Your Prep Sports
Opening night of the prep football season in the Your Prep Sports area is less than two weeks away.
As practice began for teams around the state last week Your Prep Sports offered a look at 11 of the top players in the area to watch this season.
Today Your Prep Sports gives a glimpse of some of the area players ready to take a step forward this season into that group of standout performers.
Here are 11 Your Prep Sports area players poised for breakthroughs in 2022.
Senior, West High
The breakthrough for Janis was supposed to come last season.
Instead an injury in the season opener cut short the season for Janis limiting the speedy receiver to five catches for 25 yards and a score.
Janis showed his high-end speed this spring qualifying for the state track meet in both the 100 and 200 and at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds has the size to be a major problem for defenses this fall.
A returning all-stater as a breakthrough player?
As good as White was last season as a sophomore, and he was excellent leading the Spartans in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks, the junior should be busier and better in 2022.
White had 94 tackles including 14.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks despite playing through a hand injury last season and will see an increased role on offense for Solon this season.
Senior, Liberty High
The second leading returning receiver for the Lightning Thigpen was at his best at the end of the season making eight of his 12 receptions over the final four games.
Thigpen had 118 receiving yards and a score last season and also returned punts and kickoffs.
Look for Liberty High to make an effort to get the ball in the hands of the 6-foot, 165-pound Thigpen often this season.
Poynton was a key piece of what was another strong Regina defense last season as the Regals held opponents to under 13 points per game.
This season Poynton will be the centerpiece for the Regals defensively.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Poynton is a monster in the middle of the field for Regina and should improve on the 29.5 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss he posted a year ago.
Senior, City High
Etuma enters his senior season a relative unknown on the prep football season.
That will likely change quickly.
Injuries limited Etuma to two tackles last season but the City High coaches have liked what they have seen from the 6-foot, 200-pound Etuma who has as much potential as nearly any member of the Little Hawk roster.
Senior, West Branch
Boelk did just about everything for the Bears last season including catching passes, carrying the ball, returning punts and kicks and ranking fifth on the team in tackles.
The theme was to get the ball in Boelk’s hands and let him do his thing.
That should continue this season so expect the speedy Boelk to improve on his nine receptions, 107 receiving yards and two touchdowns from a year ago.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
The top three tacklers for the Clippers last season, all linebackers, are all gone this season.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder was productive last season ranking seventh on the season with 33.5 tackles including five for loss which ranked third on the team.
Those numbers should skyrocket this season for Sherman who will be a centerpiece for the Clear Creek Amana defense.
Junior, Liberty High
Beckman showed glimpses of his potential last season as a sophomore when he completed 13-of-15 passes for 184 yards largely in a backup role.
In his first extended action of the season Beckman completed 8-of-9 passes for 130 yards in a season-ending win over Clinton.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounds Beckman brings a combination of size, speed and athleticism to the quarterback spot and should be in for a big season.
Junior, West High
The debut was impressive for the talented Honore who ranked third on the team in tackles last season as a sophomore.
This season should be the breakthrough for the 5-foot-11, 200 pounder who showed a knack for being around the football a year ago.
Honore finished with 35.5 tackles and ranked second on the team with eight tackles for loss including 1.5 sacks and should build on those numbers this season.
Dumont got off to a solid start in his varsity debut season throwing for 251 yards and a touchdown in three games before a sustaining a season-ending broken collarbone.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Dumont should take a big step forward this season.
Dumont completed 55 percent of his passes last season and has the benefit of some varsity experience entering what should be a breakthrough junior season.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
Allan was a major factor on the defensive side of the ball last season leading the Clippers with three sacks while ranking fourth on the team in tackles for loss.
With that past varsity success under his belt look for a breakthrough for Allan this season who will look to anchor the Clipper offensive line.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Allan is one of three returning starters on what should be an improved Clipper offensive line.