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Archive for Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tittrington: Paramore has Kaws hummin’

September 26, 2006

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During a round-table discussion about area high school football on this week's edition of High School Spodcasters, each of the three people taking part informally decided to "pick their pony."

Eric Sorrentino, our Free State High beat writer, opened with his thoughts on Tonganoxie in the wake of the Chieftains' decisive 28-7 victory Friday night over fellow unbeaten Mill Valley.

Next, Jeff Fedotin, our Lawrence High beat writer, honed in on Eudora, which pitched a 44-0 shutout against Prairie View - the Cardinals' third whitewash on their way to an unblemished 4-0 mark.

Then came the time for yours truly to drop some knowledge.

Whether that actually happened is up for the listeners to decide. For those who either don't want to check it out or are too technology-phobic to make it happen, here's my choice for the best area storyline to develop thus far in 2006:

The Perry-Lecompton Kaws.

After Friday night's 22-14 victory against Santa Fe Trail, the Kaws improved to 4-0 to remain one of just three area teams - Tonganoxie and Eudora are the others - to make it this far without an entry in the loss ledger.

I'll freely admit it's a start that has taken me, and I dare say many others familiar with the Kaw Valley League, by surprise.

I knew all about the strong senior class that found lightning in a bottle last fall, when Perry-Lecompton opened 8-0 - winning more games than the previous three seasons combined - before falling by a field goal in both the regular-season finale against Tonganoxie and the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs against Lansing.

I also knew about the struggles that preceded last season's turnaround, when the first four seasons of the Mike Paramore era saw the Kaws finish a combined 12-24 with nary a playoff appearance.

So, when I spoke with Paramore a week before the 2006 season kicked off, I expected the usual coachspeak about optimism for the new campaign. To his credit, Paramore - a truly good guy who has been accessible and engaging whenever I've asked for a moment of his time - didn't disappoint. He freely dipped into the coach's bag of cliches during our preseason chat, sharing his belief the Perry-Lecompton program has turned a corner, not just reached the top of a mighty steep hill only to slide back down the other side.

However, also to his credit, he offered some concrete analysis to back up what, given the Kaws' history, easily could be discounted as a flimsy premise. He pointed to a junior-varsity program that finished a combined 15-1 the last two seasons. He offered his belief that those players finally had something no other Perry-Lecompton team ever had enjoyed during his tenure: the experience of finally embarking on a season already knowing how it felt to win.

He was anxious to find out if - cliche alert - success actually would breed success.

So far, his theory has the look of solid science. The names that dominate the weekly box scores are different - David Foltz, Sean Blosser and Corey McPherson have given way to Caleb Denton, Brent Garrison and Shane Gimzo - but the final scores they're creating are essentially the same.

Kudos to the Kaws from one who admits he didn't see it coming.

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