Wednesday, October 23, 2019

City Rivalry - Chesty Lions vs. Firebirds

Have you ever wondered what a rivalry looks like on paper? It looks a lot different on Friday nights for sure, but here is a historical snippet of the Chesty Lions vs. Firebirds Football rivalry from day one in 1997 to the end of this 2019 decade of play. These two have never met in post-season play in the old playoff (District) format that ended in 2015. It is possible to happen with both schools in the 6A-West bracket down the road, as they are 0-3 in the new format starting in 2016 to 2018.

For the first time in many seasons, Bob Lisher and Dirk Wedd will no longer be patrolling the sidelines of battle for defending the City of Lawrence, KS bragging rights. This game usually closes out the Fall regular sports season in preparation for post-season play and has since it's earliest of days. This benchmark Football game sets the tone for the Chesty Lions and Firebirds in all Fall, Winter, and Spring sports.

As the 2019 season closes out, both Steve Rampy (Blue Valley Tigers/Pitt State Gorillas) and Kevin Stewart (formerly AC at BV North) have now been chosen to take the reigns of this rivalry which is now in it's 23rd meeting all-time.

For the breakdown itself, this is how it is maintained: 97-8 (1997) week-8 is how the year is recorded for a quick reference point whenever an email or someone has a question throughout the season via @Twitter or any other form of social media. L = Loss, W = Win. 1-0 etc. is the running record for either school. * = 2016-2019 new playoff format.

This is also maintained in a similar fashion for the Olathe North Eagles vs Olathe South Falcons, and Bishop Miege Stags vs. ST Aquinas Saints on a local level.

The research is quality, and if it is never found in the average High School yearbook, the next way to hunt down the information is the local microfilm of the newspapers from specific era's, decade's etc to verify a final score, sometimes which can be misrepresented in a high school yearbook, or not even included many times depending on where the search leads.

Bob Lisher (14-8, 22, 636)
F          Opp.    LFS     Final              LAW

vs. Dick Purdy (0-2, 2, 000)                
97-8     L            0-1     15 – 34            1-0                                          
98-9     L            0-2     24 – 28            2-0                                                                   
vs. Dirk Wedd (6-13, 19, 315)                         
99-9     W           1-2     31 – 28  – OT  2-1                                                                   
00-8     L            1-3       0 – 35            3-1                  
01-8     W           2-3     16 – 0              3-2                              
02-8     L            2-4     26 – 42            4-2                                                                  
03-8     L            2-5       6 – 21            5-2                                                       
04-8     W           3-5     14 – 12            5-3                                                       
05-8     L            3-6     28 – 33            6-3
06-8     W           4-6     49 – 15            6-4                              
07-8     W           5-6     27 – 0              6-5                                                       
08-8     W           6-6     21 – 13            6-6
09-8     W           7-6     42 – 14            6-7
10-9     W           8-6     42 – 20            6-8                              
11-9     L            8-7       0 – 20            7-8      
12-9     W           9-7     28 – 22            7-9
13-9     W         10-7     28 – 10            7-10
14-3     W         11-7     31 – 12            7-11                
15-3     L          11-8     12 – 14            8-11                
16-8*   W         12-8     56 – 7              8-12    
17-8*   W         13-8     24 – 21            8-13                
vs. Steve Rampy (0-1, 1, 000+)                                   
18-8*   W         14-8     28 – 13            8-14                                                     
Kevin Stewart (0-0, 1, 000+)
19-8*   x          14-8+   00 – 00            8-14+ 

Thank you to former LJW Sports writer, Bobby Nightengale for providing some information that was missing at an earlier date in 2017. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-8


LVP @ SMN @ SMN - SMN leads the series 19-10
* In a series that has taken place since 1981, the Indians have dominated the gridiron since the Pioneers left the Centennial League in 1980. Now that this is a non-conference game, the Indians will be up for this match in which they commanded from the start in a big win in 2018. We will see what happens and if the Indians can climb out of the cellar against the Pioneers who are 2-5 under first year Head Coach Sean Sachen.

GET @ SMW @ SMS - GET leads the series 1-0
* In another series with very little history, the Trailblazers will look to continue their recent success against the Vikings. For the Vikings on the other hand, coming out strong and getting a big home win would be a huge accomplishment against the very talented Trailblazers. Time will tell, with the experience on the field, and if the Vikings can pull of a huge upset.

OEH @ OSF - OEH leads the series 16-15
* Outside of the Olathe North vs. Olathe South rivalry, the Hawks and Falcons are part of an intense setting of their own. From 2000 to 2009 and 2010 to 2018 they have managed to swap a couple wins, and losses here and there throughout the years. There has not been a true winning streak lasting more than three to four wins for either, and then the losing school winning two in a row. Since 2010, the Falcons are 7-4 in 11 games played. The Hawks won four straight from 2014 to 2016, and the Falcons got two back in 2017 and 2018.

OWO @ SME @ SMS - SME leads the series 1-0
* For many of the Owls first few years, building a history with their opponents will be able to tell and learn more about them. With the game on the road at SM South, it will be tough outside of the CBAC/ODAC home fields of play. The Owls having played very well these last few weeks will look to make a big impression on the Lancers as they continue to form their program's identity.

LFS @ LAW @ LAW - LFS leads the series 14-8
* For the first time ever in this series, the Chesty Lions and Firebirds will be led out on to the field by different names not named: Bob Lisher, and Dirk Wedd. These two counterparts/colleagues have since retired leaving the series in the good hands now of Steve Rampy and Kevin Stewart. The Firebirds have dominated the "City Rivalry" for a long time and the Chesty Lions will look to change that in due time. While it will not happen over night, this will continue to be great well in to the next decade and beyond for future generations of Lawrence, KS student-athletes to have the honor to play on Friday nights.

ONE @ ONW - ONE leads the series 13-2
* In a series of series, which at one time was thought to be a rivalry. Is not. Simply put, once Olathe Northwest became Varsity full-time in 2004, the Olathe North Eagles had a job to do. With both programs having multiple changes since that time, the Eagles have stayed true to form in this series from the start. Only two times in the series 15 games has Olathe North lost. Those seasons being 2006 and 2011. With the Ravens coming off a big OT-win, defeating the Eagles will not be an easy task ahead. Olathe North will look to solidify a spot in the top-8 seeds, while the Ravens will look to improve out of the bottom four seeds.

SMS @ SMW @ SMN - SMW leads the series 36-22-1
* A tight, very close historical series, the Raiders, and Vikings will match up to close out the regular season. DYK, both of these schools do the same for many spring sports in the #512 sports rivalry? It is done quite often! Since 2010, the Raiders are 2-7 vs. the Vikings, and have since won back-to-back games in 2017 and 18. Can the Raiders win a third? Time will tell once kickoff begins.

BVT @ BVW - BVT leads the series 14-5
* Rivalry? Absolutely. On the gridiron? Not so much. Do not let those numbers deter you, as many of those 14 wins are split between Steve Rampy (Lawrence Chesty Lions) and Eric Driskell (deceased) taking on the Jaguars. The West Jaguars have struggled most of this series from the out-set of kickoff, and it has not been easy. Driskell-Terrill series has won 8 of the last 10 games since 2010, and the only wins for West came in 2012 and 2013. This could be a great game to watch, and see if the Jaguars can end their six game losing streak dating back to the 2013 season.

BVN @ SJA - BVN leads the series 1-0
* In only their second game it will be a tough call to what will happen. Can the Thunder get the win? With BV North's Graham Mertz having graduated, this will be an opportune night to make the series even and come out with a win for a better seed in the 5A-East bracket. BV North will be looking to do the same at 2-4 in the 6A-East.

BMS @ BNW - BNW leads the series 15-9
* DYK? This is a rare series that the Bishop Miege Stags do not lead in on a local level. Having won four straight in 13-14-15-18, this has been made a series for sure but the Stags experience will be tough to contain a young Huskies Football team. Coming off a big win over the Mustangs, the Huskies will give the Stags offense its best from the start, and will have to stop one of the best offenses in the county. As for the Stags, their last loss to the Huskies was in Jon Holmes' first season 2012.

MVJ @ BSW - MVJ leads the series 4-0
* Since this series began, the Jaguars have had no problem with the T-Wolves on the gridiron. That being said, the T-Wolves will be looking to end a losing streak and improve on their 5A-East seed as well. It will not be an easy task, as the Jaguars are a strong Football program, and have given the #229 a lot of hard work and planning during their brief time in the EKL.

LAN @ SHT - Series tied 2-2
* The Lions and Thunderbirds will be squaring off for the fifth time. The Lions, having a great season so far, and mirroring the 2018 season are meeting all expectations. As for the 5A-East bracket, at 4-3, they are playing their best football to land a top-8 seed and a possible home-game for week-9.

STA - Bye

Monday, October 21, 2019

Action - Reaction #7

What a week. Seed hunting.

Where to begin is a good question? With the fast and furiousness of the Lawrence Chesty Lions or the first win of 2019 Olathe Northwest Ravens?

From top to bottom, the league is a tale of two heads. Leading the way, the Lawrence and Olathe School Districts, and the SMSD trailing away with four of the seven at the rear of the standings.

For the Chesty Lions, a return to the fray since their 2015 season of (10-1) is very promising. Their opportunities along the way and paired with Derby will be a great separation of the bracket in the west. More than likely, a 2-4th seed will land them in a great position.

