Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Chesty Lions new Athletic Director

Alumni Nick Wood takes the lead post:

In a recent move, the Administrative dominoes of Teaching turnover take place again.  

However, this time it is in Lawrence, as the new Athletic Director taking over for John Hilton, now at BV Northwest is Chesty Lions alumni 1996 Nick Wood

Nick Wood is no stranger to the hallways of Lawrence High. During his time as a student, he found himself in the midst of Football power during the Dick Purdy Football regime seeing the Chesty Lions win the 6A State Title in three of his four years as a student. 

Entering the 2020 season, Steve Rampy will hope to be carrying the 8-2 momentum in to a strong and continual stay at the top of the league table in this new decade of play. 

The team as a whole will have the opportunity to meet City rivals the Free State Firebirds in week-8 in 2020 and 2021. A somewhat new team will be introduced to the schedule as well with the 5A powerhouse Mill Valley Jaguars in week-4. This will be a first for both Steve Rampy and the Lions since he never faced them during his time as the Blue Valley Tigers Head Coach from 1985-2009.

2020 Chesty Lions Football

@ OEH - Olathe East Hawks
SMN - SM North Indians
@ SMW - SM West Vikings
MVJ - Mill Valley Jaguars
SNW - SM Northwest Cougars
@ SMS - SM South Raiders
ONE - Olathe North Eagles
@ LFS - Free State Firebirds

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Courtney Porter is new Hawks Football Coach

Olathe East Hawks hires Courtney Porter

Courtney Porter is now joining the Olathe East Hawks as their third Head Football Coach in team history. 

Coach Porter is succeeding Jesse Owen who led the Hawks from 2015 to 2019. Jesse Owen finished 22-26 in his five seasons, and the Hawks themselves enter the 2020 season with a record of 184W-101L-285 games played, and a 19W-18L-37 games played in post-season both new format of 1-16, and the old District format of post-season.  

Courtney Porter's background in the Kansas City High School East is no secret to those of his student-athletes who he has mentored. With stops at BV Northwest, BV North, SM East (2014 State Championship season), and SM West have all gained a wealth of knowledge with him as their position coach and more. 

With plenty of knowledge of his own to gain on from previous BNW, BVN coaches, Dustin Delaney, and Tim Callaghan, the Hawks will be looking to reach higher goals and expectations once the Hawks have met their new leader. 

Over the history of the Sunflower League, only two Black Head Coaches have ever lead their High School team since the inception of the Sunflower in 1954. 

All that being said, you may be curious as to the other school? That would be the SM Northwest Cougars. 

Once Tony Severino was hired away to Rockhurst from SM Northwest, his AC Bill Leonard took over for the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Unfortunately in his brief tenure leading to an 8W-10L record after 18 games, Mr. Leonard passed away a couple years after his time in education. 

After the conclusion of Bill Leonard's 1984 season in the SFL, there has not been a Black Head Coach hired by any SMSD #512, LAW & LFS #497, Leavenworth #453 during their duration in the SFL 1981-2017, and Olathe #233 since expansion in 1981 of #OSF, #OEH, #ONW, and #OWO. 

Multiple Black Assistant Head Coaches have been hired on to the faculties of all of these programs in the 35+ years the schools have been in the Sunflower League, but never hired as Head Coaches.  

Congratulations to Coach Courtney Porter and his family joining the Olathe East Hawks, and looking forward to seeing you in the league for a very long time!  

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Owen to leave Olathe East Hawks

Jesse Owen resigns from Olathe East Football

In a stunning move and out of the blue, Jesse Owen, who was about to enter his sixth year as the Hawks Football Coach resigned due to personal reasons. 

In most High School Football circles, resignations tend to come within weeks after the Thanksgiving weekend and the State Final game clock has wound down to 00:00 and a Champion is crowned. 

2020 for some reason has been quite the experience world wide, and for all of us locally as Kansas City residents.

For A.D. Kaleb Stoppel, a new hire will be looked upon immediately, either as on an Interim-emergency one season gap hire, or could be found internally within the Owen coaching staff of the last five seasons. 

For those Sunflower alumni Hawks tied deeply to the program, the 2020 season is 29th year of Football in the Olathe #233.

There have been only two Head Coaches in the program, and both are former Olathe-North Eagles. Jeff Meyers, who led the team the first 23 seasons with an overall record of 162W-75L in 237 games. His playoff record was a steady 16W-14L in 30 games. Back in the 2005 season, the Hawks made it to their first and only 6A State Final, losing to Randy Dreilings Hutchinson SaltHawks 24-7 and the best record in team history to this day at 12-1. 

