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.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The SFN Pick 'Em Guru Predicts 1st Round

To go with the coming playoff game previews, the Sunflower League Pick 'Em Extraordinaire will help any and all looking for easy wins on the forum!

 

Overview:


Similar to last year, the only games that could really be up for grabs is the 8-9 and 7-10 games, where both teams on either side has a roughly 50-50 chance. Out of all Round 1 teams, I would say Olathe South may have the best chance at creating a ripple in my predictions, as they should come in confident after dismantling SM North 55-0. Sometimes, confidence can be the deciding factor between teams of generally equal talent. Outside of that, SM South fell flat against Olathe Northwest last Friday and may do better with their second go-around, but the Ravens showed how big the gap can really be and it's asking a lot to overcome a team that dismantled you so thoroughly.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Regular Season Wrap-Up

Sunflower League aka. SM East and Everybody Else


As has been the usual for the past few years, the league has found itself dominated by SM East with Free State being one of the few teams considered a potential competitor for the Lancers every year. The team has continued to add to a ridiculous number of blowouts since the beginning of the 2014 season with a total of 36 games won by 21 points or more. For reference, Free State has only won 33 games TOTAL in that time-span. To beat this dead horse even more, the team has won 16-straight games against SFL opponents with an average margin-of victory of 38.6 points.

Playoff Seedings Quick Reaction/Predictions


#3 Olathe North vs #14 Blue Valley West

After an extremely lacking effort in the  first half of the season, Olathe North looked to be heading for another hard-fought 3-6 season that fell short of any expectations. While the Eagles overcame their early struggles en-route to a 5-3 record and a Top 4 seed in the playoffs, BV West has floundered against overpowered  opponents and enter with a a 1-7 record, just barely escaping SM East by beating win-less Gardner (0-8). The Eagles found balance on the ground with the addition of Arland Bruce into the rotation. Bruce has combined with Daymonn Sanchez for 838yards and 7 TD's through Week 7. On the other side, the Jaguars have struggled to compete with anybody, but they will rely on SR QB Keaton Goodale, who has tossed 5 TD's with just one interception despite the team's focus on the run game. If they continue to ignore his passing ability and keep him on the run where he has also done his best to carry the team (468 yds, 9 TD's), there shouldn't be much competition here.
Prediction: Olathe North 35-17 Blue Valley West


#6 Lawrence vs #11 Blue Valley NW

In a somewhat opposite scenario than our previously mentioned SFL team, the Chesty Lions started the season with a 3-1 record before struggling to maintain momentum. The struggles have now found the team with a 4-4 record and a two-game losing streak. In their defense, their one-two punch duo of Dante Jackson 989 and Hunter Krom have racked up a whopping 1,791 yards on the ground together while evenly splitting an 18 TD total. Jackson has also impressed through the air with a 12:5 TD:INT ratio and a 105.4 QBR.
The Huskies struggled to stay in games late and that gave them little opportunity to escape from a 2-7 record. The team focused on it's passing game this year, which may have been their undoing, as QB Payton Hartman went on to throw more picks than touchdowns with little to no run support. The team only gave up less than 21 points once this season and the combo of Jackson and Krom should prove far too much as Lawrence rolls onto the second round.
Prediction: Lawrence 42-14 Blue Valley NW

#1 Free State vs #16 Wichita North

If you feel bad for SM West fans, you may want to look away when the Redskins are brought up. While the Vikings managed to stay within two scores against a couple opponents, Wichita North only managed such a result against fellow basement-dweller Wichita Southeast (1-7). The Firebirds have ran over plenty opponents this year on the back of Jax Dineen, who became one of two SFL players to finish the regular season with over 1,000 yards rushing (1,113 to be exact). Dineen made good use of those yards as he found the endzone 17 times this year. Even if the Redskins found a way to neutralize the star RB, Free State's other options seem too deadly to even put up a fight defensively.
Prediction: Free State 49-7 Wichita North

Top-5 Potential State Champions


1. Shawnee Mission East

2. Lawrence Free State

3. Wichita Northwest

4. Blue Valley

5. Olathe Nor- (HA) Garden City


Monday, October 16, 2017

Week-8/2017 Game Previews

10-19

SM East vs SM West (SMW leads the series 38-15) @ SM North
* While many, if not all local media outlets believe this to be a "rivalry" it is far from it. On a historic run in the 70s, and 80s, the Vikings went on an 18-2 run with Dick Purdy and Harold Wambsgans leading the way. That run again continued under Tim Callaghan until the 2010 season. From 1996 and again until 2003 the Vikings won 13 straight under three different Coaches (Shelton, Krug, and Callaghan.) The tides have seemingly made an abrupt 180d turn when Chip Sherman, and now Dustin Delaney have taken the reigns of the Lancer Football program. This game should be a lot of fun, as the Lancer Defense is once again hoping for a strong game against the Vikings offense. 3 of the 5 games have resulted in shutouts for the Lancers.

