Friday, December 15, 2017

BREAKING: Lawrence Chesty Lions Football

Chesty Lions hire Steve Rampy


This evening, Lawrence Chesty Lions Athletic Director: Bill DeWitt, notified the Twitter world, with the announcement of Steve Rampy as the next Head Coach of the Chesty Lions.

Coach Steve Rampy has spent the last eight (8) seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburg State Gorilla's where he has spent his Collegiate coaching career after a historic and legendary career with the  Blue Valley Tigers where he spent 25 years as Head Coach 1985 to 2009.

In Coach Rampy's time with the Blue Valley Tigers, he coached quite a few future Head Coaches in the pipelines of student-athletes/alumni of the Tigers Football program.

Of most recent time, RIP Eric Driskell (Blue Valley Tigers 2010-2016), Anthony Orrick of Blue Valley Southwest are two of his former players who have Coached in the EKL. One of his other former student-athletes is Brian Schottenheimer (son of former Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Marty Schottenheimer.) Schottenheimer is currently with the Indianapolis Colts as the Quarterbacks Coach.

Steve Rampy's Tigers under his tenure began an iconic run in his 25 seasons winning 5A State Titles in 1991-1998-2003-2006. Brian Schottenheimer was the QB for the 1991 State Championship team that includes legendary Head Coach Eric Driskell, and Blue Valley Tigers Athletic Director Matt Ortman as well. Coach Rampy's Tigers record at Blue Valley is 176W-85L-261 GP-674 W%

Congratulations to the Chesty Lions on the hiring of their 19th Head Coach in the history of the Chesty Lions Football program.


KFBCA Selections - 6A SFL

Free State Firebirds - 6A



Recently the KFBCA (Kansas Football Coaches Association) released their All-State Selections and notated below are the Sunflower League positions selected: @KansasPregame

Lawrence Free State (3)
L - Spencer Roe
LB - Gage Foster &
LB David Johnson

Additional SFL-EKL Respective selections: Top 11

QB - Carter Putz - Bishop Miege
DL - Miles Emery - Blue Valley North
LB - Nick Allen - Blue Valley Southwest

6A - Offense
L - Nick Orr - Blue Valley North
QB - Dante Jackson - Lawrence
TE - Jackson Heath - Blue Valley Northwest
WR - Dylan Freberg - Blue Valley North
WR - Nijel Roberts - Blue Valley North

6A - Defense

L - Spencer Roe - Free State Firebirds
LB - Gage Foster - Free State Firebirds 
LB - David Johnson - Free State Firebirds 
DB - Ekow Boye-Doe - Lawrence  
SPC - Jackson Likens - Blue Valley
HC - Andy Sims - Blue Valley North

Sunday, December 10, 2017

SFL Coaching Circles and Rounds

For those of you who are active on the message boards that are a great way to add your own thoughts and opinions from week to week throughout the year, and the Football season itself, it is appreciated. 

Recently, I conducted a study of the SFL Coaches from 1954 to 2017. This study consisted of 14 schools including Leavenworth, as they are en route to the new United Kansas League starting the 2018-2019 school year. 

At the High School level, and perhaps any level of paid Coaching from the High School levels on up, it is a very big job. No one says it will be easy to win over an Administration and Athletic Director during a job interview or performance review(s), in addition to winning over young student-athletes, and parents in to your vision, and more as a staff in what school A, B, or C will do to accomplish to start the season off right. 

Many factors to numerous to count go in to a job at any level in the Coaching world. Yes, you do Coach, but first and foremost you are hired to teach. Ultimately, that is still the most important job of all in the hallways of a high school across the country. Our League alone, has produced some of the best and most challenged academically powered minds going in to Ivy League schools, the local Junior Colleges across the state of Kansas, MIAA, KCAC, and the big 3: KU, KSU, and MU at one time or another. That includes our sister league the EKL. 

There is, and has been, no shortage of great, good, bad, and okay "Head Coaches" that have come and gone throughout the decades of the Sunflower League since 1954. That said, do you as a student-athlete, teacher-coach, Administrator, Athletic Director find it all that important depending on your home life outside of the classroom how important your Coaches are?! 

Each one on the Staff is there for a reason, and as a Teacher-Coach to make you, the young man, student-athlete, future husband, Banker, Soldier, Marine, Airmen, Mailman, Supervisor of any future job in the 'real world' you can be in addition to how you are raised at home. Believe me, your parents, guardians, and extended family, all want the best for you. Believe in their love and support, as they will be in the stands cheering you on Friday nights every season. This time is important, as it goes by quick and soon you will be off to college before you know it. 

While the Winter sports season is upon us, these Coaching staffs will be planning Spring conditioning, attending 7v7 Camps across the KC-metro, and summer weights prior to the start of school. 

DYK's of the SFL as we know it 

* 14 Sunflower Head Coaches past and present have won State Titles in the large class enrollment brackets from 1954 to 2017.

* Of those 14, only one (Dick Purdy of: SM West and Lawrence) won a State Title with two different programs/teams. 

* Excluding Leavenworth entering 2018 only, there have been 70 total Head Coaches and 31 State Titles won by 13 Head Coaches. Lawrence (11) and Olathe North (8) own the most outright titles won on the gridiron.

* The Football bloodlines of Olathe East (Jeff Meyers and Jesse Owen, both Olathe-North Eagles Alumni) and Olathe Northwest (Principal Todd Dain of SM South) and Chip Sherman are the bloodlines of the SM East Lancers. At no other school within the league is there anything like this. Both schools have yet to produce a State Title in this modern era of the SFL 2010-2019. 

* Entering the 2018 season, a record six new Coaches will debut in their first or perhaps a second tenure within the league. This includes TJ O'Neill of Olathe West as his 2017 season was a Junior Varsity season. 


*** How hard is it to win a State Football Title in the 6-5A East? - SFL - ***

- Lawrence, since the opening of Lawrence Free State, in the Fall of the 1997-98 school year, the Chesty Lions have yet to return to the State Title game. Under Dick Purdy, their last Title win was the 1995 season two years before the Firebirds doors opened. 

- Free State, under the legacy created by Bob Lisher, a Chesty Lion alumni, has yet to win a State Title. He came close once during the 2008 season, but have fallen short due to running in to a strong Derby Panthers in each of the last three years. 

