Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunflower Preview Week-4-2018

ONW vs. LAW @ CBAC (LAW leads the series 5-3)
* The Chesty Lions enter week-4 with a narrow series lead over ONW.

This will be a fun game for both sides, as the two will be leading with new Head Coaches, again meeting league wide with the Sunflower changing Coaches. The Chesty Lions will look to meet again after not playing each other in 2016 and 2017.

ONE vs. Columbine, CO (Series tied 0-0)
* In a non-conference match up the Eagles will head to Colorado to face the Columbine High School Rebels. For the Eagles, this will be one of their longest road games in the history of the program. Locally, only Rockhurst and a small handful of other schools have traveled farther distances to play.

This game will be tough to gauge, as only in recent times have the Eagles truly played out-of-state competition. The Eagles managed to take out Rogers-Heritage on the road to start the 2014-15 season, but lost when it came time for them to host (RH ended up forfeiting the game later in the year).  Columbine has seen a similar amount of success as the Eagles in their area, consistently earning 10-win seasons since the turn of the decade. Both teams will enter the game undefeated and have seemed to not be fully tested by their previous competition.

LFS vs. SMW @ LFS (SMW leads the series 12-11)
* In a great match up of Bob Lisher, and Tim Callaghan, the Vikings lead the series by one game.

These two not only meet consistently in the regular season but many times in the 6A-East playoffs (of old) since 2008. While their 2017 week-1 game ended with a bad Vikings loss, a strong rebounding game by a young Vikings offense could prove to be a difference maker in the game. Like SM West, the Firebirds will bring an ample amount of Varsity experience in to this game in hoping to strike quickly for points on the scoreboard.

Three weeks in, the Vikings are still looking to tap in to the win column, falling behind winless Blue Valley North at the 13th spot in the west bracket/standings.

OWO vs. SMN @ CBAC (Series tied 0-0)
* In yet another first, the Owls and Indians will meet in Olathe West's inaugural season at the varsity level. This match-up will show two programs on polar opposites when it comes to tradition. The Indians are in their 97th season of Indians Football history within Johnson County while the Owls are still finding its feet in their first.

Both teams have struggled to find their first wins of the season, with SM North failing to muster a strong showing against three of the top teams of the league so far. West has found similar problems, but the team showed promise in a 27-37 loss to rival Olathe East last week. There are currently four win-less teams in the Sunflower League, at least one of those teams will escape this coming Friday.

GET vs. OEH @ GET (OEH leads the series 1-0)
* The Trailblazers, and Hawks will meet for only the second time ever in their small history.

While geographically very close to each other, they last met in a week-10 playoff game defeating the Trialblazers 19-7 in 2013, and will now meet again in their first ever conference game. These two, including Olathe South can and will build on their game history in seasons to come with the Trailblazers addition to the Sunflower League.

SMS vs. OSF @ SMS (OSF leads the series 10-8)
* Rare... How rare? While these two have meet 18 times since 1989, both programs have been off of each others radar from 2014 to 2017 (4 seasons). The Falcons are 9-1 in their last 10 against the struggling Raiders who have been and continue to rebuild their identity.

This game for the Raiders can be very beneficial as much as it was for the Cougars in the previous week pulling off a late win in overtime.

Currently on a three game win streak, playing a tough Falcons squad will prove to be a real test on the gridiron including SM East the following week.

SNW vs. SME @ SMN (SNW leads the series 25-22)
* In a change of pace, the Cougars will face the Lancers, as SME has been a thorn in the Cougars side since arriving in 2009. Entering in to this game, the Cougars have lost 11 straight dating back to the arrival of former Head Coaches Chip Sherman (5-0), and Dustin Delaney (6-0).

