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KPZ PREVIEW: Wamego looks to build on playoff run in 2020

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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WAMEGO, Kan. (WIBW) - So many players looked to join Wamego’s team this fall, the Red Raiders ran out of uniforms and are looking to order more.

Roughly 90 athletes signed up to compete.

“I think it says something for our coaching staff and just what our past players have done to create some excitement,” Wamego head coach Weston Moody said.

Wamego came up just one point shy of advancing to the 4A state semifinals last season. The Red Raiders fell 21-20 to Ark City after a failed two-point conversion with 15 seconds left.

“When we say ‘one yard,’ and ‘games are won by inches,’ they know what that means,’” Moody said. “The guys that were in it, they understand it — and hopefully they can use that as fuel.”

Moody’s squad returns this fall to build on the momentum of a regional championship while looking for their first state championship in school history.

”My first team meeting three years ago, I told them, ‘We’re going to win a state championship here.’ And I think they were kinda like, ‘Oh, this guy is crazy,’ Moody said. “I think this last season, getting so close to being in the semifinals and losing to Ark City and Ark City eventually making it to the state title game, I feel that our guys see that it’s a possibility if we just keep staying the course and getting better and growing from our losses.”

This year’s roster features 17 seniors. They also return star quarterback Hayden Oviatt, a junior, who threw for 1,152 yards and ten touchdowns last season and rushed for 1,539 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“What he did last year was pretty amazing,” Moody said. “His production for our team was 90%. Just a very important piece for us.”

Wamego opens the season Friday at home against Concordia.

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