Following Jeff Meyers after his 23 seasons, was long-time Olathe North Eagles Head Weights Teacher, and 1996 State Title member Jesse Owen in the 2015 season. 

Although his Hawks started off slow his first two seasons, the program took a turn, and found success soon after. Back to back 3-6 starts are not easy in a new opportunity but it happens to many new Coaches around the country. After a successful one year stint with the Eudora Cardinals, the Owen hire gained traction and strength quickly from 2017 to 2019. In that time, the Hawks finished: 5-5, 4-6, 7-3, and Jesse Owen and his staff finished 22W-26L overall in 48 games played, and a 3W-4L post-season record under the new @KSHSAA playoff format in the 6A East bracket. 

In 28 years of Varsity Hawks Football, the Hawks are 184W-101L-285 games since the 1992 season. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

SM North welcomes New Coach

Andy Walter named Indians Head Coach


The SM North Indians appointed Andy Walter (SM South 2001) as their 17th Head Coach in their 99 years of Football History. 

Andy Walter joins the Indians from the hallways of SM East where he has maintained a position within the Math Department and previously part of the Football program as an Assistant Coach. 

Andy Walter is no stranger to the SMSD-5 Football programs as he is a SM South Raider 2001 alumni. During his time at SM South as a student-athlete the Raiders were coached by current BV West Principal Brett Potts, and Don Hanna during his time as a student.

Entering the 2020 season, the Indians will face off with their sister-school the SM East Lancers. 

2020 Indians Schedule: 

9-4 - SME
9-11 - @ LAW 
9-18 - ONW
9-25 - SNW
10-2 - OEH
10-9 - @ GET
10-16 - @ SMW
10-23 - MVJ

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Eagle has landed in 2019

Thomas A. Simone Award

Congratulations goes out to the 2019 Simone Award Winner for the best Football player in the Kansas City area. 

That, you may be wanting to know is Arland Bruce IV of the Olathe North Eagles

This season, Arland Bruce IV and his Olathe North Eagles finished 10-3 with a runner-up finish in the 6A Title game to the Derby Panthers. 

During Arland Bruce IV's 2019 run to the Simone, his work on the field allowed him to total 43 Touchdowns, and 2,487 yards in those 13 games played. Mr. Bruce is following in his fathers footsteps as an Eagles student-athlete having previously won the award in 1995. 

This morning at Olathe North High School, the Eagles and the rest of Kansas City High School Football 

Past Eagles who won the Simone Award:

2009 - James Franklin
2002 - Jim Bouknight
2001 - Maurice Mack
2000 - Darren Sproles 
1997 - Josh Brewer
1995 - Arland Bruce III

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

COY - A Chesty Lion, with a hint of Tiger

Steve Rampy - Sunflower Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Steve Rampy of the Chesty Lions who was named the #SFL COY. 

If the name has a familiar ring to it, you should know it quite well for those residents of Stilwell, KS and southern Johnson County. For those maybe not new to the game of High School Football, or that of Douglass County, the name Steve Rampy is synonymous with the game of High School Football. 

Steve Rampy's Chesty Lions have had a similar turnaround under his leadership that the 2018 Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers had under Ryan Cornelson in his first season as well taking his student-athletes from a 0-9 season to 10-1. This seasons Chesty Lions went from 1-8 to 8-2 in 24 months. 

Prior to joining the Chesty Lions and his first official year in the Sunflower League, Coach Steve Rampy was a long time member of the Pittsburg Gorillas Football Staff as an Assistant Coach from 2010 to 2017.  

For those of us who follow the Sunflower, and EKL around the State, and at a local level in Johnson County, the Steve Rampy Football lore begins with the Blue Valley Tigers. 

The Blue Valley Tigers Football program began in 1970. Prior to that the High School was named the Stanley Marooners (current Blue Valley District Office #223) in the original High School building. For the first 15 years of Tigers Football, Coaching turnover, sub par results totaled out to five Head Coaches in those 15 years. In that time, the Tigers left the Jayhawk Conference to join the EKL in the fall of 1979-80 school year. 

While the Tigers struggled in their early years, those 15 seasons brought the team to 70-66-1 with those five Coaching changes. During the Steve Rampy first 15 years of his own 25 year tenure, the Tigers were 104-48 with State Titles in 1991 and 1998. A difference in 34W (-18L) 

After one season as an Assistant Coach for the Tigers during the 1984 season, Steve Rampy was given the keys to the ship to lead the Tigers. At the time, there was only one Blue Valley High School, two Olathe's, and five SMSD's to go around with a young and fledgeling EKL consisting of the Bishop Miege Stags, ST Aquinas Saints, and Olathe North and South. Both Olathe's left for the Sunflower League during the 89-90 school year. 