Justin Hoover will want to see his Lancers off to a quick start as they have in recent memory lauded points on the scoreboard in less than three minutes of time on the 1Q game clock. This has been a common denominator of the lopsided play with a very experienced Lancer offensive line and a strong QB presence in SR Andy Maddux.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunflower Preview Week-3-2018

SMS vs. LAN @ SMS (Series tied 0-0)
* In a non-conference week-3 game, the Raiders will take on the Lansing Lions for the first time in team history. During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the SM North Indians completed a 2-0 sweep of the Lions in a home-and-home series.

Taking on the Lions will not be an easy task for the Raiders, as, Lions Head Coach Dylan Brown is no stranger to the Sunflower League. Taking on the Sunflower League is a powerful move forward for the Lions who are wanting to become a force in the 5A east, and will want to play well against fellow Sunflower League programs even if as a non-conference game.

SME vs. ONW @ SMN (SME leads the series 7-2)
* For the third week in a row, one new Head Coach will meet another new Head Coach. This time, with Justin Hoover, and the Ravens Aaron Hafner, a new regime has taken place in both Football programs.

The Lancers have led this series against the Raven's from the beginning in 2004, only to concede two games to the Ravens in 2007 and 2009. In the prior meeting of these two, the Lancers defeated the Ravens in a week-10 playoff game with SME coming away 42-17. This should be a great test for the ONW moving forward and an opportunity to have a great game night.

SMW vs. ONE @ SMS (ONE leads the series 16-4)
* In what could be a great game with talent on both sides of the ball, the Vikings and Eagles will host a great game at SM South. While the Eagles have ODAC, the Vikings have been known to call SM South stadium a place of dominance as their home field as well.

While the Vikings were winless at home for the first time ever in their history in 2017, they hope to change that against the Eagles and Chris McCartney. Arland Bruce III will be a tough stop for the Vikings defense in order to build on this early season of play. It will be up to the Vikings defense to play a great game and work to get the ball from Arland Bruce III who has gone about his business well on the field of play, as it is noticed by many.

SMN vs. LFS @ SMN (LFS leads the series 7-1)
* The Firebirds and Indians will meet for only their ninth time in series history. Nine times! (If you recognize the Ferris Bueller reference!)

Playing on the road for the Firebirds at SM North is one of their best road stadiums to play in. In their last few years, defeating SM East, North, and Northwest has been a relatively easy task to accomplish. Look for the Indians to defend their home turf in what could be a tough match up and changing the course of history against the Firebirds.

Zack Rampy's young Indians have a tough task ahead, but will continue to improved putting up 27 points last week against the ONE defense.

OEH vs. OWO @ CBAC (Series tied 0-0)
* Coach Jesse Owen, and TJ O'Neill will meet for the very first time in what will start a series that will take place for seasons to come. With no game history, there is no better place to start than here in week-3. Best of luck to both the Hawks and Owls!

OSF vs. SNW @ ODAC (OSF leads the series 14-9)
* In a relatively close series, the Falcons and Cougars are no strangers to each other in Sunflower League play. Olathe South leads the series 6-4 in their last 10 meetings and could possibly reel off another win for the Falcons.

Last season the Falcons won in week-9 round 1 playoff game 30-21. Prior to that 2017 playoff game, both had not seen each other in the 2014 to 2016 seasons.

LAW vs. GET @ LAW (Series tied 0-0)
* Similar to the Hawks and Owls, these two will play in their very first Sunflower League game against each other. The Chesty Lions as to the Trailblazers will seek out a first meeting of Coaching minds as well with Steve Rampy and Ryan Cornelson in what could be a great game early on!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Sunflower Preview Week-2 2018

Friday Night week-2 addition! - EKL


BMS vs. BVW (BMS leads the series 11-9)
* In quite traditional form, the Stags will to continue in their winning ways taking on a young Jaguars program led by third year Head Coach Josh Korkenmeier (BVT alumni). The Stags, in the current streak of wins they are on against BV West, have won four straight regular season games from 2014 to 2017.