Of the SMSD #512 games, it was a disappointing 1-4 record with the Vikings coming away with their second win, and a strong showing up against a young SM North Indians. For the Northwest Cougars, things did not get easier, with a big road game at Gardner-Edgerton. The Trailblazers won out easily over the Cougars and displayed a great home field advantage many schools would love to boast of. To round out the losses, the SM East Lances struggled to get the offense going against a big Free State Firebirds team that is doing very well under new Head Coach Kevin Stewart.

On the EKL side, the ST Aquinas Saints, defeated the Bishop Miege Stags for the outright league win. ST Aquinas leads the series all-time now at 18-16 after 34 games dating back to their first meeting in the Fall of 1989 week-4.

Jaguars. There are a lot of them. Both at Mill Valley and Blue Valley West. This time however, the Jaguars of Blue Valley West under fourth year Head Coach Josh Korkenmeier are having one of their finest seasons to date. The 2014 West Jaguars last finished with a winning record of 5-4 in the schools 14th season by former Head Coach Scott Wright.

The BV Northwest Huskies won a big EKL league game, and first since the 2017 season. For the BV North Mustangs having a rare down season in recent years with the loss of QB Graham Mertz to graduation is evident on the field. Can this win for the Huskies carry over past week-8? We shall see.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-7


OEH @ PIT @ PIT - PIT leads the series 1-0
* For the second time around, the Purple Dragons will take on the Hawks. However, this season will be on the road at Pittsburg. Already with some help from fellow Johnson County Blue Valley North in week-3, the Mustangs defeated the Purple Dragons. Last week they were shutout 31-0 to the Mill Valley Jaguars.

While the Hawks lost a close game in 2018, the Sunflower League and EKL both fell victim on the scoreboard against a great 8-2 Dragons team led by long time Head Coach Tom Nickelson currently sitting at 4-2. Fortunately for both the Mustangs and Hawks, they will not meet again as the Dragons will be in the 4A-East bracket.

SMW @ SMN @ SMN - SMW leads the series 33-22
* Can the Vikings come away with a win? It can be done. Can the Indians do the same thing? Of course. The young Indians have a chance to continue to win under Zach Rampy and force their hand to gain a higher seed come week #9. For the young Indians, this has not been an easy season and will look to score some points and come away with a big win. For the Vikings, this will not be an easy game as well, as they too are looking to solidify a better seeding as the regular season winds down.

OSF @ OWO - OSF leads the series 1-0
* With the Owls on a late hot streak winning their last three games, the Falcons will have their work cut out for them. Now that season two is under way, the Owls are starting to build their identity and find their niche as a Varsity program. For the Falcons, this will not be an easy game, and should not be taken lightly due to the final couple weeks. Although sitting at 2-4, bringing their experience will be a factor, but the Owls will do what they can to come away with a victory.

SME @ LFS - LFS leads the series 9-6
* Entering the 2019 season, change taking place with the Firebirds. First year Head Coach Kevin Stewart will see the Lancers again from the opposite sidelines and no longer from BV North. The Firebirds will continue to strike their dominance over the Lancers as they have in recent seasons. For geographical purposes after week-8, there is always a possible chance of meeting in the post-season. The Firebirds could come away with a big win as the Lancers have struggled to get going in the right direction. For SM East to come away with a win, a lot will have to work in their favor in a very tough environment at Free State.

LAW @ ONE @ ODAC - ONE leads the series 22-13
* Of perhaps one of the biggest league match ups in the season, the mighty Eagles of Olathe North will take on the Rampy Chesty Lions entering the contest at 6-0, coming off a 1-8 season in 2018. Both programs have great running games, and this could possibly be a very high scoring contest, or quite the opposite a very low one. Last week Arland Bruce IV worked his magic against the SM East defense as part of an offense scoring 77 overall points.

ONW @ SMS @ SMS - ONW leads the series 8-2
* In a rare series that the Ravens own outright, it will take everything they have to come out strong against a very talented Raiders Football team. Although the Raiders are 2-4, do not be deceived by the talent that is on the field. Both offensively and defensively the Ravens will have to play strong from the start. Can the Raiders reverse this fortune of play? Quite possibly. If so, should the Raiders come away with a rare win against the Ravens, this will help in their seeding for the 6A-East bracket.

SMW @ GET @ GET - GET leads the series 2-0
* For only the third time ever, the Trailblazers and Vikings will meet. This again will not be easy as the Vikings have struggled for the last couple years. For Ryan Cornelson, and his Blazers, they will do everything they can to get on the scoreboard quick and take care of business. As for the Vikings, the Blazers offense is fast and talented, and will have to be minimized. It will not be easy, but the Vikings have certainly improved from their 17 and 18 seasons.

MVJ @ BVT - BVT leads the series 3-1
* While only four games in to their brief history, the Jaguars have struggled against the Tigers. With two very good coaching staffs on the sidelines coaching against each other, there will be a lot to look forward to from the start. The Tigers have been strong after a rare quick exit in 2018, while the Jaguars are picking up steam after a 1-3 start. The last two seasons have seen the Jaguars go 1-1 against the Tigers and will look again to steal a big road win in a great Football environment at Blue Valley.

BNW @ BVN - BNW leads the series 15-11
* Husky win? Too early or too late? The opportunity is there for the Huskies to make a big statement and a possible second win late in the season. With time winding down, the chance to take on a struggling Mustangs team and the loss of Graham Mertz to graduation, this could be a statement game, and a movement game in the 6A-East standings. While this will not be easy, the Mustangs, have dominated the Huskies winning five straight since 2015. The 2014 Huskies were the last team to defeat the Mustangs in regular season play.

BSW @ BVW - BVW leads the series 6-3
* This season is the 10th year of the SW T-Wolves Football program, and already making their mark, are hoping to find a way to upset the West Jaguars. At one time, both found themselves as the new kids to the block on the #229 Football scene. Coach Josh Korkenmeier's Jaguars have found themselves in a position that they have not been in many recent years. The T-Wolves, themselves, will have to play a strong game for this very talented Jaguars offense.

TUR @ LAN - LAN leads the series 9-6
* Since the start of the 2000 season, these two have met 15 times. For the last couple years the Golden Bears have struggled, but have worked their butts off in a tough 5A East. Last week with the closing of their final home game at a field they played on for 84 seasons, a road game to the new Lansing Football field will not be easy. Can the Golden Bears get the win? Of course they can, but it will take a lot of discipline and tough defense to steal a road win. The last two meetings against Olathe West have not made it easy, but with Julien Parks leading the way, the Golden Bears have a strong history and start ahead of them.

BSB @ LVP - BSB leads the series 1-0
* In only their second series game, the Bobcats and Rod Stallbaumer, will look to begin a streak of winning over their neighbor to the north of the Pioneers. With the experience and strength of the Bobcats offense, the Pioneers will have a lot on their plates defensively to step up big.

STA @ BMS - STA leads the series 17-16
* Catholic Showdown Week. The Stags and Saints will meet at Dixon Doll Stadium once again, only this time, the Saints leading the series by one game. These two Football programs have had great games since the series began in the Fall of 1989. To date, Jon Holmes' tenure against the Saints is 6-2, while Randy Dreiling is 1-4 in five meetings vs. Holmes' Stags since the 2014 season, and first in Kansas City after leaving Hutchinson after 17 seasons.

SJA @ KMC - KMC leads the series 1-0
* Crusading in to 2019. While the Thunder did fall to KMC in 2018, this is a great time to get a non-conference win under their belt before week-9 comes rather quickly as the season winds down. For the Thunder, their 3-3 record is far improved, and with KMC struggling to 1-5, this non-conference match up before seeding takes place will be a huge improvement in these last couple weeks of regular season play.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Action - Reaction #6

After a brief chill has taken over the metro area on Friday nights, the ending of regular season play is very near.

In a game of Basketball magnitude, the Olathe North Eagles defeated the SM East Lancers 77-49 at SM North. At the half it was 42-42, with 84 total points scored, which stands as a team high for both programs at halftime going in to the third quarter. Giving credit to both offenses, the Lancers in the previous week did not have too many good offensive drives against the Raiders, and with Mother Nature taking charge most of the game. However, Arland Bruce IV was on fire from the start with 6 touchdowns on the night against the Lancer defense.

The Lancers will take to the road against a talented Free State Firebirds led by first year Head Coach Kevin Stewart. Free State has won four straight after starting 1-1 against the Owls, and losing a tough week-2 game to the Olathe East Hawks.

For what has seemed like a quiet and off the record 4-2 start, the Olathe East Hawks are doing the dirty work both offensively and defensively off the radar. While struggling in losses to the Eagles, and Gardner-Edgerton, the team has played well knocking off both SM North and SM West in back-to-back weeks. With a non-conference game ahead against the Pittsburg Purple Dragons (0-2) against Johnson County foes Mill Valley and Blue Valley North only scoring three total points, this will give the Hawks a chance to play a very good 4-2 team. Pittsburg has been unaffiliated with a league since the 2016 season when they exited the Southeast Kansas League.

This week the Chesty Lions will take on the Olathe North Eagles for an opportunity to take the Sunflower League outright prior to week-8. The Chesty Lions will look to do some magic in a tough environment which has belonged to Olathe North for nearly four decades at the ODAC Football field. It has been very rare, and hard for most any road teams historically to get a win on the Olathe field.

