LAFFERTY AND LINEMEN WILL CARRY REDSKINS

By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

LITTLE RIVER – They won the 8-Man Division 1 State Championship in 2020 but lose 80% of their offense to graduation yet still look for a second championship because Little River is looking to reload and lean on a power set of linemen for season 2021.

Yes, Little River needs to replace all-everything duo of Jayden Garrison and Graham Stephens, they do return the entire offensive line and a large chunk of their solid defense.

If Coach Kevin Ayers can find a solid solution at quarterback, the remaining weapons returning could mean that Little River could be knocking on the door of a second state championship in 2021.

Here is a complete look at the 2021 Little River Redskin football program:

THE COACH:

  • Kevin Ayers
  • 3rd Season at Little River
  • Redskin Record is 20-4, overall coaching record is 178-43
  • Finished 11-2 in 2020, winning 8-Man Division State Championship with 70-58 win over Wichita County
  • Finished 4-1 in Wheat State League games
  • Assistant Coaches = Chad Lafferty, Tyson Konen

REDSKIN STARTERS RETURNING:

5 Offensive Starters Return – 4 Defensive Starters Return

Kaden Shafer = 6’ 0”, 245 lbs. Senior, Offensive Lineman/Defensive End

  • On Defense – 57 tackles, 25 solo with 2 for loss of yardage

Carter Holloway = 5’ 9”, 175 lbs. Senior, Offensive Lineman

Kyle Bruce = 5’ 11”, 235 lbs. Senior, Offensive Lineman

Ty Herzog = 6’ 1”, 170 lbs. Senior, Tight End

  • Offense – 2 receptions for 25 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defense – 20 tackles, 8 solo with 3 for loss of yardage

Grant Stephens = 5’ 9”, 185 lbs. Junior, Tight End/Defensive End

  • Offense – 2 receptions for 37 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defense – 75 tackles, 25 solo with 8 for loss of yardage

Braxton Lafferty = 5’ 11”, 170 lbs. Junior, Linebacker/Tight End

  • Offense – 37 rushes for 305 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Offense – 30 receptions for 582 yards, 10 touchdowns
  • Defense – 82 tackles, 45 solo with 7 for loss of yardage

Braden Young = 5’ 9”, 145 lbs. Junior, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back

  • Offense – 2 rushes for 2 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Offense – 4 receptions for 59 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defense – 16 tackles, 10 solo

REDSKIN PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Toby Jesseph = 5’ 8”, 155 lbs. Junior, Linebacker/Running Back

  • Offense – 10 rushes for 38 yards
  • Defense – 21 tackles, 12 solo with 3 for loss of yardage

Rylan Konen = 6’ 0”, 150 lbs. Junior, Kicker/Quarterback/Defensive Back

  • Offense – 1 for 1 passing for 6 yards
  • Offense – 13 rushes for 108 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Defense – 7 tackles, 3 solo

Braeden Grasser = 5’ 10”, 160 lbs. Junior, Tight End/Defensive End

Steele Barta = 5’ 10”, 185 lbs. Junior, Offensive/Defensive Lineman

Corbin Herbst = 5’ 6”, 135 lbs. Junior, Running Back/Defensive Back

WHAT TO EXPECT OF THE 2021 REDSKINS:

Little River returns a solid nucleus of players to reload to some extent, especially along the offensive and defensive lines.

What they do lose is around 80% of their offense from 2020 with the graduation of Jayden Garrison and Graham Stephens. Garrison was all-everything as he ran for 1,677 yards and 37 touchdowns while also throwing for another 721 yards and 13 scores, plus he scored another eight times on pass receptions. Stephens ran for 903 yards and threw for 462 yards for a combines 33 touchdowns. Combined, Garrison and Stephens also recorded 221 tackles on defense.

Plus, the Redskins lost wide receiver/defensive backs Trey Rolf and Keaton Richardson plus Cade Young and Josh Braden.

What Little does return is Kaden Shafer, Carter Holloway, and Kyle Bruce on the offensive line. Three seniors who have several years of playing time opening holes and protecting passers.

Replacing Garrison and Stephens sounds like a tough deal, but Rylan Konen seems ready to take over at quarterback while Ty Herzog, Grant Stephens, and Braxton Lafferty return as well. Lafferty recorded 887 yards on offense in 2020 with 14 touchdowns while also making 82 tackles at linebacker.

Grant Stephens is another solid returning starter who recorded 75 tackles at defensive end last season.

Coach Kevin Ayers is complementing the team for an exceptional summer and how excited the team is to see what they can do without the dynamic duo.

Coach Ayers closed out his pre-season reflections by telling us that “We hope to play a disciplined, physical style of football and improve throughout the season.”

Of the five teams (Canton/Galva, Madison, Clifton/Clyde, Hoxie, and Wichita County) Coach Ayers claims to be the top five in 8-Man Division I, the Redskins will play two of them during the season.

THE LITTLE RIVER 2021 SCHEDULE:

September 3 = Peabody/Burns at Home, 7:00 pm

September 10 = Clifton/Clyde at Home, 7:00 pm

September 17 = At Goessel, 7:00 pm

September 24 = At Lincoln, 7:00 pm

October 1 = Canton/Galva at Home, 7:00 pm

October 8 = At Bennington, 7:00 pm

October 15 = At Herington, 7:00 pm

October 22 = Solomon at Home, 7:00 pm

October 28 = State Bracket Game, TBD

November 5 = State Regional Game, TBD

November 12 = State Sectional Game, TBD

November 19 = Sub-State, TBD

November 27 = State 8-Man Division 1 Championship, TBD

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