The Jaguars had a very strong presence in week-1 against the Mill Valley Jaguars, only to fall short late in the 4Q. While the series history indicates a close record in their 20 previous games, the Stags are 8-2 since 2010 including a 1-1 playoff record against the West Jaguars during the Scott Wright era.    

BVT vs. BVN (BVT leads the series 26-7)
* Perhaps early on in the season, this big intra-district match up will provide a big opportunity for SR QB Graham Mertz and his fellow Mustangs, to slowly chip away at a huge losing deficit. While the above number is not so pretty, the Mustangs are on the right path. To do, so, the Mustangs are going to carry on from their week-12 playoff fever in the 2017 State Semi-final game to build on 2018 momentum.

Look for the Tigers to bounce back quickly, coming off a tough loss to the ST Aquinas Saints 30-14 in week-1. Veteran Head Coach Allen Terrill will have is Tigers prepared as they are 9-1 in their last 10 games dating back to 2010, and the start of the Eric Driskell era 2010-2016.   

BNW vs. HAR (Series tied 0-0)
* DYK?

The Last time the Huskies faced a Missouri school was the 2005 season under first year, and former Head Coach Mike Zegunis (AC OWO). Northwest faced a local power in the Blue Springs South Jaguars led by Greg Oder (now an AC at Gardner-Edgerton) and came away with a resounding 33 to 0 win in week-1 game.

14 years later in 2018 Clint Rider will get his chance to take on the Harrisonville Wildcats of the West Central Conference. Harrisonville is a known dominant powerhouse having won four State Titles in six seasons under Fred Bouchard. Fourth year Head Coach/AD Brent Maxwell, now is facing something his Wildcats have not experienced in many years, with a 0-2 start. With blowout losses from Kearney and Marysville, this is an opportunity to get back on track, while the Huskies will be doing the same early on in the season.  

BSW vs. STA (STA leads the series 4-2)
* Although the Timber-Wolves are entering their ninth season of play, the Saints and T-Wolves have only met six times, starting in 2012.

The Saints, and Randy Dreiling have held the edge in the last four seasons going 3-1 since 2014. While six games is a quality number, the two will continue build on this series.  

MVJ vs. SJA (MVJ leads the series 5-1)
* In what could be a great game of two talented Football minds in Joel Applebee of Mill Valley, and Tom Radke of the SJ Academy Thunder, this early season gridiron match up could be one to throw the 5A standings off just a bit.

Look for the Thunder to come out strong early on, and try to temper a powerful Mill Valley offense. This could easily be high scoring, or filled with multiple 3 and outs and sound defense by both teams. 

LAN vs. BLB (Series tied 9-9)
* These two are no strangers to each other as the Lions, and Bobcats eagerly take on a 19th meeting in their all-time series.

The Bobcats are currently 8-2 in their last 10 games against Lansing, as the experience and play will lean towards a play-off caliber team going deep in the State playoffs. Under new leadership, the Lions Head Coach Dylan Brown will look for his young players to have a strong game, and attempt to stop the Bobcats offense.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sunflower Preview Week-2 2018

LVP vs. SNW @ LVP (SNW leads the series 26-6)
* While the Pioneers and Cougars are no strangers to each other, this will be their first ever non-conference Football game.

Coach Mark Littrell will host the Cougars, in which he would like to consider this an upset to slow down the Cougars early start after a week-1 game against SM West. This will be Bo Black's first meeting against the Pioneers in his fourth year with the Cougars.

The Cougars are off to a solid start with a defeat against the Vikings, while the Pioneers had a rough night against a powerful DeSoto Wildcats Football program. Should the Cougars prevail again in week-2, it will be a big step forward before moving on to another well-coached team in the Olathe South Falcons next week.

SMS vs. SMW @ SMS (SMW leads the series 36-23-1)
* In surprising fashion, Brett Oberzan's 2017 Raiders defeated the Vikings, ending both a 20 game losing streak, and Tim Callaghan's first loss against the Raiders in 14 tries all-time giving him a 13-1 record. That Raiders losing streak dated from 1997 to 2016 spanning five Coaches.

