2018 Journal-World All-Area football team
photo by: Nick Krug
Player of the year: Jax Dineen, Free State
Dineen finished his career as the program’s all-time rushing leader. A Kansas State signee, Dineen was named the Sunflower League player of the year for his performance as a running back and a linebacker. Dineen ran for more than 100 yards in nine straight games following the season opener.
Coach of the year: Bob Lisher, Free State
For the second consecutive year, Free State’s football team finished with a 10-win season and made it to the 6A quarterfinals. Lisher, the Sunflower League coach of the year, led the Firebirds (10-1) to another Sunflower League title as well. After the season, Lisher announced his plans to retire after 22 years at the helm at FSHS.
Gavin Elston, Eudora — After missing his junior campaign with an injury, Elson posted a strong senior season. As a free safety, Elston logged 95 tackles in nine games while playing the last six contests with a torn meniscus. Elston also played quarterback and running back for the Cardinals.
Zach Flowers, Baldwin — Flowers was a crucial part of Baldwin’s football team on both sides of the ball. The senior linebacker, who was a three-year starter, finished second on the team with 88 tackles and three sacks. Flowers also played three positions on offense.
Keenan Garber, Free State — Nobody had a knack for making big plays this season like Free State’s senior receiver. Garber, a Kansas State signee, scored 20 offensive touchdowns on 46 total touches this season. Garber also made multiple plays at safety for the Firebirds.
E.J. Jewsome, Lawrence High — Hard work paid off for Lawrence’s senior defensive tackle this season. Jewsome put in the work in the offseason, in which he squatted over 600 pounds, and was a force on the LHS defensive line in 2018 under head coach Steve Rampy.
Dalton Kellum, Perry-Lecompton — For the second consecutive season, Perry-Lecompton’s high-octane offense was led by Kellum. The senior played quarterback and running back, finishing with 1,416 rushing yards and 19 scores on 207 carries. Kellum also threw for 551 yards and six touchdowns.
Caleb Mondi, Lawrence High — Mondi served as one of the LHS captains in 2018 — the first season the program had captains. The senior linebacker led a strong defensive performance, notching stops throughout the season.
Jalen Nash, Free State — The senior linebacker made stops on a consistent basis during Free State’s 10-1 season. Nash was all over the field every week, leading the Free State defense that started the season off with three consecutive shutouts.
Korbin Riedel, Tonganoxie — The rushing leader in 4A recorded 1,531 yards and 18 touchdowns. Riedel, a senior running back, was named to the first team in the All-Frontier League and scored 110 points for the Chieftains.
Cole Sample, Tonganoxie — Sample was named to the first team in All-Frontier League on both sides of the line. The junior registered 72 tackles, including seven for a loss, with one fumble recovery. Sample also was credited with 42 pancake blocks as the offensive lineman.
Andrew Windheuser, Veritas — As a junior, Windheuser led Veritas on both sides of the ball. He was the leading tackler on defense as a linebacker, and was also the team’s leading rusher on offense as a running back. Windheuser even coordinated film sessions for the Eagles.
Cy Hockey, Baldwin; Quinn Nichols, Baldwin; Alex Allison, Eudora; Brayden Beerbower, Eudora; Turner Corcoran, Free State; Malik Berry, Free State; Shane Skwarlo, Free State; Lovette Epelle, Free State; Eric Galbreath, Lawrence; Ross Brungardt, Lawrence; Chris McGee, Lawrence; Cole Mondi, Lawrence; Spencer Funk, Perry-Lecompton; Colton Mallonee, Perry-Lecompton.