EASTERN KANSAS LEAGUE
1. Gardner Edgerton (5-1, 5-1 EKL)
Last week: Defeated Blue Valley North 56-14
The Trailblazers overmatched BV North, but they will have a tougher time in the district opener against Olathe South.
2. Bishop Miege (5-1, 5-1 EKL)
Last week: Defeated Blue Valley West 21-19
With a high-quality win against the Jaguars, the Stags now roll into district play as a heavy favorite.
3. Blue Valley Northwest (4-2, 4-2 EKL)
Last week: Defeated Blue Valley Southwest 37-26
Three straight wins have the Huskies poised to make some noise in district play with a battle against Shawnee Mission South next.
4. Blue Valley (4-2, 3-2 EKL)
Last week: Defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 35-3
A solid bounce-back victory, particularly for the Tigers’ defense heading into a season-defining game with Blue Valley Southwest.
5. Blue Valley West (3-3, 2-3 EKL)
Last week: Lost to Bishop Miege 21-19
With three consecutive losses, the breaks haven't gone the Jaguars’ way, but count out coach Scott Wright’s crew at your peril.
6. Blue Valley Southwest (3-3, 2-3 EKL)
Last week: Lost to Blue Valley Northwest 37-26
The Timberwolves battled the Huskies hard in defeat, and now a playoff berth probably is at stake against Blue Valley.
7. St. Thomas Aquinas (1-5, 1-4 EKL)
Last week: Lost to Blue Valley 35-3
The Saints can erase a lot of frustration, including last week’s loss, with a strong start to district play.
8. Blue Valley North (0-6, 0-6 EKL)
Last week: Lost to Gardner Edgerton 56-14
Again, the schedule shows the Mustangs no mercy with a district opener against Olathe East.
1. Lawrence Free State (5-1, 5-1 SL)
Last week: Defeated Shawnee Mission East 17-10 (OT)
After ending SM East's unbeaten run, the Firebirds are now set up to win their second Sunflower League football title.
2. Shawnee Mission East (5-1, 5-1 SL)
Last week: Lost to Lawrence Free State 17-10 (OT)
Hit with adversity for the first time under new coach Dustin Delaney, look for the Lancers to bounce back strong in district play.
3. Olathe North (4-2, 4-2 SL)
Last week: Defeated Lawrence 28-0
It’s never a bad thing to roll into district play off a shutout, and the Eagles seized some momentum for a tough path to the playoffs.
4. Olathe East (4-2, 4-2 SL)
Last week: Defeated Leavenworth 31-13
Riding a three-game winning streak, it’s no real shock that the Hawks are red hot as they begin pursuit of a 12th straight playoff appearance.
5. Shawnee Mission West (3-3, 3-3 SL)
Last week: Lost to Olathe Northwest 18-10
Who can blame the Vikings for having a hard time focusing on football, but we suspect coach Tim Callaghan will rally his kids for a strong district showing.
6. Olathe South (4-2, 4-2 SL)
Last week: Defeated Shawnee Mission Northwest 20-14
The Falcons continue to grind offensively, and now a defense that has allowed fewer than 17 points per game must get prepped for juggernaut Gardner Edgerton.
7. Shawnee Mission South (3-3, 3-3 SL)
Last week: Defeated. Shawnee Mission North 24-6
The Raiders still haven’t scored more than 28 points in a game (or allowed more than 27) as they enter a key showdown with Blue Valley Northwest.
8. Lawrence (2-4, 2-4 SL)
Last week: Lost to Olathe North 28-0
No reason to dwell on the shutout, because a win over Leavenworth puts the Chesty Lions in position for a postseason berth.
9. Olathe Northwest (3-3, 3-3 SL)
Last week: Defeated Shawnee Mission West 18-10
Topped the Vikings in a tough game for both teams, but the Ravens needed the momentum heading into a brutal district.
10. Leavenworth (2-4, 2-4 SL)
Last week: Lost to Olathe East 31-13
An up-and-down season hit another valley, but defeating Lawrence would be a big step toward a postseason peak.
11. Shawnee Mission Northwest (1-5, 1-5 SL)
Last week: Lost to Olathe South 20-14
Consistently competitive, though it’s not reflected by their record, the Cougars hope to keep Shawnee Mission East down.
12. Shawnee Mission North (0-6, 0-6 SL)
Last week: Lost to Shawnee Mission South 24-6
Coach Don Simmons’ squad might have made a few strides defensively after having givien up 165 points in previous three games.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com