Lincoln Prep looking for another crown
By Toriano Porter PrepsKC Staff Writer
Lincoln Prep is still the team to beat in the Interscholastic League, but Blue Tigers’ head coach Henry Newell isn’t concerned about being knock off its top perch.
The two-time defending league champions will be challenged in the standings by Northeast, East, Southwest Early College Campus and African Centered College Prep and Kansas City Central, but it’s not the conference slate that is at the top of Newell’s concerns.
The Blue Tigers’ non-conference schedule includes Saturday’s season-openin 36-34 close loss to Hogan Prep – a team receiving votes in a statewide poll – and contests against Oak Grove, Center, University Academy, Pembroke Hill and St. James.
“Our schedule is brutal,” Newell said. “We expect to have another good season, but we have little margin for error.”
Nevertheless, Lincoln Prep, 7-4 overall last season and 4-0 in the IL, is still the top team in the league, sporting a combined 9-0 league mark the last two seasons.
Lincoln College Prep
Head Coach: Henry Newell, 3rd Season
2014 record (overall/conference): 7-4/4-0
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/7
Biggest Challenge: Depth at the skill positions
Outlook: “We only have three IL games and six real good non-conference games. We return 28 letter winners who know how to win.”
Coach’s thoughts: We must stay healthy and improve defensively in order to win
Head Coach: Kevin Bair, 1st season
2014 record (overall/conference): 2-8/2-3
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 4/6
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge for the Northeast Vikings has been the turnover of the coaching staff late in the summer and picking up right where things left off.
Outlook: The Northeast Vikings are a young team with some solid veteran leadership who should be able to grow and progress throughout the year to potentially make some noise.
Coach’s thoughts: “I am extremely proud of our senior leadership this year. They have helped guide the younger players on the team both on and off the field, and they are dedicated to continuing to build what Coach Terry McCray started here three and a half years ago. I really think we have the players capable of surprising some people and teams around the league.”
Head Coach: Greg Smith, 6th season (check this
2014 record (overall/conference): 1-9/1-4
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 8/8
Biggest Challenge: The biggest difficulty will have this year is making sure we have enough depth to keep our two way players fresh for four quarters.
Outlook: We have some really good athletes this year but giving them breaks throughout the game is a must.
Coach’s thoughts: “We have a good shot of winning a lot of games this year with the talent that we have as long as we stay healthy and focus on each game one week at a time.
Head Coach: Roger Franks, 5th season
2014 record (overall/conference): 4-6/3-1
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 7/7
Biggest Challenge: Staying healthy
Outlook: Can be a pretty good team, if they make some sacrifices.
Coach’s thoughts: “One of the most talented group of athletes I have coached in my 15 years. Only thing stopping this group from being a contender is their desire to win, and will to make sacrifices.”
Kansas City Central and ACCP did not provide information for the IL preview
Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers
North Platte Panthers
NOAH Tulsa, Okla.
Hogan Prep Academy Rams
Knob Noster Panthers
Lone Jack Mules
Sweet Springs Greyhounds
Olathe Northwest Ravens
Blue Valley North Mustangs
Pleasant Ridge Rams
St. Joseph LeBlond Golden Eagles
St. James Academy Thunder
St. Thomas Aquinas Saints
Summit Christian Academy Eagles
Lees Summit West Titans