Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sunflower Football: 12 Thoughts of Thanks

Entering the 2016 year, this 2015 season has brought us quite a bit of success within the Sunflower League. Although we were unable to represent the East side of the bracket as we have for many years, we are still a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron each and every year.

Here are 12 thoughts of Sunflower Football that I am thankful for entering the 2016 season:

12 - Lawrence, Free State, Leavenworth, OE, ON, ONW, OS, SME, SMN, SMNW, SMS, & SMW

11 - 11 healthy student-athletes on offense and defense.

10 - Where SM West Head Coach Tim Callaghan ranks all-time on the Sunflower League Football Coaching History. With 97 wins, needing only three (3) to reach 100 Sunflower wins, and joining a class of nine other Coaches once this feat is reached

9 - Chip Sherman's inspiration to keep going every day

8 - Eight (8) months until the start of the 2016 season

7 - The future additions of Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers and Olathe West Owls to the family

6 - Six (6) straight seasons of SM East Football winning seasons 55-13 since 2010

5 - Bill Freeman's 5 State Championships for Lawrence 1979-1984-1986-1987-1989

4 - SM South Raiders winning their 250th game in their 50th season of Football

3 - Good friend and mentor, SM North Principal Richard Kramer for his constant pushing and encouragement to make each day, and week better to bring the best Sunflower Football to you

2 - Isaiah Simmons (Olathe North) and Amani Bledsoe (Lawrence) consistent honors both locally and nationwide by our own US Military for his nominations to play in Senior games

1 - Eli Underwood for allowing Austin and I to continue on bringing the best coverage we can for our many viewers! Thank you all

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Loss of a Legend: Chesty Lions Bill Freeman

Tribute to a legend: Bill Freeman (84), passed December 18, 2015. Born January 27, 1931.

The name, the legend of Bill Freeman spans throughout the High School hallways within Osawatomie and Lawrence High Schools forever having left a footprint of success. That success, comes from his many hundreds of student-athletes he coached at both schools before retiring at the conclusion of the 1989 season.

32 years of Coaching, both Football and Track & Field, led him on a path beginning at Baxter Springs, Parker Rural, Nickerson, Osawatomie Trojans, and the Lawrence Chesty Lions. In his time with the Osawatomie Trojans, they finished State with Titles in 1966 and 1973 respectively. 

Bill Freeman retired from Education after the 1989-90 school year with the Chesty Lions. 

Although he was not one for slowing down after leaving the classroom, he returned to central Kansas where he became Mayor for 21 years of LeRoy, KS. In this capacity, he was also a Deacon of his local church, and owner of a local bank wearing quite a few hats. 

Enclosed are some features of his impact on the Lawrence Football program, and the Sunflower League Football History

* 6A State Titles: 1979-1984-1986-1987-1989 (5)
Sunflower Champions: 1977-1979-1981-1985-1986-1987 (6)
District Titles: 1981-1982-1983-1984-1985-1986-1987-1988-1989 (9)
* Kansas Hall of Fame Class of 2014 
* Shrine Bowl Coach 1973 - Osawatomie Trojans 
* 2 State Track & Field Titles with the Chesty Lions

Osawatomie Trojans
1969    6-2-1      ---    
1970    unknown
1971    unknown
1972    8-1         ---
1973  12-0     3-0             12-0   3-0 - STATE CHAMPIONS  
Lawrence Chesty Lions 
1974    3-6        ---             3-6     --- 
1975    5-4        ---             8-10   ---
1976    5-4        ---           13-14   ---
1977    8-2        0-1         21-16   0-1
1978    9-3        2-1         30-19   2-2 - 2nd Runner up to Wichita Southeast
1979  11-1        3-0         41-20   5-2 - STATE CHAMPIONS #1
1980    6-3        ---           47-23   ---
* Winning streak of 8 dating back to week 9 of the '79 State season 
1981    9-1        0-1         56-24   5-3
1982    7-3        0-1         63-27   5-4
1983    6-5        1-1         69-32   6-5
1984  11-1        3-0         80-33   9-5 - STATE CHAMPIONS #2 
1985  10-1        1-1         90-34  10-6 
* Winning streak of 20 games from week #3 of the 1984 season vs SM North to week #9 of the 1985 season before falling to SM West in the 6A State Semi-Finals vs. Harold Wambsagans Vikings
1986  12-0        3-0       102-34  13-6 - STATE CHAMPIONS #3
1987  11-1        3-0       113-35  16-6 - STATE CHAMPIONS #4
* Winning streak of 17 games starting in week #1 of the 1986 season with a win over Topeka West Chargers to week #5 over Bill Stiegemeier's Lancers with a 27-0 shutout. In week #6, the Lions fell to Wambsgan's Vikings again two seasons later after the '85 season was complete
1988  10-2        2-1       123-37  18-7 - 2nd State Runner up to Manhattan Indians
1989  11-1        3-0       134-38  21-7 - STATE CHAMPIONS #5
* Concluded Head Coaching career with 8 straight wins from week #4 with a 41-7 defeat of SM East to the 6A State Final game in which the Manhattan Indians fell victim to the Lions 28-21. This was a revenge game of sorts as the Lions lost in the 6A State Final during the 1988 season to Manhattan losing 14-7. 

