The Madison football team capped off yet another strong season in the tradition-rich program. The Bulldogs ran through the regular season undefeated before being ousted in the semifinals by eventual state champion Canton-Galva.
Madison football graduated three players from that team a year ago. Despite that, the Bulldogs appear poised for another deep postseason run.
Alex McMillian enters his fifth season at the helm of the Bulldogs and has led the Bulldogs to back to back playoff appearances. The Madison football was absent from the postseason for three years prior. McMillian is joined once again by assistant coaches Brett Dannels and Dustin Stutesman.
“We made the strides I knew we were capable of, and we are still learning how to become a great team, competing at the highest level,” said McMillian. “Losing to Canton-Galva has motivated us to take the next step in the weight room this summer.”
Hunter Engle will lead the Bulldogs at Fullback and Defensive Ends. The returning senior, recognized by SixStarFootball.com as a Top 250 player in the Class of 2021 for Kansas, is an All-State player at defensive end and All-League player at running back.
Senior Ryan Wolgram led a high scoring attack as quarterback last season that averaged close to 56 points per game. However, junior Casey Helm will step in at quarterback this year, and as a result, Wolgram moves to tailback.
Helm’s father, Adam, played at quarterback at Kansas State University from 1997-1999.
Seniors Isaac Miser and Joseph Stubbs return to open up holes on the frontline for the Bulldogs. Senior Chase Harrison and junior Drew Stutesman will create problems in the opposing team’s secondary.
Senior Brome Rayburn and sophomore Bryson Turner should be speedsters out of the backfield for the potent attack.
Madison had one of the top-scoring defenses in 8-Man football a year ago but did not have enough to slow down Canton-Galva in the Sub-State Championship game. The Bulldogs defense surrendered 46 points to the athletic Eagles.
The Madison football teams return seven starters on that side of the ball. As a result, the defensive unit promises to be improved after a strong offseason.
District play has Madison facing some unfamiliar teams.
Central-Burden and Madison will play each other for the first time this season. Flinthills last played Madison in 2015, Udall in 1995, and Oxford in 1988.
Madison’s lone familiar opponent is Chase County, winning the battle of the Bulldogs 62-18 last season.
If Madison can navigate district play, it should set the Bulldogs up for another deep postseason run.
Last year’s sub-state appearance was Madison’s 12th appearance that deep in the playoffs. Madison has five trips to the state title game, with the last appearance being in 2011.
Madison will begin their quest to Newton against Lyon County League rival Burlingame on Friday, September 4th, 2020.