Wednesday, June 7, 2017

GKCFCA HOF Class Announced

This past week, the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association released the Inductees to the 2017 Hall of Fame Class.

Of the 10 inductees, former Olathe East Hawks Head Coach Jeff Meyers, and current Leavenworth Pioneers, and former Olathe South Falcons Football Coach Mark Littrell will be welcomed to this elite list of Kansas City Football Coaches Hall of Fame.


Mark Littrell has been part of the Sunflower League for more than 15 years, with 10 as Head Coach with the Olathe South Falcons from 1998 to 2007, and with the Pioneers 2013 to present (12-28). 

Coach Littrell's record is 83-61 (71-33 at Olathe South), with three trips to the Kansas 6A State Final in 1999, 2004, and 2007. Those were all second place finishes with losses to Garden City in 1999, and the Hutchinson SaltHawks in 2004, and 2007. 

After stepping away from Olathe South at the end of the 07-08 school year, he accepted a position with the Richland Rebels, TX led by former Olathe North Eagles Head Coach Gene Weir (now with the Kansas Jayhawks). 



For the first 23 years of the Olathe East Hawks existence, the Hawks were led by former Head Coach Jeff Meyers. Coach Meyers record with the Hawks is 162-75 overall, and 16-14 in 6A Playoff games. 

Prior to entering the teaching profession in college, Jeff was an Olathe Eagles alumni, having played for Bud Wheeler in the late 1970's before the school officially split in the Fall of 1981 with the opening of Olathe South. For 23 years, much of the competition on Friday night's was a force to be dealt with playing at ODAC for any road team coming to play. 

The Hawks themselves, knew that was as much of an advantage, as it was playing on the road as well. Of those 23 seasons of Hawks Football, only three seasons were under 500. 

In 2005, the Hawks had their most dominant season in team, and Sunflower History with a 12-1 finish. Sweeping the Sunflower at a 7-0 pace, and Co-Sunflower Champions ran in to a youthful, yet powerful Hutchinson SaltHawks Football program. These SaltHawks that the Hawks ran in to at the time were beginning their string of six straight 6 and 5A State Football titles which no 6A East Champion could defeat at the time. The SaltHawks won that day 24-7 led by Randy Dreiling (of ST Aquinas Saints). 

These days, Jeff Meyers is now an Assistant Coach on the Staff of the William Chrisman Bears of the Suburban League. 

Again, congratulations to both Coaches on their induction to the GKCFCA Hall of Fame!


All of this year's honorees will be enshrined during halftime of this year's Papa John's Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game Thursday June15 at Blue Springs South High School.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Breaking News: Leavenworth to Exit SFL


Pioneers Football and Athletics to exit the Sunflower League


Beginning in the 2018-19 School year, the Leavenworth Pioneers USD #453 will join a new, and not yet named league with a majority vote of 7-0 to exit the Sunflower League. 

While their time in the Sunflower League is winding down after 37 years (1981-2017) a new, and possibly brighter future is on the horizon. 

Since joining the Sunflower League in 1981 from the Centennial (1932-1980) the Pioneers Football program has had multiple struggles on the gridiron and season after season.

Entering the 18-19 season, the Pioneers will find themselves within the likes of the: Lansing Lions, Basehor-Linwood Bobcats, Turner Golden Bears, DeSoto Wildcats, and Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds. 

Can this benefit the Pioneers? yes it can, can it also hurt? yes it can. Anything can happen. 

While most of the Sunflower League consists of roughly 85% Johnson County High Schools (Lawrence, and Free State in Douglas County) The Pioneers have dominated in many Fall, Winter, and Spring team and individual sports across all Sunflower competitions. 22 State Titles have been accomplished while in the Sunflower League with Men's and Woman's Basketball, Track & Field, and many other sports in which have been achieved. 

This will be a huge loss to the Sunflower League as the Pioneers will be removed off all schedules in the near future. They can, and will remain non-conference games from 2018 on should the SFL Athletic Director's need and want to schedule needed games or matches for meeting scheduling requirements. 

Looking towards the future, the Pioneers will be a huge component in League X. They will feature the largest enrollment of the six (6) schools, and maintain a presence at the top of the leagues standings in the months ahead. 