* Ranks #4 All-Time in Sunflower League Coaching with a record of 134W-38L-172 GC-779 W%
- 3 more wins than SM South Raiders Coaching legend John Davis with 131 All-Time Wins
- 21W-7L-28 Playoff Games-750 W% - Ranks 3rd All-Time in Playoff Wins (in todays Modern era)

Head Coach - School(s) - Playoff Records (Sunflower Only)  
Gene Weir     Olathe North                    24-7 - Richland Rebels TX post-season not included
Dick Purdy    SM West & Lawrence     23-9 - Lee's Summit Tigers post-season not included
Bill Freeman  Lawrence                         21-7 - Osawatmomie Trojans post-season not included

Coach Freeman's success of his own, helped many of his former Students from all over the State. You can read those thoughts about him in post' throughout the interwebs. His ability to teach his students about life outside of the classroom is documented so well that many of his footprints have made their way to the Kansas City metro area.   

Thank you Bill Freeman for your contributions to the Sunflower League. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview - Formation of Olathe West and How it Works

Here is a recent interview with Olathe #233 Athletic Director Tim Brady on how the opening of Olathe West will work in 2017-2018.

Curious Sunflower League fans are wanting to learn more about Olathe West. Where can our readers find out about the future fifth school? May we have permission to post the link(s) to the website?

Tim Brady
The best place for information is will be updating this site regularly as we get closer to the opening of the building. 

Your department recently conducted a survey of future colors and mascots for the school. When does the district plan on revealing this information?

Tim Brady
After the November Board of Education meeting, the district announced on the website, Facebook and Twitter that Blue and Silver and the Owls was the final choice for mascot and colors. Once we have finalized the design of the owl, we will release that as well.

Outside of hiring the first official Principal of the building, who are the next hire’s to help build the faculty?

Tim Brady 
The district will be hiring the principal during second semester and that person will start his/her duties on July 1, 2016. Subsequent staff members will be hired later, with the majority hired sometime during the 2016-17 school year.

Who or what sport is generally the first Teacher/Head Coach hired within the school?

Tim Brady
We don't know yet at this time.

It is my understanding, that Olathe West will be a Junior Varsity Football program in 2017, prior to becoming Varsity in 2018. Does this allow for enrollment to build once the school is in its second year?

Tim Brady 
Correct - we will play a sub varsity schedule in 2017. 

Does Olathe #233 plan to fall in to a 5 or 6A enrollment with the KSHSAA?

Tim Brady
Boundaries have not been set by the BOE.  We don't know this information at this time.

Thank you again to Olathe #233 AD Tim Brady for your time in explaining how the process of Olathe West started, and what the future has in store in the months ahead. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Breaking: Sunflower Football Scheduling

Week-3 2016 and 2017 Thursday/Friday Night Games

As many of you may have heard, a fellow High School website has broken huge news about the open scheduling similar to these past two Sunflower seasons.

Beginning in 2016 and 2017, the Sunflower League will partner with our neighbors from across the state line in the Suburban League.

The Suburban League is made up of 25 local Kansas City, MO metro High Schools from as far north as Platte County, to as far south as Ray-Pec. These 25 schools are featured each school year under enrollment divisions of Blue, Red, White, and Gold, formerly known as the Big 7, Big 6, Mid 6, and Small 6.