Other action for the highly talented offense of the SM Northwest Cougars again firing on all cylinders at the Olathe Northwest Ravens. Although allowing 20 points, the scoring machine has been fierce and positive for the Bo Black offensive line, and his defense, which has improved a lot as time has progressed these last two seasons. For the first time in the new playoff format, the Cougars will be fighting for and to remain a top four seed in the 6A-East.

At the bottom of the league standings the SM North Indians and Olathe Northwest Ravens will continue to look for a way to get a win to help them from playing a possible 1 or 2 seeded 6A game.

On the other side of the local coin, the annual Catholic Showdown will proceed on the grounds of Bishop Miege where the Saints will look to play tough on the road. Both teams are coming up off of big wins. The Stags defeated Blue Valley, while Saints only defeated the Thunder by a touchdown in one of their closest games of the season. To date, the Saints lead the series 17-16 and will have to start with some fire to take on Jon Holmes Stags. The following week, the Saints will take a bye in to week-9 with potentially a second 12 game season should the Saints advance to the 5A State Final to close out this decade of play.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Are you ready for 2020 & 2021 Post-season play?

Released by the @KSHSAA on 10-9-19, the post-season brackets for week-9 to 13 were posted.

Below will be the locally listed SFL/EKL schools and a touch more that will be seeing post-season foes for the next two Varsity Football seasons. For now, it is all a TBD as to how it will play out, and once the schedules are released by all local schools what can, could, or will happen once week-8 is complete.

One distinct, advantage of having SFL (3) High Schools in the west, is having a Johnson County (Gardner-Edgerton) a great addition to make some noise against the fellow west foes.

This brings up a question many may have about the Sunflower (EKL) leagues etc come post-season. Has one league ever faced itself in a State Final? At times it has happened in other team Kansas sports. This has happened multiple times in Men's and Woman's Basketball, and Woman's Soccer a handful of times since the mid to late 90s to modern day KSHSAA 2010 to 2019.

Unlike the AVCTL, to date, the Sunflower League is the only league to have faced each other in the early State Final games in Football post-season history. The SMSD #512 schools faced off against Wichita-East, and Southeast while the Topeka public schools did not see post-season play based on their records.

1971 - SM North 9 vs. SM West 6 - Week-11
1973 - SM South 28 vs. SM West 0  - Week-11

Gardner-Edgerton (3-3 in 2016 to 2018 in 6A east bracket) will join Lawrence (0-1), and Free State (7-3, three years in 6A-West).

6A - West

GET - Gardner-Edgerton - SFL
LAW - Lawrence Chesty - SFL
LFS - Free State - SFL

6A - East

JCH - JC Harmon - KCA
WYN - Wyandotte - KCA
OEH - Olathe East - SFL
ONE - Olathe North - SFL
ONW - Olathe Northwest - SFL
OSF - Olathe South - SFL
OWO - Olathe West - SFL
BVT - Blue Valley - EKL
BVN - BV North - EKL
BNW - BV Northwest - EKL
BVW - BV West - EKL
SME - SM East - SFL
SMN - SM North - SFL
SNW - SM Northwest - SFL
SMS - SM South - SFL
SMW - SM West - SFL

5A - East

BSW - BV Southwest - EKL
LVP - Leavenworth - UKC
STA - ST Aquinas - EKL

4A - East

BMS - Bishop Miege - EKL
LAN - Lansing - UKC
SJA - SJ Academy - EKL

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Week-6-2019 - 6


OWO @ TUR @ Turner - OWO leads the series 1-0
* Play for the Win. In the second game of this series, the Owls will look to come out firing on all cylinders from the start. For the young Golden Bears, facing an uphill battle against the young Varsity Owls will not be easy. Last year the Golden Bears were shutout and this time around will hope to score against a young team. For the Golden Bears, 2018 they managed to score 11 points per game and will do everything they can to gain control of the offensive side of the ball. Two of their nine 2018 games were shutouts: Olathe West, and De Soto.

OEH @ SMW - OEH leads the series 15-8
* One of the better match ups as of late was formerly OEH Jeff Meyers vs. the Vikings Tim Callaghan. Although both programs have since taken turns with a coaching turnover, and since 1992 have met five times in the post-season. Coming in to this decade, both have met on a minimal basis, due to the growth of school districts, and scheduling unbalanced, the Hawks lead the series 3-2 since the 2010 season. Back in 2011, both met in the playoffs with Olathe East coming away the winner. This will be Jesse Owen's third game in his five seasons with a 1-1 record, while Tim Callaghan is 6-6 in 12 total games dating to the 2003 season.

GET @ SMN - GET leads the series 1-0
* For two of the elder statesmen of Johnson County, the Indians and Trailblazers will meet for only the second time. The Trailblazers put up nearly 50 points in their first meeting, with a 48-20 home win. This time around, the Indians will look to repay the favor and get a road win. This will not be easy for the Indians, but success was in their favor as they were 3-2 on the road in 2018. The Indians are still looking for their first win of the season and it will not be an easy task.

LFS @ OSF - OSF leads the series 10-9
* While the series between the Firebirds and Falcons is relatively close, the Firebirds have won the last three meetings since the 2016 season and have shuttered the Falcons opportunities numerous times. With the game at ODAC, this gives the 2-3 Falcons a chance to steal back a win in an environment the program has been successful at winning at for years. The last two wins Olathe South had against Free State were the 2011, and 12 seasons, and did not meet at all from 2013 to 2015.

ONE @ SME - ONE leads the series 18-7
* While it is no secret, this has become a league rivalry in recent seasons, the Eagles have overwhelmingly taken the Lancers out of many games with ease. In 2018 both teams split the series at 1-1, with the Eagles moving on deep in to the playoffs only to fall to BV North in the Semi-Finals. For Justin Hoover's Lancers, carrying on 7-3 record against the Eagles since 2020 with some of their most impressive play coming in post-season. Look for these two, to possibly meet again come weeks 10 or 11 as they continue to play great football and representing the east side of the 6A bracket.

Prior to the 2012 season, the Eagles were 13-0 agains the Lancers when the Eagles arrived to the Sunflower League in the Fall of 1989. The Lancers are 6-2 against Olathe North since 2013.

SMS @ LAW - LAW leads the series 30-11
* These two Sunflower foes have been meeting since the Fall of 1968. Both Football teams in their "hey-dey" of success was littered with talent all over the field of play on offense and defense. Of their 41 games played, the Chesty Lions lead the series 3-0 all-time in post-season play having met in the late 80s and early 90s. Since 2000, the Raiders have struggled often against the Chesty Lions formerly led by Dirk Wedd and now in Steve Rampy's hands. South is 2-9 in 11 meetings including five straight losses from 2010 to 2014. The 2018 season, the Raiders came away with a big win, and will continue to work on that goal this week.

SNW @ ONW  - ONW leads the series 7-4
* The Northwest Cougars have been off to a fast start, and will continue to look for a top seed in post-season play. Since 2012, the Raven's have dominated and won five straight games. 12-13-14-15-18 are wins, while during the 2016 and 17 school years did not meet. Under second year leadership of Aaron Hafner, the team will look to steal another win away from the fast start Cougars. This will not be an easy task for the Raven's with the Cougars coming off a tough loss and working hard to get back to the winning column.

BVT @ BMS - BVT leads the series 26-17
* Of perhaps one of the greatest "rivalries" in the modern day EKL, that lends it hands to the pigskin classic of the Blue Valley Tigers, and Bishop Miege Stags. Of all Bishop Miege local opponents, the Tigers hold the keys to the kingdom of success in knocking off the Stags most recently this decade. Since 2010, the Tigers are 7-4 in 11 games played. Blue Valley is also 3-0 vs. the Stags in post-season play prior to the Stags move to 4A no longer making them a post-season opponent within their fellow league schools. With the recent Stags success, the team has won four of the last six regular season meetings in 2013-14-17 and 2018, with losses in 2015 and 2016. This will be a great game from the start as both have had recent success knocking off the Rockhurst Hawklets, our neighbors to the east on state line in consecutive weeks.

BVN @ BSW - BVN leads the series 6-3
* Upset to SWT? Can the Timber-Wolves make it happen? Can a local "Power" continue to slide in the standings? This time it is happening, and the T-Wolves have an opportunity to capitalize with the loss of talented Graham Mertz to the collegiate game. Will these be an easy task for a struggling team? It can be done, but it is far from easy in the EKL. For both schools, this will be their 10th all-time meeting since the T-Wolves began Varsity play in their initial season of 2010, unlike Olathe West and Olathe Northwest that began as JV, transitioning to Varsity the second year of the school opening.

BVW @ BNW - BNW leads the series 12-6
* Strangers? Not so much. These two have both meet regularly since the 2001 season when the Jaguars were grandfathered in to the EKL. The Huskies have led the series from day one, but have won the decade outright going 6-3 since the 2010 season. For the Jaguars and Huskies, taking care of the ball, and having plenty of discipline to not turn the ball over. Best of luck to both programs, as they will be working for a higher seed in the 6A east bracket.

LAN @ JCH - LAN leads the series 1-0
* Easy goings? In week-6, the Lions will meet the JC Harmon Hawks in their second meeting. While the Hawks have been struggling for most of this decade, they will look to defeat a very good Lions Football program hoping to continue on its rise to the 5A east brackets. JC Harmon can come away with a win, but it will take a lot of discipline to come out at home with a win.

