Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Eagle has landed in 2019

Thomas A. Simone Award

Congratulations goes out to the 2019 Simone Award Winner for the best Football player in the Kansas City area. 

That, you may be wanting to know is Arland Bruce IV of the Olathe North Eagles

This season, Arland Bruce IV and his Olathe North Eagles finished 10-3 with a runner-up finish in the 6A Title game to the Derby Panthers. 

During Arland Bruce IV's 2019 run to the Simone, his work on the field allowed him to total 43 Touchdowns, and 2,487 yards in those 13 games played. Mr. Bruce is following in his fathers footsteps as an Eagles student-athlete having previously won the award in 1995. 

This morning at Olathe North High School, the Eagles and the rest of Kansas City High School Football 

Past Eagles who won the Simone Award:

2009 - James Franklin
2002 - Jim Bouknight
2001 - Maurice Mack
2000 - Darren Sproles 
1997 - Josh Brewer
1995 - Arland Bruce III

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

COY - A Chesty Lion, with a hint of Tiger

Steve Rampy - Sunflower Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Steve Rampy of the Chesty Lions who was named the #SFL COY. 

If the name has a familiar ring to it, you should know it quite well for those residents of Stilwell, KS and southern Johnson County. For those maybe not new to the game of High School Football, or that of Douglass County, the name Steve Rampy is synonymous with the game of High School Football. 

Steve Rampy's Chesty Lions have had a similar turnaround under his leadership that the 2018 Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers had under Ryan Cornelson in his first season as well taking his student-athletes from a 0-9 season to 10-1. This seasons Chesty Lions went from 1-8 to 8-2 in 24 months. 

Prior to joining the Chesty Lions and his first official year in the Sunflower League, Coach Steve Rampy was a long time member of the Pittsburg Gorillas Football Staff as an Assistant Coach from 2010 to 2017.  

For those of us who follow the Sunflower, and EKL around the State, and at a local level in Johnson County, the Steve Rampy Football lore begins with the Blue Valley Tigers. 

The Blue Valley Tigers Football program began in 1970. Prior to that the High School was named the Stanley Marooners (current Blue Valley District Office #223) in the original High School building. For the first 15 years of Tigers Football, Coaching turnover, sub par results totaled out to five Head Coaches in those 15 years. In that time, the Tigers left the Jayhawk Conference to join the EKL in the fall of 1979-80 school year. 

While the Tigers struggled in their early years, those 15 seasons brought the team to 70-66-1 with those five Coaching changes. During the Steve Rampy first 15 years of his own 25 year tenure, the Tigers were 104-48 with State Titles in 1991 and 1998. A difference in 34W (-18L) 

After one season as an Assistant Coach for the Tigers during the 1984 season, Steve Rampy was given the keys to the ship to lead the Tigers. At the time, there was only one Blue Valley High School, two Olathe's, and five SMSD's to go around with a young and fledgeling EKL consisting of the Bishop Miege Stags, ST Aquinas Saints, and Olathe North and South. Both Olathe's left for the Sunflower League during the 89-90 school year. 

Once the position was filled by Steve Rampy, the next 25 Tigers Football seasons were all part of history. In those 25 years, the Tiger won State Titles in 1991 (12-0) 1998 (12-0) 2003 (12-1) and 2006 (12-0). The Tigers finished second in 1992-1997 and 2005. 

Notable names that played for Steve Rampy are known around the Teaching and Coaching circles to this day. Brian Schottenheimer (son of Marty) formerly the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs was the Quarterback for the 1991 State Championship team. Tigers Athletic Director Matt Ortman, and also former classmate RIP (Eric Driskell) also played for Steve Rampy before entering the education field after graduating from the Blue Valley School District. 

Former Tigers-alumni Eric Driskell, went on to follow in Steve Rampy's footsteps for seven season with a record of 70-17 in 87 games played and won State Titles in 2010 and 2013. 

Currently, the Rampy name carries on in son Zach Rampy, who recently has completed his second season with the SM North Indians Football program. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

2019 Champions - Thank you for a great day!

Congratulations to all of our Kansas Class Football Champions for the 2019 season:

6A - Derby Panthers
5A - Mill Valley Jaguars
4A - Bishop Miege Stags

It is no secret, at least state wide, that these three Football Champions have earned their State Titles proud. I had the opportunity to sneak away from a usually known day of work, to see the Derby Panthers for the second time in my post-season coverage of the 6A State Title game. Having witnessed them in awe the first time back in 2013 against my old SM East Lancers, it was a great game, and one I will never forget.