Once the seasons begin, there will be 10 total match ups (20 games total) while the SM North Indians face the Lansing Lions, and SM East will play Rockhurst.

Sunflower vs Suburban (Week-3) - Home and Home Series
Lawrence Chesty Lions vs Lee's Summit West Titans - 1st meeting
Free State Firebirds vs Park Hill Trojans - 1st meeting
Leavenworth Pioneers vs North KC Hornets - 1st meeting
Olathe East Hawks vs Liberty Bluejays - 1st meeting
Olathe North Eagles vs Blue Spring South Jaguars - 1st meeting
Olathe NW Raves vs Lee's Summit North - 1st meeting
Olathe South Falcons vs Lee's Summit Tigers - 1st meeting
SM Northwest Cougars vs Grandview Bulldogs - 1st meeting
SM South Raiders vs Winnetonka Griffins - 1st meeting
SM West Vikings vs Blue Springs Wildcats - 1st meeting

SM East Lancers vs Rockhurst Hawklets
SM North Indians vs Lansing Lions

Congrats to both leagues on great non-conference games entering the following school years ahead.

For now, some rivalries will now be on hold due to these games.

The SM East Lancers and SM South Raiders will not see each other unless it is a playoff game in week-9, similar to the Olathe North Eagles not playing the Olathe East Hawks.

Thank you again to Olathe North AD Jason Herman and fellow officials spearheading these games.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Withering Giants: Sunflower League's Dominance Waivers

It was bound to happen eventually, with multiple schools toeing the line of the 5A and 6A classifications, there was bound to be a team that could sneak up on the Sunflower League. Because of that, I'm not all that surprised to say that the Blue Valley Tigers have made history by becoming the first non-SFL team representing the 6A East in the state championship since the inception of the playoff system in 1969.

Up until now, SFL teams have shared the spot with some Blue Valley squads challenging in the Sub-State rounds but failing to get over the hump. The most notable one is the class Sub-State battle between Olathe North and Blue Valley in 2009, a game Olathe North survived after a last second field goal to win the game.

Since then, teams from the EKL have shown a lot of promise with 2012 featuring future SFL member Gardner-Edgerton sweeping their district that included Olathe North, Olathe South, and Olathe Northwest before falling to Lawrence in the first round of the playoffs. BV Northwest followed in 2013 by running through SM South and Olathe East on the way to a 7-2 record before failing to move the ball and eventually losing against Olathe North in the first round. Next up was Blue Valley in 2014 who showed the same dominance that the previous teams showed, and took the next step by defeating SM South in the opening round. That step was all she wrote though, as the Tigers fell in another close EKL/SFL bout against Olathe North.

As we all know, things are different this year, despite having a team in both Sub-State Rounds, the state championship will not hold an SFL team. While the Sunflower League isn't just going to die away or anything like that, what does this year tell us about the future of the league?

Gardner-Edgerton is set to join in 2017
First off, one of the better teams in the EKL a few years ago will now be joining in 2017 following reports that Gardner-Edgerton has been accepted to fill out the 13th spot before Olathe West joins to make things even again at 14 teams. So in terms of numbers, we don't have much to worry about even if schools like Leavenworth decided to leave at any point. However, we'll have to see how GE handles the current slump they are in before we can tell whether or not they will actually compete and become a competitor in the league. The Trailblazers are looking like they have a long way to go before they reach the levels of the squads that brandished players like Bubba Starling and Traevon Wrench. Including a 2013 playoff loss to Olathe East, GE suffered through an 11-game losing streak and had to wait two years to get another win. Things didn't get much easier as their only other win came against an Olathe South team that was in the exact same position.

It's really difficult to predict how brand new schools will perform, but all we can say for sure is that Olathe West will mainly be taking students from both Olathe North and Olathe Northwest based on location, but the division of middle schools overall might be switched up to accommodate. This doesn't mean the schools will be immediately hurting from the new guys in town, but I can see this helping fuel the downward spiral the current four find themselves in currently as a whole.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sunflower Football All-League Selections

Congrats to all of the Sunflower Football Student-athletes who received 1st, 2nd, and Honorable Mention Honors and a season well done!

