High School Sports

High School Sports

Lawrence offense sputters in 31-0 defeat

Lawrence High running back Tyrae Jenkins (10) fights for yardage in the second half. The Lions lost, 31-0, to Shawnee Mission West on Friday in Overland Park.

Lawrence High running back Tyrae Jenkins (10) fights for yardage in the second half. The Lions lost, 31-0, to Shawnee Mission West on Friday in Overland Park.

October 10, 2009


LHS gets shutout, remains winless

Lawrence High School's football team has yet to win a game this season. The Lions were shutout by Shawnee Mission South Friday. Enlarge video

— The Lawrence High offense sure would have frustrated its share of fantasy football owners Friday night.

Because of that, an 0-6 start is now very much a reality for the Lions, who dropped their sixth straight game, 31-0, to Shawnee Mission West at SM South District Stadium.

LHS managed just 104 yards of total offense, including a bone-chilling 62 yards rushing on 31 carries. Senior tailback Tyrae Jenkins rushed 21 times and somehow managed to grind out 49 yards.

Junior quarterback Chris Gaston was 3-of-8 for 42 yards through the air — decent numbers by LHS standards — but also threw two interceptions and missed on a couple of deep balls.

Outside of that, none of the six other Lions who touched the ball on offense did much to set the stat column on fire. Heck, this time out the Lions barely managed to generate a spark.

“We didn’t do anything on offense to help our defense tonight,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. “And that really hurt us. Shawnee Mission West is very physical. For the last five or six years, we’ve had a lot of trouble with them up front. And tonight, we couldn’t knock ’em off the ball.”

Unlike last week, when the Lions jumped to a 15-0 lead against Olathe South, thanks largely to an 11-minute first-quarter drive, there was no impressive opening this time out. In fact, there weren’t many LHS drives that impressed anyone on the LHS sideline.

On the Lions’ opening possession, Jenkins carried twice for five yards, but the the drive stalled abruptly when Gaston tossed an interception on the third offensive play of the night.

Rolling to his right, Gaston tried to drop the ball behind the SMW linebackers, but West’s Adam LeBlanc — remember that name — picked off the pass and set the Vikings up with a first-and-10 at the LHS 28. Seven players later, LeBlanc scored from four yards out, and West led, 7-0.

The two teams traded field position for much of the next 20 minutes, and the stout LHS defense kept the Lions in the game.

The Vikings gained the upper hand late in the second quarter with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a three-yard plunge from LeBlanc.

In all, LeBlanc scored three times Friday night, adding a 33-yard TD reception in the second half on one of the few big plays the LHS defense surrendered.

“I was proud of the guys tonight,” said LHS lineman Ben Muiller, the lone senior starter on the Lions’ defense. “They played hard on every snap and gave it all they had. It’s just tough to play defense when you’re out there all night.”

Most of the night, Muiller was joined by five juniors and five sophomores, perhaps the only bright spot for a team reeling from yet another loss.

“The young guys are making the plays they have to make,” second-year starter Darrin Sorem said. “We hung in there on every play and every down, and we hit everybody we could.”

The Vikings finished the night with 286 yards of total offense, including just 88 in the first half. But ultimately their size and efficiency — the Vikings converted on fourth down four different times and tallied 13 first downs — simply wore LHS down and sent the Lions to the buses aching over their latest loss.

“It’s hurt ever since 0-1,” Muiller said. “And it’s getting harder and harder. But we haven’t given up. District’s next, and now everybody starts and 0-0. The next three weeks are all that matter.”


cato_the_elder 8 years, 7 months ago

Ben, great comment. Keep working hard and get a win next week.

3up3down 8 years, 7 months ago

They were working the shotgun at the start of the season in practices. Why now, do they pull it out of the bag? I thought a change was coming on offense when I heard this. But, it is hard to teach an ole' dog new tricks. 0 - 9 here we come.

thebigspoon 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't see it getting better in the near future either. Commons will retire either this year or next year at the latest , then Wedd will be the new AD and probably won't be able to get a decent coach to come here while he is the AD.

lionheart 8 years, 7 months ago

It's VERY obvious to me that not one person that is posting negative comments after the LHS articles has any consideration for the players who are busting their tails on the field every single game. As a former Lion, I know how Coach Wedd approaches the game and his team is ready to go out and play their guts out for LHS. It wouldn't matter who the coach was or is... Lawrence Lions compete! They give their best effort. To have to read the comments parents/fans make about my former school and our current players and coach is upsetting.

I look at it very similar to the back-biting and complaining some citizens of our country participate in when they oppose the war in Iraq. Oppose it before we get involved, but then, support our troops when we are engaged in a conflict. In other words, support all of our LHS guys during the season... Then, if you have a problem with what's going on at Lawrence High, talk to those who make the decisions regarding such things. Don't write it at the bottom of an article during the season because it affects the morale of our athletes.

