Lincoln Prep could be tops again

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: August 21, 2014 - 3:04 PM



This year PrepsKC begins a new weekly feature that focuses on the Interscholastic League and its member schools. Each week Toriano Porter will highlight some of the best players, teams, games and stories from the league. This week’s league preview is the first in that series.

Afrikan Centered College Prep

Head coach: Steve Trumble

2013 record: 3-6/3-2

The Knights look to improve on its three-win campaign from a season ago with a renewed focus on commitment and discipline, but youth may be their undoing according to head coach Steve Trumble.

 

Now in his second year at the school, Trumble faces a decline in numbers. Despite the dip in bodies, the coach loves the team’s speed and athleticism.

“What I like about our team is speed,” Trumble said. “What I don’t like is our numbers are way down this year. Also, we’re really, really young. We’re starting a lot of freshmen and sophomores and it’s a little nerve-wrecking. We probably won’t come together until next season.”

Kansas City Central

Head coach: Mark Faubion

2013 record: 3-7/2-3

Coming off a three-win season a year ago, Central turns to new head coach Mark Faubion to help right the ship.

Loaded with potential explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball, Faubion hopes his skill position players will put the Blue Eagles in the thick of the IL race.

With non-conference games against Hogan Prep Academy, Van Horn and O’Hara on the schedule, Central could surprise some or struggle to improve on last season’s record.

“My expectations as head coach are to grow as a team and establish a power running mentality,” Faubion said. “We have a great quarterback-running back combination that I believe could surprise some people.”

East

Head coach: Greg Smith

2013 record: 0-10/0-5

A winless season last year for veteran coach Greg Smith has East putting in extra work to erase the blemish.

Now in his seventh season patrolling the sidelines at East, Smith and his staff hadn’t ever experience a season without a win until 2013.

A non-conference schedule that includes games against West Platte, Hogan and Horn, where Smith coached for five seasons, is daunting, but the Bears’ head coach wouldn’t want it any other way.

“First time ever in our career going 0-10,” Smith said of last season. “We’re going to be alright this year. We’re young, but we have some pretty good leaders out there. We have a tough schedule early, but if we can make it through those games, we’ll be alright. Everybody has grown and learned. It’s going to be a good season.” 

Lincoln College Prep

Head coach: Henry Newell

2013 record: 6-4/5-0

The class of the IL wants to take winning to a new level.

With nine starters back on offense and nine returning on defense, the defending undefeated league champion has its sights set on something bigger than a conference crown.

Veteran coach Henry Newell believes with a slate of games against non-conference foes Oak Grove, Center, University Academy, St. James and Pembroke Hill, this season is ripe for the Tigers to make noise outside of the league.

“We’ve got to be in better shape,” Newell said. “We worked out all summer. We worked out hard, but it was so cool out we don’t think we’re in shape yet. It’s a veteran team. We won the league last season pretty easy. We lost three non-conference games we thought we should have won, but we got outplayed. We’ve been telling the kids that last year we learned how to compete but we didn’t learn how to win. We won the IL, but we have higher goals than that. This year we need to learn how to win. Thee only way to learn how to win is to win. We have to beat good people.”

Northeast

Head coach: Terrell McCray

2013 record: 5-5/4-1

Northeast finished as runner up to Lincoln Prep last season in the race for the IL title, but a four-game road trip this year in the middle of the season will define the 2014 version of the Vikings.

Southwest Early College Campus

Head coach: Roger Franks

2013 record: 1-9/1-4

Now in his third season at Southwest Early College Campus, head coach Roger Franks has saw gradual improvement in participation.

The goal for now, Franks said, is to win a few more games and establish good habits for the Indians to compete with some of the better teams in the IL.

“Being that this is pretty much my core group that I had as freshmen, I expect those guys to go out and compete a little bit better,” Franks said. “I think the guys are finally understanding that they have to raise their level of play and their level of being coached. I think they need to understand what’s expected of them. They’re going to have to buy into the system.”