-District Running Back, First Team All-District Linebacker, and Honorable Mention All-State from the Topeka-Capital.
Helping shoulder some of the offensive responsibilities this year will be senior Seth Strange.
Strange will move from receiving handoffs to calling the Bluestreak offense.
Like Carpenter, Strange was a workhorse for the offense with 407 yards and 4 touchdowns with 51 yards receiving. On the opposite side, he recorded 31 tackles.
Even with the senior leaders, Gillett is looking to build on the youth movement and excitement of high school football in Neodesha’s hallways.
“[Our strength is] young, hungry men who want to work hard to become successful! We have a good nucleus of players with experience and young men ready to fill holes that need to be filled.”
Freshman Wyatt Songer, listed at 6’1″, should get some varsity reps.
The tall target Mason Springer, listed at 6’1″, is projected to contribute to the Bluestreaks offense as well.
Neodesha’s schedule, however, does not let up in 2020.
The non-district side of the schedule has the Bluestreaks hosting Humboldt and Caney Valley after beginning the season at Eureka.
Those three teams were a combined 21-9 last season.
In district play, Neodesha will travel to Riverton, Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan and Southeast-Cherokee. Their 2 lone home district games are against Fredonia and Erie.
“[Our biggest challenge this season is] the extremely tough schedule,” said Gillett.