Long time Trailblazer is out.
A big-class and legendary Kansas High School Football Coach has retired from the Coaching ranks this past week.
Marvin Diener, who is now the fourth Head Coach to retire/resign from the 13 Sunflower League Football programs. This exit comes on the heels of Dustin Delaney resigning from SM East, Chip Sherman at Olathe Northwest, and long-time Chesty Lion Dirk Wedd.
To give you a little back round on Marvin Diener, he is responsible for putting two High Schools on the Kansas Football map. For 19 seasons, Marvin Diener led the Salina Central Mustangs with an incredible record of: 170W-42L over that time. His Mustangs were 5A State Champions in 93-99-01-02-2005 in his final season before moving east to the Kansas City area and Johnson County.
For the last 12 seasons, Marvin Diener, has brought the Trailblazers from the depths of the unknowns on a Football schedule to a perennial powerhouse. In that time, his work has allowed him and the GET Administration to move up from the Frontier League, Eastern Kansas, and now the Sunflower League. Overall, his record with the Trailblazers is 73-52 in 125 games coached.
During the last couple years of time in the Frontier League and first two seasons of EKL play, we (all of Kansas City and Gardner-Edgerton) were fortunate to get the chance to see current Kansas City Royals farm product Bubba Starling. During the Starling era of Trailblazers Football lore, the 2010 season the QB led the Tralblazers in a huge week-9 win against the Blue Valley Tigers and Eric Driskell in his first season as Head Coach of the Tigers. That night the Tigers were spanked 42-21.
A few weeks later in the same 2010 season, the Tigers and Trailblazers met again in the east semi-final hosting Gardner-Edgerton this time around and won a close game 45-42 ending the Bubba Starling Football career.
2006-2009 at Frontier League = 34-11
2010-2017 at Eastern Kansas = 39-42
2018-Future Sunflower League = 0-0
You could easily add many caveats as to why Gardner-Edgerton is where they are today in any scenario they put themselves in to. This Football program although down these last few years is gaining strength and popularity quickly in their work on the field. Most notably in the last couple seasons, the Trailblazers offense has found a way to keep the SM East Lancers defense on their toes. While struggling with losses of kids to graduation and injuries, anything is bound to happen from one season to the next.
Congratulations to Marvin Diener on a great teaching and coaching career! Your impact on the game of Kansas High School Football will be missed but will last a life time for future teachers-coaches and former student-athletes to follow in your footsteps.
There is no doubt the Trailblazers will raise again in the seasons ahead as they begin their new trek on the gridiron within the Sunflower League starting in 2018.