- Gardner-Edgerton is new to the SFL and will be out to start with a new Head Coach to start the 2018 season. 

- Leavenworth, since 1981 has never fielded a trip to the 5 or 6A State Title game, and only competing in six playoff games mostly under Kevin Kopecky and Mark Littrell. 
 
- Olathe East, played for a 6A State Title in 2005 losing 24-7 to a very good Hutch SaltHawks program at the time led by current ST Aquinas Saints Head Coach Randy Dreiling. The Hawks have yet to return to the Title game since that season. Olathe East had a run of 12 straight playoff seasons in that time from 2002 to 2013. 

- Olathe North, the Granddaddy of the Olathe #233 Football programs has won 8 State Titles. Under Pete Flood, the Eagles last won in 2009, only to fall short and attain a second place finish in 2010.

- Olathe Northwest, under Todd Dain and Chip Sherman have yet to reach a State Title in 14 Varsity Football seasons since their start as Varsity in 2004. In 2003, the Ravens, similar to the 2017 Owls competed as Junior Varsity

- Olathe South, under former Head Coach Jeff Gouley, the Falcons won their first State Title during the 2011 season. In three prior trips, led by current Leavenworth Pioneers Head Coach Mark Littrell, the Falcons fell short in 1999 to Garden City, and the Hutchinson SaltHawks, led by Randy Dreiling in 2004 and 2007.  

- Olathe West is the baby of the Sunflower League and will begin writing their history in the 2018 season with a strong following. 

- For SM East, prior to the 2014 State Championship team, no Lancer Football team had ever sniffed the thought of even thinking it could happen, the Lancers waited 56 seasons when the doors opened in 1958-59. 

- SM North last won outright in 1974 for Larry Taylor. It has been 43 Football seasons since the Indians have returned to the State Final. The 2000 and 2016 Indians were the only teams closest to reaching those dreams of making something big happen in the league. 

- SM Northwest last won a State Title during the 1981 season, led by legendary Rockhurst Head Coach Tony Severino. On that 1981 team, former SM East Head Coach John Stonner was a member of the Cougars Football team. Since the 2017 season it has been 36 seasons.

- SM South last won a State Title during the 1975 season and second overall (1973) under SM South legend John Davis. John Davis' tenure spanned 20 years from 1966 to 1985 prior to retiring. 42 seasons have passed including this 2017 season, and 17 straight losing seasons starting in 2001. 

- SM West recently gained a State Title during the 2012 season. For the first time since the 70's, the Vikings led by 16th year Head Coach Tim Callaghan, were dominate, ironically in a huge win over Randy Dreiling's SaltHawks. Notice a trend here?! Although it has been a rough ride for the Vikings during the 2017 season, they will improve, only to have suffered their second winless season in the history of the Vikings Football program.     

Friday, December 1, 2017

BREAKING: SM North's Bartlett Steps Down

Head Coach Ben Bartlett resigns from SM North



Ben Bartlett, the 15th Head Coach in Shawnee-Mission North Indians Football history has resigned, per Athletic Director Kent Glaser. 

For our loyal SMSD-North Indians Football viewers, you may recall at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, when Don Simmons abruptly resigned following an 0-9 record in his one and only season. By interim appointment by Retired Athletic Director George Sallas, and then Principal Richard Kramer, the first Indians Football alumni in the history of the program, Ben Bartlett '98 assumed the new role of head Coach. 

During Coach Bartlett's time as a student-athlete for the Indians, his time on the field was led by former Head Coach's Bob Stauffer, and Sam Brown.  

In an unfortunate turn of events, Ben Bartlett took over a program that had lost a team record 19 straight games dating back to week-9 of the 2011 season and carrying over to the 2014 season and more than halfway through his first season. 

Little known to the rest of the Sunflower League, and even within the hallways of SM North, a young Quarterback would soon be appointed to lead the program in Will Schneider. Throughout Ben Bartlett's tenure and in to the 2017 season, Will Schneider's impact was felt. Both on, and off the field and throughout the Sunflower, his legend and leadership built in trust with his offensive line and help from his defense gave the Indian's credibility again that it had not achieved in years. 

Lately, the SM North Indians will be known in this decade of Football for their incredible 2016 season. For the first time since 2003, the team fielded six wins and won in upset fashion two back-to-back playoff games against Olathe North and Lawrence. 

Ben Bartlett's 12 win's rank him 8th all-time in Indians Football history behind Bryan Speery (1958-1960.) Overall, his numbers place him 54th all-time out of 86 past and present Sunflower Coaches, and 31st all-time in SMSD Coaching history. 


Thank you again for all of your great time, work, and dedication to the Indians Football program! 

   

Sunday, November 26, 2017

SFL End-of-Season Recap Part 1

Worst Overall Year?


While saying the league fell into a dark pit of despair this year would be considered a stretch; it's undeniable that disappointment was the main result for each team from top to bottom. Not only did the team endure another abysmal year against the Suburban League that might deter AD's from approving such a setup in the future, but the league managed to make history by not having a single team reach the Sub-State round of the playoffs since Class 6A was formed.

The worst part is how badly the East side was whooped. The Firebirds may have been victim to the back-to-back state champs and fell valiantly in overtime, but the next two teams in the league fell in spectacularly embarrassing fashion to a couple of slightly above-average EKL teams that likely wouldn't have passed the second round of the 5A playoffs. We can at least say that one of the EKL teams won State against powerhouse Derby, showing that they weren't there by a fluke.

On top of the sub-par results to end the season, the league is also seeing the departure of three of the more respected head coaches it had to offer, with Dustin Delaney, Chip Sherman and Dirk Wedd all resigning. We'll have to see how these teams
adapt as SM East tries to maintain its momentum and Lawrence still
struggles to reach the same level of its glory days.

Teams-to-Watch for 2018

ohhh nooo...
Olathe North - The Eagles struggled with their identity in the first half of 2017 and paid for it before finding a good combo with RB's Daymonn Sanchez and Arland Bruce IV. With both players turning along with another year in the system for QB Zac Krause, the Eagle offense should be a team to look out for next year. We'll have to see if the defense can progress, but they will be returning SS Devon Stoker and OLB Justin Earls.