Also, a couple of quotes I fall back on from college... Coaches make decisions... Players make plays. It ain't the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmies and the Joe's.

GO LIONS! Play your hearts out!

3up3down 8 years, 7 months ago

My finger pointing has never been at the student athletes. They do not deserve any flack that has been going down on this board. My finger pointing has been in one directions and one only. The ones responsible for what is happening is the head coach and coaching staff who probably realizes the offensive system is past and the Lions need to move on. They do not have the guts to stand up the head coach and say, "our offensive system/philosophy needs to change by next season if we are going to compete." Wedd would probably fire them, because "he is never wrong." Time for a revolution.

lionheart 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm certain that your incessant bellyaching about the play calling is bringing out the best in your son's devotion to his teammates and coaching staff. Your inability to recognize that fact is probably why you never actually played a down your entire life. TEAMWORK is what makes the team what it is. No one ever promised a TEAM that simple membership guaranteed them victory. Strange how that same principle follows all of us through life. The experience of difficult times on this particular football team just might be the lesson your son(s) need in order to catapult them toward success in what is shaping up to be one of the toughest economies our nation has ever known. May our Lions never give up on this season and may they learn that life "ain't no bed of roses"... WORK HARDER! INVEST MORE IN THE TEAM! Sell out to what the TEAM needs, not what your dad thinks is a lost cause. It will be worth the memories.

cato_the_elder 8 years, 7 months ago

Lionheart, your posts and your understanding of football evince the fact that you are mature beyond your years. Can't say the same for certain of your fellow posters on this thread, regardless of their respective ages.

thebigspoon 8 years, 7 months ago

I do know a lot of the kids on the Varsity football team. Talking with them and their parents I don't thinkt that their morale could be any lower than it is right now. One thing will help and that is a win. And with Wedd at the helm I sure don't see that happening. Lionheart say what you want but Wedd has got to go. There are a lot of good atheletes who don't want to go out because of who the head coach is.and becausre of the way that their older brothers were treated by him. It is time for a change and if you can't see that then I don't know what to say. 0 and 6 probably headed to 0 and 9...

lionheart 8 years, 7 months ago

I can agree with you on one thing spoon, nobody likes to lose, and Lawrence Lions play to WIN! Just take a walk through the gymnasium and you know that Lions are used to a winning tradition. That being said, NOBODY knows that, or carries that burden more heavily than Coach Wedd. He KNOWS what it's like to win for LHS.

As for kids at LHS not playing because of what Coach did to their brothers... Come on. Any excuse is good enough when you are looking for one. I know that WILD HORSES couldn't have kept me from playing if Godzilla, Hitler, and Attila the Hun were the coaches. It was that important to me and my teammates.

While we are pointing fingers and laying blame... As a former Lion, I would like to voice my displeasure with a district administration that allowed a locker room facility to be built for FSHS before money was available for a similar facility at LHS! Talk about fighting uphill! It is ridiculous for administration to think that was fair. If they aren't going to enforce the rules regarding residence in the district, they have given athletes in town a great reason to jump the line and head to FSHS! It is UNFAIR!!!!

Jim Fisher 8 years, 7 months ago

Lionheart, everyone that has anything to do with LHS should be playing the 'no respect' card in regard to the facilities. LHS is my adopted High school, having sent five students through there. Know that there are plans in the works to improve the grounds, be ready for a forthcoming announcement. Remember this fact: the first liar doesn't have a chance! As for the coaching, Herm Edwards was loved by his players. He came to KC with the reputation as a player's coach. Terry Allen was loved by his players. Any group of people united for a cause is loyal to that cause, and each other. Good people are not always successful. Very good assistant coaches have seen the situation and left. 10 returning seniors. For a school this size, there is no excuse for that kind of atrophy.

lionheart 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm tired by all of this, fish... However, I don't understand your quote about the "first liar." Can you help me out?

Also, I'd love to know the name of one assistant who left because of Coach Wedd. Every assistant that I know improved their position when they left LHS. You can't blame a coach for having ambitious assistants.

How many seniors across town?

erina1323 8 years, 7 months ago

Thank you lionheart.....Fishcat name one assistant coach that has left the lions because of Coach Wedd. They are all some of his closet friends and they all consider him a mentor. Ask Darrin Wegner, Ask Scott Stidham, ask Jeremy Milne. You should know that two of them are now head coaches and one is an assistant at big time TEXAS school. So before you blame the coach why don't you take a look at the talent.

If some of you only knew how much fighting Coach Wedd does for these kids to get what they deserve........ To some of these kids Coach Wedd is all they have.

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