TOPEKA (KSNT) — High school football players from all over Kansas have joined forces with 785 Elite, a training group and seven-on-seven team out of north Topeka.
The group features players ranging from 6A schools to 8-man football teams. It has athletes from Topeka, Manhattan, Junction City, Wichita and surrounding areas.
“Five or six of our quarterbacks now were in the Top 10 in passing this year in the state of Kansas. So you can definitely see it there. It definitely helps just slow down the game at every position and you can definitely see it in the fall,” said 785 Elite founder Tyler Wendland.
The group practices roughly once a week over the offseason and often gets seven-on-seven scrimmages or games in with other teams.
“You get to stay active. You get to work on stuff you didn’t get to work on during the season,” Topeka High senior running back Tylan Alejos said. “It’s a really good tool to sharpen your skills.”
The spring football action gets players excited for their high school games in the fall. There was snow on the field when the players arrived Sunday, but once they got the field cleared the Friday night feeling was there.
“It feels just like the fall and definitely makes me itching to get to fall,” Wamego junior quarterback Hayden Oviatt said.
Oviatt is one of many players who are hoping to use their offseason experience with 785 Elite to put together a big senior campaign in the 2022 season.
“I’ve really developed as a player. Not just communication wise but athletically as well. There’s many coaches from different backgrounds and schools so it’s really good,” Rock Creek junior Yanci Spiller said. “I love being out here and playing football, man. I just love the sport and I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to come out here.”
Despite the fact that many of these players will be enemies in the fall, they’re able to put that aside as they all come together with a common goal of getting better each day.
“We all love each other…school, rivalry, it’s all just put in the back and we just play,” Spiller said.
The rivalries can often be put on pause, but the competitive edge you see on Friday night’s in the fall is still there.
“You’ll always see that competitive edge, especially when you have like Manhattan/ Junction City, that’s always a good rivalry. It is good to see all these guys have great relationships and that’s what it’s all about but there’s always that little competitive edge in practice so it’s a good time.” Wendland said.
Wichita What out of Wichita and Empire seven-on-seven out of Kansas City joined 785 Elite on the field at Washburn Rural Saturday. The team will head down to Tulsa to compete with other seven-on-seven teams next weekend.