Challenges to Come

Changes to the game plan are poised to help the football team

Max Meyer, Writer

With a new year comes a new identity.

The football team is well on their way to finding their own. One of the big changes for the team this year is a shift more towards platooning. Platooning is when a player plays only on offense or defense, not both. However, the team will not fully change to platooning.

“We try to find 22 starters,” Tim Callaghan, head coach, said. “Our guys will know two positions.”

“It helps us get more reps at the position the coaches thought we could help the team out,” Jonathan Shull, quarterback, said. “It definitely made us better at the position that the coaches told us we were going to play.”

Another change for the team is on the offensive side of the ball. More veer (option) is being added to the game plan this year.

“At least first or second week it will be weird because teams will not be prepared to have to stop that,” Josh Compton, linebacker, said. “It’ll just be another thing teams will have to prepare for because we already have a tough offense to stop.”

“I think it’ll be a nice change of pace from our normal offense,” Shull said.

The team has faced the challenge of having multiple “heat” practices this year. That means that players are given a break in between each drill, and players wear shells (helmet, shoulder pads and shorts).

“I really don’t think it’s made a big effect because we’ve been going 100%,” Compton said. “But even in the time we get we’ve been getting coached up the whole time, preparing, seeing their offenses.”

Despite some of the challenges provided by the heat practices, such as not being full contact and shorter practices, there are some advantages.

“I think it’s (heat practices) been a good thing for us,” Callaghan said. “Doing a heat schedule makes coaches be more efficient with their planning.”

The Sunflower League appears to have some very good teams this year. Shawnee Mission East returns this year after an appearance in the State Championship. Olathe North has multiple Division 1 players on their team.

“I think there’s probably three or four teams,” Callaghan said. “I think Olathe North, Shawnee Mission East, Lawrence, Lawrence Free State will all be good.”

“Toughest game, our two biggest games, Lawrence Free State or Shawnee Mission East because they’re probably the two best teams we’ll see,” Compton said.

The team meets up with a few of the perceived best teams in the Sunflower League. They faced off against Lawrence Free State on Sept. 4 in the season opener. They also see East on Sept. 26.

“We got killed by them (East) last year, and we want to avenge that. They’re also our main rival,” Compton said. “And Free State is one of our new rivals, and it’s also the first week.”

After a long offseason the team looks to improve throughout the season, and reach their peak by the time playoffs come around.

“I think just improve everyday. It’s just the clichést thing,” Callaghan said. “There’s little things we’re going to keep getting better at. I expect to be playing pretty good ball by the time we get to districts.”