Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Week-9-Playoff "Play In"

Brackets are listed at @KSHSAA www.kshsaa.org


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.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

SFL & EKL Week-5

10/4 - 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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