Saturday, I quietly made my way around Emporia as a fan of the game, and taking a lot of mental notes of how joyous this occasion can be.

A few years back, it was an honor to be in the presence of the 6A State Football Lancers win their first ever title in their Football history, and with a bunch of alumni, and friends dating back to elementary school, and the current Lancers in the stands cheering on their classmates!

With this decade of High School Football on its way of closing out, I knew back in July, or August, I would be following the Olathe North Eagles as they played in their 100th Varsity season. Although I did not attend Olathe North, it has always had a fascinating Football history from my Freshman year of High School in 1996-1997 with the young Arland Bruce III leading the way, and later towards the most known of the Running Backs Darren Sproles, who ran all over the Sunflower League defenses that came his way from 1999 to 2001. Maurice Mack, James Franklin, and now a young Arland Bruce IV carrying on honorably in the family tradition of Eagles Football lore.

It was an honor to be out there as a fan, ditching the computer for the car, and going in proud to see to fantastically coached Football programs, and even further, great student-athletes representing the State at the 6A level.

The Olathe North Eagles Football tradition is strong, and has been pounding the gridiron hard for 100 years. For the Eagles, the tradition will not stop, and continue strong as we head in to the next decade of play for 2020 to 2029. Schools will come and go, and legacies will live on in stories to tell for years to come, and long after the student-athletes playing days are complete. You are the flagship program of Olathe #233.

Although the final whistle blew at the end of the game, and the City of Derby, KS once again held up the 6A State Trophy in which they deserved, it is a blast to see the smiles on the faces of the students, student-athletes, staff, and parents who are cheering their city on. The City of Olathe, KS will once again be preparing for the 2020 season ahead, as the 6A West won 6 of the 10 6A Trophies this past decade.

A quick run down:

2010 - Wichita-Heights defeats Olathe North 48-14
2011 - Olathe South defeats Wichita Heights 41-37
2012 - SM West defeats Hutchinson 19-14
2013 - Derby defeats SM East 28-21
2014 - SM East defeats Hutchinson 33-14
2015 - Derby defeats Blue Valley 27-14
2016 - Derby defeats Blue Valley 17-14
2017 - Blue Valley North defeats Derby 49-42
2018 - Derby defeats Blue Valley North 24-16
2019 - Derby defeats Olathe North 63-26

West 6-4, East 4-6

It is no secret, this blog represents the Sunflower League and a touch more in representing the East bracket. Ill forever be indebted to our Athletic Directors, Coaches, and Coaching staffs when I reach out for a bit of information, or in turn, they reach out to me in wanting to know a little more of a back story for a match up, and perhaps a local school newspaper who always comes to find me a few times throughout the year wanting to learn more about their school and their gridiron Football traditions.

Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Simone Award Nominees - 2019

Representing many of our best Football student-athletes over the Kansas and Missouri State lines of play.

Nominees representing the SFL-EKL:

Simone Award 

Ty Black Jr. - SM Northwest Cougars
Arland Bruce IV - Olathe North Eagles
Tyler Bowden - Free State Firebirds
Devin Neal - Lawrence Chesty Lions
Tyron "Tank" Young - ST Aquinas Saints

Fontana Award

Brison Cobbins - Bishop Miege Stags

Buchanan Award

Tuner Corcoran - Free State Firebirds
Ethan Kremer - Mill Valley Jaguars
Cade Lautt - SJ Academy Thunder
Christian Mozingo - ST Aquinas Saints
Taylor Warner - Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers

Bell Award

Brian Burns - Bishop Miege Stags
Max Van Meter - Bishop Miege Stags

Taylor Award

David Brown - Blue Valley West Jaguars
Shawn Hendershot - Blue Valley North Mustangs
Daniel Jackson - Bishop Miege
Ty Lindeman - SM Northwest Cougars
Chris McGee - Lawrence Chesty Lions

Congrats to all of these young men representing their High Schools this year.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Kansas Football State Finals - 2019

To close out this decade in style:


1 - DER (12-0) - 2- ONE (10-2) @ Emporia State-Welch Stadium - ONE leads the series 1-0
* This is not the first time these two have met. "Back in my day..." scenario dates back to the completion of the 2002 State Title game, and Gene Weir's first retirement from Olathe #233. This years Eagles continue to build on one of their finest seasons should they be able to knock off the mighty Derby Panthers, whose legacy is already cemented by the leadership of Brandon Clark and his dynasty led Panthers.

At the end of the 2002 season, the final score was 41-12 over the Tom Young (Retired) 11-2 Panthers.