SHT @ LVP - SHT leads the series 4-3
* In some recent, and rarely played games, the Heights Thunderbirds will take to the road facing the Pioneers. Last Fall the T-Birds posted 35 points, only allowing 20 for with a down Pioneers team. This series could return to 500 should Sean Sachen's Pioneers get on the board and play tough defense against a T-Birds team that finished at 5-5 last season.

PIT @ MVJ - MVJ leads the series 2-1
* One Up. The Jaguars led by Joel Applebee in his tenth season facing a strong Purple Dragons facing an up hill battle. For the Jaguars to continue, a non-conference break takes place before a meeting to close out the regular season with the Tigers and T-Wolves. In 2018, the both met with during the regular season and the Jags came away with the win. For the 2015 Jags, a playoff win came deep in to week-11 four years ago. Tom Nickerson will bring a team ready to play, as earlier in 2018 the Dragons defeated the Mustangs.

SJA @ STA - STA leads the series 4-0
* Big game. Although the Saints own the series 4 wins to zero, the Thunder will be looking to change that in a big road game to take on Randy Dreilling's 5A State Champions. This will not be easy, as the Thunder will want to continue to build from week to week and playing strong defense against the Saints flexbone. Look for the Saints to continue to steam ahead as the regular season comes to a close. Finding a spot in the top-four seeds will be a hitting point for the Saints on the field.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Action - Reaction #5

As the middle of the schedule moves right along and the student-athletes are full throttle in game prep and game days, the shape of the post-season will now make its turn towards the final home stretch.

Congrats to the Lawrence Chesty Lions, led by Steve Rampy in a big league win over the SM Northwest Cougars, again caught up in a shootout of games and a majestic arial game played by both schools. This Chesty Lions team looks to be far improved from their first year under Steve Rampy, and the practices, and experience are paying off for his student-athletes in his summer workouts. The Cougars put up a great fight, and will continue to do so these three remaining regular season games.

For a city such as Olathe, KS, nothing can or does get bigger in a rivalry between Olathe North and South. Both have been going at in since the Fall of 1981, and the Eagles have owned the series outright since the beginning. That includes the transition over from EKL to SFL in their first season of the 1989 year as well. Olathe South has only, in their 34 total meetings won back-to-back games dating back to the 2005 and 06 seasons. The Eagles are 9-1 to close out this series of play entering 2020.

In a big rivalry game the SM East Lancers, defeated a very talented SM South Raiders on the road at SM South on Homecoming Night. While both schools face each other many times in Fall, Winter, and Spring sports, the annual Football game kicks off most matches for the other sports. With a lot of rain covering the Johnson County area, both the Lancers, and Raiders had their fair share of opportunities to score, yet turnover, INT's, fumbles, and tackling were the name of the game. With a late touchdown in the 4Q, the Lancers came away with a 14-6 win, having won their eighth straight since 2010, while not meeting during the 2016 and 17 seasons.

Congrats to the Bishop Miege Stags, winning on the road at Dasta Stadium defeating the Rockhurst Hawklets in a big cross-town rivalry game (only a handful of city blocks away.) This win for the Stags over the Hawklets brings their overall record to 7-21-1 in 29 games played. The Stags last win was during the 1972 season under Len Mohlman. Following that '72 game, the Stags held an unprecedented record of 0-11-1 from 1973 to 1984. In all, following the 1984 season, the Stags and Hawklets allowed a total of 33 school years pass before their next game during the 2018 season take place fom 1985 to 2017. The Hawklets have now lost consecutive games to EKL opponents which is the first time ever in the league's era of play, and Tony Severino's 37 seasons to have happened on a Varsity game schedule vs. Kansas opponents.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-5

10/4 - 5

LFS @ Smith-Cotton @ SSC - Smith-Cotton leads the series 1-0
* The Firebirds and Smith-Cotton will meet for the second time. While this will likely be the final time both will meet, Smith-Cotton could make a series of this and win at home, while the Firebirds continue to learn under Kevin Stewart. Last year, the Tigers finished 5-6 and fell to Timberland, MO in the second round of the MSHSAA playoffs.

SMW @ OWO - OWO leads the series 1-0
* With one legacy written, and a new legacy in its Varsity infancy, the Vikings will look to gain a win against the young Owls. In 2018, the Owls came out on top against the experienced Vikings, but that could change as the heart of the schedule takes place. This is a game where the Vikings can come away with a win, and continue to build on their strengths and shed the losses from their record.

SMN @ OEH - OEH leads the series 15-6
* Playing tough. The Indians and Hawks have been showing a lot of adversity in play the last few seasons. Tonight will again show that with two outstanding coaching groups of Rampy vs. Owen will battle for a quality move out of a middle of the pack to the top-8 seeding. For the Indians to top the Hawks, ball possession, and game discipline will be a key factor in coming away with a win on the road in Olathe. For most of the last 30 years, it has been nearly impossible for the SMSD to come in to Olathe and steal a road win. Can it be done tonight?!

OSF @ ONE @ ODAC - ONE leads the series 27-5
* Numero Uno. Of all Sunflower League rivalries, the Eagles, and Falcons of the #233 are one of the best Kansas City has to offer locally. Locally this series dates all the way back to 1981 when the Falcons began their program. Formerly of the Olathe Eagles, Bud Wheeler opened the school, allowing long-time assistant coach Gene Weir to take over at "North" and the rest is history.

While both schools have a fantastic Football history, the Eagles have ruled the roost having won 27 games in that time. Did you know, in 2017, the two failed to play on the schedule after 38 straight school years of play. For those curious, the Falcons wins against the Eagles came in: 1981-1988-1989-1999-2005-2006 and 2011. The Eagles will look to find a way in to the 6A East finals, while the Falcons will be looking for upsets each week of the season. Playing a great schedule, the Falcons can again return to find a good spot in the top-8 of the east side of the brackets. The Eagles too, will look for that series of play to return to the 6A Final as they did in 2010.

SME @ SMS @ SMS - SMS leads the series 30-20-1
* For the SMSD #512, this is one of the best rivalries in all Fall, Winter, and Spring sports. Dating back to 1966, the Raiders have owned and have continually taken the Lancers down on the gridiron. Since the 2000 era of Football, not only has that changed, but with an immense turn of the corner, the Lancers Football program has turned the corner having lost seven straight since 2010. For the Raiders, their last win came in 2009 against Chip Sherman in his first season with the Lancers. Did you know that this will be game #51 all-time.

LAW @ SNW @ SMN - LAW leads the series 22-15
* In a great battle of Football lore, the Chesty Lions will take on a rebounding Cougars Football team. While the Chesty Lions had a down season after Coaching turnover of Dirk Wedd to Steve Rampy, look for the Lions to make some payback of a great schedule, and come out with a strong showing against the upstart Cougars. For Bo Black's boys he will want to see consistent play on both sides of the ball showing improvement and defending the line of scrimmage.

ONW @ GET @ GET - GET leads the series 4-0
* A tough go at it. The Raven's will be subjected to a big road game in Gardner-Edgerton. For Coach Hafner, and his offense, it will be a time to come out quickly and get on the scoreboard against a very talented Cornelson defense. The Trailblazers ranked as one of the best defensively all of the 2018 season and will continue to pursue that goal throughout. For the Ravens, an upset would big in the standings, with a lot of great talent of the Trailblazers to defend and keep off the scoreboard.

BNW @ BVT - BVT leads the series 14-13
* No easy task. The last win the Huskies took away from the Tigers came during the week-5 2013 season. Since that time, the Huskies have lost five straight and have fallen in the standings once playing the Tigers. This game can give the Tigers an opportunity to bring the series to 500 after playing in 28 total games since 1994. With both teams down in 2018, this is a great chance for both to improve in the east brackets and strengthen their hold on a good seed in week-9.

MVJ @ BVN - BVN leads the series 2-1
* Success. While only one can come away with the win, the success of this series will be fun to see for seasons to come. With both making major trips to the State Finals and with State Titles in their possession, a win for the Jaguars (not BVW) can prove a powerful move as the decade closes out. Both teams can put points on the board without any problem, while one will have to come away with some much needed stops to gain momentum heading in to week-6.

BSW @ SJA - BSW leads the series 3-2 (1-2 in EKL)
* Curious? With the acclimation and much deserved addition to the EKL, the Thunder will be looking to tie the series with the T-Wolves. This fourth game of the series could go either way as the T-Wolves won out 31 to 19 in 2018. For the Thunder, this will be their fourth season in the EKL, and coming off the 2-8 season of last year, a win against the T-Wolves will be a goal from the start.

BVW @ STA - STA leads the series 17-4
* Getting the W. For a while the Jaguars have been a down program, and have been on the rebound under Josh Korkenmeier. This Jaguars corps is looking to end a five game losing streak dating back to the week-2 2013 season. At 10-1 since 2008, the Saints have dominated the series with dominant play on offense and defense to stop the Jaguars. Can the Jaguars come away with a win? It will not be easy on the road, as the Saints have consistently played well at home this decade.

