Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Part 3: Sunflower League Schedules

I will be doing a four part series breaking down each Sunflower League team's regular season schedule. The teams in each part of the series will be as follows:

Part 1: Olathe East, SM Northwest, SM North
Part 2: SM West, Lawrence Free State, SM South
Part 3: Olathe North, Olathe Northwest, Lawrence
Part 4: Olathe South, SM East, Leavenworth

Part 3

Olathe North
2010 Regular Season

9/3 SM West
9/10 @ Olathe South
9/17 Olathe East
9/24 SM East
10/1 @ Leavenworth
10/8 @ SM Northwest
10/15 @ Lawrence
10/21 Lawrence Free State
10/29 Olathe Northwest

Projected Over/Under wins: 8

Notes: The Eagles play one Thursday night game on 10/21 ... the last time Olathe North opened the season against a Shawnee Mission school was in 2003 when they lost to SM North 7-6 ... the loss ended the Eagles' 38-game win streak.

Potential Trouble: The beginning of the season is going to be a tough stretch for the defending Class 6A champs. A home game against SM West (ranked #2 in my power rankings) is followed by an away contest versus Olathe South (#4), and then home games against Olathe East (#3) and SM East (#5). If the Eagles can manage to stay undefeated during this stretch, watch out--they will be primed to run the table again.

Biggest Game: How Olathe North performs in their week one game against SM West will tell us alot about their prospects for winning another state title. Amazingly, the two schools haven't met since the 2006 season, when SM West won 41-14. The Eagles are also riding a 13-game win streak, the longest since the program's 18-game streak from 2003-2004. Keeping the win streak alive would be a huge plus in terms of how far the program has come since it's short fallout in the mid-2000s.

Olathe Northwest
2010 Regular Season

9/3 SM South
9/10 @ Olathe East
9/17 @ Leavenworth
9/24 SM West
10/1 Olathe South
10/7 SM East
10/15 @ Lawrence Free State
10/22 Lawrence
10/29 @ Olathe North

Projected Over/Under wins: 3

Notes: The Ravens play one Thursday night game on 10/7 ... the team's district remained nearly the same, but Leavenworth was replaced by Olathe North.

Potential Trouble: Olathe Northwest took advantage of their district matchups last season, beating the combined 1-17 Leavenworth and Lawrence teams to make the playoffs (they lost to Lawrence Free State 35-14 in the other game). This season Olathe North replaced Leavenworth and the Ravens won't have the cakewalk to the playoffs they had last year.

Biggest Game: Since the school's first varsity season in 2004, Olathe Northwest has a 1-17 record against their Olathe counterparts. A win against any of the other Olathe schools this season would be a huge and necessary step for the program to gain some prominence in Olathe.

2010 Regular Season

9/3 Leavenworth
9/10 @ SM East
9/17 SM South
9/24 @ SM Northwest
10/1 Olathe East
10/7 @ SM West
10/15 Olathe North
10/22 @ Olathe Northwest
10/29 Lawrence Free State

Projected Over/Under wins: 3

Notes: Lawrence plays one Thursday night game on 10/7 ... the team's first game against Leavenworth will be a rematch of both team's final game last season.

Potential Trouble: Lawrence has a killer three week stretch in October, where they play Olathe East, SM West and Olathe North in consecutive weeks. The final game against Olathe North is also the district opener. If Lawrence performs poorly against these three teams it will be hard for the Chesty Lions to turn things around in their final two district games.

Biggest Game: The first and last games on the team's schedule stand out the most. Lawrence needs to take care of business with Leavenworth in week one to give themselves a little momentum for the season. Their final game will be against their hated crosstown rival Lawrence Free State, and a playoff berth could be on the line.

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