Your hard work has paid off during the off-season weights programs, and throughout the weeks of practice prior to our Friday Night Lights!

Special Thanks to Olathe North AD Jason Herman for the 2015 Selections 

1st Team
QB -

Bryce Torneden - SR - Free State

RB -

J.D. Woods - SR - Lawrence
Vinnie Shabazz - SR - Olathe North
Sam Skwarlo - SR - Free State

WR -

Isreal Watson - JR - SM West
Isaiah Simmons - SR - Olathe North
Sky Tate - JR - SM East

TE -

Price Morgan - SR - Lawrence

OL -

Amani Bledson - SR - Lawrence
Jeff Heath - SR - SM East
Trey Georgie - SR - Lawrence
Jared Green - SR - SM West
Markus Sawyer - SR - Olathe North


DB -

Bryce Torneden - SR - Free State
Isaiah Simmons - SR - Olathe North
Ivan Hollins - SR - Lawrence
Carl Young - JR - SM East

LB -
Price Morgan - SR - Lawrence
Sam Skwarlo - SR - Free State
Rustin Heibert - SR - Olathe North
Simon Bradley - JR - SM East

DL -

Amani Bledsoe - SR - Lawrence
Chase Miller - SR - Olathe North
Jose Montoya - SR - SM West
Trey Georgie - SR - Lawrence

2nd Team
QB -

Matt Wright - SR - Olathe North

RB -

Wyatt Edmisten - SR - SM East
Nigel Houston - JR - SM West
DaeVonte Nance - SR - Olathe South

WR -

Zack Sanders - JR - Free State
Gerritt Prince - SR - SM Northwest
Parker Williamson - SR - SM North

TE -

Darian Lewis - SR - Free State

OL -

Stephen Gill - SR - SM East
Chase Houk - JR - Free State
Tyler Brewer - SR - SM West
Tanner Liba - SR - Free State
Brandon Huntley - SR - Olathe North

DB -

Deion Poindexter - JR - Olathe North
Ben Karlin - SR - SM West
Dion Union - SR - Olathe East
Storey Jackson - SR - Olathe North

LB -

Jay Dineen - JR - Free State
David Burton - SR - Olathe Northwest
Josh Compton - SR - SM West
Ryan Workman - SR - Olathe North

DL -

Luke Heisdorffer - SR - SM East
Zack Burks - SR - Olathe North
Darian Lewis - SR - Free State
Jack Murphy - SR - Olathe South

Honorable Mention

(6) Olathe East - Kurt Paldino, Kameron Barnes, Wesley Burris, Andrew Luce, Alex Conley, Nick Zinn

(11) SM West - Kirby Grigsby, Jason Potter, Alec Green, Tre Carter, Terrion Brewer, Montel Madlock, Adam Rellihan, Byron Sherwin, Conner Riley, Jay Hawkins, DJ Turner

(8) SM East - Justin Finnigan, Mike Bamford, Jack Tyler, Eli McDonald, Calen Gilmore, Trevor Thompson, Luke Kaiser, Milton Braasch

(8) Free State - Paul Bittinger, Logan McKinney, Drew Tochtrop, Jalen Galloway, Zion Bowlin, Jay Dineen, Zack Sanders, Kameron Lake

(6) Olathe South - Devin Brown, Jared Hester, Matt Burton, Kendal Engelken, Jaden Walker, Ben Smith

(3) SM Northwest - Cole Young, Cole Jonson, Xavier Perry

(8) Lawrence - Trey Moore, Nate Koehn, Tanner Green, Konnor Kelley, Luke Padia, J'Mony Bryant, Alan Clothier, Jacob Unruh

(12) Olathe Northwest - Ashton Avery, Ryan Leeper, Saylm West, Chase Helling, Tanner Keating, Bo Steele, Bailey McAuley, Elijah Roland, Brendan Watkins, Kyle Rinck, Trey Espy, Jesse Rose

(6) Leavenworth - Drew Sachen, Wade Jackson, Nick Starnes, Avery Bartlett, Arik Parker, Xavier Lelea

(11) SM North - Will Schneider, Danny Presler, Marcos Garcia, Tyler Burnett, Taylor Knowles, David Curtis, David Curtis, Reese Sila, Talbot Ebberts, Andrew Gonzales, Avante' Williamson, Dalton Morris

(3) Olathe North - Conner Vandevord, Jake Campbell, Rustin Heibert

(2) SM South - Cody Corbin, Cameron Union

Sunflower Post Season Awards and Nominations

Congrats to Sunflower Coach of the Year Dirk Wedd of the Lawrence Chesty Lions.

