Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Retirement of SFL Coach Mark Littrell

Mark Littrell - Retirement

Congratulations to Mark Littrell, who recently announced his retirement from Coaching and Teaching from the Leavenworth School District. 

Prior to joining the Leavenworth Pioneers in 2013, Mark Littrell returned to the Kansas City area from being an Assistant Coach with Gene Weir of the Richland Rebels of Richland Hills, TX.  Coach Littrell was with the Rebels from 2008 to 2012 (5). 

During Mark Littrell's time with the Leavenworth Pioneers, they achieved a record of 16W-42L in 58 career games. In that time, the Pioneers closed out their time in the Sunflower League after 37 seasons, and recently began a new start in the United Kansas League while still maintaining their staple on the east side of the Football bracket. The Pioneer's most recent success landed them a 6-5 record in the 2014 season. 

That 2014 season sparked a playoff win against the Seaman Vikings in week-10. 

As the High School Football world makes it's cycles around the Kansas City area, Mark Littrell's coaching career began in the Olathe #233 with the Olathe South Falcons under Bud Wheeler, and Wayne McGinnis as an Assistant Coach. 

During Mark Littrell's tenure as Head Coach from 1998 to 2007. In that time, the Falcons finished with an impressive 71W-33L in 104 career games coached. The Falcons had a 10W-5L in 15 playoff games, with three second place finishes in the 6A State Finals. 

The Falcons lost to Garden City Buffaloes in 1999 with a slim 14-7 final score. Following Garden City, the Hutchinson SaltHawks under former Head Coach Randy Dreiling (ST Aquinas Saints) defeated the Falcons in 2004 (10-3), and 2007 (9-4). 

While coaching against his counterparts in the Olathe #233, Littrell's Falcons finished 6-6 in 12 games vs. the Olathe East Hawks, 4-7 in 11 games vs. the Olathe North Eagles, and 4-0 against the Olathe Northwest Ravens. 

Congratulations to Mark Littrell and his family on a great retirement! 

Year - School - Record/League

98 - OSF   7-2, 6-1
99 - OSF 10-2, 6-1 - 2nd 6A State loss to Garden City Buffaloes
00 - OSF   8-1, 6-1
01 - OSF   8-1, 6-1
02 - OSF   2-7, 2-5
03 - OSF   2-7, 2-5 
04 - OSF 10-3, 6-1 - 2nd 6A State loss to Hutchinson SaltHawks 
05 - OSF   9-2, 7-0 
06 - OSF   6-4, 4-3 
07 - OSF   9-4, 5-2 - 2nd 6A State loss to Hutchinson SaltHawks
13 - LVP   3-7, 3-5
14 - LVP   6-5, 1-4
15 - LVP   2-8, 0-5
16 - LVP   1-8, 1-5
17 - LVP   3-6, 2-4 - Last season in Sunflower League
+ 18 - LVP  1-8, 1-5 - United Kansas League

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

GKCFCA - Awards

Recently the GCKFCA (Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association) announced the recipients of the David Bassore Coaching Award.

That award for the 2018 season on the Kansas side featured is SM South Raiders Head Coach: Brett Oberzan. Olathe West Owls Assistant Coach Mike McLaughlin was selected as well for this award.

David Bassore, prior to his passing in a vehicle accident in 2006 previously was the Head Coach for the Olathe North Eagles for the 2005 season, and also KC-Center Yellowjackets.

Congratulations to both on your impact to the student-athletes in the Sunflower League!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Olathe North Eagles 2019 - 100

Olathe North Eagles - 2019

100 Years

The beginning of the 2019 season marks the 100th season of Football for the Olathe Eagles. 

For the Eagles, the flagship program within the #233, is the pinnacle of dynasty High School Football within the confines of northeast Kansas and the 6A East brackets (old playoff format) and current. 

Led by Chris McCartney in his 5th season, he will take his 9W-3L season to new heights in the year ahead. With great leadership by a name everyone in Olathe knows of, is young Arland Bruce IV who will carry a majority load of responsibility on the field and off. 

This 100th season will also mark the 10th Anniversary of the last State Championship brought home by the Eagles in 2009. That Eagles team led by alumni-HC Pete Flood, breezed through the Sunflower League winning it outright and a three game district-sweep consisting of Blue Valley, BV West, and Olathe South in week-9. 

Following week-9 play against the Falcons, SM East, Free State, and again the Blue Valley Tigers became scoreboard victims of some well fought battles.  

2019 - Chris McCartney at 29W-15L-44 GP
Columbine CO

Friday, April 19, 2019

Olathe East Hawks 2019

Olathe East Hawks - 19

As the decade closes out, the Olathe East Hawks will have a great opportunity to build on their 2018 4-6 record. 

Head Coach Jesse Owen, entering his fifth season, and the Hawks 28th overall will lead the charge. 

It will not be easy, with a face off against the 9-3 Eagles from a year ago, and a new battle taking on the Free State Firebirds under new leadership of Kevin Stewart. 

