Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunflower League Extra

Top 5 Player Ratings
Player ratings are subject to change on a week-to-week basis

1. Brandon Willingham, Running Back, Olathe East
Week Four: 8 carries, 115 yards, 4 TDs

Willingham (right) little trouble slicing through the rain and the Leavenworth defense. His rushing scores from three, 32, one, and 41 yards out took up half of the eight carries he received in total in the game. Willingham did not play in the second half.

2. Dylan Perry, Quarterback, Lawrence Free State
Week Four: 10 carries, 41 yards; 7-of-9 passing, 107 yards, 1 TD

Perry only played the first half on Friday, partially do to an ankle injury suffered in week three, and partially due to the 32-0 lead he led the Firebirds to. Perry is completing 61% of his passes, which is best among Sunflower League quarterbacks.

3. Adonis Saunders, Running Back, Olathe North
Week Four: 14 carries, 136 yards, 1 TD

Saunders broke loose for another long touchdown run against SM East, this time from 61 yards out. Saunders' speed is hard to corral and it helps to explain his rushing average of 9 yards per carry.

4. Victor Simmons, Quarterback, Olathe North
Week Four: 14 carries, 38 yards; 25-yard touchdown pass

For the second consecutive week a defense did an admirable job of containing Simmons.Simmons was held in check for the majority of the game Friday, and his only touchdown came on a 25-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Two weeks of average play drop Simmons two spots.

5. John Schrock, Quarterback, SM East
Week Four: 17-of-36 passing, 196 yards, 1 TD; 1 rushing TD

Schrock makes his first appearance on the Top 5 Player Ratings despite his team's loss. While Schrock's completion percentage (52%) and touchdown to interception ratio (6:5) could be better, he still accounts for the biggest reason why SM East is 3-1 and a contender in the Sunflower League.

Honorable Mention: Will Livingston, Tre Burt, Nick Sands, Austin Fulson, Preston Schenck

Week Five Power Rankings
*Rankings are subject to change on a week-to-week basis
**See previous post for commentary on Power Rankings

1. Olathe East (4-0)
2. Olathe North (3-1)
3. SM West (3-1)
4. SM East (3-1)
5. Lawrence Free State (3-1)
6. Olathe South (2-2)
7. Olathe Northwest (2-2)
8. SM Northwest (1-3)
9. Lawrence (2-2)
10. SM South (1-3)
11. SM North (0-4)
12. Leavenworth (0-4)

Eli's Week Four Q & A
Submit your Sunflower League questions to Eli at eunder@ku.edu

Why do the Olathe schools dominate the Sunflower League? As far as I can tell their enrollments aren't larger. I have been puzzled by this, and am curious about your opinion? - Aaron

A: This is a great question and it probably has an underlying answer that nobody is 100% sure of. The best I can offer is reasoning I have collected as a fan/player/writer through the years.

My own opinion is that the culture of football in Olathe is one which is much more conducive to successful high school football programs. There seems to exist more of an aura around the football programs in the Olathe high schools (namely North, East, and South) that you don't find in most of the other Sunflower League schools--and much of that is based on past successes. You don't develop a football culture unless the success is there. And let's be honest, outside of the Olathes, which school has had constant success throughout the last decade?

I can say from my own experiences at SM West that the football culture within the school has greatly increased from the time Tim Callaghan took over in 2003 to now. And that's because the football team was good, experienced success, and it led to increased participation and interest in the sport within the school, and in the community. You can take a look at SM East right now and compare the enthusiasm of their fanbase today with what it was two years ago. The difference is success, and the hope of greater successes. The big three Olathe football powers have had notable success throughout the past decade and it helps to explain the culture that exists.

I feel the football culture is ultimately what keeps a program on top but there are key factors at play which get that culture going. Gene Wier's success in the form of six state championships at Olathe North was not by accident, and it's reasonable to believe that his influence is the reason Olathe North is still the caliber of program they are today. The same can be said for Jeff Meyers' lengthy stint as head coach at Olathe East. The moxy associated with these two schools in particular was started with great coaching, and it has carried through with great coaching.

Player ability also contributes a great deal. It helps to explain the fact that Olathe North has more Simone Award winners (six) than any team in the Kansas City Metropolitan and as many state championships. But then again, SM Northwest has produced more NFL players (Chace Johnson, Ryan Lilja, Ryan Torain, and Mike Rivera) than any other Sunflower League school over the past decade and they haven't even fielded a Sub-State berth during that span.