Coach Wedd owns a record of 93W-78L in 171 games coached in his 17th year at the helm.

Lawrence SR Amani Bledsoe was named the Andre' Maloney Player of the Year.

Sunflower League Selections - Including Student-athletes from around the KC metro area.

The 2015 Football season marks the 33rd season for the Thomas A Simone Awards presented to the top High School Football Athletes in Kansas City.

6th Annual Simone Team (2010-2015)
Amani Bledsoe - Lawrence
Isaiah Simmons - Olathe North

QB - Bryce Tornedon - SR Free State
RB - JD Woods - SR Lawrence
WR - Isaiah Simmons - SR Olathe North
OL - Jared Green - SM West

DL - Amani Bledsoe - SR Lawrence
LB - Price Morgan - SR Lawrence

Additional Awards Presented

All Simone Team

Frank Fontana Award - Frank Fontana was a former SPX Warriors Football player

Junious "Buck" Buchanan Award - Former KC Chiefs great
Amani Bledsoe - SR - Lawrence

Bobby Bell Memorial Award - Former KC Chiefs great

Otis Taylor Award - Former KC Chiefs great
Isaiah Simmons - SR - Olathe North

The Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award - former Spring Hill Broncos player who died on the field of play

The Gordon Docking Award - A former WDAF-TV 4 Sportscaster, and former emcee

Metro Sports Coach of the Year - Presented to a KS and MO Head Coach each year

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sunflower Post Season 2015

The 2015 season is now complete after this Saturdays Final of Blue Valley vs Derby.

Brandon Clark’s Derby Panthers claimed their second 6A State Title in three seasons, and won in model fashion despite freezing conditions, and an awful situation for athletes trying to maintain any quality footing.

Congrats to the Blue Valley Tigers on a great season, and representing the 6A East. They finished the year at 10-3 Overall.

In the days, and weeks to come more the Sunflower League will release their 1st, 2nd, and Honorable Mention teams, among many other honors for our 12 High Schools.
* Look for Thomas (Tommy) A. Simone Award - Sunflower nominations
* Kansas Shrine Bowl - Sunflower nominations 
* KS vs MO All-Star game - Sunflower nominations
* Any additional honors, and we'll be be corresponding with others around the State, here locally, and publications covering our Sunflower 12
* If you do know of an Honor to the Team, or Student-athlete, or Coaches, don't hesitate to message us, and we will post it soon as we can

Rising to the challenge in the near future will also be the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers. G-E and Olathe West will be #13 and #14 schools now part of the current 12 team league. 

There is already  plenty of talk, as to what will or will not happen come the 2018 Varsity Football season. For no, weather it is good or bad, or we like it or do not, the #SFLfball will continue to be logged as a single table/standings. Should any news break on how everything plays out, you will be the first to know.

SFL standings will continue to matter, but there will be a slight change that will be posted in weeks one (1) through (8) in the 2016 season. A SFL League Champion, or Champion(s) see the 2010 season, will continue as scheduled to be crowned, even as all teams will see as many as six (6) league games, while some will play seven (7) with one, or as many as two non-conference teams during the 2016 and 2017 schedules.

Rogers Heritage AR War Eagles are not on any future Sunflower team schedule at this time.

With the addition of GET, our local counterparts the EKL will be down to nine (9) teams/schools

Thursday, November 26, 2015

2015 6A State Final - Saturday Nov. 28, 2015

Scoreboard @ Welch Stadium, Emporia, KS 

Blue Vally Tigers 10-2 (4-East) vs Derby Panthers 11-1 (3-West)

Game Preview

Blue Valley Tigers
How they got there? Below is a run down of both Eric Driskell, and Brandon Clark with both Varsity schedules and records entering Saturday's game!

