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Health advisory: KDHE offers safety tips for prescribed fire season in Flint Hills

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reminding Kansans that March and April are when large areas of the state’s rangelands are burned by prescribed fire, especially within the Flint Hills.

Prescribed fire is a tool used by landowners and managers to help preserve the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, control invasive species, reduce woody encroachment from species such as Eastern Red Cedar and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning also reduces the risk of wildfires and is effective in managing rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas. The use of smoke management techniques is vital to reduce the air quality and health impacts.

KDHE will activate the Kansas smoke modeling tool in early March, prior to widespread burning in the Flint Hills. The computer models use fire data and current weather conditions to predict the potential contribution of smoke and air quality impacts to downwind areas. There are approximately 2.2 million acres burned on average in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma each year.

“We are entering the 14th year that we have been able to provide this important tool for the prescribed fire community,” Jayson Prentice, meteorologist at the KDHE Bureau of Air, said. “We continue to encourage ranchers and land managers to utilize smoke modeling resources, such as the smoke modeling tool to mitigate potential air quality impacts.”

Prescribed burns release large amounts of particulate matter and other pollutants that can form ground-level ozone. Particulate matter and ozone can cause health problems, even in healthy individuals. Common health problems include: burning eyes, runny nose, coughing and illnesses such as bronchitis. People with respiratory conditions, cardiovascular diseases, children and the elderly are more vulnerable to experience symptoms.

KDOT to host open house for upcoming U.S. 75 bridge projects in Osage County

The Kansas Department of Transportation will host an open house to provide information on three projects scheduled over the next four years to improve several bridges along U.S. Highway 75 in Osage County. The public is invited to attend the meeting 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at Marais des Cygnes Valley High School, 508 N.E. Main St., Melvern, Kan.

Attendees will be able to review the upcoming bridge improvements and speak one-on-one with project staff. There will be no formal presentation and attendees can come and go at any time during the meeting. Information presented at the meeting will be available online beginning March 20 at ike.ksdot.gov/us75-bridges-osage-county.

The first project is scheduled for this year and will resurface and patch the U.S. 75 bridges over 333rd Street, 325th Street, 341st Street, and Frog Creek. Temporary traffic signals will direct U.S. 75 traffic through the work zone for the duration of the project.

In 2025, KDOT will redeck the U.S. 75 bridges over the BNSF railroad and the Marais des Cygnes River. This project is expected to last two construction seasons and will require U.S. 75 traffic to be detoured to state Highway 31.

Another project scheduled to start no earlier than 2027 will replace the U.S. 75 bridges over Frog Creek and 341st Street. This project will also require U.S. 75 traffic to be detoured to K-31.

For more information about the open house, contact Kate Craft at Kate.Craft@ks.gov.

Eat Well to Be Well: Boost your breakfast – sneak in more veggies to start your day

Eating more vegetables for breakfast is easier than you may think!

Are you a breakfast person? If so, I have a tip for improving your health – remember to sneak in veggies for a healthier start to your day.

I know it’s easy to stick to the usual breakfast foods like eggs, cereal, or pancakes, but adding some vegetables to the mix can be a game-changer. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but they can also add some fun and creativity to your morning meal and have a powerful influence on your health.

Vegetables’ powerful influence on our health

In a world where most of us struggle to meet our daily vegetable intake, incorporating them into breakfast can be a game-changer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a staggering 90 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended daily intake of vegetables, which should ideally be around 2 to 3 cups per day. By adding veggies to your morning meal, you’re not only boosting your nutritional intake, but also diversifying the spectrum of essential nutrients your body receives.

It’s essential to stress that consuming various vegetables, often called “eating the rainbow,” is vital as different colors signify the presence of distinct phytonutrients and antioxidant vitamins.

Research agrees that meeting the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of various diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Melvern Jr. Highline meets in February to share love and compassion

By Allie Reeser
Club Reporter

At 4:54 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at the Melvern Community Center, the February Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club meeting was called to order by Treasurer Braelyn McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Braelyn. Secretary Bella Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, “Would you rather have chocolates or flowers for Valentine’s Day?” There were six members, three adults, and one Extension agent present.

Bella read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. There was no correspondence. Braelyn read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Allie Reeser stated she submitted one article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report. There was no council report.