Lawrence Free State - Considering how well the team did this year, it should be automatic that the Firebirds will enter 2018 with both high expectations and perhaps a good bit of urgency. RB Jax Dineen will have one more season to try and carry his team to a title game appearance and we'll have to see if the rest of the team is able to keep up.

Olathe West - Expectations aren't necessarily high as the Owls enter their first full varsity season, but the JV squad finished 7-0 while also playing Junction City in their first varsity game. While winning a state title is a little above realistic, it'll at least be fun to see both how the team performs and their somewhat terrifying mascot.

End-Season Power Rankings

1. Lawrence Free State (10-1) - It must be frustrating for Free State fans seeing their team miss the state championship after another incredible season... but at least THIS time around, the Firebirds actually looked like the best team the league had to offer. They also get to keep their main playmaker with Jax Dineen returning for his senior year, which should prove exciting for next season.

Photo by LJWorld

2. Shawnee Mission East (9-2) - The loss of HC Dustin Delaney is going to hurt, both presently and perhaps for years to come. The Lancers have never been as successful in their entire history than they were under Delaney. Here's hoping his successor is able to keep up the momentum.

3. Olathe North (7-4) - You can put the Eagles getting this spot on SM East, who's miraculous 35-point loss to a team that didn't have a winning record going into the playoffs is the pinnacle of how awful the 2017 post-season was. That said, a 48-21 loss isn't much better. Both teams get this spot, but neither really deserve it.

4. Olathe East (5-5) - East came the closest to almost beating Blue Valley North, going so far as to even lead at a point. That said, the Hawks are still three years into HC Jesse Owens' tenure without a winning season, though they showed much more progress this time around.

5. Lawrence High (5-5) - A seemingly strong start to the season masked a Lawrence team that could never keep momentum flowing as they failed to string more than two wins together. The team capped off by struggling against one of the worst teams in the EKL and going from a 4-2 record to 5-5 after being dismantled by Olathe North in Dirk Wedd's final game at the helm.

6. Olathe South (4-6) - There wasn't much progress for the Falcons this year as the team got another 4-win season in the books. They'll have to find not only a replacement for QB Nick Jouret, but they will also need at least one more playmaker to help an offense that struggled to score until they faced the porous Shawnee Mission defenses.



7. SM Northwest (4-5) - This team wasn't able to escape the first round like some teams listed below them, but their three-game improvement was very nice to see. The Cougars not only crawled themselves out of the bottom two teams in the league, but added a win over an average Grandview (4-6) team.

8. Olathe Northwest (4-6) - Rounding out the Olathe schools, ONW benefited from playing a mediocre SM South team two weeks in a row. The loss of HC Chip Sherman will hurt, but aside from a 6-3 record in 2015 (best in school history), there wasn't much progress seen compared to what Northwest admins probably hoped for. The team at least returns RB/LB Andrew Dumas, who earned First-Team SFL honors.

9. SM South (3-6) - It took a lot of effort for the Raiders to crawl out of the basement with victories over rivals SM North/West, but a team with 10 Seniors listed on the roster tends to struggle regardless of effort. That said, SM South overcame the numbers issue and got a three-game improvement to provide hope for the next year of rebuilding.

10. Leavenworth (3-6) - Hey, it's Leavenworth. It's hard to believe a third season has passed since the teams first winning season in perhaps ever, but 2017's 3-6 squad came closer to that mark than either of the past two years. With the team's departure for a brand new league, the Pioneers can hope to have more success against different competition.

11. SM North (1-8) - Well, we got a big, juicy sample of life at SM North without Will Schneider and it wasn't pretty. They at least got a non-conference win over Lansing (2-7), but the team never scored more than 14-points after that victory.

12. SM West (0-9) - Trying to find positives for the last team on these lists is always difficult. The Vikings were bad out the gate and really only competed against Leavenworth and Lawrence. Outside of that, the team fell victim to blowout after blowout.



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kansas Finals Updates - State Finals

Congratulations to the BV North Mustangs, Bishop Carroll Eagles, and Bishop Miege Stags on their Kansas State Championships on this great Saturday of week-13 Football! 


6A) West vs. East

Derby Panthers 42 vs. BV North Mustangs 49 - Final - 6A State Champions BV North Mustangs

5A) West vs. East

Bishop Carroll Eagles 38 vs. ST Aquinas 28 - Final - Bishop Carroll Eagles 5A State Champions

4A-1) West vs. East

Bishop Miege Stags 47 vs. Andale 7 - 4Q - Bishop Miege Stags 4A-1 State Champions 

3A) West vs. East

Sabetha Blue Jays 7 vs. Marysville 6 - Final - Sabetha 3A State Champions

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

SFL Post-Season Honors - 2017

I apologize to all of our readers in advance for the late posting. 

Below is the released listing of the All-Sunflower League First, Second, and Honorable Mention for all of our student-athletes competing this fall 2017 season. 

Co-MVP
SR - Milton Braasch III - SM East
SR - Dante Jackson - Lawrence

Coach of the Year
Bob Lisher - Free State

First Team
LAW (5) - Ekow Boye-Doe, Kristian Russell, Dante Jackson* & Jalen Dudley

LFS (9) - Kwinton Lassiter, Nathan Lane, Spencer Roe, David Johnson, Gage Foster, Gabe Clark, Jalen Robinson, Jack Rittman & Jax Dinneen

LVP (0) - N/A

OEH (3) - Cameron Mitchel-Johnson, Henry Carranza & TyJuan Lewis

ONE (2) - Jevon Parrish & Eric Dooley

ONW (3) - Seth Zegunis, Drew Dumas, & Jack Parks

OSF (1) - Jamison Phelps

SME (5) - PJ Spencer, Parker Willis, Tyler Stottle, Justin Finnegan & Milton Braasch III

SMN (0) - N/A

SNW (2) - Travis Morrison & Hayden Goodpaster

SMS (0) - N/A

SMW (0) - N/A

Second Team
LAW (3) - Dante Jackson, Hunter Krom & Ekow Boye-Doe

LFS (5) - Keenan Garber*, Kameron Lake, Turner Corcoran, Jack Theisen 

LVP (2) - Gabe Casmus & Andrew Ativie

OEH (4) - Camron Mitchel-Johns, Ryan Brockschmidt, Hunter Thomas & Trevon Kearney

