Player Picks to Click - Week 1

Perry-Lecompton QB Dalton Kellum (by Paulette Ogilvie, courtesy Sports in Kansas)
By: John Baetz; Hayden Barber; Sean Boston; Dion Clisso; Matt Gilmore; Chet Kuplen; Brent Maycock; Conor Nicholl
Aug 30, 2018

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The Kpreps Picks to Click feature is back for the 2018 season!

In our Picks to Click, we feature eight players or units from across the state that we feel will have breakout performances on Friday night.

This season, we’ve assembled a team of eight media members across the state to each select one player (or unit) each week.  We will track the cumulative statistics of our selections throughout the season similar to fantasy scoring.  

Picks to Click contributors for the 2018 season include: John Baetz (Kansas Pregame Magazine); Hayden Barber (Wichita Eagle); Sean Boston (Sports in Kansas); Dion Clisso (; Matt Gilmore (; Chet Kuplen ( & @sportsinkansas); Brent Maycock (Topeka Capital Journal); and Conor Nicholl (

Check back next Thursday to see our picks for Week 2, and how the players performed that we picked the week prior. See the bottom of this article for details.

Andale Offensive Line (Barber)
After falling in the Class 4A-I state championship game last season, Andale is down to Class 3A this season. The Indians return twelve total starters, including seven on offense. Among the returning offensive starters are a solid nucleus across an offensive line that features all-AVCTL selections Cooper VenJohn and Ethan Shackleford. Add in talented tight end Mason Fairchild, and the Indians have the size and talent to block for returning quarterback Ethan Baalmann and running backs Sawyer Simon and Devin Marx. Andale opens the season at Mulvane. Look for Andale’s offensive line to set the tone of the Indian offense in opening AVCTL-IV on the road.

Josh Carter, LB, Wichita Northwest  (Baetz)

Known for their offense under Steve Martin, the Northwest defense could steal the show this year for the Class 5A's favorites. With Oklahoma commit Marcus Hicks back at defensive end, defensive linemen Eric Solis and Josh McElroy back along the interior, and outside linebacker Percell Finch and defensive back Quinton Kinchion helping lockdown the back end of the defense, the Grizzlies should continue to improve in their attempts to slow down opposing offenses.

But any additional improvement over last year will depend on the leadership and consistency of senior linebacker Josh Carter. A weight room freak and tackling machine the 5-10, 210-pound Carter returns for his third year as a starter after tallying 143 tackles as a junior.

The Grizzlies opener with defending 5A champ Carroll is the marquee match-up of the week. Despite the Golden Eagles search for an answer for the graduation of All-State quarterback Braden Howell, this rivalry will likely deliver another slugfest and should give Carter another opportunity to showcase his tackling ability.

Jax Dineen, RB, Lawrence Free State  (Clisso)

Perhaps the Firebirds most important player, Dineen looks to build on his junior season in which he rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns. The senior is a force at running back, and, maybe more importantly, at linebacker. Dineen and Free State will open the season at Olathe West in the Owls inaugural varsity football contest. Look for Dineen to leave his mark on the Owls’ debut.

Anton Foust, QB, Otis-Bison  (Nicholl)

Foust enjoyed an accomplished junior year for the 10-2 Cougars, which finished as Eight-Man, Division II sub-state runner-up to Jetmore-Hodgeman County. Foust threw every pass for Otis-Bison and completed 44 of 79 passes for 883 yards with a 20/2 TD/INT ratio. He also rushed 138 times for 1,171 yards and 20 rushing scores. Foust led the team in rushes and yards and tied with the since-departed Blake Bahr for rushing scores. Coach Travis Starr leaned on Foust heavily in key games. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior is difficult to tackle and had at least 100 yards in five contests.

Last year, in a 22-20 victory against Victoria, Foust accounted for 94 rushing yards, 97 passing and three combined scores. With Otis-Bison breaking in a new running back, expect Foust to again have a significant number of touches this Friday in the season opener against Victoria in a battle of ranked Central Prairie League foes.

Seth Greenwood, RB, Burlingame  (Kuplen)

Greenwood rushed for over 1,000 yards a year ago while averaging eight yards per carry. He will be looked upon to be the guy in 2018. He has over 1,700 yards rushing in his career with 39 career touchdowns, 32 of which are rushing and seven receiving. Look for a big year for the 8-man back who opens up with Southern Coffey County on Friday night. Burlingame has reached the 8M-I semifinals in each of the last three seasons. 

Breece Hall, RB, Wichita Northwest (Boston)

Hall, maybe the state's top running back in this year's senior class, had quite the junior campaign for the Grizzlies. He rushed for 2,082 yards (11 yards/carry) and 32 touchdowns, while also contributing with his hands, as he hauled in 12 passes, three of which were for scores. The Grizzlies will have their hands full on Friday night against the defending 5A state champs, Bishop Carroll, but the Grizzlies are up for the task after losing in Week 1 last season, 40-35. Hall had a monstrous game against the Golden Eagles last season, rushing for 192 yards on 27 carries and two scores. The Bishop Carroll defense lost some key pieces from last year's team, so look for Hall to begin his senior campaign with a lot of touches and yards.

Dalton Kellum, QB, Perry-Lecompton  (Maycock)

In his first year as Perry's starting quarterback, Kellum had a monster year, rushing for 1,555 yards and 26 touchdowns and throwing for 1,295 yards and 12 scores. One of his biggest games came against Friday's foe, Royal Valley, as Kellum burned the Panthers for 184 yards and 5 TDs on the ground and threw for 298 yards and two scores.

Braden Neilson, QB, Solomon  (Gilmore)

As a junior last season, Neilson (6-2, 200) completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,047 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for 735 yards and 15 more scores. Now entering his third season as the Gorillas’ starter, Neilson should be poised for a big year in a Solomon offense that returns six starters. Solomon battled through injuries in 2017 finishing 5-4, but expectations are high for this season. The Gorillas open the season at home against Rural Vista.  

The final standings for the 2017 season:

  1. Brent Maycock, Topeka Capital Journal                                   415 points
  2. Taylor Eldridge, Varsity Kansas                                                386 points
  3. Mark Schremmer, Kpreps contributor                                       369 points
  4. Matt Gilmore,                                                        350 points
  5. Chet Kuplen, & @sportsinkansas             345 points
  6. John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine                                  280 points
  7. Conor Nicholl, Kpreps contributor                                             236 points
  8. Dion Clisso,                                                        220 points

2018 Picks to Click

- The objective will be to have the most cumulative points over the course of the season.

- Participants may select a quarterback, running back, WR/TE, offensive line or a defensive player each week.

- Everyone must pick a WR/TE, offensive line and defensive player at least once.

- Points will be rewarded only for the player's offensive or defensive stats, depending on how you designate the player that week. For instance, if you pick a running back then you will not receive any of his points for defense.

Scoring system


- 1 point for every 10 yards passing, rushing or receiving from a quarterback, running back or wide receiver

- 6 points for every passing, rushing or receiving touchdown

Offensive line

- 1 point for every 50 yards gained as an offense

- 3 points for every offensive touchdown

Defensive player

- 2 points for every tackle

- 4 points for every INT, sack or fumble recovery



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