LVP @ LAN - LAN leads the series 3-2
* City Slickers. Yes it is. In no uncertain terms, the Pioneers, and Lions have become a rivalry within Leavenworth county that should have always existed. Despite having never faced each other from 1980 to 2013 (33 school years.) This game of Football minds will pit Sean Sachen against second year Coach in Dylan Brown who took the Lions to a 5-4 season in his first season, and rode a four game winning streak before bowing out in week-9 to the SJ Thunder in 2018.

BMS @ ROC - ROC leads the series 21-6-1
* In quite the display of Football prowess, the Stags and Hawklets provided a spark of fire in game interest, similar to that of playing the SM East Lancers in the two prior seasons. This time around look for Jon Holmes' Stags to return to Dasta Stadium for the first time since the Fall of 1984. Look for the Hawkets and Tony Severino to get on the scoreboard on the first possession of the game, this will have all of Kansas City in for a great night of Football. With "Game of the Week" expectations, it should live up to the hype without any problem! Go Stags!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Action - Reaction #4

As a week of bad weather and multiple game times/rescheduled kickoffs took place, the games were underway.

Congrats to the SM Northwest Cougars on a great start to the season with a big win over SM East, ending a 12 game losing streak dating back to the 2009 season. The Lancers fell to 1-3, a record in which they had not started off with since the 2009 year led by former Head Coach in his first season Chip Sherman coming from Salina South via Platte County Pirates.

The Chesty Lions led by Steve Rampy, are also off to a fast start and for the first time since 2015 (10-1) have had a 4-0 start defeating an Olathe Northwest Ravens team led by Aaron Hafner in his second season. Both programs finished 2018 at 1-8. Can the Ravens pull off a win in the final four regular season games? Only time will tell with four big games to finish the regular season.

With a big log-jam in the middle of the Sunflower pack, the Falcons, Hawks, and Raiders have all been playing very well and will fight hard for the a chance to get a top-8 seed.

For a few Sunflower Football teams, this could be a first for a couple to land on the bottom side of the seeding. For now, it is too early to predict, but most certainly a possibility in the next few weeks.

Can the Raiders and Lancers climb up to the top-8? It will be hard to say for now, but a lot of hard work remains ahead to make that goal happen.

Congrats to the Blue Valley Tigers, who knocked off the Rockhurst Hawklets with a big home win. For those curious about this series, these last two years are the only times that both had ever met on the gridiron. During the 25 year run of Steve Rampy, the two never faced each other in a non-conference game.

The SJ Academy Thunder knocked off the Bishop Miege Stags as well in a big team win, also tying their series at 1-1 overall since the Thunder entered the EKL. Those same Stags, will now have a big road game just across the state line visiting Tony Severino's Hawklet's. For those interested, the Hawklets own the series outright at 21-6-1 in 28 all-time games.

Have the Mustangs, and Mill Valley Jaguars seen an end of their recent success? With four big weeks of play left before the week-9 seedings, climbing the standings will not be easy.

The meat of the schedule is now approaching, and it will be time to start working towards earning the best seed possible around the 6 to 4A west and east brackets!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

KSHSAA Classification Changes

Now that the news has settled in with the KSHSAA Football classification updates, time will tell what the future looks like for the decade ahead.

Moves made (2020-2021)

Olathe West - 5A to 6A - Second Varsity season in 2019

Goddard - 4A to 5A

Hutchinson - 6A to 5A
* 6A State Titles
04 vs. Olathe South W 30-13
05 vs. Olathe East W 24-7
06 vs. SM West W 21-14
07 vs. Olathe South W 37-14
* 5A State Titles
08 vs. vs. ST Aquinas W 38-0 (Head Coach Randy Dreiling in 6th ST Aquinas season)
09 vs. vs. Gardner -Edgerton W 52-14
11 vs. vs. Blue Valley W 33-21

Pittsburg - 4A to 5A

Spring Hill - 4A to 5A


Great Bend - 5A to 4A

Lansing - 5A to 4A

SJ Academy - 5A to 4A - EKL school joining Bishop Miege at 4A

As the next decade of post-season also follows in its current footsteps of play, it will be intriguing to see how the Thunder will do against lower enrollment schools after week-8 once the completion of the 2020 regular season begins. Can or will it mirror Bishop Miege? Both will continue to play 6 and 5A regular season schedules due to the geographical location of both schools.

For now, it is too early to make any judgement calls on what will or will not happen.

Best of luck to all of the Football teams in their current start to the season at hand, and the future ahead bringing greater success to follow.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-4

9/27 - 4

Columbine CO @ ONE @ ODAC - Columbine leads the series 1-0
* The Columbine Rebels and Eagles will meet again on the gridiron of ODAC.
This time around, the Eagles will have a chance to redeem themselves at a home they have been very successful in, and an opponents worst fear. For their second meeting, it will be hard to even the series as the Rebels wiped the Eagles off the scoreboard 48-12.

LFS @ SMW @ SMS - Series tied 12-12
* One of the best Sunflower rivalries in the league, goes to the Firebirds and Vikings. SM West is 5-4 since the beginning of this decade, and 4-0 all-time in playoff meetings. As a new page has turned on the Firebirds gridiron, the Vikings have a chance to end their current two game losing streak. Prior to this 2019 season, former Firebird: Bob Lisher was accounted for the first 24 games played. Tim Callaghan is 10-8 all-time.

OWO @ SMN @ SMN - OWO leads the series 1-0
* In only their second meeting, the Owls, and Indians will be in for a great second chapter. In the first chapter, on the road, the Rampy Indians won in a crazy fashion defeating the Owls 35-34. This win for the Indians spurned a 4-1 record to finish out their first year under Zach Rampy. This second game can turn out to be a great series as this decade closes and new one begins next Fall.

GET @ OEH - Series tied 1-1
* Since 2010, you would tend to think that the Trailblazers, and Hawks met during the old District-playoff format. This series can only grow, as the two last met in week-10 of 2013 five years ago. This will be tough to gauge as the Trailblazers will look to continue from their 2018 run. It will be up to the Hawks to take care of business early, and taking care of the ball and keeping it away from the Trailblazers defense.

SMS @ OSF - OSF leads the series 10-8
* Dominant. The Falcons alone have won eight straight dating back to 2003. The last Raiders win was during the 2002 season in which both schools have had multiple turnover in Football leadership. Can 2019 be a changing of the guard? The Raiders will be looking to continue to improve from their 2018 season.

SNW @ SME @ SMS - SNW leads the series 25-23
* No easy task. The Football Lancers have won twelve straight games since the 2009 season. For the Cougars, Aaron Barnett (1-5), Linn Hibbs (0-3), and Bo Black (0-5) have struggled since the Lancers change of fortune both in talent of the student-athletes and three home-run coaching hires themselves. As the Cougars rebounded for a strong season in 2018, the opportunity is now to end this current losing streak. This time the Cougars will be entering a rare first meeting with the Lancers where they are 3-0 entering the game. The last time the Cougars started 3-0 in addition to the 2018 season was the 2007 Cougars led by Aaron Barnett which team finished 9-2, and ended the regular season 8-1.

ONW @ LAW @ LAW - LAW leads the series 6-3
* As the 2019 season progresses, the Ravens will continue to improve under the watchful Aaron Hafner. For the experienced Chesty Lions led by Steve Rampy, the programs are both looking for a reversal of fortunes as bottom-feeder 1-8 records made for a rough year. The Chesty Lions will be looking to go 4-0, and while the Ravens will need to play some strong defense from the start to come away with a steal of a win on the road.

ROC @ BVT - ROC leads the series 1-0
* The Hawklets will find themselves on the road against the Allen Terrill Tigers for 2019. While the Tigers struggled last Fall, holding serve and having ball possession will be a key to keep the Hawklets from stealing a win on the road.

BVW @ BVN - BVN leads the series 10-8
* In perhaps one of the best series within the #229, the Jaguars, and Mustangs will look to once again spark a big game. During their week-4 game in 2018, the two combined for a total of 94 points with a 52-42 win for the Mustangs, and fifth overall against the Jaguars. For BV West, their last with against North came during the 2013 season in week-3 and a 42-13 win a few years back. Without any doubt the Andy Sims era has proved to be great addition to the Mustangs, and reversing a five game losing streak dating back to his first season in 2014.

BSW @ BNW - BNW leads the series 5-4
* Nine times. Nine times these two have met, and meeting ten, can determine if the T-Wolves get back to 500 against the struggling Huskies. Although both programs were down in 2018, there is no reason these two can't fight to return to the middle of the pack and make some noise in the standings. Look for SW to come out strong and against a struggling Huskies defense. All in good time, look for the Huskies to turn around, and find a winning streak against perhaps the toughest schedule in the county.

LAN @ De Soto - Series tied 2-2
* The De Soto Wildcats will hosts a big week-4 game agains the Lansing Lions. De Soto has had quite a bit of success this decade under Brian King, and will continue to prove their dominance well after week-8 regular season games. For the Lions, going in to De Soto would be a big upset and to knock off  a very hard home field to win on.

TUR @ LVP - LVP leads the series 1-0
* In what will be only their second meeting since the 1981 season the Golden Bears will take on a new look Pioneers. While the Golden Bears will look to come out swinging, the Pioneers are wanting to prove that their 2018, 1-8 record was a fluke. Can the Bears come away with a win in year two of a new league? Either way, week-4 games can help you move up or down in to the top or bottom eight of the standings as the season progresses.

