With a matchup against Olathe South looming next week and having homecoming festivities during this week's game against Shawnee Mission South, focus could play a factor in whether Lawrence High leaves Haskell Stadium with a 5-0 record tonight.
"Homecoming's kind of a coach's nightmare because there's just so many things going on," LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. "Hopefully these kids are mature enough to be able to filter through all the sideshows and the circus acts and be ready to play at 7:30."
Thus far, a strong senior class has shown its maturity in leading the Lions to their best start in recent history.
"Returning 16 (or) 17 starters from last year and having the success we had at the end of the season last year all goes into getting off to a good start," Wedd said.
The good start has also been aided by the performance of the defense. The Lions have held opponents to a combined 37 points, compared to the 146 totaled by the LHS offense.
"Defensively, we've done an outstanding job of showing up every week," Wedd said. "They're giving us some opportunities to score because of short field and turnovers."
SM South at Lawrence
When: 7:30 tonight Where: Haskell Stadium Records: SM South 0-4, LHS 4-0
Coming off a 44-17 win over Shawnee Mission East last week, which was the most points scored by an opponent, the Lions will look to regain some offensive momentum.
"Offensively, we struggled last week and hopefully we've corrected some of those errors," Wedd said.
The most glaring of those errors was in the kicking game. LHS missed three of its five PAT attempts. Two were missed by senior Chris Cates and the other by junior Abby Vestal, who kicked the two successful attempts.
"We spend a lot of time every day on the kicking game, although it doesn't show on Friday," said Wedd when asked how much the Lions worked on kicking in practice this past week. "We spent a little bit more time than normal and hopefully we got those errors corrected. I think the kids understand how important having good special teams are."
Kyle Mendenhall, the placeholder for the kicking game, will be missed for the rest of the season after suffering a broken tibia and fibula during last week's game. The team just also found out that Mendenhall broke his wrist in the game.
"He's had a pretty tough week," Wedd said. "But he'll be with us (on the sideline) and we're excited about having him back."
Paul Finch, who is also lost for the season, had a knee operation on Tuesday and Wedd hopes to have him on the sideline this week as well.