Congratulations to all of our Kansas Class Football Champions for the 2019 season:
6A - Derby Panthers
5A - Mill Valley Jaguars
4A - Bishop Miege Stags
It is no secret, at least state wide, that these three Football Champions have earned their State Titles proud. I had the opportunity to sneak away from a usually known day of work, to see the Derby Panthers for the second time in my post-season coverage of the 6A State Title game. Having witnessed them in awe the first time back in 2013 against my old SM East Lancers, it was a great game, and one I will never forget.
Saturday, I quietly made my way around Emporia as a fan of the game, and taking a lot of mental notes of how joyous this occasion can be.
A few years back, it was an honor to be in the presence of the 6A State Football Lancers win their first ever title in their Football history, and with a bunch of alumni, and friends dating back to elementary school, and the current Lancers in the stands cheering on their classmates!
With this decade of High School Football on its way of closing out, I knew back in July, or August, I would be following the Olathe North Eagles as they played in their 100th Varsity season. Although I did not attend Olathe North, it has always had a fascinating Football history from my Freshman year of High School in 1996-1997 with the young Arland Bruce III leading the way, and later towards the most known of the Running Backs Darren Sproles, who ran all over the Sunflower League defenses that came his way from 1999 to 2001. Maurice Mack, James Franklin, and now a young Arland Bruce IV carrying on honorably in the family tradition of Eagles Football lore.
It was an honor to be out there as a fan, ditching the computer for the car, and going in proud to see to fantastically coached Football programs, and even further, great student-athletes representing the State at the 6A level.
The Olathe North Eagles Football tradition is strong, and has been pounding the gridiron hard for 100 years. For the Eagles, the tradition will not stop, and continue strong as we head in to the next decade of play for 2020 to 2029. Schools will come and go, and legacies will live on in stories to tell for years to come, and long after the student-athletes playing days are complete. You are the flagship program of Olathe #233.
Although the final whistle blew at the end of the game, and the City of Derby, KS once again held up the 6A State Trophy in which they deserved, it is a blast to see the smiles on the faces of the students, student-athletes, staff, and parents who are cheering their city on. The City of Olathe, KS will once again be preparing for the 2020 season ahead, as the 6A West won 6 of the 10 6A Trophies this past decade.
A quick run down:
2010 - Wichita-Heights defeats Olathe North 48-14
2011 - Olathe South defeats Wichita Heights 41-37
2012 - SM West defeats Hutchinson 19-14
2013 - Derby defeats SM East 28-21
2014 - SM East defeats Hutchinson 33-14
2015 - Derby defeats Blue Valley 27-14
2016 - Derby defeats Blue Valley 17-14
2017 - Blue Valley North defeats Derby 49-42
2018 - Derby defeats Blue Valley North 24-16
2019 - Derby defeats Olathe North 63-26
West 6-4, East 4-6
It is no secret, this blog represents the Sunflower League and a touch more in representing the East bracket. Ill forever be indebted to our Athletic Directors, Coaches, and Coaching staffs when I reach out for a bit of information, or in turn, they reach out to me in wanting to know a little more of a back story for a match up, and perhaps a local school newspaper who always comes to find me a few times throughout the year wanting to learn more about their school and their gridiron Football traditions.
Thank you all!