STA @ MVJ - STA leads the series 11-2
* Game on? Yes. While both programs under two very successful Head Coaches, the Saints and Jaguars have had their fair share of go-around's on the gridiron. Come Friday night, look for both student-bodies to be out in full force supporting both. While the series seems to be of a great imbalance, the Jaguars will not be short of talent in a big game like this during the heart of the schedule.

SJA @ BMS - BMS leads the series 1-0
* Game two of a new Catholic series, which has yet to have a name or even a rivalry will bring the Thunder to Dixon Doll Stadium. With momentum carrying the Stags, it will be a Thunder defense that will need to keep the Stags offense in check. Can the Thunder do the impossible and defeat the Stags? It will take a maricle on the road.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Action - Reaction #3

Surprise? Elation? How so?

The answer is yes. The SM Northwest Cougars are 3-0, joining the Olathe North Eagles, and Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers early on for a three-way tie early on after three weeks of play. The Cougars offense is shining well under QB Ty Black, and will definitely be ready to have it out against the Lancers next week at SM North. This game for SM East will be a tough one as the Cougars are looking to end a big losing streak dating back to the 2009 season, at 12 games.

For your Lawrence Chesty Lions, this is perhaps one of the best turnarounds 6-4A schools from 1-8 to 3-0, at any given time from 2000 to 2019. Steve Rampy, has turned this program around, even with minimal rebuilding/retooling taking place, and changing the mindset of a team. While we all wish it to happen overnight, it was done in two summers.

A similar liking can be said for the Firebirds as well, who are off to a hot start under Kevin Stewart only three games in. Only time will tell, what type of play will take place in the weeks ahead, and how Free State and Lawrence will be looking to both be top 8 seeds in the 6A west.

It can't go without being said, the big strides have been made over the last two years at SM South, and Olathe East. Change, adaption has been tough, but all of these student-athletes have persevered extremely well knowing they have to fill a spot of a graduated teammate from a season ago. The Coaching staffs notices it and are able to see the benefits of their play early on.

On the EKL side, the Bishop Miege Stags, and ST Aquinas Saints are again running wild and strong at the top of the table.

Meanwhile and off the radar, the Blue Valley West Jaguars are a surprising 2-1 and near the top of the standings with some work to be done to further their goal of getting a top-8 seed in the 6A east.

BV North, Northwest and Southwest, will have their work cut out for them, and with hopes to improve in the weeks ahead.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-3

9/20 - 3

SMS @ LAN @ LAN - SMS leads the series 1-0
* Second time is a charm? Once again, the Lansing Lions will have their second of three straight meetings with new teams yet to be seen on prior schedules. This time around, the Lions will have a home field advantage and not be on the Raiders Football field. Time will tell if the young Lions 4-5, can come away with a big home win against an upstart 7-3 2018 Raiders. This can be a great game from the start from both teams as they meet in this young series. The Raiders, coming off a tough loss to the Vikings will be looking to rebound quickly.

SMW @ ONE @ ODAC - ONE leads the series 16-3
* 2019 will not be an easy task for the Vikings. Entering week three, succeeding on the field and breaking out in the win column is the goal. For the Eagles, there is nothing but a goal to continue to take the next step forward in the season. With dominant play in recent years, the Eagles will hope to return to a State Final which they have not accomplished since the 2009 season. A drought the Eagles have not seen since the mid-1990s. If you are wondering about those three wins, the 2005-2006 and 2012 seasons. Can the Vikings steal a win on the road at ODAC? With a win under their belts, the Vikings will be eager to pull off a big upset.

SMN @ LFS @ LFS - LFS leads the series 8-1
* Dominance. Once again, the Firebirds will look to continue that, while the Rampy Indians, are looking to knock off the Firebirds out to pasture. Zach Rampy's experience and the Indians will look to take advantage of the Dineen-less Firebirds. Time will tell after the whistle starts kickoff. There is a chance that a handful of plays could possibly make a big dent in the standings early on.

OEH @ OWO - OEH leads the series 1-0
* For the second time, the Hawks, and Owls will have the opportunity to meet. Time will only tell prior to the 2020 season and beyond how many years they will get to meet down the road. Experience will be a key for this intra-district matchup as the Hawks will look to maintain possession of the game ball throughout the game. For the Owls, it will take a young quarterback to lead the second year Owls in to the future. This will be a very good game for both teams.

OSF @ SNW @ SMN - OSF leads the series 13-10
* Close? Yes. Great series? Absolutely. As the Sunflower League has maxed out with 12 schools/teams, the two have only met five random times since 2010. The Falcons have dominated in those five games having finished 4-1 with a loss in overtime in 2018. Will the two meet again for 20 and 21? Who will know, but look for the Cougars to make some noise and turn some heads.

SME @ ONW - SME leads the series 8-2
* Ties that bind. Did you know that the Raven's footprints all belonged within the halls of SME before the hiring of Aaron Hafner? Both Dr. Todd Dain (Principal at SM South) and retired Chip Sherman have given the Raven's some solid ground but a lot to improve on each year. Coach Aaron Hafner, and his Raven's will have a tough job to get the inexperienced Varsity success against the Lancers. Those two Lancer win's belong to Todd Dain in 2007 and 2009. Can the Ravens come away with the win? or will SM East come out firing after a slow start?

LAW @ GET @ GET - GET leads the series 1-0
* Big. Bigger. Biggest. At one time the Trailblazers closed out the previous decade on the rise. With a powerful exit and increase in growth exiting the Frontier League, and joining the EKL, in turn accepting an invite to join the Sunflower League later in the decade the Trailblazers are no longer a team off the radar. Since 2010, they have remained on the radar, and powerful ever since. Despite a few down seasons, the Trailblazers will be meeting a young, and growing Chesty Lions team led by veteran Steve Rampy. This could be a great game, as the two schools who have been around for a very long time will meet for only the second time. Can the Chesty Lions tie the series? Their success can continue as the heart of the schedule begins to appear.

BVT @ BSW - BVT leads the series 9-0
* From the start, the Tigers and T-Wolves have been fortunate to grind out on the gridiron since 2010. As the decade closes out, the T-Wolves could possibly find kinks in the Tigers armor and steal a defeat which will bring great confidence to a good program. Alan Terrill's Tigers, will continue to improve from week to week as this could be a change of the guard in the middle section of the schedule begins to take shape.

PIT @ BVN - PIT leads the series 1-0
* For the second time ever, the Purple Dragons will meet the Mustangs on the road in Johnson County. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, who brought home a second place finish against the mighty Derby Panthers. Add those Purple Dragons to one of the three that the Mustangs had a rare and unusual 0-3 start in 2018. Andy Sims and his Mustangs have a great home field in which to take advantage of a talented Pittsburg program.

BNW @ STA - BNW leads the series 12-11
* Since 2010, the Saints are 5-2 vs. the Huskies. While the top number seems misleading, the Huskies have struggled to gain momentum against powers such as the Saints. Northwest will have to come out strong and disciplined under Clint Rider, entering his third year. One thing pushing the Saints, is a continued motivation for wanting perfection each week. It can be done with a close series like this in which the Saints are in the drivers seat.

BVW @ SJA - SJA leads the series 2-1
* The Thunder are no longer new to the EKL and have had success across the Fall, Winter, and Spring sports. Come Fall Football, the Thunder will want to continue to rebound from their 2-8 season of the year before. For the Jaguars, stealing a road win can be done, and add to the success of a young group of Jaguars fighting their way up the league standings.

BLB @ LVP - BLB leads the series 1-0
* So close, yet so far away: the Bobcats, and Pioneers, are meeting for the second time. This game will not be easy for the Sachen's Pioneers as they will go up against a strong Rod Stallbaumer Bobcats team. The Bobcats, similar to De Soto are not afraid to play against their fellow 4-5 or even 6A opponents who appear on their post-season schedule.

BMS @ MVJ - BMS leads the series 7-1
* Top Dogs: The Stags led by Jon Holmes have had no trouble defeating Mill Valley since their first meeting since they first met in 2006. Since the beginning of the decade, the Stags have held the top spot winning their last six over the Jaguars. Averaging only 16 points a game in their last three, and only a touchdown in 2018, the Jaguars have struggled against their counterparts on the other side of the sideline. Don't count out the Jaguars as Joel Applebee's team is one of the best prepared programs in Johnson County.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Action - Reaction #2

With the closing of week-2 in the 6-5-4A East brackets of the 2019 season, it is definitely a new light shed on the early outcomes of the season.

It goes without any saying early on to congratulate the SM West Vikings on ending their 20 game losing streak to the SM South Raiders with a 21-7 victory. Only SM North holds the current record at 25 games which stands as a District #512, and Sunflower record broken during the Ben Bartlett era.

The Vikings can rebound this season, and will continue to thrive for the same prepping for a week-3 matchup against a powerful Olathe North Eagles. This win for Tim Callaghan's Vikings, ties him with recently retired Chesty Lions Football Coach: Dirk Wedd.

In other workings around the Sunflower League, the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers are continuing to thrive under the direction of Ryan Cornelson and are 12-1 overall in his brief 13 total games also entering in to week-3. Stopping the Trailblazers offense will not be easy as we have taken note on last years run of gridiron success. With the Chesty Lions off to an early, and fast start, the Trailblazers will have their work cut out for them, after a fantastic showing on the road against the SM East Lancers, where the Chesty Lions, ended a six game losing streak to SM East.