Can the Raiders to the same again in 2018? It will be a tough task, as they will have to take on Vikings QB CJ Callagahan coming off a loss in week-1 to the Cougars.

With those games under his belt, he will look to lead his offense to much greener pasteur's after last years winless season. This is one of the most historic rivalries in the SMSD-5 Football programs that flourished in the 1960s and 70s. This week, the Vikings will look to rebound against another district foe in the Raiders while currently on an 11 game losing streat.

ONE vs. SMN @ ODAC (ONE leads the series 22-2)
* In a very lopsided series the Eagles have dominated the SM North Indians. If you are wondering who those two wins belong to at SM North, that would be former Head Coaches Sam Brown and Ben Bartlett.

Enter Zach Rampy, in his first year, as it is the Indians goal to reverse these fortunes and rebuild a once strong and powerful Indians Football history.

While it will take time, facing the Eagles will be a great test early on to see the progress not only from 2017 but the work ethic instilled in this young Indians team. Olathe North has been known for decades to own the ODAC home field (which they do) but this could be a great game for the Indians on the road.

LFS vs. OEH @ LFS (LFS leaders the series 11-9)
* In a tightly contested match up, the Firebirds and Hawks look to renew a great rivalry as the Firebirds compete very well against the Olathe #233.

In their last two meetings the Firebirds have dominated against Jesse Owen's defense. With the Firebirds coming off of three-straight losses to Derby, restarting their season on a great note in preparation for the 6A-West bracket is a goal to accomplish from week to week.

GET vs. OWO @ GET (Series tied 0-0)
* The Trailblazers, and Owls will meet for the first time in Sunflower League history. With both programs new to each other, in addition to Coaches who have yet to face each other this will only help both programs moving forward and growing as a program.

Look for the Trailblazers to continue to stay hot after a big win, and their first Sunflower win against a strong SM East Football team. The Owls, while being shutout in their first will continue to build and make strides early on in the season.

ONW vs. OSF @ CBAC (OSF leads the series 12-1)
* Week-2 of this Sunflower League marks another lopsided series in which the Falcons have dominated the Ravens since the 2004 season.

Coach Craig Lewis will bring his much improved Falcons and a 1-0 record against Coach Aaron Hafner's young Raven's. The Falcons are 9-1 in their last 10 games since 2006 and will look to continue that record forward until the Raven's can find a way to knock the Falcons off their nest.

The Ravens won 31 to 0 in the 2015 season under Chip Sherman, and last season in 2017, defeated the Raven's 21-7 in week-2.

For the Falcons Birdhouse, I expect it to be a loud night in the stands!

LAW vs. SME @ LAW (LAW leads the series 32-14)
* For the first time since 2001 Steve Rampy will face the SM East Lancers. At that time, current SM South Principal Todd Dain led the Lancers in his second season.

Today, both Steve Rampy, and Justin Hoover will face each other for the very first time.

Both have made their own impact's at prior schools and will now take on new challenged in the Sunflower League. SM East is 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Chesty Lions and look to build on that strength of play from their previous seasons.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SM North Indians - #97

Shawnee-Mission Indians Football at 97 years young

Similar to the Olathe North Eagles, the SM North Football Indians will begin their 97th season of play. 

Led by first year Head Coach Zach Rampy (son of former Blue Valley Tigers, and current Lawrence Chesty Lions) Head Coach will began a new era of play. 

The 2017 season ended a four year career of Indians alumnus, Ben Bartlett, who played in the Sam Brown era in the late 1990s. 

Entering the 2018 season, the Indians, facing a Coaching change adding Zach Rampy will take on a new look and era. While it is too early for any to call at this time, the eagerness of off-season 7v7 and practice has driven the Indians to make some large strides on the gridiron. 

