One year removed from a 4-5 season, the 2019 Chanute Blue Comets Football team finished 10-2 in a one-score quarterfinal loss in the playoffs to Paola.
2nd year head coach Clete Frazell is optimistic that his team can have similar, if not more, success in 2020.
“The 2020 Chanute football team will be a nice blend of good veteran players and new, exciting talent,” commented Frazell.
Loss to graduation includes K-State Football Preferred Walk-On Ty Bowman, Fort Scott Greyhound Briley Peavy as well as a group a part of the 4A State Wrestling championship teams.
As most coaches would say, “it begins upfront.”
Returning for Chanute will be All-State and All-SEK League 1st Team offensive lineman Brayden Dillow.
Joining him will be upperclassmen linemen senior Garrin Golay and junior Tucker Davis.
Stepping up at the skills positions on offense will be All-SEK Wide Receiver and Defensive End Garrett Almond.
Running back Ryker Donovan, named All-SEK League last season, joins Almond on the offensive production. Junior wide receiver Kam Koester looks to be a factor in the offense as well.
“This group has the potential to be very good, it’s just going to come down to leadership and how this team comes together as a family,” said Frazell.
Last year’s offense averaged close to 30 points per game while giving up just under 16 points per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Blue Comets welcome back 4 returning defensive linemen.
Senior Kolten LaCrone, two-way starters Tuker Davis, Brayden Dillow, and Garrin Golay should start up front on defense.
While the depth of the Chanute roster continues to improve, the Blue Comets will rely on many two-way starters.
“With some veteran physical players returning upfront and a stable of athletic skill players, this team should be a contender to win the SEK (league) and have another chance at making another nice run come playoff time,” commented Frazell.
The Blue Comets schedule however will challenge them in multiple ways.
Week two features Chanute traveling to Pittsburg, who moves up to 5A.
Two weeks later the Blue Comets will travel to Ulysses. According to Google Maps, it is a 333 mile one-way trip or 5 hours and 29 minutes.
With road trips to an athletic Coffeyville team and an improved Labette County Grizzly to finish the season, the Blue Comets will face plenty of challenges in defending their SEK League title.
The home slate of the 2020 season for Chanute opens at home against Towanda-Circle.
The Thunderbirds are 3-24 in the last 3 seasons.
The Blue Comets host 3A Jefferson West, who last season went 8-2 with a loss to Topeka-Hayden.
The home schedule of the 2020 regular season finishes with SEK League rivals Independence and Fort Scott.
Both programs are under the 2nd year of their respective coaches, John Black and Bo Graham.
The mixture depth and experience, the Chanute Blue Comets are the favorites to repeat as SEK League champions.