By Joanna Chadwick
Schedule is below
It’s only fitting that the 2021 football season will open on Thursday with Bishop Carroll playing at Northwest.
This is an outstanding rivalry, of course, between schools separated by about a mile on Tyler Road.
And then there’s the stellar football both are well-known for.
Northwest has played in three straight Class 5A title games, while Bishop Carroll won 5A titles in 2012, 2014 and 2017.
Carroll is retooling its defense after losing key players to graduation, so Andrew Bye, who is 6-foot, 215 pounds, moved to linebacker. He will provide plenty of communication and football smarts that will be key for a young defense.
Tate Blasi is a standout junior for Carroll, and will be a key part of the offense.
The Grizzlies are young defensively, too, with three returning starters, including Nate Carter, who is 6-2, 245.
Northwest’s offensive line is loaded with seniors Kevyan Stalling, Diego Guettierez, James Gilbertson and juniors Jacob Lamb and Alex Herrera.
That line will protect an excellent backfield. There’s quarterback Geremiah Moore, who has offers from Army and Navy, and running back LJ Phillips, who has speed and toughness and joins a long line of top-notch running backs at Northwest.
Some of the other games to watch include Garden Plain and Conway Springs, always an excellent rivalry, and Goddard vs. Buhler.
East, whose top defensive player is Tobi Osunsanmi, opens against Hays. The Indians are led by Jaren Kanak (6-2, 210), who committed to Clemson where he will likely play linebacker. He ran a 10.37 in the 100 meters in the spring.
A notable absence is Derby, which couldn’t find a game.
Derby was scheduled to play Newcastle, but the Oklahoma school canceled, despite being in the second year of a two-year contract.
The Panthers contacted 32 schools in eight states, all in hopes of finding an opponent, but had no luck.
Derby has won three straight Class 6A titles, including six of the past eight seasons.
Bishop Carroll 37, Northwest 27
Arkansas City vs. Winfield
Augusta vs. Coffeyville
Beloit St. John’s-Tipton vs. Sylvan-Lucas
Bluestem vs. Humboldt
Burlingame vs. Madison
Central-Burden vs. South Haven
Chanute vs. Circle
Chaparral vs. Trinity Academy
Cheney vs. Kingman
Clay Center vs. Abilene
Clearwater vs. Belle Plaine
Dodge City vs. West
East vs. Hays
Eisenhower vs. Heights
El Dorado vs. Independence
Flinthills vs. Cedar Vale-Dexter
Garden Plain vs. Conway Springs
Goddard vs. Buhler
Goessel vs. Canton-Galva
Hesston vs. Haven
Hoisington vs. Pratt
Hutchinson Trinity vs. Inman
Kapaun vs. Wichita South
Larned vs. Lyons
Maize vs. Andover
Maize South vs. Great Bend
Marion vs. Ell-Saline
McPherson vs. Salina South
Minneapolis vs. SE-Saline
Moundridge vs. Chase County
Mulvane vs. Collegiate
Newton vs. Andover Central
Nickerson vs. Hillsboro
North vs. Southeast
Norwich vs. Attica-Argonia
Oxford vs. Caldwell
Peabody-Burns vs. Little River
Pratt Skyline vs. South Barber
Pretty Prairie vs. Hutchinson Central Christian
Remington vs. Douglass
Republic County vs. Beloit (canceled)
Rose Hill vs. Andale
Salina Central vs. Campus
Sedgwick vs. Sterling
Smoky Valley vs. Halstead
Triplains-Brewster vs. Medicine Lodge
Udall vs. West Elk
Valley Center vs. Hutchinson