The 2017 season was Coach Rampy's first season with SM North. 

For any 6A East team, there is never an easy week. Staying off, or perhaps under the radar of play could be what the Indians can look to do. Motivation is a key, and the Indians Coaching Staff is full of prior student-athletes now turned Educators and becoming key mentor's in their young students lives. The Indians can, succeed and do great things on the field for Coach Rampy in the week's ahead. 

Best of luck to SM North in 2018!

The Zack Rampy led Indians will host the SM South Raiders in week-1

SM North Indians Coaches 1922-2018

22-23 (2) A.L. Berry
24-25 (2) Harold Swaney
26-34 (9) W.B. Conklin
35-54 (20) Harold Reade
55-57 (3) Guy Barnes
58-60 (3) Bryan Speery
61-63 (3) Reese Pollard
64-78 (15) Larry Taylor
79-84 (6) Bob Stauffer
85-90 (6) Larry Harless
91-96 (6) Bob Stauffer
97-04 (8) Sam Brown
05-09 (5) Ryan Majors
10-12 (3) USMC Dennis Grayless
13 (1) Don Simmons
14-17 (4) @ Ben Bartlett
18 (1+) Zach Rampy


Monday, August 27, 2018

Sunflower Preview Week-1 2018

Hello Sunflower League Football friends. Our time together has arrived as we prepare for the week-1 match-ups for Thursday and Friday night lights. 

Below are a few snippets to kick off the week on a good healthy note prior to kickoff. 

OSF vs. LAW @ ODAC (Series tied 16-16)
* Craig Lewis' Falcons look to start off quickly in this 2018 season. Although he is 0-2 against the Chesty Lions, Veteran Head Coach Steve Rampy will take over the reigns in his first season after a long tenure with the Pitt State Gorilla's Football team. Steve Rampy is no stranger to the Sunflower League as he played them often while formerly the Head Coach of the Blue Valley Tigers from 1985 to 2009. This should be a great to to start off the 2018 season as the Falcons are 6-4 in their last 10 against the Chesty Lions.

SMW vs. SNW @ SMS (SMW leads the series 33-19) 
* Improvement will be a key feature for the 2018 Vikings and Cougars in this intra-district match up. After a much improved 4-5 run by the Cougars in 2017, accomplishing that, and more in 2018 will be a goal from week to week.

Easier said than done, the Vikings are 7-3 in their last 10 against the NWC, and Tim Callaghan is 11-5 vs. the Cougars since 2003. NWC will look to continue the Vikings current 10 game losing streak and looking for a strong start. That said, the Vikings will be looking to end a 10 game winless streak sinxe 2017, and first 0-ffer since the school opened in 1962 going 0-8.

OEH vs. ONE @ CBAC (ONE leads the series 17-9)
* In their short tenures as Head Coaches taking over for both Gene Weir, and Jeff Meyers, both Chris McCartney, and Jesse Owen are 1-1 in two seasons as the Hawks and Eagles return for a 27th Varsity game dating to the 1992 season.

The Eagles are 7-3 in the last 10 games while the Hawks have been struggling to find their ground early in recent seasons. For the Hawks, coming off of their 5-5 season will be a goal to continue to return the bar to the high standards of Football Olathe East has carried since day one. This game could easily come down to a field goal or final play to determine a winner. Both teams will be intense from kick-off.

OWO vs. LSF @ ODAC (Series tied 0-0)
* In the first of its kind, the Owls will host the Free State Firebirds in their first Varsity game. One thing Coach Bob Lisher can pass along to TJ O'Neill in his initial Varsity season is to literally "Trust the process" as we have all began to hear that term in recent memory. Bob Lisher can say this with confidence to a young Owls Football program building from scratch in to a future legacy that this young program will come to learn over time and as the teams identity will soon flourish with each game under their belt. Best of luck to the Owls in their first Varsity game, as the Firebirds hosted their's in the Fall of 1997 with the SM East Lancers at old Haskell Stadium in Lawrence in week-1 of that Football season years ago.