First off, congrats to the Blue Valley Tigers of Stilwell, KS on their first 6A State Football Finals appearance. All prior State Titles won by the Tigers have all been in the 5A Class. The two most recent came in 2010, and 2013, also led by alumni Eric Driskell.

This goes without saying, the foundations of Tiger Football legend to Steve Rampy leading the way for 25 years set the standard for the EKL. The floodgates did open up for change last Friday night, again as the Olathe North Eagles were held back a third straight season to make it to the 6A State Final.

Head Coach Eric Driskell enters the 6A State Final with an overall record of
58W-13L in 73 games coached
Playoffs: 16-3 in 19 games coached
794 W%
State Titles in 2010 and 2013.

Derby Panthers

Derby's Brandon Clark enters the 6A State Final, returning after a 2013 win over SM East two years ago at Topeka. His Derby tenure begins in 2008 to 2015 (8 seasons) with an overall record of:

73W-21L in 94 games coached
Playoffs: 16-6 in 22 games coached
754 W%
State Title in 2013 defeating SFL SM East (11-2)

Tigers trek to 6A State
T   W   Opp.                                O
62 W SM Northwest                  27 - Finished season at 1-8
34 W @ Blue Valley West*       24 - Finished season at 2-7
42 W Bishop Miege*                 35 - Playing in 4A-1 State Final at 11-1
47 W @ BV Southwest*           14 - Finished season 3-6
27 L  Blue Valley North*          28 - Finished season 8-2
13 L  ST Aquinas*                    35 - Finished season 9-3
35 W @ Gardner-Edgerton*      7 - Finished season 2-7
49 W @ Olathe South              16 - Finished season 1-8
25 W BV Northwest*                7 - Finished season 2-8
37 W + SM West                      14 - Finished season 7-3
42 W % @ Lawrence               17 - Finished season 10-1
43 W # Olathe North                19 - Finished season 10-2
00 x   SC Derby                       00 - Season complete at:

Panthers trek to 6A State
P    Opp.                                O
42 W Maize                          20 - Finished season 1-8
54 W @ Salina Central         20 - Finished season 4-5
20 L  @ Mill Valley             27 - Playing in 5A State Final at 11-1
49 W Hutchinson                 14 - Finished season 6-4
57 W Newton                       0  - Finished season 1-8
62 W @ Salina South           30 - Finished season 5-5
54 W Haysville Campus      14 - Finished season 2-7
51 W Wichita South            13 - Finished season 5-4
56 W @ Wichita West         28 - Finished season 5-5
52 W + Topeka                    21 - Finished season 8-2
46 W % @ Junction City     27 - Finished season 10-1
35 W # Free State                 14 - Finished season 8-4
00 x  SC Blue Valley          00 - Season complete at:

Congrats again to both teams as they compete in the 6A State Final this Saturday afternoon!

From all of us at

Austin Lockwood, Adam Sullivan, and Kevin Booker

Thank you for a great 2015 Football season! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sunflower Weekend Highlights

Blue Valley West and its Sunflower Connection

Scott Wright, the one and only Head Coach ever of the Blue Valley West Football Jaguars has stepped down after a great 15 year run.

Prior to beginning at BV West, Scott Wright was a long time Blue Valley Tigers AC for Steve Rampy. Scott Wright’s start with High School Football began as a SM South Football Raider under legendary Head Coach John Davis.  

In the 15 seasons that the Jaguars have been in existence, the program won its first and only State Championship seven seasons in to Wright’s tenure. The 2007 Jaguars, accomplished a 13-0 season and became EKL Champions that year. QB Ryan Kopp led the Jaguars, was later named to the school’s first ever Hall of Fame - 2012 (HOF) Sports Class including: the Kansas City Wizards/Sporting KC Matt Besler, Travis Helgeson, and Elizabeth Valenti.  

AD Cindy Roach is a former SMNW Cougars Women's Basketball Coach & AD prior to opening BVW. 

Closing out his tenure, Scott Wright leaves the program with a record of 81W-71L, 132 GC, 532W% 

Sunflower welcomes the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers in 2017

Friday 11-20-15, the G-E Trailblazers were granted admission in to the Sunflower League.

G-E will become the 13th member in 2017, prior to the opening of Olathe West as a Varsity Football program in 2018.

