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.