For the Eagles, this will be their first trip back to the 6A Title game since the 2010. During the 2009 season in which they defeated the Wichita-Heights Falcons under Eagles alumni Head Coach Pete Flood with a 13-0 record. The 2010 season also saw a return to the 6A Final, in which the Eagles fell to the same Heights Falcons and a win for the western side of the bracket.

Although the consecutive three-peats did not occur after Gene Weir retired in the 2010 to 2019 decade of play, the Eagles have reeled off an 18-8 post-season record entering week-13 against the Brandon Clark Panthers.

This years Olathe North Eagles are playing in their 100th Varsity season.

State Titles
Derby Panthers (4) 1994-2015-2016-2018
Olathe North Eagles (8)
Gene Weir (6) 1996-1997-1998-2000-2001-2002
John McCall (1) 2003
@ Pete Flood (1) 2009


1 - WNW (12-0) - 4 - MVJ (9-3) @ Pittsburg State-Carnie Stadium - First meeting, 0-0
* There is always a first, and last for everything in the world. In this match up, the Grizzlies will take on the Jaguars for the first time in both schools history. For those who are not aware, Mill Valley opened in the Fall of the 2000-2001 school year in the De Soto School District #232.

Both Football programs are no strangers to success. In 2018, the Grizzlies fell to the eventual State Champion ST Aquinas Saints of the EKL in a tough fought battle. For the Jaguars, success came to them in back-to-back 5A Titles in 2015 and 16, over Bishop Carroll, and Goddard-2OT in two very intense games. Joel Applebee of the Jaguars, is in his 10th season, in which his kids have achieved a record of 5-7 vs. the Saints, and 4-7 vs. Randy Dreiling which is the best opposing record of any EKL coaching staff vs. the Saints since the 2014 season.

Following the completion of this game, and the 19-20 school year, the Jaguars will be entering the Sunflower League returning the league to 14 teams.

State Titles
Mill Valley (2) 2015-2016


4 - BMS (10-2) - 2 - ADC (11-1) @ Hummer Sports Complex-Topeka - BMS leads series 1-0
* Sound familier? For those recent alumni this decade, these two have previously met.

That meeting came during the 2015 State Title game, and the second of five Titles in a row. The Panthers, are led by first year Head Coach Derrick Tuttle, who is only the second Head Coach in the Panthers history. Coach Tuttle's predecessor Tom Audley had his teams close a few times, losing the Stags in 2015 the Panthers finished 10-3.

State Titles:
Andover Central
Bishop Miege (9) 
Len Mohlman - 1972-1975-1977
Tim Grunhard - 2009
@ Jon Holmes - 2014-2015-2016-2017-2018

@ = Alumni

Congratulations to everyone playing in their respective State Finals!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Week-12-State Semi-Finals


5 - BVT (8-3) vs 2 - ONE (9-2) - ONE leads the series 10-5
* While these two hail locally from Stilwell, and Olathe, both have seen each other often since 2000 to 2019. Of the 15 times they have met, most of their games have come after weeks-8 and 9 respectively. The Tigers will have a tough task to take on and stop Arland Bruce IV with is dominance this year from game to game played. Should the Tigers win this will be their first trip back to the 6A State Title game since the 2016 season under RIP Eric Driskell. For the Eagles, their last trip dates back to the 2009

1 - DER (11-0) vs 3 - TOP (10-1) - DER leads the series 2-0
* Prior to the 2015 season, these two schools had never met. Now for the third time in as many seasons, the Trojans will have an opportunity to knock off the heavily favored Panthers of Derby. While the Panthers have won the previous two games agains the Trojans, this could be a game that goes down to the final possession of play. Who will win? This should be a fantastic game to see.

4 - MVJ (8-3) vs 2 - STA (10-0) - STA leads the series 9-4
* These two EKL foes are no strangers to great battles on the gridiron. While the Saints do lead the series, the Joel Applebee led Jaguars have been a thorn in the side of the Saints Football program since the beginning of this decade. Randy Dreiiling's Saints have lost a handful of big games to the Jaguars late in post-season play in his tenure. This game will be great to watch on the field of play as the Saints will host the Jaguars for the third time in post-season play.