In leader’s report, leader Caleb McNally reminded club members about the Blue & Gold sales that start immediately and will need to be turned in to the Extension office by Feb. 26. Caleb also reminded club members about District Club Days that will be Feb. 24, at West Franklin-Pomona school; registration will be open until Feb. 9. Leader Lisa Reeser reminded club members and parents to please read their club meeting notes paper. There was no old business.  In new business, a motion was made and seconded to purchase varnish to varnish the picnic tables at the Melvern Fairgrounds at the March club meeting.

In program, club members created Valentine’s cards for the Mayes House. In songs, song leader Koral Bruening led the club in singing “Bear Hunt.” At 5:11 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at Melvern Community Center. Members enjoyed snacks provided by the Bruening family. For recreation, members and parents enjoyed finishing their pictures for the Mayes House.

Photo: Melvern Jr. Highline’s Valentine’s Day cards for the Mayes House.

KDOT to start work on new section of the Flint Hills Trail in Franklin County

The week of March 4, 2024, the Kansas Department of Transportation expects to start work on a Transportation Alternatives project that will add a new section to the Flint Hills Trail State Park, in Franklin County. The new 2.3-mile section, located west of Ottawa, Kan., extends west from Louisiana Terrace to Iowa Road.

Project activity includes constructing the 10-foot-wide multi-use trail and a pedestrian bridge over the BNSF Railway and improving three existing bridges. The 3.4-mile signed county road detour will be deactivated when work on the new section is finished.

The Transportation Alternatives Program covers on and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, and Safe Routes to School sidewalk improvements. Upon completion of the Franklin County project, the Flint Hills Trail will have 93 miles of continuous traversable trail for bicyclists and pedestrians from Osawatomie to Council Grove.

KDOT awarded the construction contract of $4.9 million to Dondlinger & Sons Construction Co. Inc., of Wichita, Kan. Persons with questions may contact construction manager Ian Stringham at 785-433-6116 or public affairs manager Priscilla Petersen at 620-902-6433.

Willing Workers roll out the dough learning to make homemade tortillas

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

On Jan. 27, 2024, some of the Willing Workers 4-H’ers got together for their monthly food meeting. This month we were taught by the Ford family how to make homemade tortillas. We went step by step through the instructions and after mixing our ingredients, kneading our dough, and cooking the tortillas on a stove, we were done! Finally, after cleaning up our mess, we ate some of our tortillas with butter on top. And it was another successful foods meeting for the Willing Workers 4-H Club.

MdCV names 2024 Queen of Courts royalty at home game against Cair Paravel

2024 Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Queen of Courts royalty and attendants were, front from left, kindergarten attendants Kilynn Nettleton and Aydan Rea, middle, Skye Wade, Aydin Deeter, Queen Kelsey Rice, Izzy Steggs, and Akyra Traver, back, Madison Cormode, Landon Reed, Trae Walker, Mason Rose, King DJ Johnson, Sam Goddard, Ty Calderwood, and Joey Del Perceo. Photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School celebrated its basketball royalty during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, against Cair Paravel High School. Announced at the game as the 2024 MdCV Queen of Courts royalty were senior candidates Queen Kelsey Rice and King DJ Johnson.

MdCV varsity boys lost their game against Cair Paravel High School by a score of 40-55, while the MdCV varsity girls won their game 54-32.

The royalty candidates and attendants were recognized for their scholarship and involvement in school and community activities. Crowning the new king and queen were the MdCV 2023 King Joe Del Percio and Queen Madison Cormode.

Boil water advisory rescinded for Quenemo water users

Update: TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system, effective today Feb. 8, 2024. The advisory was issued Feb. 6 because of a line break that resulted in a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected from the city of Quenemo indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination, and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.


Lyndon Lions’ dictionaries open the world of words for local third-graders

Lyndon Lions present dictionaries to the LEMS third grade class. Courtesy photo.

During a visit to Lyndon Elementary School Feb. 1, 2024, the Lyndon Lions Club presented the third grade class and their teachers, Mrs. Woodruff and Mr. Bledsoe, with dictionaries to call their own. Lions District Governor Pam Bilyeu, Lyndon Lions President Barb Schattak, and member Lion Kathleen Burden presented the dictionaries to each student.

