Jackson Heights Football Preview 2020
The Jackson Heights Cobras football team is getting ready for the 2020 season.
The Cobras’ head coach Caleb Wick is starting his ninth season with the team with an overall recored of 57-24 and four Northeast Kansas League titles.
Last season, the Cobras finished an impressive season as sub-state runner ups with a record of 9-3 overall, 3-1 in league play and 3-0 in district play.
“2019 was a great year for our young men!” said coach Wick. “We were not able to win another league championship, but many goals were reached during the course of the season. We were also able to make a deep run in the playoffs, eventually losing to the state champs Centralia Panthers.”
During the course of the season last year, coach Wick said it was great to see all the underclassmen step up and play bigger roles for the team.
“Dylan Thompson was one of those young men and he did a tremendous job in the backfield as well as the secondary,” Wick said. “Another underclassman who stood out was Taylor Wamego, the senior to be was a stud on the offensive and defensive line.”
“The biggest area of improvement that we had during the course of last season was our backfield,” Wick said. “Being a wishbone offense, you need to have four individuals who execute the game plan and can do everything from block to catch a pass. I thought we did an amazing job in the backfield. It was great to have Cooper Williams back but we needed another guy, and Jason Bosley stepped up and had a massive sophomore season rushing for more than 1,000 yards. It was the first time in my coaching career where we had two backs with more than 1,000 yards rushing and a fullback with more than 800.”
The Cobras’ campaign did not end the way they would have liked, but there were so many positives to the season.
“We lost a great senior class that might go down as one of the best in Jackson Heights history,” Wick said. “We will need some underclassmen to step up this season. We want to make a deep run in the playoffs again this coming year.”
This season, the Cobras have five offensive starters returning, six defensive starters returning, 13 letterwinners returning and the Cobras lost nine letterwinners to graduation.
Key returning starters for the Cobras are:
*Senior Taylor Wamego is a 6’1” 290-pound tackle and has started for three years.
*Senior Colby Doyle is a 5’10” 275-pound guard and has started for three years.
*Junior Silas Holliday is a 5’8” 150-pound corner and has stared for one year.
*Sophomore Jude Williams is a 5’10” 150-pound corner.
*Junior Ryan Schumann is a 5’9” 240-pound guard.
*Sophomore Alex Browning is a 5’9” 160-pound running back.
*Sophomore Julian Butto is a 5’8” 190-pound backer.
*Junior Dylan Thompson is a 6’2” 175-pound running back and has started for two years.
*Sophomore Jason Bosley is a 6’ 170-pound running back and has started for two years.
*Sophomore Grant Amon is a 6’2” 170-pound running back and has started for two years.
*Sophomore Hudson Roles is a 6’3” 360-pound guard and has started for two years.
*Senior Jason White is a 5’10” 195-pound center.
*Junior Brantly Dohl is a 5’9” 210-pound backer.
Cobras by position:
Jason Bosley and Silas Holliday are battling for the quarterback job. “Jason did an outstanding job last year at the running back spot and Silas was backup qurarterback last year,’’ Wick said.
Dylan Thompson did a great job last year for the Cobras in his junior campaign, while Grant Amon did great until an injury sidelined him for a couple weeks. Bosley had a tremendous sophomore year and time will tell if he finds himself at running back or quarterback, Wick said.
Jude Williams, Grant Amon, Alex Browning and Silas Holliday will battle for the TE/WR position this year.
“Grant has played a ton of varsity minutes up to this point while the latter needs to step up and get a feel for the varsity game,’’ Wick said.
The Cobras’ offensive line was the hardest hit to graduation this year. Losing Carson, Riley, Joel, and Trey will be a big loss. But, with that comes opportunity, Wick said.
“We need our underclassmen to step up and take some leadership on the offensive line,” Wick said. “We are bringing back Roles, Doyle and Wamego, which will be a great start to our line, but young ones need to grow up fast.”
Losing Carson and Joel will be tough to replace, but the Cobras feel like they have people in place to take the next step.
“Colby Doyle, Taylor Wamego and Hudson Roles coming back will benefit the d-line tremendously,’’ the coach said.
This will be the area on the Cobra defense that got hit the most from graduation. Riley and Cooper were the team’s leading tacklers during the course of the season and will be missed.
“Julian Butto, Brantley Dohl, Grant Amon and Jason Bosley will need to pick up the slack for us to get where we want to be at the end of the year,” Wick said.
The Cobras’ secondary had another great year. Dylan Thompson comes back after starting the last two seasons at safety. Silas Holliday also returns at the corner position. Watch for Jude Williams, Alex Browning and Wyatt Bacon to battle for the last couple of secondary positions, the coach said.
The Cobras lost several key players from last season due to graduation and they were Cooper Williams, Carson Williams, Riley Watkins, Cable Wareham, Alex Stirton, Trey Manuel and Joel Kennedy.
The Northeast Kansas League includes these teams – Jackson Heights, Pleasant Ridge, Atchison County Community High School, Maur Hill/Mount Academy, Jefferson County North, Oskaloosa, McLouth and Horton. The teams that are in the Class 1A District 2 are – Centralia, Valley Heights, Jackson Heights, Jefferson County North, Troy, Wabaunsee and Horton.