Jacob Meseke | editor in chief
The Chargers ended the season in the sectional championship to Conway Springs, 39-14, finishing with a record of 9-2.
Football made a lot of history this season. WHS won its first ever regional championship and won its district for the first time since 2013.
Nine wins ties the 1978 team for the most in school history.
Rutledge expressed his pride in the team’s accomplishments in a Facebook post after the game.
“I cannot even put into words how much pride and how much love I have for this team. THEY made history, THEY changed the culture, and THEY rose to the challenge week after week.”
“While all of our players contributed to the turnaround, I want to highlight our seniors. They went from 1-8 as freshmen to 9-2 in their final season. That doesn’t happen if they don’t believe and don’t do everything the right way to get to where we did,” Rutledge wrote.
The Chargers will lose seven seniors, Logan Clark, Eli Oliver, Bryton Reves, Lanson Parry, Ryan Schutter, Maverick Havenstein and Jacob Meseke.
Junior quarterback Wyatt Wurtz threw for over 1247 yards and ran for a team leading 579 yards. Wurtz scored 29 touchdowns in addition to five interceptions on defense.
Junior Zach Frank rushed for 482 yards and nine touchdowns. Frank played in only seven games after suffering a hip injury.
Senior Logan Clark led the team in receiving with 543 yards and had 6 touchdowns.
“This season meant a lot for me. From going 1-8 to 9-2 it’s amazing knowing that I was a part of the change for Wabaunsee football and all the history that was made,” Clark said.
Senior Eli Oliver’s season ended early with a broken ankle in the first round of the playoffs, but Oliver still managed to have 403 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Junior Tate Deever led the team in tackles with 74 and senior Bryton Reves was right behind with 70.
Sophomore Jude Meseke led the team with 22.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Senior Maverick Havenstein had 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Senior Ryan Schutter had six sacks as well.
Freshmen Cole Frank and Brody Droegemeier played solid roles in their first year. Frank rushed for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Droegemeier led the team in pancakes with 17.
Rutledge looks to keep improving for next year.
“To the rest of the 2022 team: now you know how high we can climb. Let’s make 2023 a special season and continue to carry that standard of excellence higher and higher. I LOVE THIS TEAM!”