Monday, October 31, 2016

Olathe West Owls: Beginning 2017-18

Next fall the Olathe West Owls will become a reality for the Sunflower League. 

For now, the Owls will become a Junior Varsity squad made up of several student-athletes from all four Olathe High School Football programs. 

Recently the Olathe #233 announced the hirings of several key positions within the structure of the new high school. 

Principal Jay Novacek (formerly of Olathe South & Olathe Northwest, and student-athlete at ST Aquinas Saints) is leading the core of the of the Administration for the 2017-18 school year. 

Joining Jay Novacek, is current Olathe Northwest Raven Pat Butler, who also opened Olathe Northwest with Jay Novacek and a handful of others as the schools first Athletic Director. Coach Butler currently assist Chip Sherman and the Ravens Football team. Prior to going in to education, Pat Butler was a student-athlete for the SM South Raiders Football team. In his four years as a Raider, he was able to play for legendary Head Coach John Davis, and Fred Merrill. 

At this time, all Head Coaching positions for the Varsity sports programs are now open to begin applying for. 

The position of Head Football Coach will be posted on the  on 11-01-16.

Interest in the position, and Teaching/Coaching resumes should be sent to the Olathe School District, and Athletic Director Pat Butler.   

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week-9/Round-1 of 6A East Playoffs Preview

All Class Brackets can be found on: for up to date Final scores.

1 Blue Valley (8-0) vs 16 SM South (0-8) @ Blue Valley
8 Olathe East (3-5) vs 9 Olathe South (3-5) @ Olathe East/ODAC
4 BV North (5-3) vs 13 BV Northwest (2-6) @ BV North/BVDAC
5 SM West (5-3) vs 12 Wyandotte (2-5) @ SM South Stadium

2 SM East (7-1) vx 15 SM Northwest (1-7) @ SM North Stadium (10-27-16)
7 Olathe NW (3-5) vs 10 G-E Trailblazers (3-5) @ Olathe Northwest/CBAC
3 Lawrence (5-3) vs 14 BV West (2-6) @ Lawrence
6 SM North (4-4) vs 11 Olathe North (3-5) @ SM North

6 Free State (6-2) vs 11 Wichita South (4-4) @ Free State

6 ST Aquinas (5-3) vs 11 Leavenworth (1-7) @ ST Aquinas

Series Roundups Week-9

1 Blue Valley Tigers vs 16 SM South Raiders (Blue Valley leads the series 1-0)

Two years ago in 2014 the Tigers and Raiders met for the very first time. That time also happened to be in Round 1 of the 6A playoffs after the Raiders won two of their final three games in District play to advance.

This game will take everything for the Raiders to get some points against a dominant powerhouse in the Tigers.

8 Olathe East Hawks vs 9 Olathe South Falcons (Series tied 13-13)

These two Olathe foes have been meeting every season since 1992 when Olathe East opened.

Since the start of this decade, the Falcons have held the upper hand going 5-2 in 7 games played, and a playoff win during the 2011 State Football title run. 2014 and 15 have gone the Falcons way bringing the series to a .500 overall record.

4 BV North Mustangs vs 13 BV Northwest Huskies (BVNW leads the series 15-8)

For the first time in the history of this District series, the Mustangs and Huskies will rematch from week-1 play.

These two have met like OE and OS every season on the gridiron since 1994. Since the start of 2010, the Huskies have come away with a 4-2 record and a streak of four straight wins from 2011 to 2014.

Look for the Mustangs to continue to stay hot, while the Huskies look for an upset against a very up and coming program.

5 SM West Vikings vs 12 Wyandotte Bulldogs (Wyandotte leads the series 6-1)

Dating back to the opening of SM West in 1962 the Bulldogs met SMSD #3 for the very first time.

From 1962 to 1967 the Bulldogs won six straight games in dominate form with SM West first year Head Coach Ross Correll going 0-5. In 1967, the Football revolution of the Vikings took place with the hiring of Dick Purdy. During the 1968 season the Vikings won 14-0 after ending a six game losing streak and finishing 1-1 all-time before Wyandotte was removed from the schedule.

Although these two have not played in 48 years, this should be a great game and the Bulldogs will see quite a versatile Football program in Tim Callaghan's Vikings. It will take everything for the Bulldogs defense to stop a distraught Vikings who lost to the Lancers last week.

