Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ultimate Roadtrip: Week 1

To start off the posting, I'll be taking a note from ESPN's Big XII team and talk about the games that I think will highlight each week and which ones will be the best to attend! This list will be based on the teams playing, the stadium, the possible implications of the game, and of course how rowdy and exciting the atmosphere will be! Of course, these games will be based on my pre-season thoughts on each team so the best games for each week might change as time moves forward.

NOTE: I will try to avoid adding venues outside of the Sunflower League unless a game truly becomes a can't miss situation. That means no Garden City, Blue Valley, or other schools of the sort.

Photo taken by the Lawrence Journal, 2009
I'll start things off with the opening week!

Crowd-Pleasers (Runner-Ups)

Shawnee Mission West @ Lawrence Free State
Location: Free State High School Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Date: September 4th, 2015 7:00PM

These two teams have potential to be among the Top 5 teams in the entire state. However, one of them has to take a hit on their yearly resume and that means the stakes for this game are especially high on Week 1. Free State squeaked away with a 20-14 win against the Vikings in Shawnee last year, so you can bet that West wants to come out with a little more fire. A general fan of the Sunflower League looking for a high intensity game will not be disappointed here as both are expected to make a playoff run later in the year.
Photo taken by Hutchinson News, 2014

Hutchinson @ Olathe South
Location: CBAC, Olathe, KS
Date: September 4th, 2015 7:00PM

Olathe South should be a lot better than what we saw in Round 1 of the playoffs last year. Even if they aren't, you can be sure that the atmosphere will make you think otherwise! Olathe South has always had a loud and committed student section and playing against the 6A State Runner-Up who they utterly dominated last year to the tone of 24-2 won't help the visiting Salthawks.

Ultimate Roadtrip: Week 1

Roger's Heritage (AR) @ Olathe North

Location: ODAC, Olathe, KS
Date: September 4th, 2015 7:00PM

Photo taken by the Kansas City Star, 2014
People may think that I'm being biased by saying that ODAC is the place to be when there is a State Runner-Up playing on the other side of town and two potential Top 5 teams playing in Lawrence, but I personally am very interested to see Olathe North compete against a team from another state that isn't less than an hour drive away. The Eagles beat Heritage last year 18-13, but the teams' seasons weren't nearly as close, as the War Eagles ended last season at 4-9 while as most of us know, Olathe North finished with an 11-1 record.

What I wonder about is whether or not Olathe North was just slow out of the gate last season (which has happened a lot in recent history), or if Kansas schools really do have a ways to go before we can truly compete with states outside of Missouri. I will definitely be at this game to see if maybe I can find at least part of the answer first hand. A decent number of fans made the trek to Arkansas last year, so I can imagine a packed home stand to open the season at ODAC.

Feel free to comment with which game you hope to attend for the opening season or make a post about it on the message board! A lot of games should be very exciting so you can't really go wrong!


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