SMN vs. SMS @ SMN (SMN leads the series 31-25)
* Another intra-district game will be the Indians (led by first year Head Coach) Zach Rampy, and fourth year Raiders Coach Brett Oberzan.

In 2017 the Indians struggled at 1-8 suffering a huge setback losing QB Will Schneider to graduation. Coach Zach Rampy will want his new squad to move forward and learn from those lessens with a goal of getting an early home win against the Raiders. For SM South, their 3-6 record was a slight and better improvement of play from a 0-9 2016 year. Look for the Raiders roster to continue to grow in strength in a team that was once a Sunflower power, as was SM North in the late 1960's and 70's.

SME vs. GET @ SMS (SME leads the series 4-0)
* Both SM East, and Gardner-Edgerton will meet for the first time under new leadership. Gone are Dustin Delaney to the Eaglecrest CO Raptors, and Marvin Diener to retirement for the Trailblazers. Incoming are Ryan Cornelson (formerly of the Hutchinson SaltHawks) and Justin Hoover, immediately succeeding Fred Bouchard, formerly of the NKCSD Athletic Department and the Staley Falcons who recently took an Assistant Superintendent position in Illinois earlier in the month.

This will be a great game for both as it will be their first in Sunflower League play. In their last two match ups, the Trailblazers have given the Lancers a run for their money during the 2016 playoffs in a one point loss 36-35, and look to come out strong again in 2018 despite a winless season.

MAN vs. ONW @ MAN (Series tied 0-0)
* This will be the first meeting for the Manhattan Indians and Olathe NW Ravens in both schools history. At no time has either ever met in regular season and post-season play.

This will mark Aaron Hafner's first game as Head Coach for the Ravens coming from Luther College, and D-3 college in Iowa, and a long time return to Kansas to enter the High School Coaching ranks. Last season, the Indians, led by Joe Schartz finished 8-2 in lost to the Derby Panthers in week-10 and going 1-1 in the 6A-West bracket.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Change at the Top - SME makes a move!

Justin Hoover - Newest Head Football Coach at SM East 

As most all of us learned in the last week, SM East Head Coach Fred Bouchard has resigned his position within the SMSD #512. Coach/Dr. Fred Bouchard will begin a position within an Illinois School District as Assistant Superintendent. Best of luck to Dr. Fred Bouchard in this new chapter of his career in education, all of which has been in the state of Missouri. 

This is a first for such a large School District located in the state of Kansas, in which of all five Football programs, has never happen before with the opening of SM Northwest for the 69-70 school year. A Head Coach filling a position, only to resign. 

For those curious, if this has ever happened before in the Sunflower League, the answer is yes. 

Digging in to the Sunflower League archives, this same event happened to the Wyandotte Bulldogs in the Fall of the 1975-76 school year. Head Coach Charles Richard was hired in the Spring of the previous school year to take over the program once Bill Perry resigned following a four year tenure from 1971 to 1974. With Mr. Charles Richard abrupt resignation, Max Payne was hired and Coached the Bulldogs from 1975 to 1979. 

If this has ever taken place across the state of Kansas outside of Johnson, and Wyandotte counties, one is not aware of at this time. Currently going through all histories to check of resignations 6A to 1A histories where this has taken place. 

State wide, their have been numerous times that a Head Coach has resigned during a season or after for one reason or another. 

Coming on the heals of Dustin Delaney's resignation after the Olathe South Falcons game during the start of the 2017 season, this position was one of the hottest positions available within the Kansas City metro area. 

Assistant Coach Justin Hoover, formerly the Quarterback Coach of the Bishop Miege Stags, has been appointed Head Coach per the SMSD #512, and Athletic Director Debbie Katzfey

Justin Hoover becomes the 12th Head Coach for the Lancers since the Fall of the 1958 season.