As for the 2017 season, the Pioneers will continue to be featured, each and every week throughout the season. 



Sunday, April 30, 2017

SFN with Lancer Head Coach Dustin Delaney


SFN recently interviewed with Lancers Head Coach Dustin Delaney


Sunflower Football News:

Can you tell the SFN readers what they can expect to see from the 2017 Lancers? Who will be making a name for themselves on the gridiron? 

Dustin Delaney:

We have 2 All-State players in MLB Milton Braasch (SR) and C Justin Finnigan (SR) back who will lead us. Braasch will play more defense this year as we will use RB Griffin Fries (JR) quite a bit as well. Defense is pretty experienced while the offense will be young.

SFN:

The Lancers finished with a tough loss to the BV Tigers and HC Eric Driskell ending the season. How much pride and care for your student-athletes do you see in their respect of their fellow opposition and the impact Eric Driskell had on them?  

DD:

It was tough to a see a great man and coach like Eric die. Puts a lot of things in perspective.

SFN:

SM East will host the Hawklets of Rockhurst at home (SM North) for the first time since the 1981 season. Do you expect to see the same crowd intensity as we did on the road at their place last year? 

DD:

Yes, it will be a fun atmosphere and game. Its a shame our league's Principals voted to do away with our off week where we could play out of state competition. Especially since we will play 8 league games now in a 14 team league. There is no pride in winning a league title as you don't play everyone. There will end up being a tie for league title every year like there has been the last few. Going to this schedule makes leagues even more irrelevant.

SFN:

How did your student-athletes adapt to the new post-season, and does the change look to be good or bad as the new format begins a second season? 

DD:

There was really no change to the new post-season. Didn't affect us.


Thank you again to Head Coach Dustin Delaney and the Lancers of SM East. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

BV Tigers Hire long time Assistant Coach


Allen Terrill hired as Tigers Head Coach
For only the third time in 32 years the Blue Valley Tigers have hired a new Head Coach. 

Prior to Steve Rampy's 25 years, and following in former Student-athlete/Head Coach Eric Driskell (7 seasons) totaling 32 seasons, the Tigers had five (5) different Head Coaches from 1970 to 1984. The Blue Valley Tigers are the Pittsburgh Steelers of Johnson County High School Football. 

Head Coach Allen Terrill joined the Tigers staff after the 2011 season while serving as the Turner Golden Bears as lead man from 2006-2011. In that time, the Golden Bears were 31-28, with two playoff runs during the 2006 and 2008 seasons propelling them in to the 5A State Quarterfinals. Ironically during his first season in 2006, the Golden Bears lost to the Blue Valley Tigers ending their season at 6-5. 

In 2017, the Tigers will open on the road at Bishop Miege, where the Tigers have dominated the Stags, going 7-3 in their last 10 games. 

Look for the Tigers to continue to honor Eric Driskell's legacy throughout the 2017 season and school years ahead. 




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

BV Northwest Huskies Hire Hesston


BV Northwest Huskies Football - 2017



The BV Northwest Huskies of Overland Park, KS introduced Clint Rider (formerly of the Hesston Swathers) as their fourth Head Coach in the history of Huskies Football. 

Previously the Huskies were led by Mike Zegunis for the last 12 seasons with a record of 55-61 from 2005 to 2016. 

Coach Clint Rider comes to BV Northwest from Hesston, KS, where he led the Swathers (a farm machine) for those of us not familiar with large farm equipment. 

Under Clint Riders leadership, the Swathers were 36-9 from 2012 to 2016. In that span of time, the Swathers competed in nine (9) playoff games, and finished 2nd in State in 2016 with a 10-4 record in the 2016. The Swathers fell 48-42 in OT to Rossville Bulldogs, KS in the 3A State Final. 

For the Swathers entering their 2017 schedule of play (reverse of 2016) they are 17-5 against those opponents from 2013 to 2016 led by Clint Rider. 

Best of luck to all of the BV Northwest Huskies come 2017! 