10-20

Lawrence vs Free State (LFS leads the series 13-7) @ Lawrence
* Outside of Olathe North vs Olathe South, and SM East vs SM South Football rivalry games, the City League game pitting the Chesty Lions vs. Firebirds should be nothing short of spectacular in 2017. For what will be Dirk Wedd's final game against the Firebirds the Chesty Lions have only won 2 of their 7 games this decade against a powerful Firebirds defense. This is no easy task as the roots of this rivalry have formed such a powerful following locally. For continued coverage, check out Bobby Nightengale's Lawrence Journal World write up!

Leavenworth vs Olathe East (OEH leads the series 14-0) @ CBAC
* In Mark Litrell's tenure at Olathe South, he had no trouble defeating the Pioneers of that era. While at Olathe South, he finished 6-6 in 12 games vs. the Hawks. Moving to Leavenworth a few years later after returning from Texas, his Pioneers have found a winning mentality under his leadership. While the Hawks are undefeated in 8 total meetings at ODAC against the Pioneers, this will be a great evening for the Pioneers to come away with a win as both teams are gaining seeding places for next weeks play-in/playoff game #9. This could be a huge game for the Pioneers prior to their week-9 seeding in the 5A bracket.

Olathe North vs SM Northwest (ONE leads the series 20-4) @ SM North
* The Eagles and Cougars will meet for their 25th all-time meeting at SM North. One thing to look for in this game will be the play of Cougars QB Shawn Stewart, and WR Hayden Goodpastuer to try to break up an Eagles strength defeating the Cougars defense. Olathe North has won 8 of the last 10 meetings and NW can only hope to continue this run, while the Cougars struggled on the road at CBAC last fall.

Olathe Northwest vs SM South (ONW leads the series 6-0) @ SM South
* Six games is enough if not more of a sample size of games played for these two. While the Sunflower has grown to its strength at 12 teams, these two have rarely met consecutively at any one point since 2004 when Olathe NW became a Varsity program. The Raiders have already found a way to surprise many this year, and could find a way to break this winless streak of only six games.

Olathe South vs SM North (OSF leads the series 10-6) @ ODAC
* The Falcons and Indians have met for some great meetings early on in the late 90s and early 00's. With the Indians playing exceptionally well under Ben Bartlett, the Falcons could have some problems. Since 2010, the Falcons are 3-1 in four rare meetings.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week-7/2017 Game Previews



10-12


Lawrence vs SM East (LAW leads the series 42-12) @ SM South
* There is no question that this match up will cause a possible shaking of the top-8 in the final couple weeks of this modern day regular season play. While the Chesty Lions own the series outright, the Lancers have won four of their last five since 2010. The lone loss for SM East came in 2011, but since then domination has been full force. The Lancers Shark Defense has given up only 22 points in their last three games since 2013 against the Chesty Lions. 

Olathe North vs Olathe Northwest (ONE leads the series 9-2) @ ODAC
* A rivalry? Not so much. With the Owls now geographically closer to Olathe North will one be formed? Since the opening of the Ravens program they have struggled mightily against the Eagles from day one. 2006, and 2011 are the last times the Ravens have defeated the Eagles. This could be a toss up  on the books for sure, but this Ravens team is due for an extremely rare win at ODAC. 



10-13

Free State vs Olathe East (OEH leads the series 11-8) @ Free State
* In a huge late-season match up for the Hawks, this could be a momentum changer prior to Free State entering their week-9 game against the western 6A schools. Historically the Firebirds have struggled against the Hawks despite their eight wins. Since 2010, the Firebirds have managed a 1-3 record and a first round exit playoff loss in the 2010 season. This will probably be one of the best games of the night.

Leavenworth vs Olathe South (OSF leads the series 19-1) @ Leavenworth
* For possibly the 21st and final time the Falcons will play on the road at Leavenworth. There is no secret that all of the Olathe Four have dominated the series against the Pioneers since they joined the Sunflower in 1981. Can Mark Littrell come away with a win against his former High School prior to leaving for the United Kansas Conference?!

