Last Friday saw the start of high school football across the state of Kansas.
With the first game out of the way, teams are taking what they learned from the first game of the season to prepare for the next game.
The Lansing Lions began the season with a loss against Blue Valley Southwest 34-14. The Lions had costly errors that spoiled the debut under Dylan Brown in his first game as head coach. When asked what will be the focus this week, Brown said the plan is to continue to work on what the Lions are good at.
“Our biggest focus this week has been simply getting better at what we do,” Brown said. “We competed well with BVSW but were undone by our own errors.”
The Lions are preparing for their home opener against conference opponent Basehor-Linwood. The Bobcats won their opener against Tonganoxie 42-6.
“Basehor is always one of the best prepared, well-coached teams on our schedule,” Brown said “Keeping in theme with the first question, we can't beat ourselves against their discipline. They also play fast and aggressive, so we have to be able to match or exceed their pace of play.”
For the Bobcats, their plan for this week is to correct the mistakes the team made in last week’s win.
Head coach Rod Stallbaumer said that whoever wins the line of scrimmage will be key for Friday’s game.
“Winning the line of scrimmage will be key,” Stallbaumer said. “Lansing has a good ground game and will look to establish the run early. Minimizing turnovers and mistakes will be key, with a likely rainy evening in the forecast, field position will be critical, as a result, we can't afford to cost ourselves yards in penalties or turn the ball over and give up a short field.”
The home game for the Lions will be what Brown calls “one of the ultimate high school experiences” from all those attending and the game having the band, flag and cheer teams all there.
The Leavenworth Times will be covering the game this Friday. Follow our Twitter @LVTSportsGuy for updates.
The Leavenworth Pioneers look to bounce back after their 42-7 loss to De Soto last week.
This week’s practice has head coach Mark Littrell emphasizing repetition, focusing on assignments and playing with great effort for the team as they prepare to host Shawnee Mission Northwest. The Cougars won 16-14 last week against Shawnee Mission West.
Littrell said the defense will be key for the Pioneers to stop the Cougars.
“We must do a great job with our pass defense,” Littrell said. “SMNW will line up in empty sets and will throw the football. We must do a great job of covering their receivers and putting pressure on their quarterback.”
The home game for the Pioneers will also serve as Military Appreciation Night, which Littrell said is always a great night as he appreciates what the military does for the country.
All military personnel and their spouses will get in the game at no cost. The Pioneers will sell shirts as well in short and long sleeves. A full color guard and garrison flag display will take place during pregame and a fundraiser will go on in the stands. The funds raised will be all donated to Folds of Honor.
The Pleasant Ridge Rams began their season with a road victory over Jefferson County North 30-12. The team will host the Troy Trojans on Friday. The Trojans are coming off of a 27-12 victory over Valley Heights.
As the team prepares for their home opener against Troy, head coach Pat McCollim is working on fixing the Rams’ biggest issues from the first game.
“Penalties and turnovers in the red zone were two glaring issues we had in week one that we need to fix,” McCollim said. “We have stressed game tempo and situations in practice to provide the pressure for the team to stay disciplined. We have also spent time with our backs holding, drilling the importance of ball security.”
Ball security will be one of the Rams’ keys to victory Friday with rain in the forecast. McCollim also said that playing tough and fundamentally sound on both lines will be important to be successful as the team prepares for a home opener, which McCollim describes as always special.
“The home opener is always special for the kids because we have great community support,” McCollim said. “And big crowds that motivate the team to play even better. They have worked hard and spent a lot of time away from their families this summer and start of the season, they are very anxious to show their community what all that work and time was for.”