SEDGWICK – The first win the Sedgwick Cardinal football team claims this year will be coach Jeff Werner’s 100th in his career.


If the Cardinals follow to form, that should come very quickly.


Werner begins his 14th season as the Sedgwick head coach. He is 99-36. He is assisted by Doug Mabry (QB-DB) Tim Hendrickson (OL-DL), Travis Francis (RB-LB) and Logan Thompson (WR-Special Teams).


Sedgwick was 10-1 last season, 5-0 in Heart of America League play and 3-0 in Class 1A district play.


Sedgwick earned a first-round bye in the Class 1A playoffs. The Cardinals beat Meade 34-12 in the second round and lost to eventual runner-up Smith Center 21-10 in the semifinals.


Sedgwick returns five offensive and three defensive starters from last season.


Returning starters include Nolan Crumrine (5-9, 160, sr., WR-OLB), Coleman Kizser (6-1, 210, sr., OL-DL), Lance Hoffsommer (6-2, 170, jr., QB-DB), Sam Culp (6-4, 210, jr., OL-DE), Henry Burns (5-10, 155, sr., WR-DB), Connor Tillman (6-2, 175, jr., K), Ryan Stucky (5-9, 160, jr., WR-LB) and Remington Nold (5-9, 155, sr., WR-OLB).


"This will be the smallest team in numbers in the last 14 years at Sedgwick," Werner said. "More players will have to play both ways. That is something we have tried to avoid in the past. It looks to be an exciting season with playing some new teams in District play. Lance Hoffsommer looks to continue to lead the Sedgwick offense as the QB. We think our Junior class could be really good and look forward to seeing what they can do. The defense will have very good speed and will play an attacking style. The defense will slant and stunt on every play. The key is to play downhill and run to the ball. There will be some growing pains with such big changes as there is every year but the goals stay the same as every year. Have a winning season, win our district and win a playoff game."


Sedgwick’s closest game in HOAL play last season was 18 points, but Werner is expecting a much closer race this year.


"This should be a very competitive league, as the teams seem fairly evenly matched," Werner said. "Based on returning talent, Sterling and Inman should be the favorite. There are some very well coached teams in the HOA and every week is difficult to get a win. Our goal is to be in the mix for the league title."


The KSHSAA changed the format of Class 1A district play from eight three- and four-team districts to four seven-team districts. All 28 teams will advance to the post-season with four teams getting first-round byes.


Sedgwick will meet Wichita Independent, Sublette, Stanton County, Remington, Elkhart and Class 2A state quarterfinalist Conway Springs in district play.


"We end the season with one of the best programs in the state in Conway Springs," Werner said. "They have to be the favorites to win our district. Competing with them will be difficult. Elkhart is coming off a great 2019 season and will be a team to beat as well. Getting a good finish in district play will help in terms of seeding when the playoffs begin."


Schedule


Sept. 4 Sterling


Sept. 11 @ Wichita Independent-d


Sept. 18 Sublette-d


Sept. 25 @ Stanton County-d


Oct. 2 @ Ell-Saline


Oct. 9 Remington-d


Oct. 16 @ Elkhart-d


Oct. 23 Conway Springs-d


Oct. 29 or 30 Bi District TBA


Nov. 6 Regionals TBA


Nov. 13 Sectionals TBA


Nov. 20 Sub-State TBA


Nov. 28 State @ TBA