Ultimately, it seems, a foundation is necessary for a dominant football program to emerge. The big three Olathe schools were the ones with the right coaches in place at the time of Lawrence High's split in 1995, and those three schools were able to take the reigns on the league. Since that time, SM West and Lawrence Free State have been the only schools to challenge the big three.

Stat Check

Passing Yards
John Schrock, SM East: 882, 6 TDs
Stephen Mangelsdorf, SM Northwest: 612, 3 TDs
Brad Strauss, Lawrence: 571, 5 TDs
Dylan Perry, Lawrence Free State: 499, 3 TDs
Kyle Goodburn, SM North: 319, 2 TDs
Armani Williams, SM West: 300, 2 TDs
Alex Forslund, SM South: 279, 1 TD
Corey Kipp, Olathe Northwest: 271, 3 TDs
Ryan Lundgren, Olathe Northwest: 203, 3 TDs
Trent Kuhl, Olathe East: 190, 1 TD

Rushing Yards
Nick Sands, Olathe South: 560, 3 TDs
Brandon Willingham, Olathe East: 553, 8 TDs
Dylan Perry, Lawrence Free State: 470, 6 TDs
Adonis Saunders, Olathe North: 468, 5 TDs
Preston Schenck, Lawrence Free State: 401, 6 TDs
Victor Simmons, Olathe North: 391, 2 TDs
Tre Burt, SM West: 342, 3 TDs
Austin Fulson, Olathe East: 327, 6 TDs
Charles Jackson, Lawrence: 324, 3 TDs
Jake Crist, Olathe South: 307, 2 TDs

Receiving Yards
Elliot Faerber, SM East: 312, 3 TDs
Krey Bradley, SM East: 219, 2 TDs
Kenny Mings, SM Northwest: 209, 2 TDs
Desmond Wyatt, Lawrence Free State: 208, 3 TDs
Anthony Buffalomeat (right), Lawrence: 187, 1 TD
Nick Bandy, Olathe Northwest: 176, 2 TDs
Mason Perez, SM North: 170, 1 TD
Grant Ellis, SM East: 164, 1 TD
Aaron Gile, Lawrence: 145
Shawn Laurent, SM South: 140, 1 TD

Denzel Simpson, SM West: 53
Tanner Ginavan, Olathe South: 43
Josh Mais, SM East: 40
Tristan Opie, Olathe Northwest: 40
Kyle Swartz, Olathe North: 40
Brock Burrows, SM North: 38
Dylan DeVries, Olathe South: 36
Dylan Hanson, Olathe South: 35
Sam Todd, Olathe North:33
Taylor Sheffield, Olathe South: 29

Kenny Mings, SM Northwest: 3
Nick Bandy, Olathe Northwest: 2
DeAndre Graves, SM West: 2
Preston Schenck, Lawrence Free State: 2 (2 TDs)

Kick Return/Punt Return TDs
Preston Schenck, Lawrence Free State: 1 KR TD, 1 PR TD
Nick Bandy, Olathe Northwest: 1 KR TD
JaQuan Brunt, SM East: 1 KR TD
Kendal Harland, Olathe South: 1 PR TD

Field Goals
Daniel Gutierrez, Olathe North: (3/5)
Jared Douglas, Olathe South: (2/3)
Sean Jones, SM West: (2/2)
Nick Prologo, Olathe Northwest: (2/3)
Alex Allen, SM Northwest: (1/2)
Kyle Goodburn, SM North: (1/3)
Anthony Rosen, Lawrence: (1/1)
Chase Woofter, SM East: (1/2)

Stats courtesy Mid-Statesports.com
Photos courtesy (from top) OE Hawks football, the Lawrence Journal-World


the EAST chicken said...

theres nothing to do in Olathe besides play football... correct me if im wrong here but dont the Olathe schools have junior high football as well? the kids are in the program longer learning that schools particular system earlier than SM schools. they are coached by coaches and not Dads like in FCCJC. Olathe kids basically are running the same offense, the same defense for 6 years, where SM kids only get 4. plain and simple they get more time to develop. i remember dominating all of the olathe schools out at FCCJC, then they go to junior high and no longer compete in FCCJC. two years down the road you start playing them again and after theyve been coached up and in weight training earlier they have a leg up on our SM schools. I dont know about Lawrence schools or leavenworth, but its a shame that SM cant go back to that junior high athletics program.

Diablo del Sol said...

