As the 38th Annual Kansas 8-Man All-Star Games are set to take place on Saturday at Trojan Field in Beloit, there will be a heavy influence from Thunder Ridge High School on the DII West squad. Brothers Dylan Bice and Dalton Bice are joined by Kaleb Wagenblast to play in the game and head coach Joel Struckhoff will be one of the assistant coaches for the game.
With the success the Longhorns showed throughout the careers of the Bice brothers and Wagenblast, specifically the past two seasons, it comes as no surprise to see them on this stage. Thunder Ridge went 11-2 in 2022 and finished as the 8-Man DII State runner-up to Axtell and they were 11-1 in 2021, also falling to Axtell in the State semis.
Dylan Bice was a four-year starter at QB and finished his career with over 4,000 yards both rushing and passing. He finished with 4,488 yards and 77 TD rushing and added 4,237 yards and 36 TD passing. His best numbers in both areas came as a senior. Bice ran for 1,900 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2022 and threw for 1,474 yards and another ten scores. He was a first team all-state selection in 8-Man DII as a flex player as he was also stellar on defense, with 152 tackles including six for loss. He had nine takeaways with five interceptions and four fumble recoveries in his final campaign. Bice was also a first team All-NPL QB and DB and first team all-district at QB as well.
Bice explained what it took to have success and looked back on his memories from high school.
Dylan is joined by his brother Dalton Bice, who was a huge factor for the Longhorns this past season, being named an honorable mention all-class pick in 8-Man DII at end. On offense, he had 425 yards and nine touchdowns rushing and added 208 yards and four receiving scores. He was the fourth leading tackler with 100 total stops including team highs of 18 TFL and 12 sacks. He was named to the NPL first team on the defensive line and second team as a running back, with those honors being flipped to first team on offense and second on defense on the all-district squad.
Dalton is excited to play for Coach Struckhoff one last time representing Longhorn football.
Wagenblast was the third leading tackler for Thunder Ridge in 2022 with 101 total and added eight for loss. He also posted four sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception for the Longhorns. Wagenblast was a first team all-8-Man DII defensive lineman while being selected first team all-league and second team all-district at the position.
Kaleb offered his thoughts on playing for Struckhoff and being part of the Longhorn program.
Struckhoff is a Thunder Ridge graduate and still holds the Kansas 8-Man record for most rushing yards, points scored and overall touchdowns in a career as a player. As a player, he was part of the Shrine Bowl, but not the 8-Man All-Star Game, so this marks his first experience for All-Star week. Struckhoff took over his alma mater’s program in 2018 and has gone 41-13 in five seasons. Over the past four with this senior group, they amassed a record of 36-9.
Struckhoff credits this group for all of their hard work in establishing a winning program.
Catch the Thunder Ridge Longhorns all-stars in the 8-Man DII All-Star Game on Saturday morning at Trojans Field in Beloit. The game will be on KD Country 94 and online at 8manallstars.com for fans to listen and a live video stream is also available at 8manallstars.com with pregame coverage beginning at 9:30 a.m. and kickoff at 10:00.