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!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Simone Award Nominees - 2019

Representing many of our best Football student-athletes over the Kansas and Missouri State lines of play.

Nominees representing the SFL-EKL:

Simone Award 

Ty Black Jr. - SM Northwest Cougars
Arland Bruce IV - Olathe North Eagles
Tyler Bowden - Free State Firebirds
Devin Neal - Lawrence Chesty Lions
Tyron "Tank" Young - ST Aquinas Saints

Fontana Award

Brison Cobbins - Bishop Miege Stags

Buchanan Award

Tuner Corcoran - Free State Firebirds
Ethan Kremer - Mill Valley Jaguars
Cade Lautt - SJ Academy Thunder
Christian Mozingo - ST Aquinas Saints
Taylor Warner - Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers

Bell Award

Brian Burns - Bishop Miege Stags
Max Van Meter - Bishop Miege Stags

Taylor Award

David Brown - Blue Valley West Jaguars
Shawn Hendershot - Blue Valley North Mustangs
Daniel Jackson - Bishop Miege
Ty Lindeman - SM Northwest Cougars
Chris McGee - Lawrence Chesty Lions

Congrats to all of these young men representing their High Schools this year.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Kansas Football State Finals - 2019

To close out this decade in style:


1 - DER (12-0) - 2- ONE (10-2) @ Emporia State-Welch Stadium - ONE leads the series 1-0
* This is not the first time these two have met. "Back in my day..." scenario dates back to the completion of the 2002 State Title game, and Gene Weir's first retirement from Olathe #233. This years Eagles continue to build on one of their finest seasons should they be able to knock off the mighty Derby Panthers, whose legacy is already cemented by the leadership of Brandon Clark and his dynasty led Panthers.

At the end of the 2002 season, the final score was 41-12 over the Tom Young (Retired) 11-2 Panthers.

For the Eagles, this will be their first trip back to the 6A Title game since the 2010. During the 2009 season in which they defeated the Wichita-Heights Falcons under Eagles alumni Head Coach Pete Flood with a 13-0 record. The 2010 season also saw a return to the 6A Final, in which the Eagles fell to the same Heights Falcons and a win for the western side of the bracket.

Although the consecutive three-peats did not occur after Gene Weir retired in the 2010 to 2019 decade of play, the Eagles have reeled off an 18-8 post-season record entering week-13 against the Brandon Clark Panthers.

This years Olathe North Eagles are playing in their 100th Varsity season.

State Titles
Derby Panthers (4) 1994-2015-2016-2018
Olathe North Eagles (8)
Gene Weir (6) 1996-1997-1998-2000-2001-2002
John McCall (1) 2003
@ Pete Flood (1) 2009


1 - WNW (12-0) - 4 - MVJ (9-3) @ Pittsburg State-Carnie Stadium - First meeting, 0-0
* There is always a first, and last for everything in the world. In this match up, the Grizzlies will take on the Jaguars for the first time in both schools history. For those who are not aware, Mill Valley opened in the Fall of the 2000-2001 school year in the De Soto School District #232.

Both Football programs are no strangers to success. In 2018, the Grizzlies fell to the eventual State Champion ST Aquinas Saints of the EKL in a tough fought battle. For the Jaguars, success came to them in back-to-back 5A Titles in 2015 and 16, over Bishop Carroll, and Goddard-2OT in two very intense games. Joel Applebee of the Jaguars, is in his 10th season, in which his kids have achieved a record of 5-7 vs. the Saints, and 4-7 vs. Randy Dreiling which is the best opposing record of any EKL coaching staff vs. the Saints since the 2014 season.

Following the completion of this game, and the 19-20 school year, the Jaguars will be entering the Sunflower League returning the league to 14 teams.

State Titles
Mill Valley (2) 2015-2016


4 - BMS (10-2) - 2 - ADC (11-1) @ Hummer Sports Complex-Topeka - BMS leads series 1-0
* Sound familier? For those recent alumni this decade, these two have previously met.

That meeting came during the 2015 State Title game, and the second of five Titles in a row. The Panthers, are led by first year Head Coach Derrick Tuttle, who is only the second Head Coach in the Panthers history. Coach Tuttle's predecessor Tom Audley had his teams close a few times, losing the Stags in 2015 the Panthers finished 10-3.

State Titles:
Andover Central
Bishop Miege (9) 
Len Mohlman - 1972-1975-1977
Tim Grunhard - 2009
@ Jon Holmes - 2014-2015-2016-2017-2018

@ = Alumni

Congratulations to everyone playing in their respective State Finals!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Week-12-State Semi-Finals


5 - BVT (8-3) vs 2 - ONE (9-2) - ONE leads the series 10-5
* While these two hail locally from Stilwell, and Olathe, both have seen each other often since 2000 to 2019. Of the 15 times they have met, most of their games have come after weeks-8 and 9 respectively. The Tigers will have a tough task to take on and stop Arland Bruce IV with is dominance this year from game to game played. Should the Tigers win this will be their first trip back to the 6A State Title game since the 2016 season under RIP Eric Driskell. For the Eagles, their last trip dates back to the 2009

1 - DER (11-0) vs 3 - TOP (10-1) - DER leads the series 2-0
* Prior to the 2015 season, these two schools had never met. Now for the third time in as many seasons, the Trojans will have an opportunity to knock off the heavily favored Panthers of Derby. While the Panthers have won the previous two games agains the Trojans, this could be a game that goes down to the final possession of play. Who will win? This should be a fantastic game to see.

4 - MVJ (8-3) vs 2 - STA (10-0) - STA leads the series 9-4
* These two EKL foes are no strangers to great battles on the gridiron. While the Saints do lead the series, the Joel Applebee led Jaguars have been a thorn in the side of the Saints Football program since the beginning of this decade. Randy Dreiiling's Saints have lost a handful of big games to the Jaguars late in post-season play in his tenure. This game will be great to watch on the field of play as the Saints will host the Jaguars for the third time in post-season play.

1 - WNW (11-0) vs 3 - MZE (10-1) - WNW leads the series 4-3
* In seven prior meetings, the Grizzlies and Eagles will have the opportunity to meet again. Both Gary Guzman's and Steve Martin's post-season tenure will tell a lot about how this game will be played. Both Coaches have very good talent along their respective offensive, and defensive starters. For the Grizzlies, their defense has been one of the best all season long in the 6A west. This game too, will come down to the final stretches unless one can pull away. The Eagles have a to face some adversity from the start to get on the board quick, and to keep the ball away from the Grizzlies offense which has averaged 52 ppg.

4 - BMS (9-2) vs. 2 - PAO (11-0) - BMS leads the series 2-0
* Who has the upper hand? Roeland Park or the City of Paola? While this will be their third meeting all-time, the Panthers have previously met Tim Grunhard (2009), and Jon Holmes (2015) one time. In those two previous meetings, both led to a Stags Football Title, then a few more were added soon after. Can the Panthers upset the Stags? As this decade of play is down to its final couple of weeks, the Panthers and Stags have both had incredible records to be proud of. For the Stags, this will require some hard work on the road to make things happen on the scoreboard.