SM North vs SM Northwest - Hula Bowl (Series tied 23-23) @ SM North
* The Indians and Cougars will meet for their 44th all-time meeting at Larry Taylor Field. In their annual Hula-Bowl match up, most everything has gone the Cougars way in the last 10 seasons. Both schools in that time have had multiple coaching changes which have not helped, but the rivalry is stronger than ever with Ben Bartlett, and Bo Black leading the way. The Cougars have won the last 12 of the last 13 games dating back to the 2002 season.

SM South vs SM West (SMW leads the series 36-20-1) @ SM South
* The Vikings of SM West under Tim Callaghan have contributed to a run against the Raiders similar to that of the OE Hawks. In each meeting that West has had vs. the Raiders since 2004, they have come out on the losing end of the final whistle. That said, the Raiders, who have been playing far better in all of 2017 than last year could make this a struggle for the Vikings. Streaks are meant to be broken as the Vikings have won 18 straight overall since 1997, and 13 straight since 2004.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Week-6 3 UP 3 DOWN

3 UP

1 - SM East Lancers 

Where to start? Leadership, Coaching, student-athletes, fans? The Lancers of SM East are once again competing an a rate of success never seen before. While that phrase sounds like high praise, the Lancers have a lot of work ahead of them and with two big games left in the regular season. The Chesty Lions recently split two games with Olathe North and South and would love to steal a road win against the Lancers at SM South Stadium. In the last three meetings, the Lancers have called SM North Stadium home in wins against the Chesty Lions. 

2 - SM South Raiders

The Raiders of SM South have gone from zero to hero in a matter of 12 months. Sporting an 0-ffer in 2016, the student-athletes of the Raiders Football team are eager to build this success. This week will be a huge game against sister school SM West. Since the 1997 season the Raiders are winless in 18 tries only having not played the Vikings in 2002 and 2003. There is no better time than now under Coach Brett Oberzan to start breaking these losing streaks as the talent pool is rebuilding for the Raiders. 

3 - SM Northwest Cougars 

Similar to the SM South Raiders, the Cougars of SM Northwest have began their remarkable turnaround after going a combined 2-16 in Bo Black's first two years at the helm. There is no question that learning from the film, and off-season preparations are paying off for the student-athletes inside the Cougar Football program. Two weeks ago the Cougars defeated the Vikings which has given them great confidence going in to the latter part of this 2017 season. 


3 DOWN

1 - SM West Vikings

In a very rare season, the Vikings have found themselves at the bottom of the league standings. While this is happening this 2017 season, except the team to learn a lot from what it is going through in a down year to rebound. From 6-4 to 0-6 is a wake up call for sure. This years Freshman will be Sophomores next Fall and looking to find and prove to the Viking Coaching staff that they are worthy of a possible starting spot. Coming up the Vikings will see the SM South Raiders with a chance to find their first win of the season. In all meetings since 2003, Tim Callaghan and his Vikings are 13-0 having never lost to the Raiders.

2 - OS Falcons

In 2016 the Falcons were the surprise of the Sunflower League. With a late season run that took them to a week-10 while the other three Football programs stayed home, it is a tough gig the second time around. QB SR Nick Jouret has either been playing and/or injured which has hurt in the standings. The Falcons should not be underestimated though, this group of young men are talented, and have a quality Coaching staff around them to keep building on. 

3 - SM North Indians

The Indians of SM North have been hit hard this season with its graduation of former SR QB Nick Schneider. Unfortunately from year to year, season to season, creating consistency in any Football program is hard. That said, the Indians have felt the sting as hard as anyone within the Sunflower League. This years program while losing their QB, has many bright spots ahead and a lot to work on for the future ahead. 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Chip Sherman to MO HOF



Congratulations to Olathe Northwest Ravens Football Coach Chip Sherman on his selection to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. 

Chip Sherman is in his fifth season as Raven's Head Coach and will be home facing the Free State Firebirds in a big week-6 match up in hopes of getting the Ravens to a 3-3 record and back to 500. 

Coach Chip Sherman is known for his incredible success with the Platte County Pirates, in which he lead the program for 20 years from 1988 to 2007 with a record of 191-37 all-time. This tenure culminated in a series of State Football titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, in which his son was also a member of the Pirates team. While this three year run took place, the Pirates themselves, won a record (at the time) 52 straight games dating from game #1 of the 2000 season to game #10 with a defeat of KC-Southeast High School. Unfortunately the Pirates fell to Chillicothe in week-11 of the MO playoffs and the winning streak ended. 

At the conclusion of the 2007 season, Chip Sherman retired from Platte County as perhaps one of the most iconic figures within the city itself just outside of the Kansas City limits. 

