WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Home is where the heart is, and for head coach Dylan Schmidt, home has always been Andale.
As a student, Schmidt was involved in the football program, but after graduation, he went to Kansas State University (K-State) to run track. It didn’t take long for Schmidt to return to his hometown of Andale. But before diving into the coaching scene at his alma mater, Schmidt began his coaching career at Towanda-Circle.
“I was there for two years and then came back to Andale for a year as an assistant,” explained Schmidt. “I then took the head job at Wellington for a year, then came back to Andale as an assistant for about five years. Gary O’Hare retired, and I got the job six years ago.”
Coach Schmidt has built a legacy in those six years. A 74-2 overall record, a current 51-0 winning record, and four consecutive state titles.
“I think the main ingredient is hard work,” said Schmidt. “Attacking the process and here’s what we do and why we do it and why it’s important.”
The hard work has paid off. Andale averaged 54 points per game this season. Quarterback Wyatt Spexarth threw for 1,000 yards. Defensively, Andale recorded seven shutouts, four just in the postseason.
“I don’t know how it feels like to lose. Not many people can say that,” said receiver Kelby Eck.
Expectations were at their peak for Andale. Three straight championships in the bag, a fourth looming over the program. The pressure was mounting, but the standard remained high all season long. The senior leaders made sure of it.
“We took every game like it was the best game we were going to play all week,” explained linebacker and defensive end Riley Marx.
“We don’t think about the win streak or anything. We play every game our hardest,” said Eck. “We just keep working and see if we can get better.”
To improve on and off the field. That’s coach Schmidt’s goal, for his players to leave this program better than they found it.
“I think we have a great thing going, and I am proud of our coaches,” explained Schmidt. “It takes so many people behind the scenes and so many people who are willing to put their time and energy into it. As I have gotten older, especially going from an athlete to a coach, I reflect on my coaches and the people that helped me along the way. It’s meaningful, I’m getting choked up just talking about it because you think, ‘Man, what a neat deal for that person to spend their time with me or to help me get better and achieve my goal.’ So I hope I’m doing the same.”
Seasons come to an end, players graduate and move on, but the Andale bond stays intact year and after.