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.