Wellington Crusaders officially start fall practices; picked fourth in the coaches preseason poll

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington football players running routes and first official fall practice

Before starting classes on Tuesday, the Wellington football team had their first fall practice of the season on a cool 70-degree Monday morning.

Fall practices for all sports and activities officially began on Monday, Aug. 16 in Kansas. In the Crusaders' first official practice, they had up to 50 players, including 20 of them being freshmen.

Wellington is coming off a 3-6 record in 2020 and is hoping to have a better season. The Crusaders will be returning six offensive players and seven returning defensive players. Three of the players were second-team All Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division IV. 

Those three players include senior offensive/defensive lineman Hagen Wright, senior running back/linebacker Dustyn Schettler, and junior wide receiver/defensive back Mehki Haskin-Ybarra. 

After finishing in fifth place in the AVCTL Div. IV standings, the Crusaders were projected to finish in fourth place. The projection comes from the AVCTL Div. IV coaches preseason poll

The central Kansas sports reporters predicted each AVCTL division and Wellington was picked to finish in third by Greg Williams, in fourth Chuck Chaney and Billy Watson, then in fifth by Dylan Sherwood. 

The unanimous Preseason Player of the Year in AVCTL Div. IV was Wichita Collegiate's quarterback/linebacker Wesley Fair. 

On Thursday, Wellington players will move from shorts and a helmet into their full pads. Then, there will be a full intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday with the time to be determined. 

There will also be a Crusaders' scrimmage on Aug. 26. The first game of the season will be a home game on Sept. 3 against Clearwater at 7 p.m. 

The full schedule can be seen here.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and news reporter for the Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at gwilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.