When the Olathe Outlaws trailed by 19 points at halftime, first-year head coach Mike McGavran corralled his third-graders around him and asked them if they wanted to give up.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
They responded with a resounding “NO” and scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to edge the Northland Bears, 20-19, in the YMCA Annual Metro Flag Football championship on Sunday at the Chiefs practice facility. There were 15 other teams in the tournament and it was the second straight title for the Outlaws, who have been playing together since kindergarten.
“They came out and made some amazing plays, a couple of really big interceptions -- including one interception for a touchdown -- and they ended up winning in exciting fashion,” McGavran said.
The Outlaws carried an 8-0 record into the postseason and dropped just one game along the way to the Northland Five Four Scouts. However, the Outlaws were able to avenge that loss with an overtime victory in the semifinals. They finished the season 13-1.
“All the boys are really good athletes and they enjoy playing,” McGavran said. “A lot of the teams we played had one or two really good athletes that kind of dominated, but we had a really well-rounded team where everyone was good at what we asked them to do.”
The Outlaws’ roster is made up of boys from Prairie Center Elementary, and Heatherstone and Forest View Elementary in Olathe. Most members of the team also plays other sports together during the year.
The Outlaws coaches were Mike McGavran, Mike Birge and Shawn Scott. The team’s players: Dylan Birge, Jack Scott, Carter Finks, Mason McGavran, Hudson Graessle, Max Valdez, Michael Bell and Jacob Dickinson.
Earlier this week, the Comcast Corporation announced its partnership with Olathe North and Olathe South High Schools as a supporter of their Football Booster Organizations. Representatives from Comcast presented a check for $5,000 to the schools’ athletic directors during halftime of last week’s Olathe North and Olathe South football game.
Ottawa junior midfielder Max Brewer, who played high school soccer at Olathe East, earned Honorable Mention All-KCAC honors. Brewer appeared in 19 games and finished with one goal and one assist this season. He had 37 shots with 12 of them on goal. Brewer spent his freshman season at Drake University and attended the University of Arkansas the next year before settling at Ottawa.