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WAC rival Hays High will push Panthers
Great Bend High School wide receiver Brayden Smith, 6-foot-5, typically has a nice height advantage over defenders. Smith caught three touchdown passes and gained 101 yards in the Panthers 57-16 victory over Coffeyville-Field Kindley High School. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Western Athletic Conference
Football Statistics

Great Bend 503 257 246
Garden City 368 193 175
Hays High 247 170 77
Dodge City 243 8 235
Liberal 190 73 117

Great Bend 252
Garden City 261
Hays High 293
Dodge City 338
Liberal 352

Great Bend 57-13
Garden City 41-19
Hays High 31-21
Dodge City 14-7
Liberal 13-30

Jacob Murray, GB 231-3 TD
Jesse Nunez, GC 188-3 TD
Hunter Brown, HH 170-3 TD
Jesse Alvarado, LIB 73-1 TD
Dawson WIlliams, DC 8-0 TD

Brayden Smith, GB 5-101-3 TD
Bryce Lytle, GB 7-79
Jordan Herman, GC 5-73-1 TD
Jason Yi, GC 2-60-1 TD
Shane Berens, HH 5-59-2 TD
Collyn Kreutzer, HH 3-59-1 TD
Ty Johnson, LIB 1-50-1 TD
Brodie Stabel, GC 2-49-1 TD
Keaton Markley, HH 1-48
Cal Marshall, GB 1-25

Jesse Nunez, GC 127-1 TD
Jacob Murray, GB 124-3 TD
Dawson Williams, DC 116-2 TD
Tylor Garcia, DC 85
Jesse Alvarado, LIB 61
Cal Marshall, GB 53-1 TD
Paxton Redetzke, GB 45
Tyrique Chandler, LIB 37
Hohlton Meyers, HH 36-1 TD
Dalton Miller, GB 28

Shane Berens, HH 10
Derryck Symons, LIB 10
Jose Aguliaera, LIB 10
Asnsomy Quezada, DC 10
Payton Mauler, GB 9
Dom Rideaux, GB 9
Braulio Vargas, GB 8
Jensen Randall, GB 8
Miseal Monarrez, LIB 8

Samuel Unruh, DC 1
Ezequiel Herrera, GC 1
Dylan Schmidtberger, HH 1
Chantz Brungardt, HH 1
Collyn Kreutzer, HH 1

Shane Berens, HH 1
Tyesse Hill, HH 1
Jensen Randall, GB 1
Christian Correas, GC 1

At 6-foot-5, Great Bend’s Brayden Smith doesn’t fit the prototype for a wide receiver. His height guarantees his visibility and his long flowing locks of hair helps folks remember him.
The easy-going Smith is quickly earning respect as a reliable receiver in the Panthers’ pass-happy offense. He caught a career high three touchdown passes from quarterback Jacob Murray in the Panthers’ opening 57-16 victory over Coffeyville.
“The guys like to say — when in doubt, throw the ball up to ‘Smitty,’ in the endzone,” Smith said.
Smith will lead the Panthers against Hays High’s football team Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
“When I saw Brayden’s work ethic in the weight room, it showed me he had something to prove,” said Panther coach Erin Beck. “He was going to be ready for Friday nights. Brayden is a likeable teammate who earns respect because he does things the right way.”
Smith believes he’s benefits fron the presence of all-state 5-9 receiver Bryce Lytle, who had 57 receptions for 1,049 yards last year.
“My advantage is I’m a big guy with size,” Smith said. “When I cut inside the safeties, that gives us an advantage throwing the football. We can do more routes inside because we have more space.”
Smith said he figures he has a physical edge in the passing game.
“Who covers me can range, depending on the defense,” he said. “There’s always a possibility the defense can try and take me away. We still have Bryce Lytle. He catches the football and he’s extremely fast.”
Smith is a starting forward in basketball and starting first baseman/left-handed pitcher in baseball. His pass-catching success has come as a pleasant surprise.
“Baseball is my favorite sport. But I wanted to give football a try,” he said. “Football has been a good thing. There will be some future opportunities out there for me. I’m waiting on baseball, but we’ll see where football takes me.”
Hays High rallied with three fourth-quarter scores for a 31-21 victory over Scott City. QB Hunter Brown threw for 140 yards and three scores. TE-LB Shane Berens had 10 tackles and 59 yards receiving. Dylan Schmidtberger, Chantz Brungardt and Collyn Kreutzer intercepted passes. Kreutzer had 59 yards receiving.
“The team enjoys ‘Hays Week,’ Beck said. “Hays is a rivalry that’s very important to this town.”
Beck said TE-LB Berens is the Indians’ top player.
“They are a tough team with good football players,” Beck said. “It’s a testament to their toughness and coaching because they have several guys playing both ways. They rallied with takeaways and created points.”
The Indians feature a two-back offense.
“They’ll run fullback dive and the quarterback run game, and hit you with play-action passes,” Beck said. “Their tight end Shane Berens is the real deal. They play good football up front. Their linebacker play is the strength of their team.”