The Dictionary Project is sponsored by the Lydon Lions Club as part of its Reading Alert Program. The mission of the Dictionary Project is to ensure that everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a dictionary. By providing students with this tool, Dictionary Project sponsors, such as Lions Clubs, assist teachers in helping students become active readers, good writers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners. The dictionaries help students learn to use the English language effectively and assist them with their education, opening up to them all of the opportunities a good education offers, having a positive impact on the lives of children in their communities.

The Lyndon Lions Club supports the idea that a dictionary is an essential tool for a quality education, and a child cannot do his or her best work without one.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club welcomes in New Year with bowling party

Melvern Junior Highline 4-H Club members go bowling to celebrate the New Year, front from left, Gentry McNally, Koral Bruening, Paden McNally, Killian Bruening, and Khloe Miller, back, Bella Reeser, Allie Reeser, and Braelyn McNally. The club’s next meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at Melvern Community Center.

By Allie Reeser
Club Reporter

At 5:33 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at Fusion Alley, Ottawa, Kan., the January Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club meeting was called to order by Treasurer Braelyn McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn. Secretary Bella Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, ‘Would you rather fly or breathe under water?’ There were eight members and five adults present.

Bella read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. In correspondence, Bella read letters from Don and Ann Becker and Lisa Litch. Braelyn read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Allie Reeser stated she submitted three article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report. In council report, council member Braelyn reminded club members about the Blue & Gold sales that start immediately, and will need to be turned in to the Extension office by Feb. 26. Braelyn also let club members know about District Club Days that will be Feb. 24 at West Franklin-Pomona school; registration will open up on Jan. 29.

In leader’s report, Leader Lisa Reeser reminded club members and parents to please read their club meeting notes paper. There was no old or new business.

In songs, the club sang, “This is the song that gets stuck in your head”. At 5:48 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. Members enjoyed snacks provided by the club. For recreation and program, members and parents enjoyed bowling at Fusion Alley.

Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at the Melvern Community Center.

Looking Back: Osage County 4-H honors 2023 family of the year

Jessica Flory, Frontier District 4-H youth development agent, presents the Osage County 4-H Family of the Year award to Cannon family members Gage and Melissa, during local 4-h clubs’ annual awards celebration. Frontier Extension photos.

Osage County 4-H recognizes members, leaders, volunteers, families and sponsors at its annual achievement celebration. The county’s 2023 4-H achievements were celebrated Nov. 7, 2023, at a gathering at Lyndon High School.

Among the many recognitions during the evening was the announcement of the 2023 4-H Family of the Year. The award was presented to the Cannon family – Melissa and Chad and children Chloe and Gage. As noted in the family’s nomination by the North Osage 4-H Club, the Cannon family consistently shows up, helps wherever help is needed, is always positive and volunteers a huge amount of time to 4-H. As the club’s sheep and goat leader, Melissa has hosted many vaccine informational meetings and helped members with showmanship, fitting, and nutritional needs for their animals. In addition, Melissa and Chad have become active on the Overbrook Fair Board and have donated time and money toward securing prizes and countless hours to the livestock auction. The Cannon children are helpful with any projects in which their parents get involved.


Kyle Stromgren, DVM, and Sharon Thielen were named as Osage County’s 4-H alumni of 2023. Stromgren was also recognized as the 2023 Osage County Friend of 4-H.

Osage County 4-H also selected two individuals to be recognized as 2023 4-H Alumni: Sharon Thielen and Kyle Stromgren, DVM.

Thielen was a nine-year member of Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club, in which she held an office every year. One of her photography entries was chosen to be displayed at Rock Springs Ranch 4-H Center and was subsequently printed in the state 4-H calendar. She had a rewarding experience attending Citizenship Washington Focus, and now supports 4-H through the Willing Workers club and by leading an annual Easter egg hunt, in Osage City. Recently, Thielen trained 82 4-H summer interns on how to present the Kansas Corn STEM program.

Stromgren was a 12-year 4-H member and has helped numerous Osage County 4-H members with their livestock projects through advice and treating animal health emergencies. In addition to donating time to the county fairs, Stromgren has been a role model to 4-H members by pursuing his doctor of veterinary medicine degree and then growing his mobile veterinary business into a success.

