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!