2 SM East Lancers vs 15 SM Northwest Cougars (SMNW leads the series 25-20)

This is a rematch of week-2 at the beginning of the Sunflower season.

Coming in to this game, the Cougars finished the season with a win over the Raiders, and lost two consecutive games over the Indians and Eagles. This will be a tough task ahead for the Cougars looking to upset a strong Lancers offense who shutout the West Vikings last week.

With this rematch taking place, anything goes now that District play is out of the picture. This is a time that upsets can happen, and seasons can come to an abrupt end.

7 Olathe NW Ravens vs 10 G-E Trailblazers (G-E leads the series 2-0)

The Ravens and Trailblazers will meet for only the third time in this young match up.

Three years ago both met in week-9 during the 2012 and 2013 District games to close out their regular seasons. Olathe Northwest has a chance to make some good happen against a down Trailblazers Football team over the last couple years. This

3 Lawrence Chesty Lions vs 14 BV West Jaguars (Series tied 1-1)

In this young series of play, the Chesty Lions and Jaguars are looking to make some noise in the playoffs.

These two programs are no strangers to each other, having met in a home and home series in 2014 and '15. During the 2015 meeting in Lawrence, the Chesty Lions came away with a dominating win.  

6 SM North Indians vs 11 Olathe North Eagles (Olathe North leads the series 23-1)

For the 25th time the Indians and Eagles will be meeting in Sunflower League play.

While the Eagles have notably dominated the series, and the Indians last win came in 2003 under former Head Coach Sam Brown, much has changed with both programs. In a rare season, the Olathe 4 are all down for the first time in the history of the school district.

SR Indians QB Will Schneider will have a chance to turn the tables at home on the Eagles. Not having to travel to ODAC has caused problems for all SMSD Football teams in the playoffs. Could this be an advantage? Time will tell, the Eagles are 2-2 in road games this season.

6 Free State Firebirds vs 11 Wichita South (First meeting, Series tied 0-0)

This will be the very first meeting between the Firebirds and Titans.

While most of NE Johnson County does not know much about the Titans, they have played to a strong 500 season finishing at 4-4. Their biggest defeat of the season was against Wichita East in which they put up 60 points in which W-E had no chance from the beginning.

Playing a Wichita school for the Sunflower League teams has not come since Gene Weir was in his first Coaching tenure with the Olathe North Eagles. Head Coach Bob Lisher can continue to build on the great Firebirds playoff runs they have had and come out strong on the west side of the 6A bracket.

3 ST Aquinas Saints vs 14 Leavenworth Pioneers (STA leads the series 1-0)

This will be the second ever meeting for the Saints and Pioneers. Both teams previously met in the 2014 playoffs with the Saints coming away with the victory.

While the series is new to the student-athletes, Leavenworth's Mark Littrell is 0-3 in all-time meetings against Randy Dreiling. Those two meetings came in 6A State Championship play, where his Falcons lost in '04 and '07. While the Pioneers only win came against SM South five weeks ago, ending their four game losing streak would be ideal against ST Aquinas.

Nine seasons later these two reunite on the gridiron in far different circumstances meeting in the first round of playoffs instead. The Saints have lost two straight coming in to this game against the BVSW T-Wolves, and Blue Valley Tigers (#1 seed).

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Historical Run at "45" - Unheard of Sun #'s

While the modern day Sunflower League is seeing growth in so many areas, we have individual Football programs making strides that have never been seen before by any of its current or former member schools.

Having done some digging deep in to the Sun Football archives from 1951 to this 2016 season, the #45 seems to have found a new meaning for the SM East Football Lancers. That said, this is a team accomplishment, that includes all of the Coaching staff who have been able to see the student-athletes at SM East grow in to a Football program since the 2010 season.

After 45 games played, only three Head Coaches within the history of the League, and SMSD #512 only have reached some unparalled Football heights. 

In just six (6) seasons Larry Taylor (SM North) and John Davis (SM South) have made the Football programs that they took over in to State Football powerhouses of their respective era's. From 1964 to 1969 the Indians reeled off a 36-7-3 record. This included 2 State Titles in '65 and '67 and multiple League titles in 65-66-67-68-69. 

