When following 8-Man football in the state of Kansas, one team that is always in the discussion toward the top is the Clifton-Clyde Eagles. The 2020 football season was no different. Clifton-Clyde had a great campaign that included a win over eventual state champion Little River as they finished 7-2. Both of their losses also came to eventual state champions. After starting the season 5-0, the Eagles lost a game with Doniphan West due to COVID, while Hanover had lost their game with Frankfort. The two TVL squads met in Week 6 with Hanover winning the battle of unbeaten teams. In Week 2, Clifton-Clyde won over Little River 42-36 in OT, but after a first round playoff win over Bennington, the Eagles met the Redskins again in the 2nd round, with Little River coming away with a 46-26 win in Clyde.
Despite the tough finish, it was still a great year for the Eagles that yielded two 8-Man All-Stars in Aiden Rudolph and Jarik Weiche. During their four seasons at Clifton-Clyde, the team compiled a 32-6 record, including two straight 9-1 seasons in 2018 and 2019.
Under Russ Steinbrock at the 8-Man level, Clifton-Clyde is well-known as a running team that brings a great mix of power and speed. However, Aiden Rudolph added a dual-threat dimension that was hard to overlook. He ended up being selected as a 1st team all-state QB by the Wichita Eagle and a 1st team All-TVL skill player as he ran for 1,183 yards and 27 TD and threw for another 445 yards and six scores. In his career, he had just over 3,800 yards and 72 rushing TD and became the Clifton-Clyde 8-Man Record holder with 1,762 yards and 27 TD passing. Rudolph enjoyed being able to put in the work to help open up the passing game for the Eagles.
Leading the way in the trenches for the Eagles was Jarik Weiche. Weiche was a 1st team all-state defensive lineman in 2020, registering 51 tackles and five sacks for the Eagles. He was also chosen as a first team All-Twin Valley League DL. As stated before, in his four seasons at Clifton-Clyde, the Eagles picked up 32 wins. Weiche offered his thoughts on how they were able to see that success, especially in 2020.
Aiden Rudolph and Jarik Weiche will suit up one final time as high school football players on Saturday as they play for the East All-Stars in the 8-Man DI All-Star Game at Trojan Field in Beloit. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 1:30 with pregame coverage on the Kansas 8-Man All-Star Radio Network at 1:00. Fans that cannot attend the game can catch it on the radio on KR 92 out of Belleville or listen online at 8manallstars.com.