Five local coaches named finalists for “Sports in Kansas” Coach of the Year

The winners in each class will be announced this weekend.
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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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