American Implement Western Kansas Team of the Week: Golden Plains with pair of historical milestones

Golden Plains had two big milestones in the last week.


Rexford-Golden Plains enjoyed two major historical milestones last week.

Junior Emma Weiner won her second straight Class 1A state cross country state title. Last year, Weiner famously won the crown on a broken leg. She won state in 19 minutes, 37.01 seconds last Saturday at Wamego Country Club.

Golden Plains head football coach Travis Smith picked up career win No. 100. GP defeated Rolla, 59-14. Smith is the first current six-man coach to win 100 career games. This is his 23rd year as GP’s head football coach.

He is the second-longest tenured coach at one school in the six- and eight-man ranks, per Kansas Pregame archives.

Clifton-Clyde’s Russ Steinbrock has coached 22 years with the Eagles. West Elk’s Chris Haag has also coached 22 seasons for the Patriots. Matt Heuer has coached Hanover for 18 years. Victoria’s Doug Oberle has 17 years with the Knights. Tony Brokes has 26 years at Wilson, though the school is expected to close after this school year.

Golden Plains is 3-6 in six-man football and 3-2 in the last five games. GP was one of the original six-man programs in 2016. The Bulldogs posted a winning season every year from ’16-20, including a Wild West Bowl six-man state runner-up finish in 2018. GP was third in ’16 and fourth in ’17.

This year, freshman Diego Perez has 91 carries for 711 yards with five touchdowns. Senior Mason Green has 39 rushes for 359 yards and eight scores.

Overall, Golden Plains is 37-27 as a six-man program. Golden Plains is at Six-Man No. 2 Ashland in the Round of 16 playoffs Thursday.

He is a 1992 Ellsworth graduate and first went to Hutchinson Community College to play football. Smith finished at Fort Hays.

Smith is in his 23rd season as the Bulldogs’ head football coach and 24th year at Golden Plains starting in January. This is the only teaching job Smith has had. He is Golden Plains’ all-time wins leader in football.

Smith has been the middle school girls’ basketball coach for most of his time in Rexford. He’s the head boys’ and girls’ track coach, and notably had great recent success in girls’ track with multiple league titles. Smith has  served as the head boys’ basketball coach a couple of times. He took a Bulldog basketball team to state in 2003.

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