Craw-Kan Southeast Kansas Team of the Week: Girard Football

By CONOR NICHOLL for Sports in Kansas

Girard has been a strong early season Class 3A squad in southeast Kansas. The Trojans have opened 2-0 with a 33-7 home win versus Pittsburg Colgan, and a 49-0 road victory against Baxter Springs. Girard is 2-0 for the first time since 2007.

The Trojans have won four straight season openers, including back-to-back wins against Pittsburg Colgan. Before then, Girard was 1-15 in the last 16 meetings versus Colgan with the lone win in 2012.

Last week’s shutout marked the second one for the Trojans in the past 28 games, per the Kansas Football History database. Girard junior quarterback Luke Niggemann (6-4, 190) is a standout player. Senior middle linebacker Brecken Troike (6-0, 220) is a returning first team all-league linebacker. Junior multiple sport standout Alex Coester has also had a breakout season so far for the Trojans.

This week, Girard is at home versus Columbus, and then plays three straight road games. Last year, Girard opened 1-2 and 2-4. The Trojans beat Colgan, 20-12, and then lost, 20-19, to Pratt in a neutral site game at Butler County Community College that was scheduled late because of COVID-19.

Then, Girard lost, 26-7, to Columbus in Week 3. In the playoffs, the Trojans upset Columbus, 29-18, on the road and finished 4-6.

Girard coach Neal Philpot was a former standout at Norton, an All-American quarterback at Pittsburg State University and a PSU assistant coach.

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