The journey to the Sunflower League for the G-E Trailblazers, began with a long time run within the Frontier League. Through many years and many coaching changes over the Trailblazers rarely, if ever found themselves close to sniffing a trip the playoffs.

After 19 years, legendary Salina Central Mustangs Coach Marvin Diener, retires after a final and 5th State Championship overall with a 13-0 season. With a record of 170-43, the G-E-T found themselves in the hands of Marvin Diener and the Frontier League in 2006, who will in time transform this lowly program in to a Midwestern/regional powerhouse Football program in southern Johnson County.

At the conclusion of the 2009-2010 school year, the Trailblazers were accepted in to the EKL for the 2010-2011 season. For the next seven seasons (prior to the 2017-2018 school year) the GET will have played seven seasons with the EKL. The 2010 Trailblazers won the EKL in their 2010 season. 

As a member of the Sunflower League, the G-E will be on Varsity status for all programs as the future school year unfolds. Olathe West will become the 14th member of the Sunflower as a Varsity Football program in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Entering the 2016 and Final EKL season, the Trailblazers are 35-27 in the EKL.

G-E Alumni ties to the Royals
·         QB Bubba Starling drafted by the KC Royals in 2011 (Originally signed on to play Football with the Nebraska Cornhuskers) 
·         Currently in Royals Farm System with NW Arkansas Naturals and a 
Royals Top 30 Prospect 

Once this all falls in to place prior to the end of this decade, there will continue to be changes as the league evolves.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sub-State - Friday Nov. 20, 2015

43 Blue Valley vs Olathe North 19 (@ Blue Valley)
14 Free State vs Derby 35 (@ Derby)

Game Previews

Friday, Nov. 20

Blue Valley (9-2) vs Olathe North (10-1) @ Blue Valley

Entering Week-12, these two storied programs meet again. Between the two Football teams, 14 6A & 5A State Titles are held. In 2014, these two met at ODAC with the Eagles coming away with the Sectional championship after beating the Tigers 27-14, only to lose to the eventual 2014 State Champions, the SM East Lancers.

The tides have turned in 2015. The Lancers and Chesty Lions are eliminated and the road has been paved for the Tigers and Eagles to move on to the East 6A Sub-State Final. With both programs in full throttle mode going into Friday night, motivation will be high from both squads.

Keep one thing in mind. Much like ODAC is impossible for any Sunflower League school to win at on the road, playing at Blue Valley High Stadium is no easy task for a local EKL opponent, much less that of a rare Sunflower team to make a trip in to the Tiger Den.

These two programs are no stranger to each other. In their EKL days before joining the Sunflower, the Eagles finished 8-2 overall vs the Tigers. 

Since 2004, the Tigers and Eagles have met six times: 04-05-08-09-14 and now 15. The Eagles lead the playoff series 3 games to 2, with Wins coming in 2009 and 2014. Once again, these two will meet, and Olathe North has changed Head Coaches four different times (also facing Blue Valley) while Steve Rampy retired to Pitt State, and alumnae Eric Driskell took over the reigns at Blue Valley.

State Titles: 
Blue Valley (6) 1991 - 1998 - 2003 - 2006 - 2010 - 2013
Olathe North (8) 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2009

Free State (8-3) vs Derby (10-1) @ Derby

There is a first for everything. This Sub-State game marks a return for Free State from 2014, minus the SaltHawks who stopped a hot Firebirds team in its tracks last season.

While Derby is no stranger to Sunflower opponents of the past after facing Olathe North and SM East in State Final games, the Firebirds will need to play a near flawless game against the talented Derby Panthers who are led by Jr. QB Brady Rust.  Rust has run for 423 yards and 6 TD's while throwing for 351 yards and 4 TD's in the playoffs alone.

This will be the first time these two teams meet. The Derby Panthers travel well everywhere they go, so it would be great to see Free State do the same in a hostile environment and pressure a talented Derby team. Playing away from home will be a tough task to take on. One of the biggest wins on the season was a win at home vs Hutch that ended in a 49-14 finish.

For our Mill Valley readers, it should also be noted that Derby Head Coach Brandon Clark is the cousin of Mill Valley Jaguars Football Coach Joel Applebee.  

State Titles:
Derby (2) 1994 - 2013
Free State - N/A