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:

Friday, February 17, 2017

BV Northwest Head Coaching Vacancy

The BV Northwest Huskies have announced the resignation of Mike Zegunis after 12 seasons at the helm. 

Under Zegunis, the Huskies amassed a record of 55-61 over 117 games, and a 2-7 playoff record. 

His 2009, and 2013 Huskies won District Titles wins over BV North in those seasons. 

The 2017 season will be the 24th Football season in the Huskies Football history. Their previous Head Coaches are Retired Athletic Director Steve Harms 1994-2000 (52-19), and Tenney Dewey 2001-2004 (23-14).

BV Northwest finished the 2016 with an Overall: 2-7, EKL 2-5 record overall and a week-9 loss in double-OT to the BV North Mustangs 39-36. 

For more information, you can apply at

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thank you Coach Eric Driskell

This week, the Blue Valley Tigers family, and the Kansas High School Football Coaching brotherhood lost one of its finest. 

For those of us who have been blessed to cross paths with Eric Driskell, it has certainly been an honor to call him one of my friends. 

I write this in a lot of pain today. My thoughts, and prayers go out to his family, and all of those that he has touched on and off the gridiron or the classroom where his affect has made the most on us. 

Having lost my father three years ago March 13, 2013, it is a day that I think of daily. These days I am more than thankful to the Doctors and RN's, and more who took care of him at KU Med before his untimely passing at 56 years old. 

Today, I have turned that pain in to a passion to carry out the good my Dad raised in me to the best of my abilities to others around me. Although we did not see eye to eye on many things, we had a common bond of music, and many more family things that are impossible to describe of at this time. 

Having been fortunate to meet Eric a couple years back, I was able to come up to the Blue Valley Weight room during the summer to make a proposal of sorts with the current status of Blue Valley and what the outlook for the future was. Needless to say, both of us would not have any idea what the Tigers would reel off in the two Football seasons that followed our meeting. We laughed, joked, had a few things in common with a past or present job at the time as well. We happened to know a few of the same folks in the Energy/Electrical field far outside of the classroom walls. 

It is no secret that in the hallways of Blue Valley High School, Eric Driskell was revered as confidant, leader, friend, and Coach to the students, faculty, and parents in the Blue Valley community. Having walked the halls himself as a student, and fellow alumni Athletic Director Matt Ortman guiding the Athletics ship, the Tigers tandem is nothing short of extraordinary. It was evident in my time working with Matt, and Eric while writing the Tigers Football history that they took a high interest in seeing what the overall history or outcome would look like. 

Throughout talking with both of them, and having access to the office to work on my research, the intrigue of seeing what they both had built as student-athletes, and now as Educators themselves brought out a passion and pride of their school I had not seen in many other areas of the city. 

Today is one of those days I would reach out to all of you to appreciate those we have around us. 

I left Blue Valley High School that summer afternoon (weeks before school even opened) for the new school year with a smile on my face. A friendship was made, an appreciation of each other's crafts was gained, and a pride of us both having a love for our specific High Schools in one way or another reached it's max in our time together talking about life, Football, friends, and family. 

To you, the Blue Valley Tigers, carry on the legend of Eric Driskell within yourself when you are asked what school you went to long after college. His ability to make an impact on your life will not be forgotten. 

In closing, my thoughts and prayers go out to Eric's wife, children, and the rest of his family as they are going through this rough time in their lives. The support you have around you will never stray, as if you need anything like getting the lawn mowed, or needing some one to talk to when you are down, your loved ones will be there for you in ways you will never imagine.  

Thank you Coach! 


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Golden Bear Resignation - Sunflower Football Alumni

Golden Bears

Today the Turner Golden Bears of Turner USD #202 announced the hiring of Assistant Coach Julian Parks to the promotion of Head Coach replacing Jeremy Milne. 

Jeremy Milne began his Football career as an Olathe North Eagles Quarterback, and was part of the first three-peat State Championship run led by former Head Coach Gene Weir. 

Prior to becoming the Turner Head Coach beginning in the 2012 season, his Coaching lineage takes him from the SM West Vikings (Tim Callaghan) , Avila Eagles (MO), Lawrence Chesty Lions (Dirk Wedd), Richland Rebels (TX) and Blue Valley North.

Throughout the course of his five years with the Turner Golden Bears, Jeremy Milne amassed a record of 17-29 overall, 10-22 Kaw Valley, and 0-1 in the 5A playoffs falling to Topeka Seaman in week-9 of this past 2016 season. 

