By William /

INMAN – The 2020 Inman Teuton football team rambled physically through the season to a 9-3 mark before getting shutdown by Oakley in the state Class 1A playoffs semi-finals.

One game from the state championship game, possible the best Teuton performance in 25 years according to head coach Lance Sawyer.

That loss to Oakley may have left a fire in the belly of the Teuton beast as coaches say the returning players have been busting it in the weight room and will come into the season hungry to make that state championship game.

While they lost some highly regarded seniors, Inman returns Jace Doerksen at quarterback for his fourth season as starter while having a ton of firepower weapons around him in Kyler Konrade, Tanner Heckel, Eli Brunk, Kendyn Blank and speedy Harrison Brunk.

The Teutons will lean on their continued physicality on defense to get those wins needed to advance at the end of the season.

Here is a full 2021 preview of the Inman Teuton Football program:


Lance Sawyer closed out his fifth season as the head coach of the Teutons by guiding the team to season record of 9-3, including a 5-1 mark in district play while advancing all the way to the semi-finals of the Class 1A state playoffs before losing to Oakley.

Overall Coach Sawyer is 24-27 as the Teuton leader while he once again will have Bill Garst assisting him for his sixth season. Greg Froese and Wyatt Meier will also be assisting with the Teutons for their third season each.


The big question is ‘Can the Teutons be better in 2021’, and the answer is yes.

Despite losing four very key seniors from the 2020 squad that made the semi-finals of the state playoffs, replacing Carter Brown, Dairien Dawes, Thomas Evans and Cole Hase is possible.

Inman returns 14 starters with eight being of offense and six on the defensive side.

According to Coach Lance Sawyer, the Teutons have continued to dedicate themselves to the weight room where he says the growth has been outstanding and they will be seeing the results of that weight work on the playing field with a more physicality showing up on both sides of the game.

Returning a lot of starters gives the coaches a ton of experience to count on and pay dividends.

Coach Sawyer says they will open up the offensive playbook more as they return Jace Doerksen for his fourth year as the starting quarterback.

With Kendyn Blank, Harrison Brunk, Eli Brunk, Tanner Heckel and Kyler Konrade, the Teutons have the offensive weapons to take advantage of team speed, athleticism, and experience.

Defensively, the team will continue to show growth and hit harder than any team that Coach Sawyer has had in his tenure at Inman.

The major question could be on the offensive and defensive lines where Dawes, Hase and Evans graduated a lot of physical and quick movement off the ball.

Coach Sawyer noted, “We need to work on making sure our offense and defense are as sharp as possible heading into the season opener against Hutchinson Trinity.

Staying positive about his 2021 team, Coach Sawyer added, “We had one of the best seasons Inman has seen in maybe 25 years, so we plan to take a ton of confidence from last season and find success in 2021. We realize how physical we need to continue to be on both sides of the ball and will work on that daily in practice.”

Inman will begin the season on Friday, September 3 when they play an always tough Hutchinson Trinity, a team that is always one of the better teams in the league before going on the road to begin district play in week two at Ellinwood.

“It will be important that we hit the season in stride with district games being so early,” concluded Coach Sawyer.

One game many Teuton fans have already marked on their calendar will be the fourth game of the season when Oakley, the team that finished Inman’s season in 2020, comes to town.


JACE DOERKSEN= 6’ 180 lbs., Senior Quarterback/Defensive Back

  • Offense = 4-year starter, 93-of-146 for 1,550 yards & 18 touchdowns passing, plus 290 yards on 63 carries for 6 touchdowns.
  • Awards = 1st Team All-State by Topeka Capital, Sports in Kansas 1A Offensive Player of the Year Finalist, 1st Team All-District both QB and DB.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Jace is an explosive athlete on both sides of the ball and we feel confident opening up the offense with him in his 4th year of running the system.”

KYLER KONRADE= 5’ 11”, 190 lbs., Senior Running Back/Linebacker

  • Defense = Led Teutons in tackles with 138.
  • Awards = 1st Team All-District at Linebacker; Honorable Mention All-State at Linebacker.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Kyler is an extremely smart, tough, and physical player or will a force on both sides of the ball. He is a great runner with exceptional hands out of the backfield for the passing game.”

KENDYN BLANK= 5’ 10”, 165 lbs., Senior Running Back/Defensive Back

  • Offense = 3-year starter at running back; 14 touchdowns from 86 carries for 742 yards and 20 pass receptions for 369 yards.
  •  Defense = 3 pass interceptions.
  • Awards = Honorable Mention All-State at RB/DB; 1st Team All-District at RB/DB.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Kendyn has the potential to take over games with his breakaway speed and his ability to make people miss in space.”