John Davis did the same with the Raiders, from 1966 to 1970 (5) in a similar fashion. Coach Davis' record was an incredible 31-10-4 with losses to Dick Purdy's West Vikings, and the Lawrence Chesty Lions that owned the SMSD schools in that era of time. 

These days, with a record that none of the current (12) or former (87) Head Coaches can brag about is that of the SM East Football Lancers led by Dustin Delaney in his fourth season. 

In 45 total games, Delaney's Lancers have done something no other relatively new Head Coach to the league can bring about to the 15 Sunflower Football programs. Even Bill Freeman's 15 year tenure with the Chesty Lions, first five (5) seasons are no where close to Delaney's Lancers averaging 3.5 losses per season. From 1978 to 1989, Freeman's Chesty Lions went on to win 5 State Championships and retire with a 134-38 record. Coach Bill Freeman's first State Title came in his sixth season 1979. 

Of all 87 Head Coaches, only Dustin Delaney, and SM North Football Coaching legend have one thing in common, winning a large Kansas Class State Title in their second season. In 1964, the Indians were a paltry 3-5-1 after 9 games. The following year in 1965 the Indians completed their first of many 9-0 seasons under Larry Taylor, and were declared the State Champions at that time. A State Tournament was not played or started by the KSHSAA until 1969-70 school year. Delaney's Lancers have finished 11-2, and 13-0 (24-2 overall) respectively in his first two seasons. That stands alone bettering former Olathe North Eagles Head Coach John McCall who finished 22-4 in 2003-04 after Gene Weir left for to become the Head Coach of the Richland Rebels TX.  

Coach Delaney's Lancers are on pace to reach, and surpass those numbers of Larry Taylor, John Davis, and SM West Coach Tim Callaghan at the conclusion of the Lancers season after four complete seasons.  

Run at "45" Games: 
School - Head Coach - Overall Totals
@ SME - Dustin Delaney - 40-5, 45 GC, 888 W%
SMN - Larry Taylor - 36-7-3, 45 GC, 800 W%
SMS - John Davis - 31-10-4, 45 GC, 688 W%

@ = Active

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sunflower Football Preview: Week-8


SM West vs SM East @ SM South (SM West leads the series 38-14) - Nut Cup #2 - 

As you can see, the record like last week speaks for itself. The Vikings have been dominant against the Lancers since the late 60s.

For four decades the Vikings have owned the SM East Lancers. This covers the Dick Purdy, Harold Wambsgans, and Tim Callaghan Head Coaching era's. Although many of your local outlets declare this a "rivalry" it is far from it. West vs East is most commonly a form of an NBA or MLB way of placing an All-Star tag in front of the notion.

In the most recent of times, from 2010 to now, the Lancers have won four (4) of the last six (6) games played. Since the 2013 season, the Lancers have reeled off an unprecedented four straight wins. This includes two shutouts and a huge 2014 week-11 playoff win en route to the 6A State Title.

For what it is worth, it will take everything the Vikings can throw at the Lancers Offensive line to stop the "Flexbone." Can it be done? Yes it can, is it going to be tough for the Vikings Defense to stop? It will be for sure. This game will be a tough challenge for both from the start of the game to the final whistle. This should be perhaps one of the best regular season games to close out prior to the playoffs beginning next week.

Lawrence vs Free State @ Free State (Free State leads the series 11-7)

In perhaps one of the greatest Sunflower City Football rivalries outside of Olathe North vs Olathe South, this game could also determine a Co/Tri-Sunflower League Championship should the Lancers lose to the Vikings in week-8 to own or share the League Championship outright. That would leave three (3) teams at 6-1 overall.

Both teams will look to get off to a fast start, and reeling is QB Dallas Crittendon who has shown very well in adapting to Sunflower play coming from the Centennial league. His play at QB could cause problems for the Chesty Lions, while they are looking to find themselves better offensively after losing a QB to injury during the SM East game last week.

Since the start of the decade, the Firebirds are 4-2 in their last six versus the Chesty Lions. From 2012 to 14 reeling off three straight wins all in week-9 of District play.

Leavenworth vs Olathe East @ Leavenworth (OE leads the series 13-0)

In another lopsided series of play, the Hawk and Pioneers will meet for the 14th time.

