Forget that one-game-at-a-time nonsense.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
The Midway Vikings aren't scared to look farther into the future, one they hope includes reaching the ultimate goal — a state championship — even if they are yet to play a game.
"It's never too early to start talking about the state championship," said Midway coach Larry Burchett, who is entering his 25th year with the school. "At Midway, we talk about it every year. We've got a history, and the goal is always to get to the championship game."
That history includes six state titles in 51 seasons.
The seventh may be a distinct possibility this fall. The Vikings return nine offensive starters and eight more on defense from a team that finished 7-4.
Midway's entire collection of skill players are back, led by senior running back Bobby Zielinski, who is on pace — though just barely — to break the school's all-time scoring record. With more than 60 touchdowns already to his credit, he stands about 20 touchdowns short of the all-time mark.
Zielinski and senior quarterback Peyton Semsch give Midway a potent offense.
"Those are the two real keys to our offense, they make everything else go," Burchett said. "We think we have the ability to attack you in a lot of different ways."
The defense will rely on Semsch and Joey Beller at linebacker, along with athletic defensive end Clay Dahman, who will also see some carries at running back.
"I'd say we're going to be good defensively," Burchett said. "The main thing we're working on there is doing the little things right."