Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 8/26
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
With the 2012 football season just one week old and still a few days from opening night in Kansas, there’s really nothing that we now for certain.
Actually, we do know one thing — we know that anything we think will happen probably won’t happen.
Kansas starts Friday and there are plenty of questions that need answers. All we can do now is wax philosophical. We’ll need a couple of months to really know.
Here are the seven burning questions in the big class on the Kansas side of the state line this year: (Why seven? Why not.)
1. Does have Olathe South have what it takes to repeat as Class 6A state champions?
Probably. When you have a stud like Braden Smith on the defensive line and a cool and calm quartetback like Frankie Seurer, Jr. under center. Those are two pretty good building blocks. The line in front of Seurer won’t be as good as last year and the running back by committee will have some fresh faces, but they got over the hump last year. South’s confidence and swagger will get them at least two wins. The talent can take care of the rest.
2. Is Braden Smith the best player in the state of Kansas?
Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Yeeeeeeeeesssssssss. The defensive lineman is a beast. Evan Boehm was the first lineman to win the Simone Award last year. Smith is good enough to make it two linemen in a row. Yep, could happen. Make it a point to go watch this kid play. Well worth the price of admission.
3. Will a Shawnee Mission school break through in 2012?
We’ve been asking this question for a long time. West has been the stud in the stable for about a decade. They’ve only got one state title appearance to show for it. East may be the one to step forward. Northwest has a new coach and South and North are starting to build momentum. We’ll see.
4. Can Gene Wier rekindle the magic?
Back where he won six state titles in his final seven years at the helm and won nearly 80 percent of the games he coached in more than two decades as the Eagles head coach, Wier has his work cut out for him. The Eagles started the 2011 season 5-0 and were considered among the state ‘s elite before inexplicably losing their final four games of the season and missing the playoffs one year after playing for the state title.
5. Who is the Olathe Northwest of 2012?
In 2010 it was SM East. Last year it was Olathe Northwest who stepped up and was the big class surprise on the Kansas side of the state line. Who is it going to be this year? Blue Valley Northwest? SM South? SM Northwest? We’ll see.
6. Is Montell Cozart the Simone Award preseason favorite?
The talented quarterback did it al last year and this year, he comes in with a boat-load of confidence and experience. Even though there’s a new head coach at Miege, look out EKL, Cozart is special.
7. How will Gardner-Edgerton fare in Class 6A?
Is Traevohn Wrench ready for the big class spotlight? After putting up some Madden-type numbers last year, including 456 in the playoffs against Bonner Springs. The problem is that Olathe South, Olathe North and Olathe Northwest are not Bonner Springs and those are the teams lined up to welcome the Blazers in district play.
Appleton City Bulldogs
Olathe South Falcons
Lees Summit Tigers
Bonner Springs Braves
St. Joseph Benton Cardinals
Lafayette County Huskers
Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers
Pembroke Hill Raiders
Blue Valley West Jaguars
St. Marys Trojans