TANNER HECKEL= 5’ 10”, 165 lbs., Sophomore Running Back/Defensive Back

  • Offense = 11 touchdowns from 53 carries for 444 yards and 12 pass receptions for 139 yards.
  • Defense = 3 pass interceptions, 1 touchdown.
  • Awards = Honorable Mention All-State at WR/DB; 2nd Team All-District at RB/DB.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Tanner, combined with Kendyn and Kyler give us an explosive backfield that can excel in the passing game as well. Tanner is a gamer and was able to have some breakout games against the best opponents.”

ELI BRUNK= 6’ 3”, 180 lbs., Junior Tight End

  • Offense = 13 pass receptions for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns.
  • Awards = Honorable Mention All-State at TE; 1st Team All-District at TE.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Eli is a tall target that is also a very good, solid blocker inside. He will get a bigger role in the passing game for 2021.”

CHRISTIAN WINSKY = 5’ 11”, 255 lbs., Senior Offensive Lineman

  • Strongest Players = Bench Presses 340 lbs.; Squats 455 lbs.; Cleans 225 lbs.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Christian is one of the smartest players on the field, he is extremely strong and has tremendous footwork.”

GRANT THIMMESCH = 6’ 0”, 200 lbs., Senior Offense/Defensive Lineman

  • A 3-year starter on both the offensive and defensive line.
  • Awards = Honorable Mention All-District Defensive Lineman.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Grant is an explosive hitter on both sides of the ball.”

DAWSON MANNEBACH = 6’ 3”, 210 lbs., Senior Offensive Lineman/Linebacker

  • Defense = Recorded 61 tackles, 7 tackles for loss of yardage and 1 quarterback sack.
  • Awards = Honorable Mention All-District Offensive Lineman.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Dawson is a very athletic offensive and defensive player while having the agility to be one of the top triple jumpers in track while running with one of the states top 4×100 meter, and 4×400 meter relay teams.”

HARRISON BRUNK = 6’ 0”, 170 lbs., Junior Kick Returner/Wide Receiver

  • Offense = Had 30 carries for 550 yards (18.33 yards per carry) playing junior varsity while scoring 13 touchdowns in five games.
  • Offense = Finished with 26 carries for 208 yards and 5 touchdowns playing for varsity.
  • Awards = Honorable Mention All-District Kick Returner.
  • COACH SAWYER SAYS: “Harrison is the fastest athlete we have and our goal for 2021 will be to get him as many touches as we can in different positions.”


GARRETT FROESE = 5’ 11”, 200 lbs., Junior Offensive lineman

  • Coach Sawyer Says: “Garrett will compete for the opening spot on the offensive line.

ZADEN JOHNSON = 5’ 11”, 180 lbs., Junior Offensive Lineman

  • Coach Sawyer Says: “Zaden will be one of those competing for the opening spot on the offensive line.

DOMINIC NUESE-RASMUSSEN = 6’ 1”, 210 lbs., Junior Offensive/Defensive Lineman

  • Coach Sawyer Says: “Dominic will be a force on both sides of the ball as he came on strong last season working on the defensive line.”

TALON WELCH = 6’ 1”, 185 lbs., Sophomore Running Back/Linebacker

  • Coach Sawyer Says: “Talon will rotate in with the running back group. He has tremendous speed and the ability to hit a hole hard.”

SAMMY SHOBER = 5’ 8”, 190 lbs., Junior Linebacker

  • Coach Sawyer Says: “Sammy will fill the spot left by Carter Brown graduating as he is a big hitter that has a nose for where the ball is.”


September 3 = Hutchinson Trinity at Home, 7:00 pm

September 10 = At Ellinwood (District Game), 7:00 pm

September 17 = Salina Sacred Heart at Home (District Game), 7:00 pm

September 24 = Oakley at Home (District Game), 7:00 pm

October 1 = At Plainville (District Game), 7:00 pm

October 8 = Ell-Saline at Home (District Game), 7:00 pm

October 15 = At Remington, 7:00 pm

October 22 = At Smith Center (District Game), 7:00 pm

October 29 = Cross District Game

November 5 = State Regionals

November 12 = State Sectionals

November 19 = Sub-State

November 27 = State Championship at Hays

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