Offseason report: EKL

By PrepsKC staff
Posted: March 18, 2015 - 2:49 PM



Last season the Eastern Kansas League was arguably one of the top two or three conferences in the entire state of Kansas. The League boasted a Class 4A-I champ (Bishop Miege), a class 5A runner-up (St. Thomas Aquinas) and a 6A semifinalist (Blue Valley).

With the 2014 season in the rearview mirror PrepsKC is checking in to see how each team’s offseason is going.

Bishop Miege

2014 Record: 13-0/6-0

Returning starters (off/def): 6/5

Head Coach Jon Holmes’ thoughts:
“Off season workouts have been great. We have had great turn out in our after school weights program. The effort is easy to see on a daily basis. The players experienced a lot of success in 2014 and know what it takes to finish the season at the top. This group wants to make a name for itself and continue the success of our program.

“Our focus has been focused on replacing our QB, Ryan Willis. We feel have have three guys ready to take over. The summer will be important for us to see who will give us the best chance to win. We also lose three starters from our OL. We return most of our skill players, so that should help take some pressure off of our QB & OL in the early part of the season. For the second season our defense has to replace the EKL Defensive POY. The strength of our Defense should be in our DL, we return two starters and a key reserve. We will be athletic in our back seven, with many players ready to step up.”

2015 Schedule:
9/4         Blue Valley Northwest
9/11       @ Gardner-Edgerton
9/18       @ Blue Valley
9/25       St. Thomas Aquinas
10/1       @ Blue Valley West
10/9       Blue Valley Southwest
10/16     @ Spring Hill
10/23     Louisburg
10/30     Sumner

Blue Valley

2014 Record: 9-2/6-1

Returning starters (off/def):  6/6

Head Coach Eric Driskell’s thoughts:
“Off-Season has gone well. We have had great attendance and effort. Although we are always looking for more!!  Just like any year, our focus has been to get more physical as a group. We are always striving to be a stronger and more physical team. We are also focusing on coming together as a group with great chemistry.”

2015 Schedule:
9/4         Shawnee Mission Northwest
9/11       @ Blue Valley West
9/18       Bishop Miege
9/25       Blue Valley Southwest
10/2       Blue Valley North
10/9       St. Thomas Aquinas
10/16     @ Gardner-Edgerton
10/23     @ Olathe South
10/30     Blue Valley Northwest

Blue Valley North

2014 Record: 2-7/1-5

Returning starters (off/def): 10/10

Head Coach Andy Sims’ Thoughts:
“We have made huge strides in our Athlete Development Program. At Blue Valley North, with an average ACT of 26 our Academics are very demanding, which places a strain on our players to fit weight training into their schedule alongside many AP courses. However, our players have done a great job adjusting their schedules and making weights fit into their schedules. In addition to weights class our players are expected to also attend after school or be involved in another sport. I have been very pleased with effort and attitude.  As a result, we have over 600 Personal records, 100 strength records and 75 speed and agility records.

“Our biggest area of emphasis has just been a change in expectations. We have done a great job of showing up, but we have to understand that just showing up is nothing special. It is the quality of work that counts, not just punching the clock. In order for us to reach the goals we have for next season, must continue to learn how to grind every single day.”

2015 Schedule:
9/4         Blue Valley Southwest
9/11       @ St. Thomas Aquinas
9/18       Blue Valley West
9/25       Blue Valley Northwest
10/2       @ Blue Valley
10/9       @ Gardner-Edgerton
10/15     Shawnee Mission South
10/22     Shawnee Mission Northwest
10/30     @ Shawnee Mission West

Blue Valley Northwest

2014 Record: 5-4/4-3

Returning starters (off/def):  3/6

Head Coach Mike Zegunis’ Thoughts:
“We’ve had good participation and effort – just have a lot to do improve in order to compete in our league. Our biggest area of improvement is on getting our linemen bigger and more athletic. We don’t have much depth at those positions and the players that we do have lack size, strength, and experience. We will also need to get next year’s Sophomore class ready to contribute at the Varsity level earlier than usual due to a small Junior class – only anticipating about 16 players to come out – normally we have closer to 30-35 Juniors in our program.”

2015 Schedule
9/4         @ Bishop Miege
9/11       @ Mill Valley
9/17       St. Thomas Aquinas
9/25       @ Blue Valley North
10/2       Blue Valley Southwest
10/9       Blue Valley West
10/16     @ Olathe South
10/23     Gardner-Edgerton
10/30     @ Blue Valley

Blue Valley Southwest

2014 Record: 3-6/2-5

Returning starters (off/def):  11 total

Head Coach Anthony Orrick’s Thoughts:
“Offseason has been going ok, several kids are involved in other sports so haven't had an opportunity to meet or work with everyone yet. This summer will be very important for us. We will have to get a lot done in a short amount of time.

“My main focus at this time is putting together a staff, organizing summer activities, and creating an exciting atmosphere for our players. The most important thing this offseason is to get our program in place and begin to build positive relationships with the players/community.”

2015 Schedule:
9/4         @ Blue Valley North
9/11       Shawnee Heights
9/18       Gardner-Edgerton
9/25       @ Blue Valley
10/2       @ Blue Valley Northwest
10/9       @ Bishop Miege
10/16     @ St. Thomas Aquinas
10/23     Pittsburg
10/30     Blue Valley West

Blue Valley West

2014 Record: 5-4/3-4

Returning starters (off/def):  5/5

Head Coach Scott Wright’s Thoughts:
“We have had one of the best off seasons in both EFFORT and PARTICAPATION in 15 years here at BVW. Every year you have to develop a TEAMFIRST attitude so that is first on our priority, secondly we are really working hard on TEAM SPEED.”

2015 Schedule
9/4         @ Lawrence
9/11       Blue Valley
9/18       @ Blue Valley North
9/24       Gardner-Edgerton
10/1       Bishop Miege
10/9       @ Blue Valley Northwest
10/16     Pittsburg
10/23     @ St. Thomas Aquinas
10/30     Blue Valley Southwest

Gardner-Edgerton

2014 Record: 0-9/0-7

Returning starters (off/def): 6/6

Head Coach Marvin Diener’s Thoughts:
“We have been having a very good off- season. Every player expected to be on next season’s roster is enrolled in out athletic Development class (weight Classes). We have made very good progress but still have a lot of room for more improvement.

“In general we just need to be a more athletic football team. We will still be a young team and these young players must development into physical 6A football players. I am very optimistic on the potential of the players but there is a lot work ahead for us to become a contender again.”

2015 Schedule
9/4         @ Shawnee Mission East
9/11       Bishop Miege
9/18       Blue Valley Southwest
9/25       @ Blue Valley West
10/2       @ St. Thomas Aquinas
10/9       Blue Valley North
10/16     Blue Valley
10/23     @ Blue Valley Northwest
10/30     Olathe South

St. Thomas Aquinas

2014 Record: 9-4/5-2

Returning starters (off/def): 7/6

Head Coach Randy Dreiling’s Thoughts:
“Offseason workouts have been great, high energy level. We need to develop some depth on our d-line and defense in general.  We have to have some people step up in that area.”

2015 Schedule
9/4         Mill Valley
9/11       Blue Valley North
9/17       @ Blue Valley Northwest
9/25       @ Bishop Miege
10/2       Gardner-Edgerton
10/9       @ Blue Valley
10/16     Blue Valley Southwest
10/23     Blue Valley West
10/30     @ Pittsburg