The Wiley Panthers football program heads into the 2021 season under new head coach Rodney Yates.
Yates is a native of Colorado. He spent the past three years in Nebraska coaching 8-man. Yates was in Kansas coaching 8-man for three years before that. His 8-man record is 56-16.
The new coach will look to turn around a program that has struggled in the past.
The Panthers went 1-3 in the Arkansas Valley League and 1-4 overall.
The Panthers have 17 players out for this season.
“I have a good core of upperclassmen to provide leadership,” said Yates.
Players he will counting on to make an impact this year will be:
Riley Comer, Sr., a 6-1, 170-pound senior, quarterback and safety.
Tyler Riefsnider, a 6-5, 250-pound senior, guard and defensive tackle.
Cooper Tixier, a 6-3, 230-pound junior, guard and defensive end.
Jace Parker, Jr., a 6-4, 230-pound junior, tight end and defensive end.
Conner Wollert, 6-3, 165-pound junior, tight end and outside linebacker
Evan Larrick, 6-0, 170-pound sophomore, quarterback and safety.
Martin Roman, 6-0, 150 junior, wide receiver and cornerback.
Ty Michael, 5-5, 110-pound junior, running back and cornerback.
Braxton Mayhew, 5-7, 220-pound junior, tackle.
Brook Jones, 5-10, 200-pound junior, guard and nose guard.
Garret Williams, 5-10, 145-pound junior, running back and outside linebacker.
Yates added that the Panthers will have some good underclass players that will be asked to contribute right away.”
Those prospects will include:
Ethan Tellez, 5-10, 145-pound sophomore, wide receiver and cornerback.
Ivan Ayala, 5-9, 150-pound sophomore, wide receiver.
James Pearson, 5-9, 150-pound sophomore, running back.
Rhett McDonald, 5-4, 200-pound freshman, guard and defensive end.
Looking at the Arkansas Valley League and teams around the state, Yates said, “8-man has been controlled by the six-time reigning champions from the north in Sedgwick County. Our league is full of talented coaches and players. Several teams from our conference are ranked in the Top 10. I hope that Covid-21 doesn't get us and we can stay healthy.”
WILEY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 4 – at Sangre de Cristo, 3:00
Friday, Sept. 10 – at Haxtun, 6:00
Saturday, Sept. 17 – at Crowley County, 7:00
Friday, Sept. 24 – HOLLY, 7:00 (Homecoming)
Friday, Oct. 1 – at Hoehne, 7:00
Friday, Oct. 8 – FOWLER, 7:00
Friday, Oct. 15 – at Springfield, 7:00
Friday, Oct. 22 – LAS ANIMAS, 7:00
Friday, Oct. 29 – MCCLAVE, 7:00
Saturday, Nov. 6 – State preliminaries
Saturday, Nov. 13 – State quarterfinals
Saturday, Nov. 20 – State semifinals
Saturday, Nov. 27 – State championship