There seem to be number successful Citizen Potawatomi athletes in the Kansas-Missouri area. Tyler Bray of the Kansas City Chiefs, Ron Baker of the Wichita State men’s basketball team and Team USA and Lindenwood University’s Mary Killman are all tribal members who have excelled in their sports. One addition to that list comes from the CPN outpost of Rossville, Kansas.
Tucker Horak, a three time state champion for the Rossville High School football team, is a Kansas gridiron legend. Horak, who scored all three touchdowns in his team’s most recent 20-19 state championship game victory, is the state’s career leader in touchdowns scored with 185. All of this was done under center as the team’s quarterback for the state title in his junior and senior seasons.
“It was very tough to win it my junior year, but to win it a second time the very next year was a whole new level of difficult,” said Horak. “When you win a championship the first time, you can expect to have a target on your back and get everyone’s best shot until you pick up your first loss. We were blessed to end on a high note and not have to experience that loss.”
Horak also shattered single season state records for a quarterback, finishing his career with 2,859 rushing yards and 2,072 passing yards. The numbers he racked up also put him in national record books. His career total of 12,834 yards for Rossville puts the him sixth all-time nationally for a high schooler. Factoring in that, it wasn’t surprising that he was featured in Sports Illustrated’s ‘Scorecard’ section in December 2015.
It was somewhat surprising that despite some conversations with Kansas State University, Horak didn’t generate a lot of interest from Division 1 programs come national signing day in February. According to the Topeka-Capitol Journal, Horak was told by K-State that his 40-yard dash time wasn’t fast enough. Instead Horak intends to play for perennially ranked Division 2 Pittsburg State University.
“It’s going to be a great experience for me. I get the opportunity to continue playing the game I love at a high level for the next four to five years of my life. The program I’m going into is a top national contender which will make the ride all that much more fun,” he said.
Horak, who is a descendent of 1887 tribal roll signee Sophia Sioux, says that in the long term he intends to major in athletic training and minor in exercise science. In the interim, though, the Rossville-native’s goals are a little more familiar given his success on the gridiron.
“My long term goals are to do everything I can to help my team be successful and obviously win a national championship in the process.”
Given his track record, it doesn’t appear to be a goal too far outside the realm of possibility.