1 - WNW (11-0) vs 3 - MZE (10-1) - WNW leads the series 4-3
* In seven prior meetings, the Grizzlies and Eagles will have the opportunity to meet again. Both Gary Guzman's and Steve Martin's post-season tenure will tell a lot about how this game will be played. Both Coaches have very good talent along their respective offensive, and defensive starters. For the Grizzlies, their defense has been one of the best all season long in the 6A west. This game too, will come down to the final stretches unless one can pull away. The Eagles have a to face some adversity from the start to get on the board quick, and to keep the ball away from the Grizzlies offense which has averaged 52 ppg.

4 - BMS (9-2) vs. 2 - PAO (11-0) - BMS leads the series 2-0
* Who has the upper hand? Roeland Park or the City of Paola? While this will be their third meeting all-time, the Panthers have previously met Tim Grunhard (2009), and Jon Holmes (2015) one time. In those two previous meetings, both led to a Stags Football Title, then a few more were added soon after. Can the Panthers upset the Stags? As this decade of play is down to its final couple of weeks, the Panthers and Stags have both had incredible records to be proud of. For the Stags, this will require some hard work on the road to make things happen on the scoreboard.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Week-11-State Quarter-Finals aka Sectional


8 - BVN (5-5) vs 5 - BVT (7-3) @ BVT - BVT leads the series 28-7
* Rematch W#2: DYK that this is only not the only time these two have met twice in one season? Fortunately those are recent times as it has taken place in 2016 and 2017. Even though the Mustangs have had an impressive, and dominating run this decade with a State Title over the Derby Panthers, the Tigers are 9-1 since the 2012 season.

2 - ONE (8-2) vs 6 - BVW (7-3) @ ODAC - ONE leads the series 4-0
* The last time these two met was in 2017 in week-10. In all four meetings, the Jaguars have been competitive despite the turnover of Head Coaches that the Eagles have brought against them.  Can the Jaguars stop the Eagles? It will be hard to stop Arland Bruce IV but it will take a lot of work to accomplish.  This will not be an easy game, but high scoring it can.


1 - DER (10-0) vs 4 - MAN (9-1) @ DER - DER leads the series 5-0
* Having met in five previous meetings, the Panthers and Indians are quite the match up when they cross paths. These five meetings have all taken place in the post-season weeks 9 to 12 throughout this last decade of play. Can Joe Schartz' Indians make  an upset happen?! For now, it is too early to tell, but underestimating the Indians could be what ultimately ends a possible Panthers dynasty?

7 - JCB (8-2) vs 3 - TOP (9-1) @ TOP - JCB leads the series 28-10
* Outright. For the first time ever, the Trojans will have to meet the Blue jays in post-season history. Coach Walt Alexander of Topeka, knows that this will not be easy. To get in to the 6A Final Four, he will have to overcome a powerful Junction City offensive unit. For many seasons now, Randall Zimmerman has ran the table at Junction City and conquering everything in their Centennial path. The Blue jays unlike the Trojans are no stranger to post-season success. In Zimmerman's 25 years with the Blue jays they are 10-11 in post-season play with a State Title in 2008.


1 - DES (10-0) vs 4 - MVJ (7-3) @ DES - MVJ leads the series 4-0
* 15 years or the Battle of the #232: This 2019 season to close out the decade seems like it all started out of the blue in 2010. As the decade began and the Jaguars ushered in a new Head Coach of Joel Applebee, and the De Soto Wildcats were going through many ups and downs in their program times were about to change. In 20 seasons of Football, the Jaguars made leaps and jumps from their start in the Kaw Valley League, Independent (somewhat) and in to the EKL, while the De Soto Wildcats, quietly went about their business improving each and every year under Brian King. While the Jags have two 5A State Titles under their belt in 15 and 16, the Wildcats have the opportunity to snatch the dream away and continue to rise up on the east playoff bracket.

2 - STA (9-0) vs BSW (3-7) @ STA - STA leads the series 6-2
* Undefeated. Yes. The 2019 regular season the Saints continue to defeat one after another on the opposing sideline. Since 2010, the T-Wolves are 2-6 in all all-time meetings. The T-Wolves Anthony Orrick is 1-4. Although this will not be an easy game, the Saints under Randy Dreiling have lost to the T-Wolves once in his tenure as Saints Head Coach back in 2016. This will not be easy for the T-Wolves playing on the road, but an upset is always just around the corner in a playoff race.


1 - TON (10-0) vs 4 - BMS (8-2) @ TON - First meeting, series tied 0-0
* Entering Friday's game, this will be the first ever meeting of the Chieftains and Stags. This game will not be easy for the Stags as the Chieftains have played very well at home all season. That said, Bishop Miege has had their fair share of success on the road as well. This years season of play by Al Troyer's Chieftains has been the best in his eight year tenure.

