Throughout early to mid-December Kansas Pregame contacted 8-Man football coaches in an effort to name the third annual 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 13th 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.
Connor Schurr, RB/LB, 5-6, 145, Osborne
Osborne’s Connor Schurr started making a big impact at the varsity level since first stepping on the field as a freshman, and evidence can be found in the stat sheet from the Bulldogs’ 2019 state championship season.
In their path to the title, the freshman played in 11 games and recorded 32 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and two sacks – with his biggest defensive plays coming when it mattered most, in the championship game, a 34-26 win over Axtell.
After helping Osborne to their fourth state title in school history, Schurr received a larger role on the offensive side of the ball as a sophomore, splitting carries with, and often blocking for, his brother Mason Schurr, a 2022 graduate.
The younger Schurr gained 593 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on 110 carries, while helping to clear the way for another 1,057 yards and 15 TDs by his brother.
Defensively, Schurr had 63 tackles, six tackles-for-loss, a sack, and an interception as well. But, while the sophomore saw an increase in individual statistics, Osborne faced the reality of a roster gutted by graduation, with only two full-time starters returning from the year prior.
The Bulldogs finished the season 4-5 after a first round loss to Hanover in the playoffs.
Expectations were high for the Schurr brother backfield in 2021, and through the first three games it was clear why as Connor gained 217 yards rushing and scored two TDs, while clearing the way for 319 yards and five more scores by his brother. Schurr also had 27 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, and a sack in the span.
The Bulldogs held a 2-1 record with their loss coming against a Hill City team that finished the year 10-2, and the other two games blowout victories against quality St. John’s-Beloit/Tipton and Lakeside teams.
But during that week three matchup against Lakeside the younger Schurr tragically tore his ACL, causing him to miss a majority of the season’s remainder.
Despite losing one of their top players, Osborne still managed to enter into the playoffs at 6-2, and due to a determined effort, Schurr was back for that first round playoff matchup against Hanover.
Shurr managed seven tackles in the game, but was nowhere near his early season form and was not used offensively. The Bulldogs lost the game 24-6 and ended the year 6-3.
While it wasn’t the way the two brothers drew up their last football season together, Connor “worked his tail off” to come back for track season, and along with his brother captured a state title in the 4x100 meter relay, giving a fitting ending before Mason graduated and went on to run track at Cloud County Community College.
The 2022 season saw Schurr healthy and in top form as a key cog in a backfield that gained 2,617 yards rushing and crossed the goal line 55 times. The senior ran the ball 101 times and gained 641 yards with 14 TDs, to go with 10 receptions for another 112 yards in the air and countless lead blocks.
“For not being a big guy, Connor could get that extra yard when he had to,” head coach Steve Tiernan said. “He was tough to defend because he could run the ball well but was also a good receiver.”
On defense Schurr led the team in tackles with 80, and tackles-for-loss with 23. He also had a career high five sacks and forced a fumble.
“Very seldom did he miss a tackle if he got his hands on you,” Tiernan said. “And he was quick enough he usually got his hands on you.”
The Bulldogs again lost their season opener against Hill City, who again finished the season 10-2, but didn’t lose another for the entirety of the regular season. Additionally, Schurr and the defensive unit only allowed one team to score double-digits on them until a matchup with Colony-Crest in the state quarterfinals.
In that game Schurr helped lead Osborne to a 34-18 victory over the Lancers with 110 yards total offense and a TD, along with six tackles. But his biggest impact was arguably not on the stat sheet.
“Connor is a very good football player and the type of weapon that every coach wishes they could have on their team,” Colony-Crest head coach Steve McAnulty said. “He does a little bit of everything and you have to know where he is at on every play. He made a lot of big plays in our matchup. He made a lot of runs or catches on third down that would keep drives alive and kept our offense off the field. He was very tough to defend, and always found a way to make an impact play.”
Osborne finished the season 9-2 after a loss in the semifinals against a seemingly unstoppable Axtell team that went on to win their second consecutive state title.
After Schurr wraps up his senior year he plans to attend Fort Hays State to study Exercise Science, and will leave behind a sizeable legacy at OHS.
“Connor never said more than he had to but was a great leader by example,” Tiernan said. “Always on time, always ready to work hard, never complained. We will miss Connor’s leadership and quickness. He was a well-rounded football player.”