In 2008, the Salina South Cougars came calling from central Kansas, in hopes of reviving a Football program in need of some major repair. With an 8-3 record, Chip Sherman's Cougars accomplished what he set out to do. Although it was only a single season he stayed in Salina, his leadership on, and off the gridiron continued. Following his resignation from the Salina School District, Chip Sherman again applied for positions around the Kansas City metro area and a return to be closer to his family. 

For a school not known for High School Football (traditionally, a Tennis, Swim & Dive, Golf) dominate school, the SM East Lancers of Prairie Village, KS came calling. Athletic Director (former) Jim Ricker found himself in the midst of a Coaching change with John Stonner taking a position as an Assistant Coach for Tim Callaghan at nearby SM West. In the spring of 2009, Chip Sherman was announced as the 9th Head Coach in Lancer Football history. 

The next four years of SM East Football soon changed the face of everything Lancer Football it had not known in its previous four decades of poor gridiron play. From 2009 to 2012, the Lancers went 26-15 and accomplished many achievements together as a team and school. The 2010 season, the Football Lancers finished 8-2, and found themselves defeating the Free State Firebirds and SM West Vikings ending a 20 game losing streak that dated back to the 1993 season. This 8-2 season alone, changed the course of history for the current Lancers playing today. 

In this era of Lancer Football the Chip Sherman run came to an end with a loss to Olathe East in the first round of the 2012 season, and a third consecutive winning season. Also a first for the Lancers of Prairie Village, KS. Chip Sherman had accomplished a lot in this run, including, and most importantly a bout with non-hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer in which he was diagnosed with, all while teaching, and coaching every day. Fighting, and defeating this cancer is perhaps one of his greatest victories of all-time outside of the world of High School Football, and family. 

Following this legendary four year term with SM East, the Olathe Northwest Ravens found themselves in need of a Head Coach with the resignation of the only Head Coach the school has ever known Todd Dain. Coach (Principal of SM South) Todd Dain became an Administrator, the following school year, and Raven's AD Jay Novacek found Chip Sherman as the Ravens next leader. 

These days the fifth year Ravens Coach is making a difference in Ravens Football. The team itself as seen the play change for the better and he continues to make a difference in his student-athletes lives in his 30th year as a Head Coach. 

Congratulations from the Sunflower Football News Chip! 



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Week-6/2017 Game Previews

Week-6

Lawrence vs Olathe South (OSF leads the series 16-15) @ ODAC
* Since the 2010 season, the Falcons have dominated the series against the Chesty Lions. Olathe South is 4-2 in those six meetings, and have continued to be strong despite their last few seasons. Combined, former Falcons Head Coach Jeff Gourley, and current Head Coach Craig Lewis are 8-3 in their last 11 games overall.

Free State vs Olathe Northwest (LFS leads the series 8-1) @ CBAC
* In nine total meetings, the Firebirds have dominated the Ravens from the start. Look for Free State to continue this run, with the Ravens hoping to gain some momentum and possibly a middle of the pack-seeding for week-9 play. This will not be any easy game for the Ravens as the Firebirds continue to take advantage of their experienced play throughout the season.

Leavenworth vs SM North (SMN leads the series 17-10) @ LVP
* Ben Bartlett, and his Indians will only meet the Pioneers for the second time in his young four year tenure as Head Coach. 2016 they came away with a win at home, and will continue to prepare hard for a tough SM Northwest meeting the following week.

Olathe East vs SM East (OEH leads the series 13-5) @ CBAC
* Entering week-6, the Lancers and Hawks will meet for the 19th time in their series. Since the beginning of the decade, these two have met only three times, with the Lancers winning two of the last three. SM East is 69-20 in PF, and PA in their last two games with a 2013 meeting in the 6A playoffs, and a 49-7 drubbing in their 2016 week-6 meeting.

Olathe North vs SM West (ONE leads the series 15-5) @ ODAC
* The Eagles and Vikings will maintain GOTW features for this huge SFL matchup. As everyone is preparing for a better seeding, the Vikings remain the strong side having gone 4-2 in their last six meetings against the Eagles. That said, the Eagles have had three Coaching changes in this time which may, or may not even factor in to this weeks game.

SM Northwest vs SM South (SNW leads the series 25-22) @ SM South
* The Cougars will be on the road in week-6 to an improving Raiders team looking to find a higher seeding in the post-season. With a stronger group and prepared by the Raiders Coaching staff, the Raiders have a chance to make this a quality game providing a cut down in turnovers, and mistakes made in all facets of play. There is no doubt that the Cougars will come poised to play and catch a local road win at the renovated SM South Stadium.