Once the position was filled by Steve Rampy, the next 25 Tigers Football seasons were all part of history. In those 25 years, the Tiger won State Titles in 1991 (12-0) 1998 (12-0) 2003 (12-1) and 2006 (12-0). The Tigers finished second in 1992-1997 and 2005. 

Notable names that played for Steve Rampy are known around the Teaching and Coaching circles to this day. Brian Schottenheimer (son of Marty) formerly the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs was the Quarterback for the 1991 State Championship team. Tigers Athletic Director Matt Ortman, and also former classmate RIP (Eric Driskell) also played for Steve Rampy before entering the education field after graduating from the Blue Valley School District. 

Former Tigers-alumni Eric Driskell, went on to follow in Steve Rampy's footsteps for seven season with a record of 70-17 in 87 games played and won State Titles in 2010 and 2013. 

Currently, the Rampy name carries on in son Zach Rampy, who recently has completed his second season with the SM North Indians Football program. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

2019 Champions - Thank you for a great day!

Congratulations to all of our Kansas Class Football Champions for the 2019 season:

6A - Derby Panthers
5A - Mill Valley Jaguars
4A - Bishop Miege Stags

It is no secret, at least state wide, that these three Football Champions have earned their State Titles proud. I had the opportunity to sneak away from a usually known day of work, to see the Derby Panthers for the second time in my post-season coverage of the 6A State Title game. Having witnessed them in awe the first time back in 2013 against my old SM East Lancers, it was a great game, and one I will never forget.

Saturday, I quietly made my way around Emporia as a fan of the game, and taking a lot of mental notes of how joyous this occasion can be.

A few years back, it was an honor to be in the presence of the 6A State Football Lancers win their first ever title in their Football history, and with a bunch of alumni, and friends dating back to elementary school, and the current Lancers in the stands cheering on their classmates!

With this decade of High School Football on its way of closing out, I knew back in July, or August, I would be following the Olathe North Eagles as they played in their 100th Varsity season. Although I did not attend Olathe North, it has always had a fascinating Football history from my Freshman year of High School in 1996-1997 with the young Arland Bruce III leading the way, and later towards the most known of the Running Backs Darren Sproles, who ran all over the Sunflower League defenses that came his way from 1999 to 2001. Maurice Mack, James Franklin, and now a young Arland Bruce IV carrying on honorably in the family tradition of Eagles Football lore.

It was an honor to be out there as a fan, ditching the computer for the car, and going in proud to see to fantastically coached Football programs, and even further, great student-athletes representing the State at the 6A level.

The Olathe North Eagles Football tradition is strong, and has been pounding the gridiron hard for 100 years. For the Eagles, the tradition will not stop, and continue strong as we head in to the next decade of play for 2020 to 2029. Schools will come and go, and legacies will live on in stories to tell for years to come, and long after the student-athletes playing days are complete. You are the flagship program of Olathe #233.

Although the final whistle blew at the end of the game, and the City of Derby, KS once again held up the 6A State Trophy in which they deserved, it is a blast to see the smiles on the faces of the students, student-athletes, staff, and parents who are cheering their city on. The City of Olathe, KS will once again be preparing for the 2020 season ahead, as the 6A West won 6 of the 10 6A Trophies this past decade.

A quick run down:

2010 - Wichita-Heights defeats Olathe North 48-14
2011 - Olathe South defeats Wichita Heights 41-37
2012 - SM West defeats Hutchinson 19-14
2013 - Derby defeats SM East 28-21
2014 - SM East defeats Hutchinson 33-14
2015 - Derby defeats Blue Valley 27-14
2016 - Derby defeats Blue Valley 17-14
2017 - Blue Valley North defeats Derby 49-42
2018 - Derby defeats Blue Valley North 24-16
2019 - Derby defeats Olathe North 63-26

West 6-4, East 4-6

It is no secret, this blog represents the Sunflower League and a touch more in representing the East bracket. Ill forever be indebted to our Athletic Directors, Coaches, and Coaching staffs when I reach out for a bit of information, or in turn, they reach out to me in wanting to know a little more of a back story for a match up, and perhaps a local school newspaper who always comes to find me a few times throughout the year wanting to learn more about their school and their gridiron Football traditions.

Thank you all!