Varsity Football heads to playoffs

Cole Schmitt, Social Media Manager

The Manhattan High football team (7-1) is heading into the playoffs feeling confident after six consecutive wins, dating back to week three.

The most noticeable win? The Silver Trophy win against rival Junction City with a last second field goal by sophomore Grant Snowden.

“It felt incredible,” Snowden said. “Just to bring the Silver Trophy back to Manhattan is amazing. It’s a big deal around here, but for these seniors, it’s a first time thing. [Senior] Tyce Hoover said before the game in the huddle how important this is [to him because] he never got to touch that trophy. So to be able to do it for all of them was amazing.”

The Indians were up early on Junction but the Jays fought back making it a close game. When the time was right, Snowden would run onto the field with only a couple seconds left to clinch the game for the Indians.

The Tribe would keep that momentum going into the next two games, against Topeka West at home and Highland Park on the road. The Indians combined to score 130 between the two games and allowed zero points. 

“Well we saw a few things where we’re going to have to make some changes,” head coach Joe Schartz said. “We continue to work at them and they continue to not be very good and so we’re going to have to make some changes heading into the future.

Going into the playoffs, the Indians hope to be well rested as they played many players against both West and Highland to make sure of no injuries or anything too serious heading into the playoffs.

“We have a lot of guys that are a little bit sore, and that’s not uncommon at this time of the year,” Schartz said. “We’ll give some guys a couple days off and see how they respond and see if we can get our legs back underneath us before the start of the playoffs.”

The last regular season home game against Topeka West marked the annual senior night for the 2020 class. Schartz is proud of what they’ve accomplished over the years going through this program.

“[These seniors have] come a long way and we’ve been through a lot together,” Schartz said. “I’m just extremely proud of how far they’ve come and how much improvement they’ve made not only as football players, but more importantly as people, and that’s why we do this. To try to better ourselves and prepare ourselves for the future.”

The Indians (4-seed) will play host to Hutchinson High (13-seed) this Friday night in the first round of the playoffs. If they move on from that, they will play host to either Lawrence Free State (5-seed) or Wichita South (12-seed).

“I think we have nothing to lose. This is a team this year that I believe can go very far into the postseason,” Snowden said. “We just [got to] keep our heads on straight and eliminate any silly mistakes going forward. Effort has to be there in practice going forward.”