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UPDATE: Hometown Proud Student-Athletes

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Citizens State Bank and Trust Co. presents this update on some of the top football players from Central Kansas

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Hometown Proud Student-Athlete features, brought to you by Citizens State Bank and Trust Company in Ellsworth, Lincoln, Delphos, Glasco and Minneapolis, highlight some of the top local student-athletes in central Kansas.

Beau Batchman, Sylvan-Lucas

The Sylvan-Lucas High School football team clinched its third straight playoff berth last Friday with a district win over Logan-Palco. The Mustangs only have two seniors on the roster, so a fourth straight playoff appearance is possible next season.

However, one of those seniors is Beau Batchman and he will be difficult for the Mustangs to replace. 

Batchman does it all for Sylvan-Lucas. On offense, he is the team’s leading rusher and on defense he leads the team in tackles. If need be, Batchman can play nearly any position on the football field.

The Mustangs are currently on a two-game winning streak. On Oct. 11 against Northern Valley, Batchman had 257 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 12 carries. He also led the team with 11 total tackles.

In last week's 42-26 win over Logan-Palco, Batchman scored five touchdowns. He now has just over 900 yards rushing on the season.

Sylvan-Lucas head coach Ben Labertew says Batchman is as humble a football player as they come. 

“Beau would be the first one to tell you that his success is created not only from his work, but the work of his teammates,” Labertew said. “He’s had great games when our offensive line has had great games. Defensively, he’s able to make plays when the defensive line and linebackers are doing their job keeping him clean, allowing him to run around and play.”

Batchman has made an impact with the program from the moment he arrived as a freshman, but that doesn’t mean things have always come easy for 6-1, 180 pound senior. Batchman is a hard worker on the football field and in the weight room. 

And although Batchman comes from an athletic family, it was through hard work that he was able to garner all-state honors last season. 

“Beau has worked his tail off to go from a 140-pound freshman to become what he is today,” Labertew said. “As a coach, you always want your best players to be your best practice players. That sets the expectations for everyone else and makes my job easier. Like all of our kids, Beau has had to play basically every position on the field at some point throughout his career. He never complained, and just did what was asked of him.”

Sylvan-Lucas is 4-3 on the year. With a win against 1-6 Wilson, Friday, Sylvan-Lucas will secure its fourth straight winning season.

Check out our original article from this year’s Kansas Pregame Football Preview:

Athletic success runs deep in Beau Batchman’s family.

Batchman’s two older sisters - Courtney and Logan - are members of the Fort Hays State track and field team.  His father, Ryan, is the track coach and long-time football assistant at Sylvan-Lucas High School.

Beau Batchman kept up the family tradition in a big way last season as a junior, rushing for 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns on offense and finishing with 101 tackles as a linebacker on defense to help the Mustangs to a 6-4 record and into the first round of the 8-Man Division II state playoffs.

In one of Batchman’s highlights of the 2018 season against  rival Lincoln in Week 3, the running back rushed for 172 yards and two TDs, added a 63-yard kickoff return to open the game and intercepted a pass at the goal line from his linebacker spot.

Batchman, a 6-1, 180-pound senior, earned all-state honors from several organizations last year and is expected to be one of the top 8-Man players in Kansas this fall.

“Beau is an extremely hard working kid,” Sylvan-Lucas head coach Ben Labertew said. “He practices at the same speed he plays games, so that makes him fun to coach. He’s also a kid who will play anywhere.

“Last season, when Tra Barrientes had to come out of a game, Beau jumped from tailback to center without me saying a word. That’s the type of kid you want on your team.”
Batchman said his goals for the season are for the Mustangs to work better as a team.

“I really like our coaching staff here. They really get us going good,” Batchman said. “Practice is always fun and we get our work done.”

Batchman is also a starter on the Sylvan-Lucas basketball team - he was named to the Tescott Tip-Off All-Tournament team last season - and was a Class 1A state track qualifier in the 300 meter hurdles in the spring.