The first four games alone will not be easy, as they finished 1-4 to start last season, and finished strong with a 2-2 record before the 6A east playoffs. This season can be a big for the Hawks if they can steal a win from two strong teams in the Owls and Trailblazers. 

It is unclear at this time, 12 games in, can the Hawks take on a very young, but experienced Owls fifteen games in to their young tenure as a program. Looking ahead, the Hawks could possibly go 2-1 against their #233 opponents, and find additional success against SM North, SM West, and Pittsburg which will be a tough road game. 

2019 - Owen @ 15W-23L, 38 GC - Hawks All-Time at 177W-98L-275 GC

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Free State Firebirds 2019

Firebirds Football - 19

As the 18-19 school year winds down, the Football Coaches across the state of Kansas, and the country will be preparing for 7v7 Summer Camps, and Team camps to prepare for the season ahead. 

For the Free State Firebirds of Lawrence, a new chapter begins with the hiring of Kevin Stewart of the Blue Valley North Mustangs. 

With 22 seasons in the books led by Bob Lisher, the Stewart chapter will be a change of EKL to SFL, which will take a little adaption too, in addition to taking what he has learned from Andy Sims of BV North, and incorporating a new "game plan" moving forward. Bob Lisher's numbers also include a 20-18 playoff record since the school's inception during the 1997 Fall season. 

Entering the 2019 season, the Firebirds are 148W-85L in 233 games played. In competitions vs. the 2019 opponents, are 64-48 in 112 all-time games. 

2019 - Stewart (1 - 0-0, 0-0)
@ Olathe West
@ Olathe East
SM North
@ SM West
@ Smith-Cotton MO
@ Olathe South
SM East
@ Lawrence

Monday, January 14, 2019

Free State Hires BVN Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart to lead the Firebirds

The Free State Firebirds of the Sunflower League have hired Kevin Stewart as their next Head Coach following the retirement of Bob Lisher.

Bob Lisher opened the program in the Fall of 1997 leading the Firebirds through the 2018-19 school year with a 22 year tenure and a 148W-85L-222GC record.

Coming from Blue Valley North, the Firebirds new Gridiron leader has big shoes to fill of Bob Lisher.

Kevin Stewart has been part of the Blue Valley North Mustangs Football staff led by State Championship Football program for the last three seasons 2016 to 2018. During Coach Stewart's time on Andy Sims staff, he was part of the State Championship 9-4 season defeating the Derby Panthers in 2017, and their 2018 second place finish, also against Derby.

For many Lawrence residents' come game time next Fall, this will be the first time in years, that both Bob Lisher, and Dirk Wedd will not be patrolling the sidelines during rivalry week-8. Tradition will carry on strong with the leadership of Steve Rampy and his Chesty Lions and Kevin Stewart.

With this hire, it creates a third scenario in which a hire has taken place from a school's loss of a Head Coaching position from the same school.

That being said, and explained better, former Olathe East Hawks Head Coach Jeff Meyers, and Jesse Owen are both Olathe-North Eagles alumni who both opened the program and are currently leading the team in to the 2019 season.

At Olathe Northwest, former SM East Head Coaches Todd Dain (Principal at SM South Raiders), and Chip Sherman 2004 to 2017 (14 seasons) led the Raven's prior to the first appointment of Aaron Hafner without ties to SMSD-East.

Prior to Bob Lisher opening the Firebirds Football program in the Fall of the 1997-1998 school year, he led the Blue Valley North Mustangs from 1994 to 1996 with a record of 17W-11L.

Congrats to Kevin Stewart and his family and welcome to the Sunflower League #SFL19

Friday, January 11, 2019

Breaking News: Jaguars to Join SFL

Jaguars to Sunflower

The Mill Valley Jaguars of the Eastern Kansas League (EKL) have agreed in principal to join the Sunflower League for the 2020-2021 school year. 

This is effective immediately following all Varsity, and sub-Varsity sports programs. 

For the Jaguars to enter the Sunflower League, they will be taking with them two State Football Titles in 2015 (12-1), and 2016 (9-4) led by Joel Applebee, and an Athletic Department led by Jerald Van Rheen.

In 2016, the Jaguars entered the EKL after a successful beginning in the Kaw Valley League where they began as a program from 2000 to 2014. That program was led by George Radell from 2000 to 2009 with an overall record of 57-37. 

Head Coach Joel Applebee took the reigns for the 2010 season and beyond leading, and exceeding all expectations under his leadership. Carrying a record of 63W-25L in 88 games coached. 

The Joel Applebee "coaching tree" has led to the hiring of Olathe West' own TJ O'Neill who previously assisted Joel Applebee in the two State Titles won this decade on the gridiron. This past year, the Piper Pirates hired away another Assistant Coach Rick Pollard, who also led the Leavenworth Pioneers during the 2006 Sunflower League season.  

Congratulations to the Jaguars as they will begin a new path after the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year.