For Coach Jesse Owen, this will be a great test for his players as they continue to play well under his system. Historically, these two schools have played sparsely over the last handful of years. Since 2010, the two have met once in 2013 with OE coming away with the 31-13 win.

Two seasons later after not meeting, Coach Mark Littrell (former OS Falcons Head Coach) had some great matchups against the Hawks. Look for the Pioneers to continue to bring their best play despite struggling this season to find their ground and accomplishments from a couple seasons ago.

Olathe South vs SM North @ SM North (OS leads the series 10-6)

The Falcons and Indians last played during the 2012 season with the Falcons coming away with a resounding 56-13 win in week-2.

Four years later, the landscape of both programs has changed, and outlook very different from both ends of the Johnson County spectrum. For the last few years the Indians have struggled against all four Olathe Football programs, and have a chance to make a huge jump in the 6A-East standings should they be able to come away with a win.

Although that is easier said than done, the Indians did just that in their 2008 upset of the Falcons also winning at home. The Indians are 2-1 at home this year and could make this a struggle to close out the Falcons regular season. It is no secret that all that the SMSD #5 have struggled at ODAC for years. In the end this will be a great test for both programs entering week-9 and ruffling some feathers.

Olathe North vs SM Northwest @ ODAC (ON leads the series 20-2)

In another dominate series of play, the Eagles have been out the winning end of the scoreboard numerous times over.

The Cougars, under Bo Black, who have recently stepped up their play agains the Raiders, and playing a great game against the Indians in the last two weeks have found great confidence in their play.

2012 was the last time that these two met, in Gene Weir's return game to the Sunflower League sidelines after being away for years in Texas with the Richland Rebels. That evening in week-1, the Cougars and former Head Coach Linn Hibbs won his first game in Johnson County after coming from Wellington High. After this three year break of play, both programs are wanting to add more to their win column and improve heading in to the playoffs.

With the Eagles struggling, this is an ideal time for the Cougars to take advantage of their work from the previous couple weeks.

SM South vs Olathe Northwest @ CBAC (ONW leads the series 5-0)

While the Ravens Football program has been around well over 10 seasons, the meetings between these two have been few and far between. Five seasons later and a full cycle of student-athletes who have come and gone will reunite on the gridiron.

The last time the Raiders and Ravens met on the gridiron, SM South Principal Todd Dain was roaming the sidelines during their 2011 matchup. This game the two played at SM South was perhaps one of the most exiting games ever played in school history on the road. The Raves won 48-47 in a true "barn burner." This game again could be a good one and for the Raiders moving towards a win to get out of the cellar.

For those of you who recall this game, now NBA favorite Willie Cauley-Stein (who was the teams WR) had one of the best individual performances of any Sunflower Football athlete on that night against the Raiders.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sunflower League Previews: Week 7


Leavenworth vs Olathe South @ ODAC (Olathe South leads the series 18-1)

The Pioneers are making the trek to ODAC to take on a similar Falcons team at 1-5.

This marks a return for former Falcons mentor Mark Littrell to his ODAC stomping grounds where his teams in the 90s and early 00s dominated home games when fellow Sunflower opponents had a tough road game ahead of them. Many of those nights, the road teams headed to the bus due to it being such a hard environment to play at.

Should either team come away with the win, it will be a huge boost in the seeding movement, if only a game ahead. Since Mark Littrell has taken over for the Pioneers, they have been much improved in all aspects of the game.


Free State vs Olathe East @ CBAC (OE leads the series 11-7)

The Firebirds are making a trip to CBAC this week to take on the OE Hawks.

Could OE come away with a win? It will be very tough to keep up with a very talented Free State Firebirds team that are on a three game win streak. Tough defense and playing smart will be a key factor for this young Hawks program that is gradually improving under Jesse Owen.

Olathe Northwest vs Olathe North @ ODAC (ON leads the series 8-2)

This is a huge game taking place for the Olathe #233 foes.

Can Chip Sherman's Ravens come away with a win? Will the Eagles find a way to regain some ground deep in the League cellar? This game will answer many questions to see how

The Ravens have won two big games against the Eagles in their young history, and can only get better as the closing of regular season play arrives. Consistent and good play from both programs is needed more than anything as they have both struggled against the rest of the league overall.

At the conclusion of this game, players from both programs could find themselves as the first Olathe West Owls to take the field of play in the future seasons to come.