Tony Duggin, Southern Cloud

Tony Duggin is originally from Ukraine, but the Southern Cloud football team is glad he found his way to Kansas. 

Duggin transferred from a school in Alabama entering his junior year. From the moment he joined the Warriors, he’s been one of the team’s impact players. 

Duggin is only 5-5, 140 pounds but he holds his own at running back and outside linebacker. As a team, Southern Cloud is young and not very big. This has resulted in a 1-6 season.

Duggin has been one of the bright spots for the Warriors, rushing for 336 yards and six touchdowns in six games. Duggin suffered a wrist injury early in the season that gradually got worse. After missing the Rock Hills game two weeks ago, Duggin returned for the team’s game against Linn. 

Duggin scored a touchdown in his return, which turned out to be the team’s only score of the game. 

Duggin means more to the Southern Cloud football team than stats would indicate. Southern Cloud head coach Rick Hatfield says Duggin provides much-needed leadership, even if he isn’t the most talkative guy on the team.

“Leadership is something we’re hungry for, and he does just that,” Hatfield said. “When he was out with his wrist injury, he was still running with the team during practice. That shows what kind of player he is.”

Despite his small stature, Duggin plays a hybrid of linebacker and cornerback. Duggin is tied for fourth on the team with 36 tackles. 

“By far and away he was our best lifter in the weight room this summer,” Hatfield said. “He’s not very big, but he’s got great speed and he works very hard.”

Hatfield says Duggin is more interested in technical school or starting a career after high school than playing football in college. 

“He’s a good kid,” Hatfield added. “He’s been a leader for us this year, no question about it.”

Check out our original article from this year’s Kansas Pregame Football Preview:

If you’re looking for big returning numbers from last year’s football season, Tony Duggin is not your guy.

But, if you’re looking for the hardest-working player this summer for the Southern Cloud Warriors, Duggin is your man.

Duggin’s numbers last year were modest, at best, but the Warriors and head coach Rick Hatfield are looking for a breakout year from the 5-5, 140-pound Duggin, who will be a senior for Southern Cloud this fall.

Duggin played running back and defensive back last year for the Warriors and is one of the fastest players on the team.

“He will be important to our team because he has speed and will be one of the players that will carry the ball for us,” Hatfield said. “He has worked the hardest of any kid on our team in the weight room this summer. He will be one of those kids who leads by working hard. He isn’t a rah rah-type kid. He is well liked by the other kids.”

The Warriors finished with a 3-6 record last year, which was the most victories since the 2013 season. Duggin is looking to add to that total, but last year’s underclassmen will have to step up since Southern Cloud lost six seniors off that team.

The Warriors will have a solid supporting class to go around Duggin, but not much depth with around 12-14 players out this fall. Morgan Coleman returns for his third year at quarterback. In his career, he has completed 29 of 97 passes for 273 yards with a 9/13 TD/INT ratio. He has recorded 108 tackles with 57 assists. Senior Nevyn Gold has 11 passes defended in his career. Sophomore Dusty Mason enjoyed a strong freshman year with five passes defended and collected honorable mention all district recognition.

“I hope to win more games this year, have fewer injuries and just have a good season of football,” Duggin said.

Tyler Good, Lincoln

It is not an exaggeration to say Tyler Good is the Lincoln offense. 

The Leopards have scored 21 touchdowns on offense - six through the air and 15 on the ground. Good has rushed for 14 touchdowns and thrown for four more this season. He has 687 of Lincoln’s 794 passing yards, and 633 of Lincoln’s 787 rushing yards. He’s also caught a touchdown from Zach Obermueller for good measure. 

As impressive as his statistics and contributions are on offense, it pales in comparison to his defensive efforts. 

Last year as a sophomore, Good had 107 tackles. With one more game left this season, Good has 117 tackles, which comes out to 16.7 per game. 

