INMAN — The Inman High School football team may have turned a few heads in Class 1A last season when the Teutons reached the state quarterfinals.
This year, with nine returning starters on offense and eight returning starters on defense, the Teutons will not sneak up on anybody.
Inman began last season with an 0-2 record and entered the postseason with a 4-4 record. A 49-6 win over Stanton County kicked off the playoff run, and a 43-13 upset-win at Elkhart pushed Inman into the state quarterfinals.
Inman’s run came to an end against Plainville, but the Teutons are back in 2020 with playoff experience and ready to make a run at a state title.
"Our goals are continually changing," fifth-year head coach Lance Sawyer said. "Two years ago our goal was to win a game, last year to make a run in the playoffs, this year we have the team that will be able to compete for a district and state title."
The Teutons will be stacked on both sides of the ball with returning talent. Junior Jace Doerksen will lead the way at quarterback on offense and at defensive back on defense.
"He’s an explosive athlete on both sides of the ball," Sawyer said. "We feel confident opening up the offense with Jace in his third year running the system."
Senior Derick Johnson is one of the top receivers, defensive backs, and punters in the area and will be all over the field for the Teutons.
"He will be a tough cover for anybody in the state," Sawyer said.
Senior Carter Brown is also a versatile athlete who will be all over the field for Inman. Brown is a tough downhill runner at running back, recorded 112 tackles at linebacker, and kicked a school-record 42-yard field goal last season in the playoffs.
Other key players for the Teutons are lineman Darien Dawes, Cole Hase, Christian Winsky, and Grant Thimmesch, defensive back Kyler Konrade, linebacker Nate Shober, tight end Mason Carter, and running back Kendyn Blank.
"We return a lot of starters so we will be counting on that experience paying dividends," Sawyer said. "We will need to be able to open up what we do on offense and defense. We need to be able to stay healthy."
Inman opens the season on Sept. 4 at Hutchinson Trinity.
"We need to work on making sure our offense and defense are as sharp as possible going into the game vs Trinity," Sawyer said. "Our commitment to fundamentals will be necessary for us to have a good season."