View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso10/28
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
There is a certain adult beverage company that has a very clever and funny ad campaign that takes old NFL coach’s press conferences and uses them to sell their product. They have chosen some of the all-time best coach melt downs and funny lines to promote their product.
One of my favorite of those commercials is where former Arizona Cardinals’ Coach Denny Green getting angry after his team lost to the Chicago Bears in 2006. Along with some choice words Green yells out “they are who we thought they were.”
When I hear Green say that my thoughts wonder to this current high school season and one team in particular, Olathe North. The Eagles went into this season as the defending Class 6A state champion riding a 13-game winning streak. That streak would reach 15 before Olathe East stunned Olathe North 25-0 in the season’s third week.
Since that time the Class 6A picture has become cloudier by the week. Olathe East looked like the team to beat until they lost a stunner to Lawrence. Shawnee Mission West would run off six straight wins before running into Shawnee Mission East last week. Other teams like Lawrence Free State and Olathe South have shown flashes but the question remains if they have what it takes to win games in the playoffs.
With all of these other teams taking the limelight for a short time look who is still there winning games, Olathe North. The Eagles have been impressive in every game the rest of the way. The closest game came when Shawnee Mission East led 13-10 early in the fourth quarter the week after the Olathe East loss. Looking back now that game showed that the Lancers were ready to take the next step and be part of the conversation.
With all of this going on the Eagles just kept winning. They put up big victories over Leavenworth and Lawrence and this past week over Lawrence Free State. While the Firebirds 4-4 record may not look that impressive they have wins over Olathe South to go along with close losses to Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission West.
Olathe North’s win over Free State was one of the most complete wins the Eagles have had all season. They held standout quarterback Dylan Perry to under 100 yards rushing and passing while grinding out big yardage totals on the ground.
This Olathe North team is probably not as talented and deep as last year’s state title squad. Anytime you have to replace the school’s all-time leading rusher in James Franklin there is going to be a change. While this team isn’t last year, it is starting to make its mark this year.
This season looks as wide open as any year in Class 6A on the east side of the state. It should be a fun playoff season but be careful, it looks like Olathe North might just be who we thought they were.
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