On Oct. 11 in a loss at Hill City, Good was recorded for 34 total tackles. 

Lincoln head coach Dustin Patee recalls last year when Good struggled for a handful of games. Patee told Good to play aggressive football and trust his instincts.

“The next game he had 27 tackles,” Patee said. 

Patee says Good has a mixture of a strong work ethic and natural abilities that allow him to shine on the football field.

“He is fast, strong, tough, and picks up new information quickly,” Patee said. “He is a farm kid. His parents have pushed hard work, perseverance, and to be respectful, which is allowing him to grow as a young man.”

The Leopards have struggled to build around Good, which has resulted in a 2-5 season so far. Patee believes next year the Leopards will reap the benefits of this season, led by Good.

“The work that we are putting in will lead to our breakout next season,” Patee said. “Tyler will lead that charge, he will be a main piece of our basketball team, should win league and state powerlifting, and make it to state again in track.

“He is a good example of what we want out of our boys here in Lincoln.”

Check out our original article from this year’s Kansas Pregame Football Preview:

Tyler Good is a young man of few words. He would rather let his play on the football field do the talking for him.

When asked this summer what his goals were for the 2019 season, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior replied, “Just be better than I was last year.”

Plain, simple, to the point.

If Good is indeed better than a year ago, that will be great news for the Lincoln Leopards.  As a sophomore, Good rushed for 316 yards and four touchdowns on 66 carries, but it was his play on defense that stood out.

As a linebacker for the Leopards, Good was in on 107 tackles last season (11.9 per game), six of them were for losses and he also added one quarterback sack and a forced fumble.

Good uses his strength and speed to his advantage.  He won the bench press in the 173-pound class at the Kansas Eight-Man Football Association State Powerlifting Meet and was part of the 4x100 relay team that finished fifth at the state track meet in Class 1A and also broke the school record.

“Tyler is the strongest kid per pound in our league and has top three speed,” Lincoln head coach Dustin Patee said.  “If he can figure out how to attack while he runs, our offense could be very dangerous. Defensively, he has great ball tracking skills at linebacker and learned to finish physically by the end of the season.”

In addition to football and track, Good is also a quality 3-point shooter for the Leopard basketball team. Last spring, he finished sixth in the 100-meter dash at the Class 1A regional track meet and was seventh in the long jump. At the Northern Plains League meet, he placed second in both events.

The Leopards will be looking for improvement from Good, and fellow returning starters Jerry Marinhagen, Kenton Myers, Landon O’Hare and Zach Obermueller.

Kaden Griffin, Minneapolis

Nine different Minneapolis Lions have caught a pass this season, and senior Kaden Griffin has caught 23 percent of them. That stat is even more impressive when you take into consideration Griffin has missed two and a half games this season with a bone bruise. 

Griffin suffered the injury during Minneapolis’ loss to Ellsworth on Sept. 27. The Lions lost to Norton and Hoisington without Griffin, but the senior wide receiver returned for last Friday’s 34-8 win over Thomas More Prep. 

“We’re excited to get him back,” Minneapolis head coach Tom Flax said. “He’s very well composed and plays aggressive.”

For the season, Griffin has 11 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns. He has a long of 63 yards and is averaging over 23 yards a catch. 

“He’s a big wide receiver with very good hands,” Flax said. “He’ll catch anything thrown in his vicinity.”

Minneapolis is 3-1 in games Griffin has started and finished, and 0-3 in games he hasn’t. The Lions are 1-3 in Class 2A District 8 and will have a chance to clinch the final playoff spot in the district with a win over Phillipsburg this week. 

The top three spots in the district have already been claimed by Hoisington, Norton, and Ellsworth. 

“Playoffs are now; no more room for error,” Flax said. “We’re going to do everything we can to take care of business.”

Check out our original article from this year’s Kansas Pregame Football Preview:

Kaden Griffin returns for his senior year at Minneapolis High School as one of the top all-around athletes in the North Central Activities Association.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Griffin was a two-way starter on last year’s Minneapolis football team as a wide receiver and defensive back.

