FNF Preview 2017: Notre Dame Knights & Wichita Christian Stars

WICHITA FALLS - Crosstown rivalries add an extra level of excitement to Friday night football and that certainly holds true for Notre Dame and Wichita Christian.

The Knights clinched a District Title with a 106 to 60 win over the stars last fall. Notre Dame eventually finishing its season as state runners-up.

"I've been here 9 years, I think we've got a little tradition on our side," said Notre Dame Head Coach Don Carlson. "We've went to the state championship game the last couple of years. We've been to the final 4 once and most years we're competing for a district championship and going to the playoff. So, we have built a little bit of tradition here and we're proud of that."

Carlson said he believes the tradition will continue thanks in part to the 10 players he has returning.

"Four of them played in one state championship game and 6 of them played in two state championship games. So, once again that goes back to that tradition that most of our guys especially those coming back, they pretty much think we're going to do well and they think we'll go far in the playoffs. Hopefully, get as far as we can get and maybe compete for another state championship."

Carlson said the Knights have outstanding team speed Jack Trivette, Jacob Ysasaga and twins Thomas and Andrew Koch are state track qualifiers. The team speed will be used to help fill the shoes of Marc Schafer and all-stater Skyler Whitten who rushed for over 1,800 yards and 28 touchdowns a year ago.

One noticeable change is the quarterback position. Sam Ozier, and his 29 touchdown passes are gone. Carlson said Andrew Koch will be called on to take the snaps.

The Knights put their speed on display for the first time when they open up the season at Forestburg,

Coming off the third winning season in school history, Wichita Christian will lean on 14 returning letterman to lead the Stars to another successful season.

"We're excited about having a good group of upper classman coming back," said Head Coach Josh Johnson. "We're not young, we're not rebuilding so we're just going try to continue what we did last year and build off of that."

The Stars return All-District standout Nic Crittenden who combined for 1,300 yards of offense and 21 touchdowns last Fall.

Johnson is preparing for his third season as head coach, he said something they will implement this year, more team building activities.

"Our strength and conditioning coordinators  are really working on just a bunch of activities, competitions to that can really keep the kids engaged and excited about the year because football season is a long season."

Wichita Christian hopes to beat Notre Dame for the first time in program history when they meet up November 3rd.

Here are some other notes, scheduling has been an issue for both teams over the years. This season, Wichita Christian and Notre Dame are set to play 10 games. In this district the top 2 teams make the playoffs. Due to the TAPPS wild card system a 3rd district team could make the playoffs. And on November 3rd, Wichita Christian plays at Notre Dame. This game could once again be for the district title.


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