ONE (2) Drew Rediger & Jordan Dubin

ONW (0) - N/A

OSF (4) - Jamison Phelps, JJ Neal, Adrian Garcia & Brandon Trieu

SME (4) Isaiah Wright, Cooper Walton, Clarence Miller & Milton Braasch III

SMN (1) - Talbot Ebberts

SNW (1) John Hanneman

SMS (2) Hunter Carpenter & Tony Dumas

SMW (2) Dante Smith-Posey & Kirby Grigsby
* = 2 positions

Honorable Mention

LAW (9) - Harrison King, Relle Dye, EJ Newsome, Ross Brungardt, Caleb Mondi, Bailey Greer, Bryce Tipke, Jacob Mills & Nick Englebert

LFS (11) - Gabe del Valle, Malik Berry, Vanni Martinez, Lovette Epelle, Bo Miller, Jalen Nash, Ben Holiday, Shane Skwarlo, Gage Foster, Jordan Preston & Jake Rittman

LVP (8) Brandice Lewis, Devin Johnson, Etena Tuiviati, Cody Herrell, Hayes Edwards, Seth Drennan, Truman Thomas & Seth Johnson

OEH (14) - James Gooms, Ray Lewis, Xavior Green, Josh Jamison, Nate Matlack, Specer Grosz, Connor McCartney, Dwan Washington, Lane Warczakoski, Conner Smith, Josh Heibl, Logan Cole, Cade Wilson, Hezekiah Newman

ONE (7) - Devin Stoker, Anthony Crawford, Jacob Large, Ryan Huck, Mario Schneider, Daymonn Sanchez, & Arland Bruce

ONW (9) - Jackson Butler, Nick Hegarty, Jack England, Cole Manning, Sterling Swinford, Trevor Adam, Brayden Koch, Jon Bowman, & Joe Hatzfield  

OSF (8) - Jai Haynes, Jake Worley, Kolby Murphy, Kevin Burdette, Hunter Vick, Nick Jouret, Romin Merritt, Tyler Cavil

SME (11) - Rashaun Burner, Zach Yeo, Ashton Andino, Justin Schuman, Spencer Glaeser, Brett Moulin, Dan Scott, Milton Braasch III, Andy Maddox, Cole Machovsky & Harrison Gooley

SMN (8) - Zach Bush, Oscar Aquilar, Alex Taylor, Brandon Ammons, Tanner Willmon, Reese Sila, Nate McCoy, & Noah Laird
SNW (7) - BJ Harvey, Austin White, Reid Stimach, Jack Merritt, Edward Guinn, Spencer Stewart, & Caleb Addington.

SMS (7) - Andrew Crawford, Sam Macklin, Ben Turla, Nolan Thimmesch, Jack Roberts, Hunter Carpenter, & Austin Conner

SMW (11) - Sebastian Garcia, Will Humphreys, Byron Sherwin, Terrion Brewer, Reggie Edwards, Mason Wyatt, Treyvon Gilyard, Byron Sherwin, Mark Tines, Branson Billinger & Wesley Clark

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

6A Kansas State Final Preview

KANSAS 6A STATE FINAL

4) Blue Valley North Mustangs vs 5) Derby Panthers (First meeting, series 0-0)

Emporia - Welch Stadium
Emporia State University
18th & Merchant, Emporia, KS 66801

We have all heard the saying "There is a first for everything."




Saturday is that day. Recently this has happened quite a bit for the 6A-East more than the 6A-West Football programs across the state.

Four weeks later and 30 teams now eliminated the Mustangs of Blue Valley North will make their first ever appearance in the 6A State Final versus the Derby Panthers.

The Derby Panthers under Brandon Clark, in his 11th season as Head Coach comes in with an overall record of of 11-1, with his only loss on the road to a hot Goddard Lions Football program. Following that loss, a 10-game winning streak took place, and to include a defeat against a favored Free State Firebirds in week-11.

Since the arrival of Brandon Clark to the Panthers gridiron, his program has amassed a total record of 104-25 overall, 26-6-32 playoff record with 6A State Titles in: 2013-SM East, and 2015-2016 vs. the Blue Valley Tigers of the historic Eric Driskell era. In 2008 and 2012, the Panthers fell just short in the Sub-state Final. Prior to coming to Derby, the Panthers had a multitude of Coaching changes after legendary Tom Young retired

This week however, the Blue Valley North Mustangs will bring all of south Overland Park, KS with them to Emporia led by fourth year Head Coach Andy Sims.

Andy Sims arrived to BV North in 2014, coming from one season as an Assistant Coach with the Leavenworth Pioneers, and prior to that, a three year stint as the Head Coach with the Excelsior Springs Tigers. Unlike his fellow and future colleagues in the EKL who have had stellar careers within the confines of Johnson County, he was inheriting a program that finished off it's second 0-9 season two of three years and a record of 1-26 from 2011 to 2013. Of any of the five BVSD #229 Football programs, none had sunk lower than the Mustangs.

Four years later, and with great leadership by QB Graham Mertz leading the way, the pass-happy and hungry attack could force the hand of the Panthers defense. As of late, the Panthers have given up 49-Free State, and 41-W-Northwest points respectively in their last two games. Stopping Mertz could be a problem from the start but expect the best from Derby to come prepared as the young and inexperienced Mustangs could show some ups and downs throughout the game.

A word of advice to the Mustangs faithful. Win or lose, enjoy this day from start to finish because it is something special to be part of. For all Mustangs alumni and current students, cherish moments like this in a rare environment that not all schools are fortunate to say that they have found themselves in. This day will provide stories for years to come and a lifetimes worth of memories!


Good luck BV North Mustangs!


Monday, November 20, 2017

Breaking: Change at Gardner-Edgerton

Long time Trailblazer is out. 


A big-class and legendary Kansas High School Football Coach has retired from the Coaching ranks this past week. 

Marvin Diener, who is now the fourth Head Coach to retire/resign from the 13 Sunflower League Football programs. This exit comes on the heels of Dustin Delaney resigning from SM East, Chip Sherman at Olathe Northwest, and long-time Chesty Lion Dirk Wedd

To give you a little back round on Marvin Diener, he is responsible for putting two High Schools on the Kansas Football map. For 19 seasons, Marvin Diener led the Salina Central Mustangs with an incredible record of: 170W-42L over that time. His Mustangs were 5A State Champions in 93-99-01-02-2005 in his final season before moving east to the Kansas City area and Johnson County. 