He was also honorable mention all-state and first-team all-league in basketball and honorable mention all-league for the Lions’ baseball team that reached the semifinals of the Class 3A state tournament and finished with a 20-4 record.

Last year on the football field, Griffin caught 19 passes for 404 yards and four touchdowns for the Lions.

Those numbers are expected to grow considerably this fall as the Lions look to open up the offense even more than a year ago.

“I think this year is going to be primarily offense,” Griffin said of areas where the team needs to improve. “We’re lacking a lot in size, so I think we’re going to be run-and-gun with passing and a lot of West Coast stuff.”

Last season started with a 3-1 record after four games for the Lions, but after that, the team struggled with injuries and a tougher schedule, finishing 4-5 overall.

Griffin is one of five two-way starters returning from that team.

“Kaden is a very hard worker,” first-year head coach Tom Flax said. “He’s a multi-sport athlete who is only scratching the surface of his football potential.”

Griffin hopes to pursue a career in baseball after graduating from high school and plans to study Architecture in college.

Griffin called math his favorite subject in school, pizza his favorite food and labeled Country as his favorite type of music.

Clayton Vague, Ellsworth

The Ellsworth High School football team is now 5-3 after finishing 2-7 last year. Senior fullback and defensive lineman Clayton Vague is a big reason why.

Ellsworth began the year 4-0 before recent losses to Hoinsington, Norton and TMP brought the Bearcats back down to earth. Still, the Bearcats have clinched the third spot in 2A District 8 and will face Lakin when playoffs begin next week.

Vague was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates last season as a left tackle and defensive lineman. This season, Vague has moved to fullback, which is something head coach Josh Homolka has been wanting to do.

“Last year he played left tackle more out of necessity,” Homolka said. “I’ve always wanted a more physical-type fullback, and he brings physicality to our team.”

Vague says left tackle is his most natural position on offense, but he is having fun getting the ball every once and awhile. Vague has 84 rushing yards on 11 attempts, including a 45-yard run this season.

“I love playing fullback,” Vague said. “It’s not as different as I thought it would be.”

Vague garnered all-league honors last season, but Homolka has noticed a difference in his senior this season. According to Homolka, that difference can be attributed to Vague joining the wrestling team.

“A lot of people saw that he went out for wrestling and saw how it changed his body,” Homolka said. “He didn’t grow up wrestling, he just knew wrestling would make him better at football. He garnered a lot of respect from people. He did it to better himself and to better the football team.”

Ellsworth may have been looking ahead when it dropped a 31-20 game Thursday night to a now 2-6 Thomas More Prep team. The Bearcats already know they will travel to Lakin, 6-1, for the first round of the playoffs. Homolka, Vague, and the rest of the Bearcats know it will be a tough test. 

“They have a history of being a very tough football team,” Homolka said. “We know it will be a challenge for us.”

“Our team is looking forward to the playoffs a lot more than last year because we have a better shot this season,” Vague said. “We’re more confident in ourselves this year.”

Check out our original article from this year’s Kansas Pregame Football Preview:

Clayton Vague earned plenty of respect last season as a member of the Ellsworth High School football team.

As a junior, Vague was named first-team All-North Central Activities Association on the offensive line and was also selected a second-team all-league player on the defensive line.
But, the accomplishment that probably made Vague the most proud was being voted the Bearcats’ MVP by his teammates.

“He was a tone setter for us on the team,” said Ellsworth head coach Josh Homolka. “He is a quiet leader, but has a lot of respect from his fellow students. He is a tough, no-nonsense player and was voted as our team MVP last year.”

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Vague will look to improve on his performance from last year and also help the Bearcats improve on a 2-7 overall record and move up the ladder in the tough NCAA conference. Ellsworth was close to a much better season, but lost a two-point game to Sacred Heart and one-point game to Minneapolis. Plans are for Vague to be moved to the fullback position on offense.

