Sunflower League Football action officially got under way Thursday with Olathe South knocking off Lawrence 33-20 — but the rest of the league takes to the field for the first time tonight, with SM East and SM North both making long trips for their openers.
The Lancers head all the way to Leavenworth, 4-5 in 2012, for new head coach Dustin Delaney’s debut. Leavenworth has a new skipper as well — but he’s not a stranger to the Sunflower League. Mark Vittrell is back in Kansas after taking a detour to Texas for five years after piloting Olathe South, who he led to three Kansas runner-up finished between 1998-2007.
SM North’s fans will also get a first official look at their new head coach Friday, as the Indians, 0-9 in 2012, open their season against a strong Lawrence Free State team that’s expected to continue the momentum it had in its 10-2 2012 season.
Sunflower Football League blogger Eli Underwood’s game previews for SM East and SM North are as follows:
SM East (0-0) at Leavenworth (0-0) at Pioneer Stadium
With new head coaches on both sidelines this game will be a battle of which new hire can notch the first win at their respective school. SM East will debut a true flexbone offense, run by a coach who knows how to run a flexbone offense, which will be the first of its kind in the league. Veteran Mark Littrell will attempt to prove he hasn’t lost a step in the league, despite his five-year absence.
SM North (0-0) at Lawrence Free State (0-0) at Free State Athletic Stadium
Last fall SM North went 0-9 while Free State went 10-2. This game is being played at Free State’s home stadium. SM North is debuting a new head coach. Free State looks to be among the league’s most talented teams. On paper this matchup is completely lopsided and it would be the regular season upset of the decade if the game ended in SM North’s favor.
SM East’s game will be webcast on the Harbinger’s website.
Good luck Lancers and Indians!