Defending state champions back on football field

08/19/2014 4:13 PM

08/19/2014 4:13 PM

Blue Valley could not wait to start football practice on Monday, the first day high school teams in Kansas could work out.

Maybe it has something to do with a 10-3 record last season and an eventual Kansas Class 5A state championship.

Shortly after school let out in May, the Tigers took to the football field for running and light contact without pads.

Although it’s early to make any specific predictions about the upcoming season, Blue Valley coach Eric Driskell says he likes what he has seen.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Driskell said. “I feel like we are in a good place, though, and we have a good group of kids. It’s a good start.”

The Tigers lose a lot of talent from last year’s state title team, including versatile quarterback and kicker Logan Brettell, running back Chance Nelson and a good group of linemen.

Still, there’s enough talent to keep Driskell positive.

“We really came together as a brotherhood this year and I think that is going to be a strong factor for us,” Tigers veteran offensive lineman AJ Harris said. “We have a lot of trust in the underclassmen and a lot of juniors will be playing, so overall I think we are looking forward to a pretty successful season.”

Harris, who is committed to the University of Missouri and ranked as the top recruit in Kansas according to Rivals.com, leads a talented group of returners who will try to continue the success.

Driskell said he will also turn to lineman Jackson Maase and linebacker Dylan Smith for leadership this season.

Blue Valley will start its state title defense against Shawnee Mission Northwest at 7 p.m. on Sept.5 at the Shawnee Mission North District Stadium.

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