Driving a beer truck, Santa delivers cans of water to area first responders and firefighters

Osage County area firefighters and emergency personnel gathered to accept a gift of drinking water from Anheuser Busch and Flint Hills Beverage. Helping to unload and distribute the water to local fire departments were, from left, Gary Kitt, OCFD No. 3 Melvern, Charlie Porting and Sean Rewerts, Osage County EMS, Greg McCurdy, Osage County Emergency Management, Casey Mussatto and Trevor Keeffe, Flint Hills Beverage, Brent Rose, OCFD No. 7 Quenemo, Bryce Romine, OCFD No. 5 Lyndon, Dan Romine, OCFD No. 2 Osage City, and Randall Wilson, OCFD No. 7 Quenemo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – With the help of the local Anheuser Busch distributor, Santa Claus dropped off an early Christmas present for area firefighters and emergency personnel. Although Flint Hills Beverage sales manager Trevor Keeffe delivered the gift in a Bud Light truck, it wasn’t a load of beer. Instead Keeffe unloaded a pallet of canned drinking water at the Osage City fire station Dec. 12, 2023, as part of Anheuser Busch’s emergency drinking water program.

The company’s water program began as a way to provide drinking water to people affected by natural disasters. In 2019, the program was expanded as the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program. Since the program began, the company has delivered more than 6.5 million cans of water to more than 1,400 fire departments across the United States. Every year, Anheuser-Busch periodically pauses beer production to can emergency drinking water to be ready to help during emergencies or natural disasters.

The wild firefighters program began as a way to help fire personnel maintain proper hydration while fighting fires, which is critical for them to perform at their best and avoid health consequences from extreme heat, physical exertion, and loss of fluids.

“Firefighters need to stay hydrated while fighting fires, and especially with the wild grass fires our local firefighters have to deal with,” said Casy Mussatto, Flint Hills Beverage co-owner. “The Anheuser Busch drinking water program is one way we can help our fire departments obtain water they need to keep hydrated.”

Keeffe said Flint Hills Beverage wants other local fire departments to know about the program, especially in the area the distributorship covers in northcentral Kansas.

“We are trying to get more community fire departments involved so they can save some money and have extra drinking water, too,” Keeffe said.

MdCV sixth-graders DARE to resist drugs, alcohol, tobacco

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School sixth graders graduated from the 10-week DARE program with MdCV’s school resource officer, Jackie Beatty. DARE is a drug abuse prevention education program intended to give elementary school children skills to resist peer pressure to use tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Celebrating their graduation from the program are, front from left, Andrew Dickey, Braxtyon Sturgeon-Bean, Ryne Cormode, Lilly Stephens, and Danny Goddard, back, Beatty, Collin Saffle, Braylee Patterson, Adrian Zentz, Hailey Fine, Katie Cummings, and Maddie Morgan; not pictured, Lona Freeman and Freddy Wiley. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Willing Workers share the spirit of Christmas

Willing Workers 4-H Club members tune up for their annual Christmas caroling excursion. Courtesy photo.

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

Christmas is the time of year for cookies and Christmas carols. So the Willing Workers 4-H Club got together on Dec. 3, 2023, to frost sugar cookies in preparation to spread Christmas cheer to our community members living in local nursing homes.

You see, it is a tradition of the Willing Workers to go around and carol to the senior citizens and then hand out the sugar cookies. On Dec. 13, we did just that. This year we sang songs like Silent Night, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Deck the Halls while distributing our cookies.

The Willing Workers 4-H Club would like to wish everyone
a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kansans choose new license plate design after casting nearly 270,000 votes

Winning design of Kansas’ new license tag was chosen in a weeklong poll.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly today announced the new Kansas standard-issue license plate design, which was chosen by a majority of the public after a week-long voting process that elicited nearly 270,000 votes from Kansans in all 105 counties. Kansans chose the design featuring the Kansas Statehouse dome within a cutout of the state and a yellow, white, and blue gradient background. It received more than 140,000 of the total votes, 53 percent.

“It’s great to see Kansans’ passion for representing our great state,” Kelly said. “Now, we can move forward on a design that received majority support and get clearer, safer license plates on the streets as soon as possible.”

