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About

Class 2A District 1

Tri-Valley League

School Colors: Red, Black and White

Head Coach: Eddie Kearns (5-13, 3rd season)

Assistant coaches: Jamie Carlisle, Dan Wilson

COACH KEARNS SAYS:

“We feel that the strength of this team is the hard work the young men are putting in this summer. We also have a lot of experience coming back. We know we have a tough schedule, so we are hoping that will help us get better as the year goes on.”

Five Year Trend (Playoffs)

  • 2020: 2-7 (No Playoffs)
  • 2019: 3-6 (No Playoffs)
  • 2018: 3-6 (No Playoffs)
  • 2017: 2-7 (No Playoffs)
  • 2016: 2-7 (No Playoffs)

2020 REVIEW

The Red Devils struggled in 2020. After winning their season opener against Cherryvale, Erie went on a 7-game skid before wrapping up the season with a win. “Because of injuries and COVID, we had a lot of underclassmen get varsity experience,” Kearns says. He is hoping that experience proves to be an asset for the upcoming season.

RETURNING STARTERS (2020 stats)

QB/DB Garrett Ruark (Sr) 6’2”, 170 lb

WR/DB Quinten Heafy (Sr) 5’6”, 145 lb – All District Honorable Mention

RB/LB Cayce Welch (Jr) 5’9”, 185 lb

RB/LB Caden Eads (Sr) 6’0”, 195 lb

RB/LB Grant Taylor (Sr) 5’9”, 185 lb

TE/DE Eric Dillinger (Sr) 6’6”, 209 lb

OTHER KEY RETURNERS

OL/DL Braydon Yarnell (Sr) 6’0”, 235 lb

OL/DL Dakota Becker (Jr) 6’0”, 245 lb

WR/DB Nate Thompson (Sr) 5’10”, 170 lb

OLB/RB Ty Taylor (Jr) 5’10”, 185 lb

OLB/RB Ruben Mata (Jr) 5’9”, 170 lb

L/WR Rylie Hays (Sr) 6’3”, 185 lb

SCHEDULE:

9/3 vs. Cherryvale

9/10 @ Eureka

9/17 vs. Caney

9/24 @ Southeast

10/1 @ Riverton

10/8 vs. Fredonia

10/15 @ Colgan

10/22 vs. Neodesha

2021 SEASON OUTLOOK

Perhaps the biggest area of focus for this Red Devils team will be the offensive line. “We lost to graduation about 80% of our offense,” Kearns says. “We are going to need several key players to step up and be successful on the offensive side of the ball.” Kearns points to senior Eric Dillinger as the leader of the line. He will be moving from tackle to the tight end position. Seniors Garrett Ruark and Quinten Heafy are also expected to be leaders. Heafy received all district honorable mention recognition for his performance in 2020. The early season will be a big test for Erie. They see Cherryvale, Eureka, and Caney prior to their district opener in week four. Kearns projects those three opponents to be the most threatening in the league in 2021. “We have a very tough pre-district schedule,” Kearns says. “We would love to go into district healthy and win the district. We want to make it to the playoffs.”

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