For the last 12 seasons, Marvin Diener, has brought the Trailblazers from the depths of the unknowns on a Football schedule to a perennial powerhouse. In that time, his work has allowed him and the GET Administration to move up from the Frontier League, Eastern Kansas, and now the Sunflower League. Overall, his record with the Trailblazers is 73-52 in 125 games coached. 

During the last couple years of time in the Frontier League and first two seasons of EKL play, we (all of Kansas City and Gardner-Edgerton) were fortunate to get the chance to see current Kansas City Royals farm product Bubba Starling. During the Starling era of Trailblazers Football lore, the 2010 season the QB led the Tralblazers in a huge week-9 win against the Blue Valley Tigers and Eric Driskell in his first season as Head Coach of the Tigers. That night the Tigers were spanked 42-21. 

A few weeks later in the same 2010 season, the Tigers and Trailblazers met again in the east semi-final hosting Gardner-Edgerton this time around and won a close game 45-42 ending the Bubba Starling Football career. 

Trailblazers Breakdown
2006-2009 at Frontier League = 34-11
2010-2017 at Eastern Kansas = 39-42
2018-Future Sunflower League = 0-0 

You could easily add many caveats as to why Gardner-Edgerton is where they are today in any scenario they put themselves in to. This Football program although down these last few years is gaining strength and popularity quickly in their work on the field. Most notably in the last couple seasons, the Trailblazers offense has found a way to keep the SM East Lancers defense on their toes. While struggling with losses of kids to graduation and injuries, anything is bound to happen from one season to the next. 

Congratulations to Marvin Diener on a great teaching and coaching career! Your impact on the game of Kansas High School Football will be missed but will last a life time for future teachers-coaches and former student-athletes to follow in your footsteps. 

There is no doubt the Trailblazers will raise again in the seasons ahead as they begin their new trek on the gridiron within the Sunflower League starting in 2018. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

6A East & Week-12 Playoff Preview

Sub-State Finals

6A - East

2) Blue Valley vs 4) Blue Valley North (BVT leads the series 25-7) @ Blue Valley
* Tigers and Mustangs. These two are no strangers to each other, as they have both found themselves the remaining of a 6A-East bracket consisting of 90% Sunflower League, 9% Eastern Kansas, and 1% consisting of KC-Atchison Wyandotte Bulldogs.

Throughout time (1987 to be exact) the Tigers and Mustangs have met yearly in EKL battles. This is essentially the tale of two Blue Valley's while one has maintained constant stability and a traditionally long and great playoff history, the other has found itself going through multiple Coaching changes and minimal success, spotty at best.

Only for the second time in these two Football programs entire history have they ever met in the regular season and post-season to include 2016, with the Tigers sweeping the Mustangs. At no other time, in Tigers, and Mustangs series history, has this ever been accomplished.

That said, these latter rounds are what upset's are all about. The Tigers, have played in many State Final's, the Mustangs will bring some un-hearalded talent that could cause some problems for the Tigers. For the Mustangs, a road win, in a tough environment will need to make every quarter count from the start.

For those inquisitive minds asking for a little more back round, here are some incredible numbers:

BV Tigers vs. BV North - Overall Record
1987-2009 (23) Steve Rampy - 17-6 in 23 games played - never met the Mustangs in playoffs
2010-2016 (7) @ Eric Driskell - 6-1 in 7 games played - 1-0 vs. Mustangs in playoffs
2017-Present (1+) Allen Terrill - 1-0 - 1 game played including 2017 State playoffs

BV North vs. BV Tigers - Overall Record
1987-1988 (2) Bob Whitehead 0-2
1989-1994 (6) Tim Burkendine 1-5
1995-1996 (2) Bob Lisher 1-1 - Only Free State Firebirds Head Coach in school history
1997-2001 (5) Don Simmons 3-2 - only Mustang Coach with a winning record vs. BVT
2002-2004 (3) Troy Morris 1-2
2005-2010 (6) Jason Jones 0-6
2011-2013 (3) John McCall 0-3
2014-2017 (3+) Andy Sims 1-3+ Second meeting ever in post-season play in week-12


6A - West

5) Derby vs 2) Wichita Northwest (DER leads the series 2-0) (2010-2017) @ Wichita-NW 
* The Derby Panthers and Northwest Grizzlies although close in proximity by geographical standards and outskirts of Wichita Kansas have rarely been found together on the gridiron unless meeting in Basketball season which probably happens regularly.

These two hail from the AVCTL, and the "City League" the GWAL (Greater Wichita Athletic League).

There is no doubt Derby Coach Brandon Clark will have his Panthers ready and waiting for a very powerful W-NW Grizzlies program led by Steve Martin. The Grizzlies are a bright spot of the City League Football programs amongst them all consistently within the top 3 in the last handful of seasons.

A rare match up like this will be a great challenge for the Panthers, and it will be a great game for the Grizzlies to make a statement in hopes of reaching a State Final game, and knocking off the powerhouse Panthers.

Monday, November 13, 2017

BREAKING: SM East' Delaney Steps Down


This morning in Prairie Village, KS, SM East Lancers Football Coach Dustin Delaney informed his team and the school's Administration of his resignation. 

Per  SMPost's Jay Senter SME '98 , Delaney cited issues with district athletic directors as one of the primary reasons for his resignation, which was initially tendered before the season but  wasn't announced until after the team had been knocked out of the playoffs.

In what is perhaps the greatest decade ever in over sixty years of Lancer football the accomplishments of Dustin Delaney's Lancers has been nothing short of spectacular. 

Coming from Emporia after the 2012 season, his first season in 2013 brought the Lancers their first ever trip to the 6A State Championship game. Those Lancers finished 11-2 in their first season, and followed up with an outright 6A State Championship Title the following year in 2014 at 13-0. Those Lancers went on to defeat the Hutchinson Salthawks of which Dustin Delaney spent four years under current ST Aquinas Head Coach Randy Dreiling before taking his first job as a Head Coach for the Emporia Spartans. 

