Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 7/19
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
The new school year is less than a month away and the start of the 2012 football season is not far behind.
And that’s reason to celebrate. The best season of the year and our favorite sport of the year, high school football are coming soon.
There’s reason to celebrate all over the place, but for the defending Kansas Class 6A state champions. There’s even more reason to feel good heading into the start of the 2012 season because for the Olathe South Falcons, there are plenty of pieces back from last year’s state title team. And they have history on their side.
You see, Kansas Class 6A is a creature of habit. Name the right three schools and you’ll have named the 6A state champ in 20 of the last 26 years. Yep, with a couple of obvious exceptions, the champs seem to hang around a bit in Kansas Class 6A.
Lawrence won eight titles in 10 years starting in 1986. Then Olathe North won seven in eight years beginning with their first in 1996. Then along came Hutchinson in 2004 to win four straight.
Oh, there were a few that dropped in here and there like Manhattan in 1988, Derby in 1994 and Junction City in 2008, but even Garden City, the state champ in 1999 was the runner up in 1998 and Wichita Heights, the winner in 2010 was the runner up in 2009.
So, what does that mean for the Falcons? Well, they sure have a lot of work to do, but it bodes well for another run. All but three state champs since 1986 have been to at least two straight title games.
So, what does that really man for the 2012 Falcons? Nothing, really. Nothing at all.
As the summer weight programs begin to wind down, as 7-on-7 is a fleeting memory and as the season quickly approaches, the new, big kid on the block at Olathe South is set to defend a state title for the first time in school history. And despite losing a bunch of exceptional skill position players, South head coach Jeff Gourley has enough horses in the stable to make another run at a state title in 2012.
When you have a quarterback like Frankie Seurer back and a lineman like Braden Smith, that’s a pretty darn good place to start. And it’s not just those two in the blue and gold. The Falcons return plenty of talented players from last year and will undoubtedly welcome some new ones.
Yep, the Class 6A title game likes familiar faces and with the 2012 season just a blink away, the rest of the Sunflower League and the rest of the Eastern side of the state has their work cut out for them because the Falcons got a taste last year.
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Olathe South Falcons
Oak Grove Panthers
William Chrisman Bears
Shawnee Mission East Lancers
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
Royal Valley Panthers
Pleasant Ridge Rams
Jefferson West Tigers
Sabetha Blue Jays