Swathers under Clint Rider:
Years - Overall-Playoffs
2013   8-2 - 0-1
2014 10-1 - 1-1
2015   8-2 - 0-1
2016 10-4 - 4-1
Totals: 36-9, 5-4 in 3A Playoffs


Here is a quick look BV Northwest Huskies Football
Years - Head Coach - Totals - Playoffs
1993* - Steve Harms - Played as JV
1994-2000 (8) - Steve Harms - 52-19, 3-5
2001-2004 (4) - Tenney Dewey - 23-14, 0-1
2005-2016 (12) - Mike Zeguins - 55-61, 2-7
2017 (1+) - Clint Rider - 0-0, 0-0

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SFN recently met with Mark Littrell


The Sunflower Football News caught up with Mark Littrell who will be entering his fifth season as the Pioneers Football Coach. Here is our Q & A with Coach Littrell. 


What are the strengths of the Pioneers Football program entering the off-season, and 7v7 for the summer?

Thank you for the kind words.

We have the largest group of seniors that we have had at Leavenworth HS since I have been here.  Our 2017-2018 seniors have done an exceptional job of showing great leadership this off-season.  We have a great group of young men returning for the 2017 season.  Most all of our returning football players have exhibited a great work ethic during the winter and all continuing this through the spring.

The Pioneers Football has changed drastically since 2010 going 12-28 and making the playoffs in each of the four years under your guidance, what do you see in your student-athletes that has caused this rise in the Football program?


Our coaching staff and our players have done a great job of developing a great work ethic and being unselfish.  We will continue to strive to be the best that we can become both on and off of the football field.

Do you have a particular student-athlete on either side of the ball that you would advise local college scouts to take a look at, and who do you see leading your team throughout this winter and spring going in to next Fall?

Again, our 2017-18 senior class has exhibited great leadership.  Receiver Andrew Ativie has had a great off-season and really finished the season on a strong note.  Linebacker Hayes Edwards was one of our leaders on the defensive side of the ball.  Lber Cody Herrell, Hayes Edwards, and Free Safety Seth Johnson won their divisions at the 5A state power lifting meet and helped our team finish 2nd.  Offensive lineman Grant Mullins missed the last 5 games with a knee injury but has done a great job of rehabilitation and working to become a better lineman.  Nose Guard Etena Tuivaiti won the Sunflower League Heavy weight division in wrestling and also finished 4th in the power lifting state meet.  Receiver Nick McComas and Guard Truman Thomas also helped our power lifting team.  Receiver and Corner back Devin Johnston had a good year on the hardwood and Corner back Brandice Lewis continues to make strides in the weight room. 

Opening up on the road versus local foe Lansing is now becoming a great game to see in the last three years. Both you and Coach John McCall (dating back to Olathe days) are making great strides in the changing of the Football programs. Do your student-athletes enjoy this game as much as the two of you do?

Our football players love playing Lansing, whether it is week 1 or week 9.  John has done a great job with their football program and you know that they will also be well coached.

To close out your 2017 season 3 of the 4 opponents are home to Olathe schools? Can the Pioneers make noise in the standings to change the outcomes and walk out of the game with a win against some vulnerable opponents? Will Schneider of SMN is lost to graduation, and all three Olathe opponents finished under 500 last season.

The Olathe schools are like the rest of the Sunflower League schools.  They are always well coached and always play hard.  I have always had a great deal of respect for the Sunflower League coaches.  We just need to take care of business during the rest of the off-season and prepare for the Lansing Lions on week 1 and then as always take it one game at a time.


Thank you again to Mark Littrell of the Leavenworth Pioneers for a great Q & A session in preparation for the 2017 Football season. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Blue Valley Tigers Coaching Vacancy

The Blue Valley Tigers Athletic Department, has announced the opening of the Head Coaching position. 

This Football position was opened due to the untimely death of the Head Football Coach and beloved alumni Eric Driskell. Coach Driskell was speaking with at a local KCFCA Conference while suffering an inoperable brain aneurysm. 

Coach Driskell leaves behind a great legacy with an overall record of 70-17 from 2010 to 2016. Throughout his playoff record, he amassed a record of 20-5 overall. 

Unlike any other program in Johnson County, the Blue Valley Tigers have been Coached by two Head Coaches in 32 seasons. In that time Six (6) State Titles have been won by the Tigers at the 5 and 6A level.

If you are interested in applying for the position: www.bluevalleyk12.org