In mid-December Kansas Pregame contacted 8-Man football coaches in an effort to name a first ever Top 8 team of seniors for both divisions of 8-Man football in Kansas. After an overwhelming response from coaches, and once all the votes were tallied, 16 players were selected.
This is the 14th of 16 individual player profiles highlighting the Top 8 selections in each division and released in no particular order. Look for more in the coming days.
Devan McEwen, QB/DB, 6-2, 185, Lebo, Sr.
Devan McEwen of Lebo High School was a sensation during his senior year at quarterback for the Wolves. The deadeye passer completed 92 out of 132 attempts for 1,303 yards and 27 touchdowns against just six interceptions. On top of his arm talent, he proved a dual-threat, accounting for 833 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns on 91 carries. This is on top of an even more productive junior season in which he produced 2,250 total yards with a hand in 36 combined TDs.
Defensively, he added in 36 total tackles, a sack, two interceptions and a blocked punt last fall to go along with 68 tackles and six interceptions as a junior.
McEwen’s ability to impact games was evident throughout last season, one which Lebo dominated, until a tough quarterfinal playoff loss to Frankfort, 45-40. The Wolves’ closest matchup prior to their playoff exit was a 30-point neutral site victory over Thunder Ridge as they rolled through nine wins (and a Centre forfeit) in their first 10 contests.
McEwen’s efforts at quarterback led to first team All-State recognition from the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital-Journal as well as all-district and all-league honors.
“I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to coach a talent like Devan McEwen for the last four years,” Lebo coach Brian Hadley said. “He was a four-year starter at Lebo, playing wide receiver his freshman year and quarterback the last three. His athletic ability and desire to compete is second to none.”
Hadley was especially impressed with McEwen’s versatility and growth as an offensive leader in his time at Lebo.
“Devan has always been a great passer, but as he got older, he became a true dual-threat QB which made him a nightmare for opposing teams. His ability to throw the deep ball, extend plays with his feet, and run option/read plays made him a very dynamic player.”
Over the course of his career, McEwen threw for 4,293 yards and 69 touchdowns with only 21 interceptions, and ran for an additional 1,616 yards and 35 more scores.
As good as McEwen is on the football field, he may be even better on the basketball court.
The multi-sport standout averaged 20 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists during his junior season and helped lead Lebo to a 22-4 record. Through seven wins this season he is averaging 22.1 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals an outing while shooting 57 percent from the field, 88 percent from the line and 41 percent from beyond the arc.
In that span the Wolves have outscored their opponents by 74, 40, 14, 23, 31, 30 and 36 and appear poised to return to the state tournament for a third straight time.
Lebo coach Dwayne Paul also applauded McEwen for his emergence as a complete player.
"Devan is a player with natural feel and ability," Paul said. "He has had the kind of career you want to see from a kid in high school, every year his numbers getting better and better. But more so his game growing rapidly. He began high school as a kid that could only shoot the three. Now he is a kid that can do a little of everything. He has transformed into an all-around player that has played the 1-4 for us. Not to mention he has really bought in on the defensive side of the ball and turned himself into a great defender."