Olathe East was one of the best in 2010

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: March 9, 2011 - 9:17 PM



It was just another year of outstanding football at Olathe East. The Hawks were once again one of the best teams in the Metro, shared the Sunflower League title and advanced all the way to the Class 6A semifinals.

Olathe East began the season with a lot of talent returning from a team that went 6-4 and qualified for the Class 6A postseason. The Hawks would open the season with wins over Shawnee Mission North and Olathe Northwest setting up a showdown with rival Olathe North.

The Hawks had played well the first two weeks but the game against the Eagles would really test just how good this Olathe East team could be. North entered on a 16-game winning streak and hadn’t lost since 2008. There was a lot of talk of this North team repeating as undefeated Class 6A state champions but East put an end to that talk with a 25-0 win.

That win would make East the No. 1 team in the state. They would go on to lose only one regular season game, a week No. 5 27-21 stunner at Lawrence, before falling to the Eagles in the Class 6A semifinals and fall 13-6.

East coach Jeff Meyers said his team really came together and played as a team in 2010.

“Team chemistry wise the team really came together well,” Meyers said. “We had a couple of running backs that were extremely impressive. They just played well.

“Our highlight of the season was we played too good, too early in the season. We beat Olathe North 25-0. We never came back to that performance even though we played well enough to win a lot of games. They were a very good group of kids, solid athletes. We were just real happy with the outcome of the season being co-champions of the Sunflower League and making it to the semifinals. We just need to get over that hump and win that state title.”

The Hawks had a strong senior group led by running backs Austin Fulson and Brandon Willingham. They along 11 other seniors were starters for East. Even though the Hawks are losing a strong senior class Meyers likes the work the underclassmen have put in so far this offseason.

“Things are going real well,” Meyers said. “We really do encourage our athletes to be multiple sport athletes and the ones that aren’t they are expected to be in that weight room that much more. Our kids are responding very well during this offseason. I am very excited about our group that we have coming up this next year."