High School Sports

EKL/Sunflower League football power rankings

EASTERN KANSAS LEAGUE 1. Gardner Edgerton (8-1, 5-1 EKL)

Last week: Defeated Olathe Northwest 56-28

EKL co-champions took care of business against the Ravens and are ready to roll in the playoffs. First up, a tough Olathe East squad.

2. Bishop Miege (8-1, 6-1 EKL)

Last week: Defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 50-16

With apologies to undefeated Mill Valley, the Stags, who won a share of the EKL title for the first time since 1994, are the favorites to reach the Kansas 5A title game.

3. Blue Valley Northwest
(7-2, 5-2 EKL)

Last week: Defeated. BV North 41-17

The Huskies’ reward for a terrific season and third-place finish in the EKL is a playoff date with Sunflower League power Olathe North.

4. Blue Valley West (6-3, 4-3 EKL)

Last week: Defeated Blue Valley 18-17

Peaking at the right time and perhaps poised to make a run similar to Bishop Miege’s journey to the 5A championship game last season.

5. Blue Valley (6-3, 4-3 EKL)

Last week: Lost to BV West 18-17

Ironically, the loss to BV West probably made it easier for the Tigers to reach the 5A semifinals, where a possible rematch could await.

6. Blue Valley Southwest (4-5, 2-5 EKL)

Last week: Defeated Pittsburg 41-31

The Timberwolves are still waiting for that breakthrough season, but 2013 ended on a high note against the Purple Dragons.

7. St. Thomas Aquinas (3-6, 1-5 EKL)

Last week: Lost to Bishop Miege 50-16

It wouldn’t be a complete shocker if the Saints took down undefeated Mill Valley, but coach Mike Thomas’ squad is an underdog this week.

8. Blue Valley North (0-9, 0-7 EKL)

Last week: Lost to BV Northwest 41-17

The Mustangs are making baby steps back to respectability, like scoring 17 against BV Northwest.

SUNFLOWER LEAGUE 1. Lawrence Free State (8-1, 6-1 SL)

Last week: Defeated Lawrence 28-10

A share of the program’s second Sunflower League title is nice, but the Firebirds won’t be satisfied without an appearance in the Kansas 6A title game.

2. Shawnee Mission East (8-1, 6-1 SL)

Last week: Defeated SM North 48-20

After a 44-year title drought, the Lancers — now under first-year coach Dustin Delaney — have won a share of the Sunflower League crown twice in four seasons.

3. Olathe North (6-3, 5-2 SL)

Last week: Defeated Olathe South 28-0

The Eagles’ defense has allowed seven or fewer points in three of the last four games.

4. Olathe East (6-3, 5-2 SL)

Last week: Defeated SM South 31-21

The Hawks got a nice bounce-back win to clinch a playoff spot, but Gardner Edgerton represents a more substantial challenge.

5. Shawnee Mission West

(4-5, 4-3 SL)

Last week: Lost to SM Northwest 17-14

It would have been a great story if the Vikings repeated as state champions, but there’s some mercy in putting the tragedy-scarred season to bed, too.

6. Olathe South (5-4, 4-3 SL)

Last week: Lost to Olathe North 28-0

Thus endeth senior Braden Smith’s storied career with the Falcons.

7. Shawnee Mission South (4-5, 3-4 SL)

Last week: Lost to Olathe East 31-21

The Raiders remain on the cusp of a breakthrough season — so close, yet so far.

8. Shawnee Mission Northwest (3-6, 1-6 SL)

Last week: Defeated SM West 17-14

The Cougars essentially made their season by beating SM West to reach the playoffs, so an upset of Lawrence Free State would be icing on the cake.

9. Lawrence (3-6, 2-5 SL)

Last week: Lost to Lawrence Free State 28-10

For a while, the Chesty Lions threatened to upset rival Free State, but instead coach Dirk Wedd’s boys missed the playoffs by one point on the tiebreaker.

10. Olathe Northwest (3-6, 3-4 SL)

Last week: Lost to Gardner Edgerton 56-28

Coach Chip Sherman wasn’t able to get the Ravens to the playoffs in his first year.

11. Leavenworth (3-6, 3-4 SL)

Last week: Lost to Wyandotte 38-28

By one point, the Pioneers slipped into the playoffs despite a loss to Dimonic McKinzy and company, so it’s a successful first season under Mark Littrell.

12. Shawnee Mission North (0-9, 0-7 SL)

Last week: Lost to SM East 48-20

Year one of the Don Simmons era ends without a win.