Five local coaches named finalists for “Sports in Kansas” Coach of the Year
The winners in each class will be announced this weekend.
Four local coaches have been named finalists for the “Sports in Kansas” Coach of the Year in their respective classes.
4A – Clete Frazell (Chanute)
Frazell led the Blue Comets to an 8-2 overall record this season, including 8 consecutive wins from week two to week nine. There was a crazy stretch of five games from September 24th-October 22nd where Chanute only allowed six total points and posted four shutouts. Chanute’s season ended with a loss to Bishop Miege in the regional round of the Class 4A state bracket.
3A – Mark Smith (Frontenac)
Smith led Frontenac to one of their best finishes in school history this season. The Raiders finished the year as 3A state runner-up with a 10-3 overall record. Frontenac’s season ended with a loss to defending state champion Andale in the state championship game. Their playoff run was impressive, beating Columbus 26-6 in the first round, Galena 31-6 for a regional title, Rock Creek 42-26 in the state quarterfinals and undefeated Holton 32-13 in the state semifinals.
3A – Neal Philpot (Girard)
Girard was one of the best stories in southeast Kansas all season long. The Trojans finished off a perfect 8-0 regular season, including a 13-6 win over Frontenac in their regular season finale. Girard would go on to win a 3A regional championship after going 4-6 in 2020. Girard finished with a 10-1 overall record, with their season ending in the state quarterfinals with a loss to Holton.
3A – Jeff Schibi (Parsons)
Schibi led a big time turnaround for Parsons this season in his second year as the program’s head coach. After going 3-6 in his first season last year, Schibi led the Vikings to a 7-3 overall record and their first playoff win since 2018. Their season ended with a loss to undefeated Girard in the regional round of the 3A state playoff bracket.
2A – Johnny Mallatt (Riverton)
What Johnny Mallatt has done for Riverton football over the last few years has been fun to watch – and it starts with numbers. Mallatt told us earlier this season that when he returned to Riverton a few years ago, there were only 16 players on the roster. The Riverton roster was pushing 40 kids this season. Mallatt led the the Rams to an 8-3 overall record after finishing 4-4 last season. The Rams won two playoff games and a regional championship, before falling to Rossville in the state quarterfinals.
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