Wednesday, March 8, 2017

SFN recently met with Mark Littrell

The Sunflower Football News caught up with Mark Littrell who will be entering his fifth season as the Pioneers Football Coach. Here is our Q & A with Coach Littrell. 

What are the strengths of the Pioneers Football program entering the off-season, and 7v7 for the summer?

Thank you for the kind words.

We have the largest group of seniors that we have had at Leavenworth HS since I have been here.  Our 2017-2018 seniors have done an exceptional job of showing great leadership this off-season.  We have a great group of young men returning for the 2017 season.  Most all of our returning football players have exhibited a great work ethic during the winter and all continuing this through the spring.

The Pioneers Football has changed drastically since 2010 going 12-28 and making the playoffs in each of the four years under your guidance, what do you see in your student-athletes that has caused this rise in the Football program?

Our coaching staff and our players have done a great job of developing a great work ethic and being unselfish.  We will continue to strive to be the best that we can become both on and off of the football field.

Do you have a particular student-athlete on either side of the ball that you would advise local college scouts to take a look at, and who do you see leading your team throughout this winter and spring going in to next Fall?

Again, our 2017-18 senior class has exhibited great leadership.  Receiver Andrew Ativie has had a great off-season and really finished the season on a strong note.  Linebacker Hayes Edwards was one of our leaders on the defensive side of the ball.  Lber Cody Herrell, Hayes Edwards, and Free Safety Seth Johnson won their divisions at the 5A state power lifting meet and helped our team finish 2nd.  Offensive lineman Grant Mullins missed the last 5 games with a knee injury but has done a great job of rehabilitation and working to become a better lineman.  Nose Guard Etena Tuivaiti won the Sunflower League Heavy weight division in wrestling and also finished 4th in the power lifting state meet.  Receiver Nick McComas and Guard Truman Thomas also helped our power lifting team.  Receiver and Corner back Devin Johnston had a good year on the hardwood and Corner back Brandice Lewis continues to make strides in the weight room. 

Opening up on the road versus local foe Lansing is now becoming a great game to see in the last three years. Both you and Coach John McCall (dating back to Olathe days) are making great strides in the changing of the Football programs. Do your student-athletes enjoy this game as much as the two of you do?

Our football players love playing Lansing, whether it is week 1 or week 9.  John has done a great job with their football program and you know that they will also be well coached.

To close out your 2017 season 3 of the 4 opponents are home to Olathe schools? Can the Pioneers make noise in the standings to change the outcomes and walk out of the game with a win against some vulnerable opponents? Will Schneider of SMN is lost to graduation, and all three Olathe opponents finished under 500 last season.

The Olathe schools are like the rest of the Sunflower League schools.  They are always well coached and always play hard.  I have always had a great deal of respect for the Sunflower League coaches.  We just need to take care of business during the rest of the off-season and prepare for the Lansing Lions on week 1 and then as always take it one game at a time.

Thank you again to Mark Littrell of the Leavenworth Pioneers for a great Q & A session in preparation for the 2017 Football season.