The Olathe junior high football programs hardly run the same defense and offenses as the high schools. The only advantage they really have is more time to develop in terms of size and speed, but kids dont need a junior high program to do that on their own.

Anonymous said...

To expand on what Clayton said, not only do the Junior highs NOT run anything like what the high schools runs (as most Jr. Highs feed to 2 or more different high schools), but until this year, they did not enter the high school program until their sophomore year. So, really all the 4 year shawnee mission schools had the advantage of kids in the system 1 year longer than the Olathe schools.

Diablo del Sol said...

Exactly. And as an Olathe South player, as well as Frontier Trail Junior High School graduate, I can say that almost everything we learned in junior high, we completely changed in high school. I can see playing in FCCJC somewhat as an advantage; playing with your future teamates throughout junior high building chemistry with them as opposed to playing against eachother.

the EAST chicken said...

I find it hilarious that neither one of you refute the fact theres nothing to do in Olathe... But in junior high didnt you have paid coaches? we had volunteer coaches who usually were just dads. Im not saying they didnt know anything about football but come on, its a little different. Plus out at FCCJC there are weight divisions, heavy and light so its not like the light QB is playing with the heavy O-line... so not really an advantage when you dont play with your whole team. we basically had to throw everything we knew about football out the window where you could probably use some of what you learned in junior high, more than us anyway.

the EAST chicken said...

and I dont even want to get started on the 'home cooking' Olathe schools get out at ODAC... its been the same story for years at that miserable complex. worst field outside of lawrence ive ever played on

Diablo del Sol said...

I didn't refute it because its true. There's almost nothing to do in olathe. Our junior high "coaches" consisted of a PE teacher and some other teachers that volunteered. Im an offensive lineman and everything I learned at junior high in terms of blocking technique I had to change when I moved up to south.

I do see your point about the weight divisions, though. Do they continue that all the way to high school? If so, that's pretty pathetic.

Anonymous said...

TheImpaler agrees with the Chicken at least about the horrible Olathe Stadiums! Plus the officiating....I remember a certain OE-SMW playoff game (Is it still a fumble when you're two yards deep in the endzone??). Truly though the best place to watch a game in the League is and always has been SM South stadium...the Olathe Stadiums are too low to the ground and although you do get to HEAR a lot more of what's going on, you can't see spit on the other end of the field!

the EAST chicken said...

the 'home cooking' is the officiating... haha. Clayton as far as I know they still do divide by weight divisions in junior high or in the SM district 'middle school' and I agree they shouldnt be split up. not at that age anyway

8 time State Champs said...

Home cooking BS...the olathe school are just better...if you lose to a SM school its really looked down on by the Olathe teams (other then SMW with Callahan it embrassing)...I do know that some of the North teams that have won state had some great coaches in JCCJC that taught them the exact same system as north use to run (oline same blocking system)...these coaches have taken multiple groups through the years.

I was pretty intrigued by how few people were at the SME vs ON game last week. 3-0 and almost no one showed up for SME (student section was a no show).

ODAC is a great place to watch a game and the real grass was always the nicest before everyone got turf (i will say it looks horrible this year).

SMS field is the worst stadium in the sunflower league other the CBAC. SMN is great and lawrence freestate has by far the coolest stadium in the Sunflower league.

Anonymous said...

I heard ODAC's field got some kind of fungus this year.. go figure. As far as coaching quality diffrences between FCCJC and Jr. Highs, it's really a wash, it depends on where you play and who you play with. As far as nothing to do in Olathe? What the heck is there to do in the Shawnee Mission Area? You have Oak Park, Olathe has Great Plains. At least Olathe has that Sweet movie complex with the dinning hall/bar in it. Seriously where are all these Shawnee Mission Hot Spots that make it so much better? I moved here from the east coast, so as Far as I'm concerned unless you're Downtown KC, there ain't nothing to do anywhere in JOCO.

the EAST chicken said...

Shawnee Mission North is probably the best stadium in the sunflower league, sure SM South is huge but as far as overall looks and view Ill go North all the way... Side note Lawrence is not complete and I have not seen Leavenworth or Free States new stadiums... ODAC is about as stale and miserable as any place Ive ever been, Id rather go to KC Harmon to play. ODAC has always had a terrible field, kids slip and dig up holes every single year. SM South used to have the best grass and probably still would have the best grass if they didnt go to the field turf like everyone else in America. Did anyone see SM Easts 'fumble' in the first half last week? not only were both knees down his entire body was down. metro got a great shot of it and mick says 'john schrock with the long run and theres a fumble?'... home cooking, East deserved that game. The Plaza, westport and brookside are all with in 10 mins of SM East. youre proud of the plains mall? i didnt even know it was still open...