Sen. Moran stops at Osage City schools for student-led tour

Osage City schools STUCO members were tour guides for Sen. Jerry Moran during a recent visit, from left, Wyatt Bailey, Sadie Shoemaker, Lexi Boss, Emery Speece, Sen. Moran, Gracy Smith, Arin Neary, and Chase Williams. Photo by Wayne White.

Osage City STUCO members led U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran on a tour of Osage City schools during his visit to town Dec. 1, 2023. With USD 420 Superintendent Ted Hessong and Osage City High School Principal Natosha Jenkins, the students led the senator through the high school, middle school and elementary school, stopping in several classrooms to visit with teachers and students, pose for photos, and view the three connected schools’ facilities.

During the tour, the student guides and teachers answered Moran’s inquiries about course availability, enrollment numbers, school safety, and their experiences of attending school in a small town. The tour covered the entire school, and included a visit to the cafeteria at the start of lunchtime, auditorium, high school gymnasium and library.

Thanking the guides and administrators for the tour, Moran said part of the reason he likes to visit schools is because he is an appropriator for the U.S. Dept. of Education and he had previously served on the committee that authorizes legislation for education.

“My goal has always been to get rid of the things that drive up the cost of education, all those mandates that we have to pay for, and for the mandates we should support, increasing funding,” Moran said. “I just kind of like to know what’s going on.”

“Most of the money that comes to pay for your education doesn’t have a lot to do with me, but [Department of Education administers] Title 1, lunch program, transportation, vocational education, and most significant is special education,” he said. “Most of the things that we do in Washington, D.C., have little effect on me, but could have a lot of effect on you. My hope is you all have a great life.”

Moran told the students and administrators, “You have a lot to be proud of,” and noted his tour guides were “some of the nicest kids I’ve met. Thank you for letting me tour.”

The tour guides included Wyatt Bailey, Sadie Shoemaker, Lexi Boss, Emery Speece, Gracy Smith, Arin Neary, and Chase Williams.

The senator headed from Osage City to Council Grove, where he was the keynote speaker for the Council Grove Chamber of Commerce Trade and Tourism Association annual meeting.

Eat Well to Be Well: 18 Christmas gifts to promote health and wellness all year long

Discover Christmas gift ideas that inspire and motivate loved ones to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2024.

The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your loved one, I’ve got you covered with some great ideas. This list is not about mundane items like socks, underwear, or ties; instead, it focuses on thoughtful gifts showing you care about their health and well-being. Whether for someone trying to make healthier lifestyle choices or for someone already a health enthusiast, this list won’t disappoint those receiving your gift!

The gift of good health is truly invaluable. It reminds us that happiness and well-being are the greatest treasures in life.

Check out these health gifts that are both practical and thoughtful. Your friends and family will love them, and you’ll feel great knowing you’re giving them something that promotes their well-being.

1. Pedometer

Get them moving – one step at a time. This can be an excellent gift for the person who always says they know they should exercise but never finds time. Keeping track of the number of steps taken each day can be a fun motivator and a real eye-opener.

Regular physical activity has numerous health advantages besides helping to reach a healthy body weight. Other health benefits include more restful sleep, more robust immune functioning, improved nutritional health, improved body composition, stronger bones, enhanced resistance to colds and other infectious diseases, stronger circulation and lung function, lower risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of gallbladder disease, lower incidences and severity of anxiety and depression, higher quality of life in later years, and last (but not least), improved self-esteem. (1)

2. High-quality olive oil

Most people have olive oil, but we’re discussing splurging on the good stuff. Many of us don’t buy quality extra virgin olive oil, so getting it for someone who likes to use it can be an exceptional treat. Another consideration is to give an “oil of the month” subscription to the true connoisseur who likes their taste buds tantalized year-round.

I always recommend extra virgin olive oil. Rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, extra virgin olive is well-known for protecting you from heart disease by helping lower inflammation, lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol, improving the lining of your blood vessels, and possibly helping prevent blood clotting. (2)

3. Air-popped popcorn popper

This is a must for anyone who loves popcorn but knows they must cut back on the oil or butter. Air-popped popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks and is always a welcome whole grain anytime.

