WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita East Blue Aces are locked in on the upcoming football season. The team shares one clear goal: clinch the 5A state title.
Coach Ene Akban says last year’s round two playoff loss against Manhattan has left a bad taste in the guys’ mouths. They are ready to move past it with a deep playoff run this year.
“The biggest thing is, I think we have a ton of talent, and talent isn’t what’s going to always help you win the ball game. So, we just have to focus on other things besides talent. Discipline things, showing up on time, finishing plays, finishing everything and doing everything right,” said Akban.
The team has a large amount of seniors. Their leadership and experience will play a large part in their success. One of those leaders is senior ATH and safety Dayontay Standifer, who says the little details are what the players are focusing on during training.
“Everybody knows what the goal is, everybody is coming to practice, everybody is determined. Getting out there stretching before so we have more time to put towards the game instead of playing around,” explained Standifer.
One position that Coach Akban says is worth watching is the offensive lineman. He says they are bigger and stronger than past years. Junior right guard Austin Fulton is stepping up for the group this season. He hopes that they finish the year with rings on their fingers.
“Everyone is better disciplined; we’ve been playing together a year longer, so we have better connections as a team, and our relationships are better,” says Fulton.
East opens its season on Friday, Sept. 1, at Washburn Rural. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The rest of their season schedule is as follows:
- Fri, Sept. 8 vs Kapaun Mt. Carmerl
- Fri, Sept. 15 vs. Wichita Southeast
- Fri, Sept. 22 at Wichita Northwest
- Fri, Sept. 29 at Wichita West
- Fri, Oct. 6 vs Emporia
- Fri, Oct. 20 at Bishop Carroll