Festivities kick-off in Beloit this Friday for the 36th Kansas 8-Man All-Star games, beginning with a 4:00 p.m. pep rally at Chautauqua Park, followed by a night of events and activities, before kicking off Saturday morning with the Division I game at 10:00 a.m. and the DII matchup to follow at 1:30 p.m. at Trojan Field, home of the Beloit High Trojans.
While the event has technically gone on over the course of the last 37 years, two years ago saw the otherwise annual event take a break for a year due to COVID, leading athletes, organizers, fans, and families to appreciate the event even more.
“It is such an honor getting chosen to play in the 8-Man All-Star game this year,” Meade graduate Korben Clawson said. “There has been so much talent that has played in this game over the years and I am so blessed that I was chosen to also play in this game and represent Meade. I am looking forward to meeting new people from across Kansas that also love football and I couldn't be more blessed with this opportunity.”
Clawson - a running back, linebacker and kicker from Meade’s 2021 state championship squad playing for the DI West - was voted Defensive Player of the Year by the Wichita Eagle and is among the many talented players selected for the game from across the Kansas 8-Man ranks.
Division I - 10:00 a.m. Kickoff
The East squad head coach is Shelby Hoppes of Canton-Galva, who will be assisted by Clifton-Clyde’s Russ Steinbrock and Sedan’s Mick Holt.
Hoppes’ East team includes Jett Skocny (Clifton-Clyde), Dameion Hatten (Sedan), Carter Brian (Cair Paravel), Lance Noonan (Burlingame), Drew Stutesman (Hamilton/Madison), Brec Long (Sedan), Dylan Hynes (Solomon), Taylor Koch (Clifton-Clyde), Garrett Toon (West Elk), Trent Spiker (Doniphan West), Nathaniel Tice (Washington County), Samuel Drinkard (Valley Falls), Kaden Schafer (Little River), Cooper Clark (Doniphan West), Carter Holloway (Little River), Wesley Young (West Elk), Kyle Bruce (Little River), Cayden Bauer (Bennington), Trever Quaney (Burlingame), and Kevin Heineken II (Madison).
State runner-up Little River’s line trio of Kyle Bruce, Carter Holloway, and Kaden Schafer will get one more opportunity to line-up on the same field. Bryce and Schafer were both members of Kansas Pregame’s 8-Man DI Top 8, along with Stutesman.
The West squad will be headed by Wichita County head coach Brandt Douglas, assisted by Lance Barr of Hoxie and Jon Webster of LaCrosse.
Douglas’ roster includes Torren Haynes (Meade), Brady Deges (South Gray), Brayden Bergkamp (Hodgeman County), Xander Newberry (Attica), Tristen Porter (Wichita County), Braydon Peterson (Hodgeman County), Ashton Dowell (Hoxie), Derek Keith (Hill City), Korben Clawson (Meade), Cole Feldt (Trego Community), Ciaden Duerksen (Goessel), Colby Stull (LaCrosse), Kolten Bennett (Spearville), Ayden Nickelson (Hill City), Rylan Basart (Stockton), Donovan Balluch (Hoxie), Cooper Barriger (LaCrosse), Cullen Lumry (Meade), Charlie Russell (Trego Community), and Xavier Hernandez (Wichita County).
Lumry and Haynes join Clawson for one more game after winning the state championship this past November. Along with Clawson, Newberry, Dowell, and Stull were members of Pregame’s 8-Man Top 8 list.
Division II - 1:30 p.m. Kickoff
Lebo’s Brian Hadley is head coach for the DII East squad and is assisted by Waverly’s Nick Fraenza and St. Paul’s Keith Wiatrak.
Suiting up for DII East are Mason Schurr (Osborne), Jaret Eitzmann (St. John’s High School), Peyton Ellis (Lakeside), Keaton Reeves (Pike Valley), Cole Lacey (Marais des Cygnes Valley), Kylan Cunningham (Lakeside), Jace Schoen (Lakeside), Dayton Lantz (Osborne), Damian Foster (Waverly), Caden Dalinghaus (Frankfort), Phoenix Finnegan (Wakefield), Olin Brown (Thunder Ridge), Daxton Dunlap (Thunder Ridge), Owen Hrabe (Thunder Ridge), Rilyn Mayginnes (Onaga), Austin O’Hara (St. Paul), Philip Doebele (Hanover), Xavier Brandt (Frankfort), Jason Abitz (Onaga), and Lane Bartley (Waverly).
While state champs Axtell didn’t send anyone due to a roster loaded with youth, Lakeside and Thunder Ridge made up for it by both sending three players each, while 8-Man Top 8 honorees Philip Doebele and Olin Brown received nods as well.
The West is coached by Minneaola’s Reigo Hahn, who is assisted by Bucklin’s Trever Powell and Norwich’s Mike Wilmott.
Hahn’s roster consists of Kaden Foust (Otis-Bison), Tucker Uhl (South Central), Gatlin Jewell (South Barber), Chance Hilger (Norwich), Dylan VanLaeys (Logan/Palco), Cole Lamatsch (Central Plains), Jake Willems (Wallace County), Nate Bowman (Bucklin), Ryan Heier (Wheatland), Brayton Dewell (Minneola), Cayde Welsh (Triplains), Trey Vincent (Wheatland), Scott Price (Bucklin), Jaden Coleman (Dighton), Grant Schoenrock (Victoria), Judson Hibbs (Norwich), Owen Herd (South Central), Isaac Mendez (Wheatland), Colton Hahn (Minneola), and Ruston Erikson (South Barber).
Vincent, Mendez, Schoenrock, and Jewell were all members of Kansas Pregame’s 8-Man Top 8, while head coach Reigo Hahn and his son Colton Hahn get one more opportunity as a father-son combo on the gridiron.
For more coverage of the 8-Man All-Star games, including places to listen on the radio or online, visit the Kansas Eight-Man Football Association website, the 8-Man All-Star Radio Network website, the North Central Kansas Sports website, or the KVSV Radio website.