Prior to coming to SM East, the Emporia Spartans were 24-10 with Delaney at the helm from 2010 to 2012. In that time, the Spartans, much like his Lancers had reclaimed credibility amongst their Centennial and 5A foes. 

Year - Overall under Dustin Delaney
2013 11-2 - 11-2 - 3-16A Runner Up to Derby Panthers
2014 13-0 - 24-2 - 4-06A State Champions defeating Hutchinson SaltHawks
2015   9-2 - 33-3 - 1-1
2016 10-2 - 43-6 - 3-1
2017   9-2 - 52-8 - 2-1 at 13-4 Football Post-season at SM East

The resignation of Delaney, comes on the heels of Chip Sherman leaving Olathe Northwest after five seasons and Lawrence High Head Coach Dirk Wedd retiring after 19 years with the Lions. 

All three Head Coaches have accomplished incredible records for their respected High Schools of which they have been part of. 

There is no doubt that Dustin Delaney has left a great legacy within the hallways of SM East and the City of Prairie Village, KS. His steps will be hard to follow, but the support you will get from the community will be abundant in support for the future of SM East Football. 

Thank you for all of the hard work you and your Coaching staff, student-athletes, team managers and SM East Faculty who actively are involved with Lancer Football have accomplished over the last five years. It will be not be forgotten, and Lancer Football has once again become relevant for your investment of teaching and coaching the game of Football and promoting sportsmanship from within the program. 


Thursday, November 9, 2017

BREAKING: ONW Football Change at the Top


Chip Sherman resign's from Olathe Northwest Raven's


This week, the Olathe Northwest Raven's have become the first Sunflower League Football program to start the search for a new Head Football Coach. 

After five seasons of play, the Raven's under Chip Sherman finished 21-25 in 46 games played, with a .456 W% from 2013 to 2017. Prior to joining the Raven's Chip Sherman was the Head Coach for the SM East Lancers of Prairie Village, KS from 2009 to 2012. The accomplishments that his Lancers achieved prior to the arrival of Dustin Delaney have been nothing short of spectacular and to say the least, unexpected by many. 

Coach Chip Sherman's Kansas City Football lore alone, could take up column, after column, in local news outlets but that is okay. 

I have to admit, that I was not quite sure what to expect when I first encountered Chip Sherman in the summer of 2009 at Indian Hill Middle School of the SMSD. With the current SM East Weight room  undergoing a massive remodeling, the Lancers were forced to work out in the IHMS cafeteria. After returning from a family vacation in the Ozarks, a friend notified me that Chip Sherman was coming to SM East and I had to take the opportunity to meet him. The day I showed up to meet him, he was, like myself a pleasure to get to meet from the start and we kicked off a great relationship of Football talk and more. 

Having been an outsider to the SFL despite living in Platte County, MO, he did not really have much of an SM East Football backround to go by. Fortunately, I was able to provide him an insight as to what the program currently was, and the comings and goings of past, and present staffs and records. Needless to say, he took it to heart, and found the research to be very profound in a changing of the guard of the Lancer Football program. His impact since that 2010 to 2017 season is seen today, though all of his former Lancers are now in college or soon to be graduating in the semesters ahead.   

In many of our talks, on and off the record, his impact on students, and student-athletes from every school he has taught, and coached at has left an impression on too many to count. It is something that no student will ever forget.  

During his tenure with the Platte County Pirates from 1988 to 2007, his Pirates won three back-to-back-to-back State Titles from 2000 to 2002. His son was a player of his during his time with the Pirates and he too, is now in the high school coaching ranks. Sherman's final totals at Platte County, Salina South, SM East and Olathe Northwest read as follows: 

Chip Sherman's overall record is 246W-80L-326 GC-754 W%

Platte County Pirates
1988-2007 (20) 191W-37L - Overall
1988-2007 at 19W-9L - MO State Playoffs
League Champions multiple times over with KCI & Midland Empire

Salina South Cougars
2008 8-3 Regular Season, 1-1 in 5A State Playoffs

SM East Lancers 
2009-2012 (4) 26W-15L - Overall
2009-2012 - 1-4 in 6A State Playoffs

Olathe Northwest Ravens
2013-2017 (5) 21W-25L - Overall 
2013-2017 - 1-2 in 6A State Playoffs and 1st playoff win ever in Ravens Football History


Chip, 

Thank you for allowing me to become a small part of your life and your many accomplishments in and outside of the classroom. You have become a confidant, and friend throughout this great run in the Kansas 6A/Sunflower League. I hope that the student-athletes, parents, teacher-colleagues, Administrators that have become a part of your life will be thankful for the impact you have made of the young men walking the hallways of their local High Schools. The Kansas City Meto-area is fortunate to call you one of our own. 

KSB 

Monday, November 6, 2017

6A East & Week-11 Playoff Preview

6A - EAST


1) SME vs. 4) BVN (BVN leads the series 8-4) @ SM North
* These two great Johnson County schools are mostly known for facing off with each other in the 6A State Tennis, Golf, and Swim & Dive Finals in those Varsity sports and trading State Title runs for years at a time. 

However, this is a different story, as the Mustangs and Lancers will meet on the gridiron for a rare meeting. The last time these two met was in 2011, under very different circumstances for both programs. An upstart Lancers beginning the start of an incredible eight year run, and a downtrodden Mustangs searching for a new Football identity. Coach Andy Sims is up for the challenge, as the pass happy Mustangs will the Lancers defensive secondary off course. This could be a very high scoring game depending on how both teams prepare and take care of the ball. 

2) BVT vs. 3) ONE (ONE leads the series 4-3) @ Blue Valley 
* In perhaps one of the biggest games, all four of these are, locally, the Football atmosphere at Blue Valley High School will be rocking! 

For any one time that these two have met or played since the 2004 season, five of the seven games have been in the 6A playoffs this will be a tale of two Football powerhouses. Like ODAC, Blue Valley Football stadium too is an intense place to play, and even harder to win at on the road. Both the Tigers, and Eagles will take their playoff experiences to another level from the start. 

6A - WEST

1) LFS vs. 5) DER (Derby leads the series 2-0) @ Free State
* In recent seasons (2015 and 2016) the Derby Panthers have appeared to be a thorn in the Firebirds side for a possible return to the 6A Final in the west. Of the four games to get to the State's Final Four, this will by far be the game of the week! The hype in addition to the great student-athletes that you will see on the field are going to be worth the wait as the anticipation towards game day arrives. 