Lyndon Tigers claim 8-man state football championship in winter blowout

The Lyndon Tigers blew into Newton like a blizzard on Nov. 25, 2023, but drifted out of town as the 2023 Kansas 8-Man Division 1 Football State Champions. The Lyndon High School team claimed the championship from the Wichita County Indians, of Leoti, with a score of 34-6 in the snowy Saturday morning game.

The state championship win was the first Lyndon had claimed in the history of its football program. Lyndon Head Coach Michael Massey led the team to the title with a season record of 13-0, in the school’s second year of 8-man football. Wichita County finished the season at 12-1.

Massey said the title win was solely due to the team’s determination.

“As a coach it is a great feeling to have a group set out to reach a goal and have them accomplish it,” Massey said. “This group is a very unselfish group. They are a true team and they don’t care who gets the credit. They play for each other and all they want to do is win.”

The coach said the team’s seven seniors made up the core of the team, and were starters in their last high school football game. “We had some younger players that filled in and played significant time also,” he said.

Though the game had been postponed from the day before due to inclement weather, it snowed the entire game Saturday. Snow had started to fall during warm ups and by the time the game was over there was 4-5 inches of snow on the ground.

“The snow did affect our play calling some,” Coach Massey said. “We weren’t able to open up the offense and throw as much as we had planned to.”

Lyndon’s seniors dominated the title match with their running game. Tiger’s quarterback, senior Tanner Heckel, ran for 4 touchdowns, and tallied 251 rushing yards in 29 carries, one a long 51-yard run. Senior linebacker Jalen Massey ran in the Tiger’s other touchdown, and totaled up 39 rushing yards and 12 carries. Heckel and Casten Wirth, senior tight end, each added a two-point conversions to Lyndon’s final score. Wirth made two pass receptions in the game, one 17 yards.

Lyndon’s defense team also did its part to shut down Wichita County, last year’s 8-man Division 1 champs, keeping the Indians to one touchdown before the half, and scoreless for the remainder of the game. Indians senior linebacker Wyatt Gardner ran for Wichita County’s only touchdown.

“Our defense was outstanding and took Wichita County out of everything they wanted to do,” Massey said. “Coach [Toby] Baker had the guys well prepared for everything they were going to see.”

The seniors team racked up the defensive stats in the scorebox with 51 solo and 95 total tackles. Solo tackles tallied included J. Massey with 7; Heckel, 7; Ethan Ramey, 7; Wirth, 7; Daxten Miller, 2, Kaedin Massey, 5; Caleb Anschutz, 6; sophomore James Marcotte added 6 tackles, and junior Elijah Feltner was credited with an assist. Wirth made the Tigers’ only sack, handing the Indians a six-yard loss.

With seven retiring seniors, Lyndon will begin next football season as defending state title champions with an all new starting lineup, but first-year coach Massey said the team will be ready.

“We graduate a very successful senior class that will get a lot of state honors,” Massey said. “[But] our younger kids were able to practice and learn from them this year so I look forward to the younger guys showing what they have next year.”

“This state championship means a lot to our football program and the community,” Massey said. “These guys have put in years of work and sacrifice to achieve this goal and it isn’t to be taken lightly. I am extremely proud of each and everyone of them. Whether they played in the varsity games or were on the JV or scout team. They showed up everyday to work hard and be great teammates.”

Lyndon’s roster for the championship game included 26 team members (listed by number): 1, Koby Isch; 2, Lucas Griffin; 3, Jalen Massey; 4, Tanner Heckel; 5, James Marcotte; 6, Keifer Haney; 9, Josh Vignery; 10, Ethen Ramey; 11, Casten Wirth; 14, Daxten Miller; 15, Elijah Feltner; 23, Carson Horne; 24, Zach Criqui; 25, Landon Walker; 40, Jaxson Mylnar; 50, Ethan Findlay; 50, Anthony Haux; 54, James Chauncey; 56, Kyler Moon; 60, Aidon Walker; 61, Simon Wolzen; 62, Chase Miller; 65, Jordan Meyer; 75, Kaedin Massey; 77, Caleb Anschutz; 78, Dimitri Zapata. Head coach was Michael Massey; assistant coach Toby Baker; statistician Scott Jones.

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