“This season we’re definitely focused on keeping our heads up in tough situations,” Vague said.  “Last year, we had people kind of quitting once they saw the score from the other team going up, and things like that. We’re definitely focused on giving it our all for the whole game and hopefully coming out with a winning record.”

A former resident of New Mexico, Vague said he likes the strength of a smaller community like Ellsworth and the close brotherhood of a team coming together on a Friday night.

Also a wrestler and baseball player for the Bearcats, Vague said his future may include welding and possibly working as a lineman. He said he would consider football in college if the opportunity presented itself.

Cooper Weinhold, Wilson

Cooper Weinhold provides versatility on offense, and nastiness on defense. At 6-2, 220, Weinhold is only a junior, which is bad news for opponents of the Wilson Dragons. 

When Weinhold has been healthy, he has put up impressive numbers wherever he has been asked to play. Weinhold is averaging 7.8 yards per carry and has 486 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. 

Weinhold usually plays the heavy back position, which is similar to a fullback, but has been asked to play running back, quarterback, receiver, and tight end. With just three catches, Weinhold has 117 yards and two touchdowns. 

“He’s our guy-to guy whether it’s running or receiving,” Wilson head coach Tony Brokes said. “We turn to him in tough situations to lead the way.”

Brokes believes Weinhold is just as valuable on defense. Brokes has a team-high 30 tackles, including two for loss.

“When he’s not in we lose our monster linebacker,” Brokes said, “and that really hurts our defense.”

Weinhold suffered an injury in Week 2 against Lincoln and missed the following game against Clifton-Clyde as a result. He played the next three games, but missed last week’s game against Thunder Ridge with the same injury.

“He says he feels better today,” Brokes said on Monday. “We’ll ease him back into it.”

Wilson has struggled this season with a 1-6 record. However, the Dragons have a strong junior class of five, led by Weinhold, that Brokes is optimistic about heading into next season.

“For the most part, I anticipate next year’s team being competitive,” Brokes said. “I think Cooper has the ability to lead the way, and the athletic ability to be a difference maker.”

Check out our original article from this year’s Kansas Pregame Football Preview:

When Cooper Weinhold puts his mind to something, it usually gets done. Weinhold, a junior on the Wilson High School football team, is already a member of the National Honor Society and carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average.  His favorite subject is math.

He also excels in the weight room. Earlier this year, Weinhold was the Northern Plains League powerlifting champion in the 198-pound division.

This fall, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Weinhold hopes to help lead the Wilson Dragons to more success on the gridiron.

“I really would like to better myself and set high standards for the other kids,” Weinhold said. “Hopefully, they will follow along and do their best.”

Weinhold had a solid sophomore season for the Dragons, rushing for 366 yards and adding 57 yards receiving on offense and making 69 tackles - eight for losses - as a linebacker on defense. Wilson head coach Tony Brokes is expected to use Weinhold at the quarterback position this fall.

“Cooper is continuing to develop in positive ways, demonstrating signs of early leadership, setting high standards, and accountability,” said Brokes, who welcomes back seven lettermen, including four starters, from last year’s team. “His toughest challenge lies ahead, in uniting this year’s team as one.”

The Dragons will look to improve on last year’s 2-7 record against a tough schedule that includes Osborne, Sylvan-Lucas and Clifton-Clyde. Weinhold will spearhead the push for more wins after earning all-district honorable mention last season.

Weinhold said living in small-town Kansas helps him have close connections with his high school classmates. After graduating from high school in 2021, he plans to attend Wichita State University and study Aerospace Engineering.

Citizens State Bank and Trust Company, with locations in Ellsworth, Lincoln, Delphos, Glasco and Minneapolis, is proud to present the Hometown Proud Student-Athletes! For more information about their products and services please visit their website at www.csbanc.com or connect with them on Facebook. Member FDIC

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