Cards say ‘Bye-bye, Bobcats’…
…and ‘Hello, Sabetha’
The Eudora High School football team's defensive unit will have to stop a junior running back named Pyle if it hopes to win the regional championship against Big Seven League champion and second-ranked Sabetha (10-0) on Saturday night.
The Blue Jays have a strong running game led by junior running back Matt Pyle and senior running back Tanner Frederick. Pyle and Frederick are protected by an equally solid offensive line of senior Danny Tramp, junior Matt Goodman, senior Pat Baumgartner, senior Cory Tinklin and senior Dustin Angell.
"We move the ball well, our defense is sound and our kicking game is good," Sabetha Coach John Garber said. "We are not spectacular in one area but we are solid in all three."
Garber, who has coached the Blue Jays for 22 seasons, played football for Kansas University while his son and current SHS offensive coordinator, Mike Garber, played quarterback for Kansas State. If historical patterns serve the Blue Jays correctly, Garber will receive his third 4A football title this season since SHS won state championships in 1993 and 1997.
Eudora Coach Aaron Barnett, who played for Big Seven league member Effingham, is familiar with the rich tradition of the Sabetha program and remembers playing against Garber's Blue Jays in the late 1980s. Barnett said his team is ready for the challenge that awaits them near the Nebraska border on Saturday night.
"Sabetha is new to the kids but it is not new to me," Barnett said.
Last season, the Cardinals lost to Sabetha's league rival Hiawatha 21-12 at the regional championship game at Laws Field. Garber said he plans on consulting with the Redskins on how to approach the Eudora team.
"I know Aaron Barnett is from Effingham and he has a good summer program," Garber said. "We will probably talk to Hiawatha a little bit and trade film."
The Blue Jays won 26-7 at Holton (7-3) in their bi-district championship game on Tuesday night. Sabetha handed the Wildcats, also a Big Seven member, a 29-0 setback in Sabetha earlier in the season. Eudora has won eight straight road games dating back to last season's 33-7 victory over a playoff-bound Spring Hill team.