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Class 2 District 12

Southwest Conference

School Colors: Purple and Gold

Head Coach: Russell Ellis (35-28, 7th season)

Assistant coaches: Korey Gordon, Jack Altermatt, Paul Hufft, Scott Bryant, Hunter Sidwell, Courtney Roth


“We are looking to put pressure on our team to start fast and finish games. In years past we have put ourselves behind the eight ball with slow starts. We will look to put our athletes in space offensively. Defensively we want to be extremely physical at the point of attack and tackle well in space.”

Five Year Trend (Playoffs)

  • 2020: 6-5 (Third Round)
  • 2019: 5-5 (First Round)
  • 2018: 7-4 (Second Round)
  • 2017: 9-2 (Second Round)
  • 2016: 6-4 (Second Round)


Sarcoxie returned to a winning record in the 2020 season and had a nice playoff run. “Last year we were a really young team from top to bottom with just a few kids with actual varsity experience,” Ellis says. “We improved greatly from week 1 to week 12.” The Bears played for the district championship for the first time in 18 years, losing to Lamar, who went on to win the state championship.


RB/LB Drake Acheson (Sr) 5’10”, 185 lb – SWC 1st team LB, 1st team All-Area – 394 rush yards, 7 TD, 135 tackles, 3 sacks

OL/LB Tyler Cupp (Sr) 5’10”, 185 lb – SWC HM LB, HM OL, 69 tackles, 3 sacks

RB/LB Terio Asterio (Sr) 5’10”, 175 lb – HM RB – 745 rush yards, 10 TD, 125 rec yards, 21 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

OL/DL Kenneth Guenzel (Sr) 6’2”, 215 lb – 23 tackles

QB/DB Jaron Malotte (Jr) 5’10”, 165 lb – SWC HM QB, 585 rush yards, 545 pass yards, 9 TD, 45 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions

OL/DL Sammy Zamora (Jr) 5’11”, 210 lb – 26 tackles

OL/DL Kobe Heinz (Jr) 5’11”, 280 lb

OL/DL Kayden Triplett (Jr) 6’4”, 285 lb

RB/LB Garett Smith (So) 6’1”, 195 lb – 101 rush yards, 68 tackles

RB/DB Blake Heckmaster (So) 5’9”, 165 lb – SWC HM DB, 29 tackles, 1 interception

WR/DB Ethan Lee (Jr) 5’9”, 130 lb – SWC 2nd team DB, 79 rush yards, 57 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions

WR/DB Tyler Hirtz (Jr) 6’1”, 160 lb – 9 tackles


RB/LB Nickson Cancinos (Jr) 5’9”, 200 lb

RB/DB Antonio Benito (So) 5’8”, 155 lb

OL/DL Kevin Lopez (So) 6’1”, 190 lb

OL/DL Eli Ellis (So) 5’10”, 205 lb

RB/LB Clayton Jackson (Jr) 5’11”, 170 lb


8/27 @ Houston

9/3 @ Wyandotte

9/10 @ Pierce City

9/17 vs. Stockton

9/24 vs. Central (Springfield)

10/1 vs. Miller

10/8 vs. Marionville

10/15 @ Diamond

10/22 @ Ash Grove


A huge advantage for this Bears team in 2021 is the quantity of returning starters. Twelve key players from their 6-5 season in 2020 will be back on the field in 2021. “With the amount we have returning we should be a year older, stronger, and faster and more comfortable with our offense,” Ellis says. The linebacker’s group is expected to be the strongest part of Sarcoxie’s defense. “Our speed and athleticism should help us tackle in space and hopefully limit teams’ big play,” Ellis says. “This team will be one of the most athletic teams we have had in a while.” Tyler Cupp has high expectations for the Bears in his senior season. “This should be a great year,” Cupp says. “We return a lot of guys with experience, and I think we should make a run at the conference title.”