2) WNW vs. 6) GAR (leads the series since 2010) @ Wichita - Northwest
* Here on the eastern side of the state, exposure to the western 6A's are few and far between. Unfortunately without a major back round of the two schools, starting in 2010 is the best available information found. 

Wichita-NW led by Steve Martin is 3-2 in the last five games against the Garden City Buffaloes and long time Coach Brian Hill. This will be a rematch from a week-6 game in which the Grizzlies came away the winner. The 8-2 Buffaloes will not be any pushover at the sixth seed. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

6A East & Week-10 Playoff Preview

6A - EAST

1) SME vs. 9) ONW (SME leads the series 6-2)
* Since Olathe Northwest began their Varsity program in 2004, these two have only met eight times as the league has continued to evolve and grow. For many current Lancers and Ravens fans, most of you might be able to recall the last time these two met. It was 2013 in week-3 with a new era of Lancer Football about to begin with Dustin Delaney, and former Head Coach Chip Sherman left to rebuild a struggling Ravens Football team.

This game will be a great match up for both teams. Both on opposite ends of the Coaching spectrum. Chip Sherman's Ravens will have a pass/run offense to the Lancers Flexbone, which is, and can be notoriously deceptive. Olathe Northwest sports some very large student-athletes to the Lancers, just a tad smaller on their O & D lines. The Ravens will be able to score, no doubt, as this game could go both ways on the scoreboard.

For the Ravens, their week-9 win against SM South was their first playoff win in Team history. From 2004 to 2016 they had three appearances in the old playoff format going 0-3.

4) BVN vs. 5) OEH (OEH leads the series 5-3)
* In another local, and rare match up, the Mustangs and Hawks will meet in a tale of two 5-4's. Both schools have been very successful, despite a slow start to get the season going. The Mustangs last trip up was a couple weeks back vs. the Mill Valley Jaguars, while the Hawks have slowly been climbing the Sunflower standings in the last few weeks to dig deep in the middle of a very large pack.

Of their eight total games played, two have came in the playoffs in 2007 and 2011. Unfortunately, these two have not seen each other since the 2013 week-7 game in which the Hawks won. This game should be great for a chance to move on to the next round. Both the Mustangs' Andy Sims and Jesse Owen, are two highly respected Coaches by their student-athletes.

2) BVT vs. 10) OSF (BVT leads the series 5-0)
* The Tigers and Falcons origins date back to their first meetings in the EKL from 1981 to 1988. Olathe South under Bud Wheeler was an impressive 7-1 vs. a very young Steve Rampy at that time. Once the Falcons left for the Sunflower League in 1989, a span of 19 seasons took place before their next meeting.

While the Falcons came out on the short end on each of their previous meetings in 08, 09, 14, and 15 all in District play, the Tigers kept them in the game in each meeting. Second year Coach Craig Lewis, and his Falcons are looking to avenge their 2016 week-10 loss to the Tigers falling 49-35 at Blue Valley against first year Head Coach Allen Terrill.

3) ONE vs. 6) LAW (ONE leads the series 19-14)
* As week-10 approaches, these two will reunite from an earlier week-5 game in which the Eagles came away the better team with a 33-28 win. Since 2006, the Eagles are 7-3 against the Chesty Lions, while the Lions have won their prior meetings in 2015 and 16.

Look for both teams to bring their offense power in droves. All-everything Lawrence QB Donte Jackson will be looking to provide a huge spark along with RB Hunter Krom to get through the Eagles defense. This could easily be high scoring affair keeping the pressbox-faithful busy.

6A - WEST

1) LFS vs. 9) JCB (Series tied 1-1)
* The Firebirds will have a tough task on their hands as they face a talented and Junction City Blue Jays of the Centennial League.

Digging through the Sunflower archives, finding a history against much of the 6A West can be a challenge at times. For the Firebirds faithful, who love this program inside and out, they may recall a huge meeting in 2008 taking on the Blue Jays in the 6A Final only to fall short in their first and only appearance to this day.

A few years later the 2014 Firebirds came away week-10 winners against the Blue Jays winning by 20 only to lose to Hutch the following week. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

6A Playoffs Under-Review: 1st Round

Business-as-Usual


Lawrence Free State: The Firebirds (9-0) had no worries going into their Week-9 match-up with a hapless Wichita North (0-9) and they left the game feeling no different. The Indians could barely stop anything on defense, leading to some crazy stats. One stat that stood out is Jax Dineen's rushing average, a set of numbers that are still awaiting further confirmation. The JR runningback didn't get the ball much, but he didn't need it as he amassed an earth-shattering 153-yards and three touchdowns on four carries (statistics reported by LJWorld). The scores came came on runs of 70, 51 and 15 yards and were all made in the first half.

Dineen was not the only back to score big, as SR Zach Wilson got a trio of scores himself on runs of 4, 12 and 39-yards. In total, five Free State players scored on offense to go along with a blocked punt recovered by Lovette Epelle on special teams. Free State might have a little more challenge against the Junction City Blue Jays (5-3) who only has a single win against a team with a winning record this season.

Time to Hit the Panic Button?


SM East/Gardner-Edgerton: While the end result was more-or-less typical for the Lancers, fans likely felt hints of panic as halftime came around and G-E still held a 21-14 lead. The tensity was even higher after a scoreless third quarter, but that dissipated quickly with East hitting the turbo button and blowing out the Trailblazers 28-7 in the final period. 

Despite the late-game collapse, Gardner-Edgerton once again brought up questions on SM East's ability to keep it together in the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Lancers will get another chance to see what they're made of in their first match against Olathe Northwest (4-5) since 2013 (It seem's we'll need to have a conversation about that fact in the future). Despite the feisty nature of the Trailblazers, it's still safe to say that SM East can be expected to take care of business when the Ravens come to town.

Lawrence/BVNW: We were a failed two-point conversion away from another jaw-dropping exit for Lawrence, who fell to SM North 49-52 in the second round last year. For their credit, the Lions at least led throughout the entirety of the game. Unlike SM East, the team was on the opposite end of the situation, trying with all their might to halt an increasingly desperate Huskies squad.