Best of luck to all of the teams in tonights games!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019



1 - GET (8-1) vs 8 - BVN (5-4) - BVN leads the series 5-4 @ GET
* A familier match up of the minds. The Trailblazers entered the EKL (now Sunflower) during the 2010 season. From 2010 to 2013, the Trailblazers dominated the gridiron with former QB Bubba Starling. Following his graduation, the Mustangs ran off five straight wins from 2014 to 2018 with a reversal of fortune boasting the former QB leadership of Graham Mertz. This will be a very exiting game to see, and can the Mustangs stop the Trailblazers in their tracks? TBD as these two will play in a great environment at the Trailblazers home field.

4 - OEH (7-2) vs 5 - BVT (6-3) - OEH leads the series 1-0 @ CBAC
* As close as Hawks, and Tigers are geographically in the burbs of Johnson County, these two strong teams will be meeting for only the second time in their brief history. Although CBAC has not hosted a great number of post-season Football games since its inception in 2003/04, this will be a very good game. Look for the Hawks to continue to bring a fast defense, and the Tigers, historically, bringing a fantastic defensive game to play. Whoever finishes on top in this game will take on the winner of the Trailblazers/Mustangs winner of which will be a familiar foe.

2 - ONE (7-2) vs 7 - WYN (4-4) - WYN leads the series 9-5-2 @ ODAC
* Two of the originals. These two have a story that dates back to the 1922. To this day, that still matters as these two will meet for the first time since the 1938 season. Although they did not meet in the Fall of 1939, it would be 80 years until their next game entering this 2019 post-season.

DYK? At one time, the Wyandotte Bulldogs were led by former Eagles Head Coach Percy Parks, who led the Bulldogs from 1927 to 1938. His record against Olathe was 9-3 in those 12 consecutive years of coaching. Percy Parks succeeded AJ Hurt at Olathe prior to leaving for the Wyandotte Football position.

3 - SNW (7-2) vs 6 - BVW (6-3) - First meeting, series tied 0-0 @ SMN
* In another great match up to round out the 6A-East, the Cougars and Jaguars have found a fountain of revival within their Football programs. In previous seasons, both have struggled on all sides of the ball, and quietly climbing their way back up the standings in their respective leagues. Both teams student-athletes bring a great work ethic to the field, as you will see how evident their passion is for each and every play called. Down the road, these two could meet many times over in post-seasons to come.


4 - MAN (8-1) vs 5 - LFS (8-1) - LFS leads the series 2-1 @ MAN
* Four. With two great programs meeting for the third time, these two met last year in week-11 for the chance to play in the Final four in the 6A State. The Indians won convincingly 41-19 to end Bob Lisher's career with the Firebirds. For Coach Kevin Stewart, this will not be an easy game, but this is an opportunity to redeem themselves on the gridiron.

3 - TOP (8-1) vs 6 - LAW (8-1) - LAW leads the series 60-22-6 @ TOP
* Two of the states finest High Schools at the large class level will meet for the 94th all-time meeting. While one is the located at the State Capitol, the other is home of the Jayhawks. Both schools met for the first time in the Fall of the 1910-1911 school year, which was the established known start of the Trojans Football team. Historically, and for many years, the Dynasty of large class Football, started and ended with the Chesty Lions. Many of those teams met on a daily basis with the Trojans even was the Chesty Lions joined the Sunflower League in 1954, both continued as non-con games. For those who are curious, the Chesty Lions, they are 8-2 in their last 10 games overall vs: Frank Wilson (1995-1999), Jim Collins (2000-2002), Keith Bell (2006-2007), Shane Burns (2008) and Walt Alexander (2007-Present).


4 - MVJ (6-3) vs 5 - OWO (6-3) - First meeting, series tied 0-0 @ MVJ
* While this will be a first, it will certainly not be a last. Both teams have had exceptional seasons, and the Jaguars, of late are 15-7 in post-season play under Joel Applebee. The young Olathe West Owls, are doing something big of their own representing the #233 with an already stellar post-season work of their own. For the Owls, they will continue to be out to prove their success is far from any fluke by any means. Since 2010, and two more High Schools added within the Johnson County lines, only the Owls have reeled off more post-season success than the other two in less than 24 total calendar months of being open or as a Varsity Football program.