Off the radar, the SM Northwest Cougars are quietly making their way up the table for a top-4 or 8 seed within the 6A east bracket. One thing to pay attention to will be their consistency as in 2018, they started out 1-3, and finished 3-1. The Cougars, led by Ty Black can be a force to be reckoned with if they can maintain their offensive dominance and maintain leads through the end of the regular season.

The middle to lower pack of the Sunflower League is up for grabs as the SM East Lancers, North Indians, Northwest Ravens and Olathe West Owls have fallen to 0-2, 0-2 overall.

Quietly the Olathe North Eagles are 3-0, while the local High School pressers have been quick to obtain Blue Valley North as a top four 6A team.

Meanwhile, the EKL is already on a fast pace of play.

First off, the Stags, Saints, and Thunder, all going 5-1 after the first two weeks. Their Points For, speak for themselves, as the BVSD stands at 3-7.

Congratulations to the NW Huskies, led by Clint Rider, who ended a 13 game losing streak, longest in team history.

As week-3 practice begins, the Thunder from the beginning will look to rebound from last year's 2-8 record, in hopes of having a strong showing against the surprise BV West Jaguars.

Have a great week of practice and stay healthy!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-2

9/13 - 2

LVP @ SNW @ SMS - SNW leads the series 27-6
* For the second time since 2018, the Pioneers and Cougars will meet in a non-conference set-up for an early week-2 match up. It will be unknown early on how the Pioneers will play under new leadership, but the Cougars will look to come out fast, and get on the scoreboard early. The Cougars will look to again maintain a fast start as they struggled down the stretch in 2018 finishing 1-4.

SMS @ SMW @ SMS - SMW leads the series 36-22-1
* For the 60th time, the Vikings and Raiders will meet on the gridiron. While the Vikings lead the series outright, this is a great intra-district match up. The 2017 Raiders ended an 18 game winning streak against the Vikings that had seen pure dominance led by the "W" on the historic yellow helmet. In 2018, the Raiders again came out strong, and in turn, have continued the Vikings 19 game losing streak prior to the 19 season. This is one game that the Vikings came come out quickly, should the Raiders struggle, this could be a big advantage for the Tim Callaghan Vikings.

ONE @ SMN @ SMN - ONE leads the series 22-2
* Did you know that the Indians recently defeated the Eagles? Well, it happened and happened recently. The 2016 Eagles lost in a stunning week-9 defeat to the Indians in the modern day playoff format. Prior to that game, the Eagles have won seven straight games since the 2006 seasons. It is no secret, the Eagles talent will be a tough stop for the Indians early on, but Zach Rampy will look to see his Indians succeed against the Olathe power.

While the match-up seems like an easy game, there is a lot of history between these two foes. This year, the Eagles are playing in their 100th season, while the Indians are in their 98th season of play. In earlier era's of play, the Olathe Eagles played the Shawnee-Mission Indians.

LFS @ OEH - OEH leads the series 11-10
* Rivalry? You can call it one, even if it is not an internal district game. While the first 21 meetings of the match were coached by Free State's Bob Lisher, the new man at the helm Kevin Stewart will now take charge of the Firebirds program. For the Hawks, it will be interesting to see what the Hawks offense can do with the Firebirds change in direction. Coach Jesse Owen will have some talented kids at his disposal, but will have to play strong from the start to stop a powerful Firebirds offense.

GET @ OWO - GET leads the series 1-0
* Upstart? Yes. Fast and furious? Yes. There is no secret that the Trailblazers and Owls both found a lot of success in 2018. The next question is, can the success carry in to 2019? This could be a very good game as the Owls will be looking to start a new QB and the Trailblazers will continue to be a well oiled machine of dominance coming off of a strong 2018 season. There will be future meetings to be played in addition to this one so it will be tough to see which program can pull away in the series.

ONW @ OSF - OSF leads the series 13-1
* Ravens or Falcons? Since the Raven's began Varsity play in 2004 the Falcons have been a dominant force in the series from the start. For ONW to have a success, it will require finding a way to succeed a new look from Andrew Hafner as he enters his second season. The 2015 Ravens are the only team to have knocked off the Falcons led previously by retired Chip Sherman. With one week of games under the Falcons belt, it will be great to see what Craig Lewis' offense will bring to the gridiron. In his two games against the Ravens since taking over in 2016, the Falcons have only given up two touchdowns.

LAW @ SME - LAW leads the series 42-15
* In what has been a great decade of Football by the Football Lancers, the series has taken a small turn the Lancers way since 2010. However, this 2019 season led by Steve Rampy in his second season, will look to turn around a 1-8 season and move back to the middle of the Sunflower pack. While it will not be easy, the Chesty Lions will have to continue to contend with a talented Lancers offense led by Justin Hoover, also in his second season with the Lancers.

BVT @ BVN - BVT leads the series 27-7
* For most of the last few years, the Tigers have been quite dominate against the Mustangs despite the Mustangs great success' over the last few years. Coming off a tough game against the Saints, continuing a current five game winning streak could be a struggle for the Tigers.

If you are wondering how or when those seven Mustang wins took place, here are the seasons: 1993-1996-1998-1999-2000-2001-2002 and 2015. Did you know that from 2003 to 2014 the Tigers won fifteen straight games combined within the Rampy and Driskell era's.

BNW @ Harrisonville - Harrisonville leads the series 1-0
* While this could be the second and final meeting of the Huskies and Wildcats, playing on the road will be tough for the Huskies that can lead to a win. This will not be an easy game, as the Wildcats have always been known to be a great home team.

STA @ BSW - STA leads the series 5-2
* The Saints and T-Wolves will be meeting for the eighth time. Although the T-Wolves have won two games against the Saints, the T-Wolves will have their work cut out for them. In the previous two games, the T-Wolves have given up 110 points which has been very taxing on the defense.

BMS @ BVW - BMS leads the series 12-9
* Since Jon Holmes took over the Stags in 2012, the Jaguars have struggled to a 2-7 record against the Stags. With both teams, who have had good summer play take place, a win for the Jaguars, although hard to get, could be a huge boost for the programs history.

LAN @ BLB - BLB leads the series 11-8
* Since the 2000 season, there has not been a better local rivalry with Leavenworth County. The Bobcats, led by Rod Stallbaumer who are most always off the radar, can come out swinging early. With a successful run in the last few years, the Lions will not have an easy game on the Basehor-Linwood field. This will take some work to steal a road win and have solid footing early on, and in the 5A east.

MVJ @ SJA - MVJ leades the series 7-1
* The Jaguars and Thunder will be meeting for the eighth time. The struggles of late, have led the Thunder trying to find a way to stop a very fast Jaguars offense. This will not be easy, as the Thunder are looking to start off on a good note early on.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Action - Reaction #1

As the first week of play has commenced here in Sunflower Country Football, a notable shift has taken place around the KC-metro.

The Missouri side two weeks in is already starting to form with the local Independent's and the Suburban League going at full strength. Kelly Donohoe's Blue Springs Wildcats defeated the Rockhurst Hawklets by one at home in one of best rivalry games within the Kansas City-metro.

For now, Sun Country is off to a fast start county wide.

With schools such as Gardner-Edgerton, Free State, SM Northwest, and SM South ran away with the scoreboard against SM East, SM North, Olathe West, and Olathe Northwest who struggled again in a second and final match up against the powerful Manhattan Indians.

While it is too early to tell after a week of play who will shine, and who will not on the gridiron, a few milestones took place:

* Bo Black's NW Cougars Football team, assisted in winning his 101st all-time game, coming off a 5-5 2018 season

* SM West has lost a record 20th straight Varsity game - week-10 of 2016 to week-9 of 2019
- SM North holds the current record at 25 straight games from 2011 week-9 to 2014 week-7

* Kevin Stewart of the Free State Firebirds gets first win over the Olathe West Owls

Meanwhile in a nearby neighborhood, the Bishop Miege Stags faced off again in week-1 with 6A East power the BV North Mustangs. This 2019 final was much closer than the 18 week-1 game previously at BVDAC. Stags QB Brisson Cobbins, will have his work cut out for him again in week-2 as he will face the BV West Jaguars who also won in week-1.

Of the nine EKL members, all of Bishop Miege, ST Aquinas, and SJ Academy have landed three of the top four spots, while the BVSD-5 finished 1-4 overall.

The Saints continued to roll under Randy Dreiling winning a 13th straight game entering the 2019 season. From the start, the Tigers struggled to stop an offensive threat of the Flexbone that makes it hard for any defense to decipher, and eliminate the yards against.

The Mill Valley Jaguars fell to the BV West Jaguars in Joel Appplebee's 100th game as Head Coach in which his Jaguars sport a 70-30 record from 2010 to present.

Friday, September 6, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-1


Manhattan @ ONW @ CBAC - Manhattan leads the series 1-0
* Aaron Hafner's first season as a Raven finished at 1-8, while the Manhattan Indians breezed through the Centennial League and had a successful playoff run going 10-2. This will not be easy for the Ravens who have struggled on defense for much of the last few seasons. With a single loss to trip them up to Junction City, the Indians mission is clear from the start.

This Raven's off-season will be a turning point to see if they can turn that 1-8 record in to a successful season. Stability on offense, and defense will be addressed early on in practice, and day to day improvement. There is no better test than a tough non-conference game to start out, but to come with a lot of motivation, and a chance to play strong from the start.

