Kaw Valley League champion Mill Valley enters the Kansas Class 5A playoffs tonight at home against Bishop Miege riding an eight-game win streak, but the Jaguars haven’t had much luck in their four tries at the postseason — going 1-4 since 2008, including four consecutive losses and two in a row against sub-.500 Shawnee Heights teams. We asked Mill Valley senior quarterback Skyler Windmiller if that was going to change when he agreed to go Four Downs with The Star.
Q. Have you guys exceeded expectations this season?
A. “We’re well on our way to meeting them, but we haven’t met or exceeded any of them yet. All our expectations are based on the postseason, which is just getting started. That’s where our season will be defined and what will be most important to us.”
Q. Speaking of the postseason, the Jags haven’t had much luck the last four seasons in the Kansas Class 5A playoffs. Will that change?
A. “Up to this point, our team is a lot better than we have been in the past. We had a fantastic offseason, especially when you look at stuff like our weights and going to seven-on-seven camps. If we can beat Miege, it would be huge for Mill Valley in general and for our football program. We’ve never had a game where we beat a team that was favored. So if we get this win, it will really be huge.”
Q. Why should people believe Mill Valley is a legitimate threat to win Class 5A?
A. “From a football standpoint, we have a lot of depth and talent. We worked hard all summer with morning weights and then taking the field for conditioning and agility drills. With the senior class that we have, we’ve all been playing together since elementary school. The chemistry we have together is great, and that can be hard to develop.”
Q. Spill the beans, who’s got the best nickname and what’s your goofiest team tradition?
A. “The best nickname isn’t a player. It’s actually a coach. Coach (Alex) Houlton is in charge of our DBs, but we call him ‘Big Pick-It.’ Sometimes I go by ‘Windy,’ but not many people call me that. As far as traditions, we have one that, after we win, there’s this one kid (Karlton Kinley, whom the team dubbed ‘Dougie’) we have who gives us a total dance party.”
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com
By the Numbers
0 Points allowed by Osage“>Fort Osage in two games against Raytown. The Indians shut out Raytown for the second time this season Wednesday 36-0 win in a Class 5 district semifinal. With seven shutouts in 10 games, Fort Osage has one of the best defenses in the class. The Indians face Winnetonka on Monday.
2 Number of East Kansas League football championships for St. Thomas Aquinas, which won the league crown outright with a goal-line stand as time expired in a 27-24 win against rival Bishop Miege. The Saints also won the EKL in 2009 when it was a six-team league.
5 Winning streak (in games) for St. Pius X after a one-point victory Wednesday against Cameron. The number is especially impressive considering St. Pius X opened the season with six straight losses. The Warriors play Maryville in a district title game Monday.
1,485 Rushing yards for SM West senior Brett Sterbach, who overtook SM South’s Gabe Guild in on the final game of the regular season to win the Sunflower League rushing title. The diminutive Sterbach (5-7, 150) powers through tackles like a much bigger back and also can break long touchdown runs. Sterbach ran for 148 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries last week against SM Northwest as the Vikings clinched an outright Sunflower League title and a district championship.
The Star’s Tod Palmer and Sam McDowell contributed to this report.
Tod Palmer, <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>