2 - STA (8-0) vs 7 - SJA (5-4) - STA leads the series 5-0 @ STA
* In a big Holy War Showdown of a similar type, the Thunder will be taking on a powerful Saints Football program. For the week ahead, the hallways of both schools will be buzzing, and competition in the air for bragging rights to close out the season. Will the Saints continue their roll deep in to the playoffs? Can the Thunder play spoiler for a second time in one season?! With a five game winning streak dating back to the 2015 post-season, the Saints would like to calm the Thunder on the home gridiron.

14 - BSW (2-7) vs 7 - FLS (5-3) - First meeting, series tied 0-0 @ FLS
* For the T-Wolves, this is their first playoff win since the 2016 season, and second for Anthony Orrick as the T-Wolves take on a challenge of a team in the FL Schlagle Stallions. This decade of Football in KCK #500 has been one of the Stallions to own. Although they did not win the KCAL title, losing to the Washington Wildcats (who lost to the T-Wolves) have had a successful and dominant decade. This will be a test for both, as SW is the lowest seed in the history of the new playoff format to reach the Quarterfinal round in either 6 or 5A classes. That being said, do not underestimate a fast, and thriving group of talented student-athletes on the FL Schlagle gridiron.


4 - BMS (7-2) vs 5 - BSB (7-2) - BMS leads the series 23-12-1 @ BMS
* DYK?! At one time these two were together in the same league (original EKL). DYK a former Bishop Miege Football State Championship Head Coach Len Mohlman left Roeland Park, KS to become an Administrator and Athletic Director for the Braves prior to his retirement after decades of commitment to education? For the first time in year (1993 to be exact, 44-14 win) led by Paul Brown these two will meet again.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Action - Reaction #9

Week #9 has provided us some in's and out's for who the next schools to be crowned 6-5-4A State Champions could be.

On the big stage, the Olathe North Eagles won their 50th playoff game since entering the Sunflower League in the Fall of 1989 (50-14) in all games.

Other news and notes are the moving on of the SM Northwest Cougars, and Olathe East Hawks, both dominating their portion of the bracket with ease. This is great to see as another first timer in Blue Valley West has also risen in the EKL standings and in this fourth year of the new playoff bracket, is now a top 8 see when they were previously 9 to 16 from 2016 to 2018.

Although the SM East Lancers season ending on a down note at 2-7, overall this has been the most successful decade of Lancer Football in their 62 years of history on the gridiron. The big school in small Prairie Village, KS boasted a 84-27 in 111 games played and a 16-9 post-season record of which had never been considered. At the conclusion of the 2000 to 2009 era, the Lancers were a mere 3-10 in all post-season playoff games from 1985 to 2009, and -57 games under .500 of their overall record. Thank you again to the SM East Lancers for a great decade of Lancer Football. In the season

In the EKL, there is a large contingent of schools moving in to week-10 play. The biggest is the SW T-Wolves as they defeated a strong 6-2 Washington Wildcats who dominated the KCAL for the season. This 2-7 T-Wolves will be moving on in surprising fashion. Can they keep up the momentum of play? TBD.

The Blue Valley Tigers, BV North Mustangs, Bishop Miege Stags, and ST Aquinas Saints, will continue to build on their playoff resume's as well. Notably on the 5A side, shout Aquinas return to the 5A final, a possible rematch could be waiting with the very fast Wichita Northwest Grizzlies of the City League in Wichita.

The Blue Valley Tigers will face former EKL foe in the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers, while BV North will face the Olathe East Hawks in a great battle.

Congrats and thank you again to all of the Senior's and Teams who have played in week-9! Thank you for representing your High School, District, and the east side of the bracket this 2019 season.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Week-9-Playoff "Play In"

Brackets are listed at @KSHSAA


1 - GET (7-1) vs 16 - SMN (0-8) - GET leads the series 2-0
* In only two meetings Gardner leads the series and will meet up with the SM North Indians. While finishing the season 0-8, this was not what the Indians had in store after coming off a 4-5 year in 2018. Look for a good fight against the Trailblazers as the Indians will hope to get points on the board against a very good defense.

8 - BVN (3-5) vs 9 - SMS (2-6) - BVN leads the series 9-7
* Neighbors. These two teams are separated by a couple streets and 435. Of the 16 all-time meetings dating back to 1990 in week-10 (first meeting) the Mustangs have dominated in the series. If you are wondering how they met this often? Due to the old District playoff system, the Mustangs and Raiders typically met in a District Region before taking the top team, and later the top two moving on in the old playoff system. Since 2011, the Mustangs are 4-2 agains the Raiders.