SMW @ SNW @ SMN - SMW leads the series 34-19
* While the Viking's own the series outright against the Cougars, this, as in every game for the Vikings could be a "must win." For the Vikings, ending a 19 game losing streak is the first task at hand for a proud historical program in the Sunflower League. Tim Callaghan's Vikings will not give in and hope to get on the scoreboard quickly, and regain a strong position within the SFL.

Bo Black's Cougars are looking to build on a small two-game winning streak and part of the Vikings current losing streak. The Cougars will look to be only the second team to have a streak of win's outside of Olathe North against the Vikings during this stretch of games.

SMN @ SMS @ SMS - SMS leads the series 26-25-1
* In a true "intra-district" rivalry, both the Indians, and Raiders will hope to get off on a fast start, and come away with a win. While a fast start could be great for both, this will be a marathon in the long run, as Zach Rampy will look to see his Indians move deeper in to the post-season.

On the other sideline, GKCFCA Award winner Brett Oberzan will look to carry his 7-3 Raiders to bigger and better accomplishments with the hopes of gaining a top #8 seed as the regular season progresses.

OEH @ ONE @ ODAC - ONE leads the series 18-9
* The Eagles under Chris McCartney are thriving after a strong 9-3 season, while the Hawks managed a 4-6 season and found themselves in week-10 of the state playoffs. Under the Hawks leadership of Jesse Owen, a huge playoff win against the perennial Blue Valley Tigers was a huge win in team history.

While the Eagles are the favorite, an upset at ODAC is rare, and always possible to happen. The Hawks have won in ODAC before and will again for many years to come.

OSF @ LAW @ LAW - OSF leads the series 17-16
* Since the beginning of the decade the Falcons and Chesty Lions have been going at it in heated battles including a playoff win back in 2011. With the Chesty Lions now in the crosshairs of a new season. Craig Lewis' Falcons and Steve Rampy's Lions will look to have a great game early on.

Last years 28-10 win showed significant improvement of Olathe South as they started 3-1 in their first four games. During the 2017 season, that was 1-3. Playing consistent and smart Football from the start is key for both programs.

SME @ GET @ GET - SME leads the series 4-1
* Justin Hoover's Lancers will meet in round two against Ryan Cornelson's new look Trailblazers under his leadership. Both finished with winning records in 2018 only to bow out before the State SemiFinals.

With both Coaches taking over programs last year, there is no shortage of experience by student-athletes on both sidelines, this can be a great game for both teams. While the season is young, look for this to be a very competitive from snap to snap. Both schools will maintain possession of the ball, and look for the score to possibly look similar to last years 28-23 Trailblazer win.

STA @ BVT - BVT leads the series 21-14
* Since the beginning of the decade, the Tigers have led the Saints with a 6-4 record in 10 games. In a result of the last four games, the Saints, led by Randy Dreiling, will bring his 5A Champions against a Tigers team that struggled throughout most of the 2018 season. The Tigers were a week-9 casualty against the Olathe East Hawks ending with 4-5 overall.

BVN @ BMS - BMS leads the series 15-13
* With a remarkable series so close as it looks, the Stags have won the last six games. which prior to 2009, the Mustangs led the series 13-9 during the Grunhard era. There is no doubt that this game will be a catalyst to the Saints and Blue Valley Tigers, who are looking to find their way to the top of the EKL standings. Jon Holmes, and Andy Sims are both master's at game-planning for a very close game. Matching up, this will come down to a final play to be made on a defensive stop, or perhaps a big turnover for the clock to run out.

SJA @ BNW - SJA leads the series 3-0
* Off and under the radar: the Thunder, and Huskies will look to rebound from losing 2018 seasons. The Thunder got off to a slow start, and with a seven game losing streak in hand, the Thunder were doomed with injuries, and struggles on the field to play catch up with the rest of the league. For the Huskies, having perhaps the roughest schedule in the EKL. It will not be easy for the Huskies to get a win, but game one can be a game changer for both programs.

BSW @ LAN - SWT leads the series 1-0
* With only one game played, the T-Wolves, and Lions will look to continue to build as they meet for the second time. Lansing has had a very successful decade of Football, and will be looking to continue to fair well in their stadium.

BVW @ MVJ - BV West leads the series 3-1
* Jags vs. Jags: Take your pick! With a series new to the EKL, the Jaguars of Mill Valley are providing quite a spark to the league. With two trips to the State Finals under their belt, there is a chance that Mill Valley could bring the series closer to 500. While the West Jaguars maintain the series lead, a struggling West Jaguars are looking to bounce out of the 3-6 mold and build a strong resume for future West Jaguars to succeed.

LV @ De Soto - De Soto leads the series 1-0
* In what can become a great series as this decade closes, the Pioneers under new leader Sean Sachen, and a very talented Wildcats Football team led by Brian King. Although these two schools are relatively close in geography, the two schools have not faced each other prior to 1980.

Best of luck to all Football teams starting their season!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

#100 Eagles

#100 Eagles

The 2019 Olathe North Eagles will play in their 100th season in this 19-20 school year representing the Olathe #233 and the Sunflower League

Little do most know, that the once centrally located Olathe Eagles were once a stop on the map for quite a few Teacher-Head Coaches early on in the schools history. Prior to it's growth and impact on the KC-metro, Olathe High School had to hold its own against the likes of the Wyandotte Bulldogs, the Shawnee-Mission (North) Indians, Rockhurst Hawklets, and William Christman Bears in their early days of play before the massive growth of Johnson County after World War II. 

The Olathe West Owls were born in 2017, and became a Varsity Football team officially for the 2018 season. 

In digging through the microfilm history of the Olathe Eagles, the notable Bud Wheeler who was the final brick laid of the old regime of the school districts athletics in the late 1970s was the cornerstone of todays Eagles as we know them to this day. Bud Wheeler had many stops prior to Olathe, in which he had stops at: Goodland Cowboys 1965-1968, Ottawa Cyclones 1969-1973 (5,) Olathe 

Around the Kansas City metro, and state of Kansas, only a handful of High Schools can stake a claim to historical gridiron history in the midwest. 

Led by Chris McCartney in his fifth season and carrying a record of 29-15, the goal remains the same. 

Return to glory.

For local Olathan's, the name Arland Bruce is a familial name representing the Eagles in two different era's of play. First and foremost the Gene Weir era, and lately by Coach McCartney. Arland Bruce IV will now lead this current Eagles generation back to the promised land of multiple playoff wins, and more importantly State Titles returning to the 6A-East trophy case in the heart of Olathe, KS. 

The 2009 Eagles led by alumni Pete Flood won the last title at 13-0. This 2019 season can be the year the Eagles carry their 9-3 record of 2018 back to the top of the mountain. Locally, Blue Valley North will have lost QB leader Graham Mertz, and successful back to back trips to the 6A State Final under Andy Sims. Can the Eagles and Mustangs make a deep run in to the playoffs? 

Many at this time to not see the Eagles making a late run, but it can be possible with consistent play. That is one benefactor the Eagles have been proud of for years since the 1990's.    

Those Eagles glory days started in the late 90's led by retired Head Coach Gene Wier 1981-2002, 2011-13. With State Titles in 96-97-98-00-01-02 under his watch, the red jersey was a force to be reckoned with each with each week. Names such as Jesse Owen (Olathe East HC), Arland Bruce III, Darren Sproles (KSU & NFL), Maurice Mack Jr., James Franklin, and more of a fantastic class of Running Backs and student-athletes won 6 of 7 State Titles taking on Wichita Northwest, Wichita West and Garden City to close out to 90s, while beginning the 2000's era knocking off the Manhattan Indians in 2000 and 2001, and the Derby Panthers in 2002 prior to the arrival of current incarnation and successful Head Coach Brandon Clark

Following Gene Weir's first retirement in the 2002 season as he left for the Richland Rebels TX, the Eagles won the 2003 State Title under John McCall, and again in 2009 under former Weir student-athelte Pete Flood. 

Historical Look Back: 1922-1980

Olathe Eagles Coaches

1920-1922 (3) - JD Edgar
1923-1926 (4) - Percy Parks (left for the Wyandotte Bulldogs)
1927-1935 (9) - AJ Hurt
1936-1940 (5)  - Howard Iba
1941-1945 (5) - Barney Hays
1946 (1) - Bill Pierce
1947-1953 - Jean Bennett
1954-1959 (6) - Bill Mace
1960-1962 (3) - Richard Martin
1963-1964 (2) - Ben Moor
1965-1966 (2) - Jim Smith
1967-1969 (3) - Harold Whitenack
1970-1972 (3) - Jim Hooten
1974-1980 (8) - Bud Wheeler - leave ONE to open OSF

Olathe North Eagles - 1981-2019

1981-2002 (22) - Gene Wier - 6A State Champions: 96-97-98-00-01-02
2003-2004 (2) - John McCall - 6A State Champions 03
2005 (1) - Dave Bassore
2006-2011 (5) - @ Pete Flood - 6A State Champions 09
2012-2014 (3) - Gene Wier - 25 yeas with ONE. Richland Rebels TX from 2003-2011 (9)
2014-2019 (5+) - Christ McCartney

Best of luck to the Eagles as they close out this decade of Eagles Football. That record from 2010 to 2018 currently stands at 67W-33L after 100 games, and 13W-8L in post-season play with 8+1 in 2019.