Sticking to their normal gameplan, three Lawrence players split both the caries and scores. The Lions were led mostly by SR quarterback  Dante Jackson (143-yards, 1TD) and SR runningback Angel Garcia (123-yards, 2TD's), with SR Hunter Krom tacking on 89-yards and a score of his own before leaving the game with an injury midway through the game. Garcia showed that the starting RB spot is safe, but if Krom has to miss the team's 2nd Round rematch with Olathe North (6-3), there may be another source of concern for the team's chances.


Flaws Creeping Up?


Olathe North: Lawrence would have a ton more to worry about if Olathe North's offense managed to at least score more than twice against one of the worst defenses in Class 6A. The BV West Jaguars (1-8) gave up an average of 46 points per game and never gave up less than 26 points before facing Eagles. What was considered a cakewalk against a team who's lone win came against win-less Gardner became a frustrating slog as the team never managed to put the game away.

The silver lining of the match may be that the score isn't  completely indicative of what occurred, as the Jags only managed their single score very late in the fourth quarter, at a point where it was too little, too late. If the defense can keep up it's momentum (they have allowed an average of 13ppg since their Week 5 win at Lawrence), the Eagles should still have hope of reaching the Sectional round with another win over Lawrence.







Monday, October 23, 2017

6A East & Week-9 Playoff Preview Part 1


6A - EAST

1) SME vs. 16) GET @ SM North (SME leads the series 3-0)  
* Entering week-9, the Lancers and Trailblazers will meet up for the fourth time since the week-10 game in the 2016 playoffs. The Trailblazers are no strangers to playing the Lancers with their three games starting in 2014. While the Trailblazers were successful last season in pressuring the Lancers, this could be a tougher task to defeat a strong SM East offense led by Andy Maddux and Milton Braasch III.                                  

8) SMS vs. 9) ONW @ SM South (ONW leads the series 7-0)   
* For the first time ever in Raiders, and Ravens Football histories, they will meet in back-to-back games. Last week, the Raiders hosted Olathe Northwest in week-8 and ended the regular season with a tough loss. There is no secret the Ravens were much bigger than the Raiders on the field. For the Raiders to score they will need to cut down on turnovers, and excel as they did on Special Teams scoring a big touchdown against the Ravens special teams kickoff team.                         

 4) BVN vs. 13) SMN @ SWIDAC (SMN leads the series 6-5)  

* The SM North Indians are in for a tough game against a well-coached Mustangs Football team on the rise. SM North has been hit hard by the loss of Will Schneider and have felt those effects all season long. In due time the Indians will regroup and retool as Ben Bartlett has talent on his team that is looking to continue to grow and play well in the future. Road games are never easy in any Johnson County location as most home teams are always favored. SM North last played on the road at SWIDAC (BV Northwest) against BV North in 2007. 

5) OEH vs. 12) DOT @ CBAC (First meeting, never met 0-0)  

* The last time the Olathe East Hawks faced a school from Wyandotte County was 1999. Although that team was the Washington Wildcats, the Wyandotte Bulldogs have a tough task on their hands taking on a young, and talented Hawks offense. Playing the Bulldogs can position the Hawks for a run deep in to the playoffs with consistent play on offense, and defense alone. The Bulldogs will struggle to keep up throughout the game.                                              

2) BVT vs. 15) SMW @ Blue Valley (BVT leads the series 2-0) 

* While the BV Tigers are no strangers to 6A opponents, finding Sunflower opponents since the Fall of 2000 to present day is rare. Having met SM East, and SM South many times, playing the SM West Vikings has only occurred twice. In 2009, and 2015, the Tigers defeated the Vikings both times in week-10 of the playoffs. Alan Terrill, will be following Steve Rampy, and Eric Driskell in playing a rare and down season for the Vikings Football program.                              

7) SNW vs. 10) OSF @ SM North (OSF leads the series 20-14) 
* In the last 10 games, the Falcons lead the series 6-4 against the upstart Cougars. In recent seasons, the Falcons and Cougars have been off of each others radar’s throughout the regular season schedules fom 2014 to 2016. In 2010, 12, and 13, the Falcons have won each game since the start of the 2010 season. This will be a great match up of two evenly matched teams and probably one of the best of the 6A East first round games. 

3) ONE vs. 14) BVW @ ODAC (TEAM leads the series 0-3) 
* In another rare 6A game, the Eagles will be taking on the Jaguars at ODAC. With only two games to their lineage, the 2004 Jaguars under former Coach Scott Wright lost in a week-12 game at ODAC. Five seasons later in 2008, and 09 the two met again in District play with two more losses. While it is easy to chose Olathe North for a possible fourth win, the Jaguars are motivated to get a second win after finishing the regular season with two quality games against Gardner-Edgerton, and the SJ Academy Thunder.                                   

6) LAW vs. 11) BNW @ Lawrence (LAW leads the series 1-0)  
* Lawrence’s Dirk Wedd is entering his final post-season run and have an unlikely and rare match up vs. the BV Northwest Huskies. Although a new Head Coach is new to the area in Clint Rider, he will get his Huskies to play a strong game. During the 2004 playoffs, the Chesty Lions and Huskies met for the very first time in a week-10 game. The Chesty Lions won 17-0.   

Week-9 – Round 1 of Playoffs – 6A West 

1) Free State  16) Wichita North @ Free State (First meeting, never met 0-0) 
* This will be the first time the Firebirds have met the Redskins on the 6A-West side of the bracket. In an unfortunate draw, the Redskins will have a very, very tough draw in front of them. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Redskins have fell on the short end of the draw inside of the City League of Wichita (GWAL.) Over those eight (8) total seasons, the program has amassed five (5) wins and 70 losses.    

Week-9 – Round 1 of Playoffs – 5A West 

5) Shawnee Heights vs. 12) Leavenworth @ Shawnee Heights (Series tied 2-2) 



* Should the Leavenworth Pioneers defeat the T-Birds in which has been a very rare meeting, they could face #4 St. James Academy Thunder, or #13 Lansing Lions with a winning result. In four total games, from 1990 to 1993 the Pioneers and T-Birds played in some very late district games of the old KSHSAA format. The T-Birds could come away with the W having won two of their last three games prior to week-9.