Neodesha, KS – Coach John Black of Neodesha is never one to back down from a challenge on the field with his football team. After going through “growing pains”, it seemed like last year’s team was going to be the start of a transition from “pains” to “gains”. Unfortunately, injuries curtailed those hopes and Neodesha found themselves out of the playoffs for the first time in 2 years.
While many wouldn’t say this is another youth movement in Neodesha, one of the biggest obstacles for the Blue Streaks has been their inexperience and once again injuries.
“Our youth and overall team speed has been our biggest challenge. In this game you must be fast. We have a lot of people playing positions that they haven’t played before so that we can fill the voids left by last years seniors.” said Coach Black.
Entering district play this year, Coach Black’s team is 3-3. They have not won back-to-back games. They have lost in heart breaking fashion in week 1 against Jayhawk-Linn on a last second touchdown. They’ve won big as well, just last week over Leon-Bluestem.
Neodesha is averaging 219 yards rushing per game this season. They are lead by senior running back Dominic Skinner with 390 yards rushing, junior running back Randall Mckinnis with 355 yards on the ground, senior Michael Shinkle with 224 yards, and junior Blaze Grimes with 207 yards rushing.
Shinkle has missed the last two weeks due to injury.
Prior to his injury, Shinkle was the quarterback of the offense, going 17 of 51 with 281 yards passing. Grimes has filled in during Shinkle’s absence and completing 8 of his 19 attempts for 142 yards.
“I feel like our kids are giving us what they have. We are young and small, but they have great heart and will fight til the final whistle.” added Black.
Neodesha will have a fight on their hands, but will have the advantage of playing at home in district play. The Wilson County Rivalry will open up district play for the Blue Streaks and Fredonia Yellow Jackets. Then Neodesha travels to Caney Valley and wraps up regular season play at home against Eureka.
At 3-3 this season, the Blue Streaks have proven they are up to any challenge put in front of them and their youth is won’t back down.