Monday, September 24, 2018

Sunflower Week-5-2018

SME vs. SMS @ SMN (SMS leads the series 30-19-1)
* When SM South opened in 1966, the Raiders took many SM East athletes in to their new halls south of 95th and Mission Road. For literally two decades, the Raiders and Lancers found themselves in District play in week-9 fueling perhaps one of the best intra-district Football rivalries to this date. After a two year absences on the schedule, and a streak of 50 straight games ruined 24 months ago, this rivalry will once again reign true with local bragging rights as important as a game against Rockhurst.

Justin Hoover, will take SME, who are 9-1 against SM South in their last 10 games since 2007. While much of the Lancers talent has graduated in recent seasons, the Raiders will need to find a way to minimize turnovers, and find a way to get past the Lancers defense and secondary. That will not be easy as Brett Oberzan and his staff are rebuilding a roster that was once depleted in 2016.

LFS vs. SSC @ LFS (Series tied 0-0)
* The Free State Firebirds will play Sedalia Smith-Cotton for the first time ever in its 22  year year history. Like others you have noticed on the 2018 schedule in Lansing, Leavenworth, and Manhattan, it will be seen again in weeks 7 and 8. The love of unbalanced scheduling will haunt the SFL again in 2019.

SMW vs. OWO @ SMS (Series tied 0-0)
* For the first time since the 2004 Football season, the Vikings will see a new team on the schedule with the Owls. As this is now week-5, the Owls will be looking to solidify ground the best way they can looking for seeding in the 5A East bracket. Although it is still early to talk about it, will be important in the weeks to come. A late season win can push confidence forward in a good way if the Owls fall in line with a quality seeding of play.

The Vikings however are looking to end a 13 game losing streak that started in week-10 of the 2016 season.

SMN vs. OEH @ SMN (OEH leads the series 15-5)
* Olathe East will travel to SM North to face the Indians in which could be another tough stretch for SM North. The Eagles have dominated the series in recent history winning 10 straight games and ending games quickly as they have started in recent meetings. The last time these two met was in the 2015 season.

OSF vs. ONE @ ODAC (ONE leads the series 25-5)
* In the greatest rivalry of rivalries the Eagles and Falcons will meet for the 31st time after a season hiatus that they did not meet in 2017. The Falcons under Craig Lewis will look to end a five game losing streak dating back to 2012. Their last win came in 2010 in a week-11 playoff game led by former Head Coach Jeff Gourley.

For those that know this Olathe City rivalry dating back to its earliest of days it started in 1981 with Bud Wheeler leaving the Olathe Eagles to open South, and Gene Weir taking over the Eagles in which many county and city wide would say the "rest is history."

LAW vs. SNW @ LAW (LAW leads the series 21-14)
* The new look Chesty Lions under Steve Rampy will host the NW Cougars in which should be a very good game. Although both teams have lost a lot of talented kids this past Fall, look for NW to continue to keep building on their previous work. The Chesty Lions are 4-6 in their last 10 meetings against the Cougars since Bo Black has taken over.

The Cougars are coming off a tough loss to the Lancers, while the Chesty Lions got their first win for Steve Rampy.

ONW vs. GET @ CBAC (GET leads the series 3-0)
* The Trailblazers have a small, yet dominate 3 game advantage over the Ravens in their small history. Most all of these games all came under the old schedule format as a District game. This will be a good test for the Ravens to come away with a win a home against a young Trailblazers program.

The Trailblazers look to continue their early success entering the Sunflower League in which the same occurred in 2010 as the EKL was taken by storm as well with quality success on the field of play.

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.