|Olathe North's Venus Triplett. LJWorld.
Olathe East (0-0) at Olathe North (0-0) at ODAC
It wouldn't be the opening week of the Sunflower League slate without an enticing matchup of Olathe powerhouses. This year's game pits the teams ranked #3 and #4 in the Power Rankings in what should be a thriller. Both units have carried a proverbial chip on their shoulders this offseason and we'll finally get to see them put the gloves on and prove their worth. Year after year these opening Olathe battles are some of the best games we see all season. This one should be no different.
Lawrence (0-0) at Olathe South (0-0) at ODAC (Thursday Game)
The two teams hit hardest by graduation will face off in the first game of the 2013 season in the Sunflower League. We should have a good idea of a few things after this one. First off, what names will be filling the voids left by players like Strauss, Mayo, Whitley and Seurer. Secondly, whether either team has the horses to be a a fixture in the Sunflower League this fall the way they've been in the previous years.
SM East (0-0) at Leavenworth (0-0) at Pioneer Stadium
With new head coaches on both sidelines this game will be a battle of which new hire can notch the first win at their respective school. SM East will debut a true flexbone offense, run by a coach who knows how to run a flexbone offense, which will be the first of its kind in the league. Veteran Mark Littrell will attempt to prove he hasn't lost a step in the league, despite his five-year absence.
SM North (0-0) at Lawrence Free State (0-0) at Free State Athletic Stadium
Last fall SM North went 0-9 while Free State went 10-2. This game is being played at Free State's home stadium. SM North is debuting a new head coach. Free State looks to be among the league's most talented teams. On paper this matchup is completely lopsided and it would be the regular season upset of the decade if the game ended in SM North's favor.
SM Northwest (0-0) at Olathe Northwest (0-0) at CBAC
I'm not totally sure what to expect in this game, and I find that intriguing. Both programs have strong potential to be risers in the Power Rankings. Simply put, they seem to match up well on paper and notching a win in week one against a similarly skilled opponent can do wonders for a team's confidence moving forward. It may be a non-district game with no playoff implications, but it will set the tone for what to expect from each team down the road.
SM West (0-0) at SM South (0-0) at SM South District Stadium
This is an excellent measuring stick for where each of these teams stand. For SM South (a team with greater expectations than they've had in years), who better to test yourself against than the defending 6A champions and the team favored to win the league? For SM West, it's not as if they're playing some patsy to tune-up against. SM South will legitimately test their abilities, and don't forget, SM South head coach Ryan Lonergan was a long-time assistant under Tim Callaghan at SM West. Both teams are very familiar with the schemes of the other.