Our High School Football Preview Tour continues to roll on.
The Meridian Media sports staff is previewing the 2021 season, venturing to different parts of central Kansas.
The latest stop was in Bennington, home to the Bulldogs.
Head coach Bryan Shamburg returns for his second season. The Bennington alum and former assistant had the challenge of navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, injuries and a very tough schedule. Bennington finished 2-7, but with the bulk of the talent returning, the Bulldogs look to get back to a season like the 6-3 campaign in 2019.
The numbers look great for Bennington’s 2021 squad: nine starters back, 13 seniors, and 32 overall. Coach Shamburg noted that this is the biggest team at Bennington in years.
Ryker Greene is ready for his senior season at quarterback. Greene completed 34 passes for 462 yards and five touchdowns. The dual-threat signal caller looks to increase those numbers for 2021.
Junior Jaden Raccagno stepped up during his sophomore year, leading the Bulldogs in rushing with 380 yards and seven touchdowns. Brody Murk joins Raccagno in the backfield after sitting out last season because of an injury. Murk can be the rock for this offense.
When the offense looks to air it out, end Cayden Bauer was the main target. The senior hauled in 20 catches for 394 yards and six touchdowns. Grant Swaringen also is at end.
While the offensive line is looking for a starting guard to emerge, the foundation is set with Easton Pickering and Terren Andrews.
At the 8-man level, multiple guys also star on the defensive end. Murk and Bauer hold down the linebacker group. Underclassmen will fill the outside linebacker spots and safety positions.
Senior Kasyn Dunn is back for one final season. Dunn and Andrews are the anchors up front with Dunn leading the team in tackles a season ago.
The 2021 schedule is stout. However, coach Shamburg feels this team is full of talent and has the potential to do something special this year. With over 30 guys on the roster, Bennington looks to bounce back in a big way.
2021 Bennington Bulldogs Football Schedule:
Sept. 3 – at Wakefield
Sept. 10 – Washington County
Sept. 17 – at Moundridge
*Sept. 24 – Canton-Galva
*Oct. 1 – at Solomon
*Oct. 8 – Little River
*Oct. 15 – at Lincoln
*Oct. 22 – Herington
Oct. 29 – PLAYOFFS
*Denotes 8M-I District 4 game
Day 1: Abilene Cowboys
Day 2: Bennington Bulldogs
Day 3: Ellsworth Bearcats (on Aug. 18)
Day 4: Solomon Gorillas (on Aug. 19)
Day 5: Smoky Valley Vikings (on Aug. 20)
Day 6: Minneapolis Lions (on Aug. 23)
Day 7: Southeast of Saline Trojans (on Aug. 24)
Day 8: Ell-Saline Cardinals (on Aug. 25)
Day 9: Sacred Heart Knights (on Aug. 26)
Day 10: Salina South Cougars (on Aug. 27)
Day 10: Salina Central Mustangs (on Aug. 27)