By CONOR NICHOLL
The players who exceeded 200 receiving yards in a Kansas high school football state championship game are historically known names.
In 2017, Blue Valley North’s Dylan Freberg delivered 222 receiving yards in a 6A contest against Derby, per Kansas historian Brett Marshall. Freberg was a consensus first team all-state selection and spent a couple of years on the University of Kansas roster as a tight end.
Bishop Miege’s Jafar Armstrong accomplished the feat twice in 4A, with 222 in ’14 and 219 two years later. Armstrong was a 4A player of the year, set a state record for receiving touchdowns and played for Notre Dame and Illinois. He was Western Illinois’ second-leading receiver this fall.
Troy’s Brody Winder recorded 207 in a legendary 1A contest versus Plainville in 2016. Winder caught a deflected Hail Mary pass for an 82-yard touchdown in what was the game-winning score for a 28-24 victory.
Jacob Ingham finished with 206 for Quivira Heights against Hanover in an Eight-Man, Division II contest in 209. Ingham is one of eight-man’s top all-around players in the last 15 years and delivered 1,887 all-purpose yards as a senior. He was a consensus first team all-state selection.
On Thanksgiving weekend, Inman senior wide receiver Harrison Brunk set an all-classes state championship game mark, part of a bevy of school records for the Teuton fall sports teams. In the 1A title at Fort Hays, St. Marys defeated Inman, 44-41, with a 99-yard drive and game-winning one-yard run from Keller Hurla with 13 seconds left.
Brunk delivered six catches for 243 yards and touchdowns of 42, 48 and 28 yards. Inman finished 11-2 and was 1A state runner-up for the second straight year. Those are the lone two state championship game showings in Inman history.
Inman coach Lance Sawyer, a Teuton graduate, is 80-79 in his career, including 46-30 in seven years at his alma mater. Sawyer called Brunk the fastest player he has ever coached. Brunk is known for high intelligence, work ethic and excellent route running.
In 2022, Brunk finished with 41 catches for a school record 1,060 yards and 15 scores. He rushed 18 times for 192 yards and three TDs. Defensively, Brunk had 70 tackles, three interceptions, three tackle for loss and two forced fumbles.
At 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Sports In Kansas’ Chet Kuplen and Shrine Bowl director B.J. Harris will announce and discuss all 80 picks for the 2023 Shrine Bowl. The link is provided on the Sports In Kansas Twitter feed.
Brunk, along with a couple of his teammates, including cousin Eli Brunk, have a strong chance for a Shrine Bowl bid. Generally, between two and four 1A players earn a Shrine Bowl nomination each year.
Inman has three all-time Shrine Bowl selections: Kevin Neufeld in 1995, Carter Brown in ’21 and quarterback Jace Doerksen last season.
Harrison Brunk set the school record for receiving yards in a season. He has a 34.8 vertical, runs the 100-meter dash in 10.74 seconds and the 200 in 22.07. Brunk has a 30 ACT and 4.0 GPA. He is the defending 2A champion in the 200-meter dash.
At state track last spring, Brunk was third in the 100, won the 200 in 22.74. He helped Inman to second place finishes in the 400 and 1,600 relays. Brunk has interest from Hutchinson Community College and multiple KCAC teams for college football.
Along with Brunk’s school receiving record, Kellen Schrag broke Inman’s mark for the punting average record. He averaged 40.95 yard per punt on 20 attempts this fall. Zaden Johnson tied the record for sacks in a year with 11.
Four players, Zach Martisko, Schrag, Eli Brunk and Samuel Shober, finished with at least 100 tackles and were awarded with a hammer at the team banquet. Junior quarterback Tanner Heckel should be one of the state’s top all-class players next year. Josiah Buller had a strong two-way season, including a stretch at quarterback when Heckel was hurt.
Inman football has finished final four, second and second the last three seasons and become the top 1A power on the West half of Kansas. Additionally, Inman volleyball was top-4 in 2A in the fall, the program’s top showing since a state championship in 1994. Freshman Suttyn Harris delivered 684 kills and Kambrey Woods had 1,055 assists.
Both led Kansas. Inman volleyball set team records for most kills and most assists. Woods broke the Inman mark for single season assists. Harris set the mark for individual kills and points scored. Maci Neufeld had the individual record for most good serves in a fall.
Harrison Brunk has helped Inman boys’ basketball enjoy a strong December with a 5-1 mark. The Teutons entered the Christmas break ranked third in 2A, per the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. Only Wichita Independent and Thomas More Prep-Marian – which is a 3A final four team the last two winters.
Inman owns victories against Minneapolis, two-time defending 2A champion Hillsboro, Lyons and Kingman. On Dec. 16, Inman completed the December schedule with a 54-49 win against Chaparral in the Heart of America/Central Plains League challenge. Chaparral is well-known for high flying 6-foot-5 Jackson Swartz. He went over 1,000 career points in December.
All but the Chaparral win are by at least 22 points. Inman fell, 65-55, to Moundridge on Dec. 9, in its fourth game this season. In the Chaparral victory, Eli Brunk delivered 13 points, Heckel finished with 12 and Buller 11. Harrison Brunk and Martisko have been among key supplementary players.