4 - OEH (6-2) vs 13 - OSF (2-6) - OEH leads the series 17-15
* Not a stranger at all. DYK? The last time these two met twice was in the 2016 season? It has also happened in 2006-2007-2011 as well, and sometimes the series going to the Falcons. Of all current SFL Football teams, these teams have met the most consistently of all 12, now 13 schools in the 6A east of Johnson County. Jesse Owen in 3-3 all-time having won the last three in a row since 2017. Can the Falcons stop the fast Hawks this season? It will not be easy but the Falcons if they can play strong could move on.

5 - BVT (5-3) vs 12 - SME (2-6) - BVT leads the series 4-1
* 2016 sound familiar?! In a thriller of a game led by the former Eric Driskell, the Tigers and Lancers had an epic battle on the gridiron! For a huge week-12 game to see who will go on to meet the Derby Panthers. That night the Tigers won 35-34 in OT and represented the 6A-East. This year, the Tigers, and Lancers will meet for the first time in week-9 play. This could be a great game to see at Blue Valley High, where the Tigers have historically been great at taking care of business on the home field.

2 - ONE (6-2) vs 15 - ONW (1-7) - ONE leads the series 13-2
* What are the odds? Well, to be honest, this is what happens or can happen in the seeding process that will allow a rematch to happen and a team to possibly get revenge from a previous meeting. For the Ravens, this will not be easy from the start. Count them out? No. Expect big things? Yes, and from all 16 teams to give it everything they have. There is no secret that the Eagles will want this from the start as well. Winning does not come easy and upsets are a lot of fun in the making of a Cinderella story on the gridiron.

7 - WYN (3-4) vs 10 - JCH (2-6) - WYN leads the series 25-22
* A third rematch to account for: As is the KCAL, the Bulldogs and Hawks too are no strangers to each other throughout the years. This series lately has belonged to the Bulldogs having won 8 of the last 9 games since the 2011 season. The first time these two met was the Fall of 1973 in week-6.

3 - SNW (6-2) vs 14 - BNW (2-6) - BNW leads the series 6-4
* The old playoff format is now able to renew a few odd and old game meetings of the District play era, now found today in the modern day seeding of play. The Cougars and Huskies will meet for the 11th time. Under former Head Coaches Steve Harms (5-1), Tenney Dewey (1-1) and Mike Zegunis (0-2) the last time both met was during the in the fall of 2007. 12 years later these two will have a chance to take on a game in the battle of the geographical "directionals."

6 - BVW (5-3) vs 11 - SMW (2-6) - BVW leads the series 1-0
* In 2003 Tim Callaghan took over for departing Jon Krug who would become an AC for the new Olathe Northwest Ravens as the new addition to the SFL. Callaghan's first game ever as Vikings Head Coach was against the Jaguars and current AC Scott Wright. For the first round of the playoffs these two will meet for the first time and it will be Josh Korkenmeier's first meeting against the Vikings. Can SM West pull an upset? It will be a great game between the two schools, as they have met multiple times over in many other Fall, Winter, and Spring team sports since the 2001 season when BV West opened.


5 - LFS (7-1) vs 12 - WST (3-5) - First meeting series 0-0
* As the Firebirds build up their 6A-W non-conference games since the start of the new post-season in 2016, they stand at 7-3 in 10 previous games. Those three losses, are all to the Derby Panthers. One question remains for the Titans, can the Titans upset the Firebirds? First year Head Coach Russ Wells Titans have lost the previous five games after a hot 3-0 start to begin the year. On the other side of the coin, Kevin Stewart's Firebirds have won six straight after starting 1-1.

2 - LAW (7-1) vs 15 - TWR (3-5) - First meeting series tied 0-0
* For decades the Chesty Lions have played Topeka or even Highland Park dating back to the 1940s and beyond prior to their entry in to the Sunflower League in 1954. For the first time in the history of both schools they will meet on the gridiron. While the 3-5 looks like a down year for the JR Blues, the team led by


8 - Shawnee-Heights (4-4) vs 9 - LAN (4-4) - Series tied 2-2
* 500 ball. Both teams have had good successful play throughout the season and it will feel similar to that of March Madness for an 8v9 match up. Historically, these two have met in rare District games at times during the old playoff system. However in more recent times these two can and will continue to see a lot more of each other come post-season play. In a rematch, can the Lions come away with the win? We will see Coach Dylan Brown's kids can pull away with a win on the road for consecutive road trips.