On or off the radar, there are many Sunflower High School sports alumni who are either Head Coaches, or Assistants in Fall, Winter, and Spring sports in the KCAL, and Kaw Valley Leagues. 

FL Schlagle High School
* Head Woman's Basketball Coach - Mark Western (SM North) 
* Head Men's Basketball Coach - Prentes Potts (SM North, former Turner Men's Basketball Coach)

Turner High School
* Head Men's Basketball Coach - Ryan Hintz (SM East, former SM East & BV North AC)   

Monday, February 6, 2017

Olathe West Football is building!

In recent days, the OW Owls and School District announced recent additions to the building faculty.

Joining TJ O'Neill are Dee Bell, Greg Morgan, Tyler Rodden, and Mike McLaughlin (Olathe Northwest faculty) all entering their first year with the Owls Football program.

Coach Dee Bell (Owls T&F Head Coach) is a former standout for the OE Hawks Football program is a 2006 alumni. Coach Bell, played for Bill Snyder at K-State after the conclusion of his Hawks career.

Greg Morgan, an original member of the Ravens faculty with Principal Jay Novacek, and AD Pat Butler, will open his second Olathe High School and bring his wealth of Football knowledge to the Owls program. Prior to opening Olathe Northwest, he was also on staff at Olathe South.

Mike McLaughlin, a 10-year member of the faculty and Ravens Coaching staff will also join the Owls. Coach McLaughlin also has spent time with Olathe South, and working on the Missouri side as well at Jefferson City High School.

Entering his first year as well on the Staff will also be Tyler Rodden. Tyler Rodden is an alumni of Olathe Northwest, having both played there under former Head Coach Todd Dain as the school itself was still in it's very early stages within the Sunflower League. Coach Rodden has spent this past year learning the ropes in his first and only year at SM South as a Football AC, and Head Wrestling Coach. He will also lead the Owls in Winter wrestling.

Last but not least, Kraig Goerl of Lansing High School. After nine seasons as part of the Lions staff with former Olathe North Head Coach John McCall for the last three seasons. Future Owls, there is a great chance you will see a lot of Coach Goerl training you inside the Weighs Room in the months to come and pre-season/Fall conditiong.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sunflower Signing Day 2017 (Updated 2/5/2017)

Congrats to all of the Sunflower League Student-athletes continuing their Football careers!

Student-Athlete-High School-Height-Weight-College of Choice 

Kansas nabbed two SFL players from
its hometown of Lawrence
Crittenden, Dallas Free State 5'11 185 QB William Jewel
Dineen, Jay Free State 6'2 225 LB Kansas
Houk, Chase Free State 6'2 260 OL Baker
Sanders, Zack Free State 6'0 180 DB Missouri State
Wise, Drew Free State 6'2 230 LS Mizzou

Brungardt, Cole Lawrence 6'5 200 K/P Kansas *
Buffalomeat, Kobe Lawrence 6'7 285 OL Illinois State
Moore, Trey Lawrence 5'10 185 ATH Emporia State
Unruh, Jacob Lawrence 6'2 230 DB Fort Hays State

Adger, Tre Olathe South 6'3 195 TE Benedictine
Reed, Oakley Olathe South 6'1 180 DB Garden City CC

Boyd, Jonya Olathe North 5'10 205 HB Coffeyville
Illinois State got another commitment
out of the league in the form
of Kobe Buffalomeat

Vanderslice, Matt Olathe NW 6'8 240 TE Northern Iowa
Boschma, David Olathe NW -- -- K Central College
Baiza, Jamison Olathe NW 6'0 165 DB Evangel
Kaminsky, Conrad Olathe NW 6'1 248 Benedictine
Patterson, Hunter Olathe NW 6'1 180 DB Missouri Western

Watson, Israel SM West 6'3 200 WR Butler CC
Meeker, Jason SM West 6'0 190 RB Baker

Willis, Claron SM South 5'10 170 WR Mid-America Nazarene

Thompson, Trevor SM East 6'2 200 DB Colgate
Ball, Calvin SM East 6'1 245 DL Baker

Stokes, Baqurious SM Northwest 5'10 150 DB  Garden City CC
Killingsworth, Preston SM Northwest 6'1 190 K/P Sterling

Presler, Danny SM North 6'2 280 OL William Jewell
Schneider, Will SM North 6'3 200 QB William Jewell

Breakdown of High School Signings (as follows):
LAW (4)
LFS (5)
LVP (0)
OEH (0)
ONE (1)
ONW (5)
OSF (2)
SME (2)
SMN (2)
SNW (2)
SMS (1)
SMW (2)