SM South vs SM West @ SM South (SMW leads the series 35-20-1)

Entering this game the Raiders will have a tough task ahead of them to take on a steaming Vikings team eager to play.

Tim Callaghan is 12-0 vs the Raiders, while the Raiders themselves have lost 19 straight games dating back to the 1997 season.

For the Raiders, coming out motivated will be key in finding a way to get points on the board against a very disciplined program. It will not be easy, but a great test for the Raiders to gain confidence in their play.

SM North vs SM Northwest @ SM North - Annual Hula Bowl (SMNW leads the series 24-20)

Fridays game marks another great rivalry as these two play in their annual Hula Bowl game at SM North.

Ben Bartlett will be leading his (3-3) Indians in to a rough home game environment in which the sister-school Cougars have owned them in their own stadium winning the last 10 in a row. For the Indians, a win against the Cougars is long over due. Having lost 12 straight overall, their last win at home against the Cougars came during the 2001 season winning 28-8.

Coach Black's Cougars on the other hand are bringing a lot of confidence in to this game after a huge win against the Raiders last week. With improvement still to be made, the Cougars can and will find themselves moving up in the seedings with the Indians should they come away with a win.

SM East vs Lawrence @ Lawrence (Lawrence leads the series 42-11)

Yes, this is accurately documented. The Chesty Lions own a 42win record over the Lancers all-time.

In modern day Sunflower League play however, the tide has quickly turned since the 2009 season with the additions of Chip Sherman (Olathe Northwest) and Dustin Delaney taking over at SM East.

The 2009 season was a turning point for the Lancers, where they have found themselves winning four of the last five meetings taking place. For the Chesty Lions, they have only scored 10 total points in their last two games against a strong SM East Shark Defense in impressive fashion. The Lancers have scored 61 Points For.

Coach Wedd will be looking for his 99th win all-time at Lawrence should the Chesty Lions alumni come away with a huge win at home.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

If the 6A Playoffs began today!

As most of you are all aware, the began a new playoff system introduced in January of last year.

For all 6 & 5A Football schools (64 in all) will be rid of the District playoff system which lasted for 38 years. With a better understanding of the current standings (Not Sunflower/Eastern Kansas) related, the brackets are in temporary form on a great Kansas webpage called This provides timely up to date records of all High School Football teams from 6A all the way to 8-man I & II. If you are an alumni of a Kansas High School outside of the Johnson, Douglass, and Leavenworth counties, this is a place to check out!

* Home teams are seeded 1-8, while road teams are 9-16.
* KC Wyandotte has only scheduled seven (7) regular season home games
* SMSD #512, Olathe #233, and BVSD #229 are all on the same playing field and SFL and EKL do not really matter at this point.
* Stadium availability will also determine a possible Thursday/Friday game regardless of the seed the school is playing at. ST Aquinas and SJ Academy share Mircoke Field at ST Aquinas, while the SMSD's and Olathe, Blue Valley's all share facilities as well.

Below are the 6A Brackets/Standings per (PPI) that present the 6A East standings:

1 - BVT 5-0
16 - SNW 0-5

8 - BNW 2-3
9 - BVN 2-3

5 - ONW 2-3
12 - OSF 1-4

4 - SMW 3-2
13 - BVW 1-4

6 - SMN 2-3
11 - KCW 1-3

3 - LAW 4-1
14 - ONE 1-4

7 - OEH 2-3
10 - GET 2-3

2 - SM East 4-1
15 - SM South 0-5

Please note that all 16 seeds are subject to change drastically over the course of the next three weeks! This bracket for the State does not count towards a specific Sunflower or EKL League Championship.

If you are curious, here is the 6A West Bracket as it currently stands:

1 - Derby 5-0 = Reigning 2015 6A State Champions  
16 - Wichita North 0-5

8 - Wichita South 3-2
9 - Wichita Northwest 3-2

5 - Hutchinson 4-1
12 - Dodge City 3-2

4 - Junction City 5-0
13 - Wichita East 2-3

6 - Free State 3-2
11 - Campus 3-2

3 - Garden City 5-0
14 - Wichita - Southeast 1-4

7 - Washburn Rural 3-2
10 - Topeka 3-2

2 - Manhattan 5-0
15 - Wichita West 0-5