4 - MVJ (5-3) vs 13 - TWC (1-7) - MVJ leads the series 1-0 
* Nothing is easy in High School Football. Preparing for an opponent a school has never faced is even harder. Yes, with the assistance of some game reports, and knowing the right places to look (interwebs) etc. one can scout the other without being noticed. For the Topeka West Chargers, this will not be any easy task to take on a strong Jaguars program. While they had a slow start, it comes with the territory from year to year with any team. Can Ryan Kelly's Chargers play the upset team? It very well could but with a big task at hand, keeping the ball away from the Jaguars will not be easy. Joel Applebee and his team will see a rematch of the 2018 week-9 final in which the score was 49-10 Jaguars.

5 - OWO (5-3) vs 12 - SEA (1-7) - First meeting series tied 0-0
* The young, and talented Owls will meet with the Seaman Vikings of the Centennial League. This will be the first meeting of the two, as the Owls are coming in to the meeting with a five game winning streak, and the Vikings are 1-3 in their last four games. That lone win was a 45-6 final over the Topeka West Chargers.

2 - STA (7-0) vs 15 - THP (0-8) - STA leads the series 1-0
* This game could possibly have a running clock at the start of the second half. Expect to see the Saints start and finish this game similar to the final score in 2018 week-9. For the Highland Park Scotties, this will mark an unprecedented streak of 00 straight losses dating back to week-3 of the 20xx season.

7 - SJA (4-4) vs 10 - LVP (3-5) - First meeting series tied 0-0
* The Thunder have had a program for 12 Varsity seasons. This is the first time the Pioneers will meet the Thunder in a big week-9 play-in. Both had great starts to their seasons, and rebounding from a sub-par 2018. This meeting could have a lot of scoring, and could ultimately come down to the last possession of the game. Sean Sachen's Pioneers will not be afraid to go up against Tom Radke's Thunder from the start of kickoff.

3 - WAS (6-2) vs 14 - BSW (1-7) - BSW leads the series 2-0
* In a previous regime of former Coaches, the Wildcats, and T-Wolves met early on in the T-Wolves younger seasons of play during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Both schools have since changed Coaches, and cultures of their programs since. Wildcats Alumni Cam Smith is now leading the team and brought them back to their first KCAL league title since Brian Salsgiver earlier in the decade. Can the upstart, and fast Wildcats tame the T-Wolves? It will not be easy, but it would be a first for many to come for a KCK school to come away with a win against a Johnson County High School.

6 - FLS (4-3) vs 11 - SAS (3-5) - FLS leads the series 18-12
* With the exception of the Washington Wildcats this post-season, every KCAL school in their respective classes will once again reunite for round-2 to see who will make it to week-10. Both the Stallions and Sabres have been playing well as of late, and a win from either side will prove to be a motivating key throughout the bracket. Can the Sabres lead an upset by Andrew Wright, or the Stallions and first year Head Coach Taylor Wallace Jr. sweep the series after two consecutive losses at Washington and home to Basehor-Linwood. The Stallions have won 9 straight games since the 2011 season.


4 - BMS (6-2) vs. Labette-Altamont County (3-5) - BMS leads the series 2-0
* Bishop Miege is now putting their foot on the gas pedal and ready for a post-season run. Should this play out to the previous meeting in 2018, the Stags will take on the, the winner will meet the 5 Bonner Springs Braves or 12 Eudora Cardinals in a week-10 match up. In 2018, the Grizzlies and Coach Sean Price lost 76 to 8.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Action - Reaction #8

With a winding down of the last regular season of this decade of play and post-season, this should be a great ride for all High Schools across the state of Kansas and around the country.

That said, it is go time!

Friday night's games will mark some of the last time many High School student-athletes play Football ever again. Some will continue playing Football collegiately at the next level. Thank you all for playing the game that you love so much from Kindergarten to your Senior year. Although your playing days are over, do not forget to thank those Teacher-Coaches, Administrators, Office Staff, etc who led you along the way, took you home if you did not have a car, a little talk in the hallway during passing-periods prior to a game day only a few hours away, and taking care of your academics.

For the Sunflower and EKL, it will be a tail to see what happens against the west side of the brackets. As of late, this decade alone, the incredible work done by the Derby Panthers Football program a program to be proud of. Derby, has now taken the role of previous Dynasty schools as Lawrence, Olathe North, and Hutch in the largest of classes.

Can or will the domination continue? TBD on those results, as that trickles down to the 5 and 4A brackets as well. You can always count on Hayden, Bishop Miege, and others to stack the box, and a great run by the Wichita Northwest Grizzlies last year, only to fall to the ST Aquinas Saints in the 5A Final.

Thank you again, to all of the great student-athletes across the state of Kansas!

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.