Colgan is led by small, motivated senior class

The Panthers return just four seniors, many of whom are returning from injury and eager to play

PITTSBURG, Ks. – The four seniors on the Colgan roster have been waiting for this season for a long time.

“A lot of them had older siblings, older brothers that went to school here and played here,” says head coach Shawn Seematter. “They’ve been around and they know what it takes. They know what their siblings and their parents have put in to make this place what it is. They’re excited for their opportunity, knowing that they’re up next.”

There’s even more motivation for a few of them who have missed time to injury in high school, including Jalen VanBecelaere, who played in just four games after an early-season injury in 2020.

“It really felt like when he came back he had a chip on his shoulder.” Seematter says. “We’ve certainly seen that this summer and so far in practice. He’s gotten a lot stronger in the weight room. He’s moving really well and looks good.”

“I’m just really thankful that I can play right now,” says senior RB/LB Jalen VanBecelaere. “I missed a lot last year. I’m just ready to go, and I’m really motivated to go out there and get wins for the team.”

“Aiden Fleming is another senior who had an unfortunate injury as a sophomore and missed some time,” Seematter says. “He had a great year last year, and we’re confident he’s primed for a big year this year. Will Glover missed a game or two last year and missed some time as a sophomore. I think they’ve learned how important each day is, and they’re hungry to make the most of their senior years.”

Colgan opens with three tough games against Girard, Galena and Frontenac. They’re hoping those early-season games will have them ready for district play and another run in the postseason.

“It’s a competitive district and a challenging district, but it’s one that we feel good about, like we can go in and compete with every team every week,” Seematter says.

“I think a lot of people outside of us don’t think we’ll be very good,” VanBecelaere says. “We didn’t get very good rankings the last couple years, but I think we’ll push past that and do better than what people think.”

Colgan faces Girard on the road to open up their season.