The athletic department at Larned High School has made some changes over the summer, including a new athletic director and a new head football coach.
Brent Harrell assumed athletic director position after Wayne Morrow took the principal job at the K-12 Norwich school, and A.B. Stokes will be at the helm for the Indians starting this season.
“I came to Larned as the head wrestling coach and the head middle school football coach last year,” Stokes said. “Before that, I was the assistant (football) coach at Lyons High School for three years, and I was the assistant wide receivers coach at Hesston College for two years.”
The head football coaching job was opened after Al Troyer accepted the same position at Tonganoxie.
“My daughter-in-law and my son wanted to move closer to the Kansas City area,” Troyer said. “This job opened up, so I took it to live closer to them. They’re Class 4A, just like Larned, but their league is a 4A and 5A league.
“Tonganoxie is a little bigger than Larned, and they play KC Piper, KC Turner and Mill Valley all as league games. They mainly play just league games.”
Tonganoxie is part of the Kaw Valley League, which has eight schools compared to Larned’s four-school Mid-Central Activities Association.
The MCAA will be disbanded before the start of the 2014-15 school year. Larned will join the Central Kansas League, which will have 10 schools once Larned and Hoisington are added.
Stokes said that he wants a complete overhaul for Larned’s football team, which has compiled a record of 0-18 over the past two years.
“We have a completely new staff,” Stokes said. “The first thing that I wanted to do was get my coaching staff together, get good guys to coach these kids.”
Stokes said he plans to break down the system in place and go back to the basics with the Indians.
“I want to get back to the fundamentals,” Stokes said. “We want to cover the basics like blocking and tackling, you know, no turnovers, assignments. Then we’ll let the rest take care of itself.”