View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/25

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 26, 2013 - 5:48 AM

There have been some historic early season wins this year. Well not maybe historic but definitely noteworthy.
In Week No. 2 Shawnee Mission South found a way to get past Olathe North 10-7. That’s a good win for this season but it is a great win considering Bill Clinton was the president the last time the Raiders beat the Eagles. That same week Lathrop got a big 37-15 win over Penney. It’s a good victory all by itself but when you factor in that Penney had not lost a regular season game since 2007 and had won three state titles in the last four years, Lathrop’s victory is huge.
South has been looking for a signature win the last two seasons and this might just be what it needed. Raiders’ coach Ryan Lonergan is a former Olathe North and Shawnee Mission West assistant so he might know a thing or two about how to beat a North team.
The first week of the season South gave Shawnee Mission West all it wanted in a 10-3 loss. This week the Raiders defense again flexed its muscle and the offense found a little more success along the way. Couple that with what looks to be a solid kicking game, and things could start happening for the Raiders.
This week South takes on Shawnee Mission Northwest and there are several more winnable games along the way. It’s tough to climb the ladder in the 12-team Sunflower League but maybe this is the year the Raiders make a run at the top third and become a contender for a playoff spot.
Lathrop’s win is something that has been coming for a while. The Mules were 0-10 in 2010 and won a total of 2 games from 2008-2010 but things have turned quickly. In 2011 Lathrop won four games and last season only Penney found a way to beat the Mules in the regular season. Lathrop ran to the quarterfinals before falling to Holden in the Class 2 quarterfinals and finishing its season at 11-2.
Penney would go on to win the Class 1 state title last year and this year Lathrop solved the Hornets. This win could mean a KCI title for the Mules and they could go on to be a force in the Class 2 playoffs. Coach Mike Thompson and his staff have turned things around quickly and the turnaround is profiled in this week’s feature story.
It’s great when you see teams get things turned around. It’s also great when they are able to get wins over teams they haven’t beaten in a long time. Change sometimes takes a long time but when it does it can be exciting.