8 time state champs said...

East scored twice on 2 12 yard feields - on a fumble recovery where the north player had the ball and was down then they let people pile up and gave it to east and then they scored on a 12 yard "drive" in the second half. North did not play good at all and was still better then SMEAST "The smell as the other SM schools call it".

ODAC by far had the nicest grass of anywhere in the sunflower league.

Maybe you should go to a few games and see the new stadiums.

Freestate is amazing. Has that old time college feel like Pitt State.

Anonymous said...

gotta weigh in...the SME/ON game was harmed by the officials. From a fan's pt of view SME lost 1, maybe 2 scores to outright poor calls. The refs looked like Keystone Cops, walking off penalties against the wrong team several times, and held long, drawn out discussions that disrupted momentum and flow. Regardless, hard fought game between two good teams. Kudos to the coaches and players for keeping their composure, and good luck going forward.

8 time state champs said...

I would not disagree the officals in the ON - SME game was maybe the worst i had ever seen but they were bad both ways.

Anonymous said...

yes, bad calls both ways but bad calls on game-changing plays against SME.....not one, but several.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Also, the refs were calling the olathe north players by there first names the whole game... doesn't that sound a little biased?

Anonymous said...

cry babies blame officals

those refs had not been assigned to a north game in the last two years

they gave SME the ball on the 10 that was almost a game changer when North was clearly down

SME QB is a stud everyone else was average

Just ANOTHER loss by an SM school vs the Olathe big 3

jnb54 said...

Well as a player for neither team i saw the game and i do believe there are many questionable calls but you cant let the refs determine the game sme had two chances at the end of the game and had many chances to score but there recievers failed to excute and if you want to talk penelties im pretty sure i saw sme line move and roll forward just about every play except maybe like 4 or 5

The Un-Biased Opinion said...

You can't be in the mindset that the refs determine the game, but in this match-up, they did. The officials denied Shawnee Mission East's attempt to convert a first down at the end of the game where SME WR #4 caught a pass near the side-line well ahead of the first down marker and had three (yes, three) feet in but was called out of bounds which resulted in a turnover. I am not writing to complain about offsides calls but there were penalties which determined the game, and skewed the outcome. Olathe North displayed a great run game and a very respectable pass defense and is a team that I believe will be successful for the rest of the season, but East was a better team in this match-up.

Anonymous said...


W for the eagles...i believe SME is now 1-16 all time vs the eagles i am sure the refs were biased for the eagles in all of them

TheImpaler said...

Clearly officiating alone does not account for the superiority of Olathe football over the SM teams. Jr. high football helps but given the success Coach C has at West I have to believe it comes down to coaching and creating a culture and mindset of winning. Nothing succeeds like success. When the younger kids see the success at the high school level it builds on itself. I believe that Callaghan has simply down a better job of getting down to the kids on the grade school level and getting them to buy in to football. Coach Sherman is doing the same thing at East now but it will be some time before it comes to full fruition.

anb9924 said...

I'm the guy who asked the initial question. I think it comes down to coaching and the Jr High programs make a big difference. I will bet anything that Gene Weir had his Jr High guys running the high school offense. Even if the offense is different the environment if different. None of this little league pansy crap that the SMS schools have in 7th and 8th grade. Also if an Olathe coach isn't demanding the Jr Hights don't run his offense he is missing out on a golden opportunity. I remember in Texas before I move here in the 7th grade we started running the high school offense. Lastly, I can only speak from my own experience at a SMS school but we didn't have cuts. So any putz who wanted to could be on the team no matter how awful. That was a huge team killer. To many guys who couldn't play taking reps from guys who could. I have few regrets from my playing days, but if I could go back I would have run those guys off. Not everyone can be a football player, just like not everyone can be a nuclear physicist. Does anyone know if the other Sunflower schools have cuts. I believe in them, ever other sport where I went did, so why didn't football?

Anonymous said...

To answer your question...weir did not have the junior highs running the same offense. You could say it was similar because all anyone did was run.

The offensive line blocking was not similar or the same techniques.

Olathe does not have cuts in football and neither does blue valley.

anb9924 said...

I stand corrected. That's why the Sunflower League will never be heavily recruited. Not competitive enough.