According to the website catchitkansas.com, seven McPherson High Bullpup football players were given special pre-season recognition for the 2017 fall season.
Rating the top-11 players at each position, the website honored five Bullpups with top-11 status at their positions, all on defense, while two others received honorable mention at running back on offense.
Ben Nikkel, a senior cornerback for the Bullpups was ranked number five at his position after making 26 tackles and taking in four interceptions as a junior. The website noted that Nikkel, listed at 6’0” and 175 lbs., was among the leaders of a strong senior led defense for McPherson.
Also garnering a number five ranking was senior Drew Labertew for his skills at safety. It was mentioned that Labertew, who suits up at 6’3”, 180 lbs., has the length to maximize playing free safety for the Bullpups. The website also noted that Labertew gets in great position to make a play with good vision from the snap, noting that in his junior season, Labertew was in on 67 tackles while grabbing three interceptions.
Wyatt Seidl was listed as the number eight best defensive lineman in the state, with the senior Bullpup defensive end being listed at 6’3”, 220 lbs. It was noted that Seidl was very fundamentally sound as a defensive end and makes excellent reads on offenses who run the read option. Seidl was given credit for how he uses his hands to get good position to contain outside plays. As a junior Bullpup, Seidl was credited with 65 tackles, while he took down opposing quarterbacks with eight sacks.
The power of the Bullpup linebackers during the 2016 season showed up in their position ranking as both Jayse Alexander and Kollin Goering were listed in the catchitkansas.com top-11 listing.
Alexander came in as the tenth best linebacker coming into the 2017 season after the 6’0”, 200 lbs. Bullpup senior tallied 89 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions in his junior campaign, with the website giving credit to Alexander’s technique as the big reason for his solid statistics.
Ranked number 11 at linebacker was Goering, who is one of eight returning starters for the Bullpup defense. As a 6’1”, 205 lbs. senior, Goering is looking to improve on the 90 tackles he made in his junior season while flying around to consistently make big plays for the Bullpup defense.
With five players from the Bullpup defense making the top-11 rankings, McPherson Head Coach Jace Pavlovich believes the Bullpup defense will be the team’s strong suit again in 2017.
While it appeared, the Bullpup defense dominated the team representations in the top-11 rankings, two McPherson offensive players did gain honorable mention at running back with Seidl and Tyson Stites each being mentioned as players who came close to being near the cream of the crop in the state of Kansas for the upcoming 2017 high school football season.
The 2017 McPherson Bullpups will open their football season on Friday, September 1 when they travel to Buhler.