High School Sports

High School Sports

Lions fail to capitalize on errors

Lawrence High receiver Anthony Buffalomeat (18) fights for the ball with Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Kosh Khan in the end zone. Lawrence High lost, 35-7, at Lawrence High.

Lawrence High receiver Anthony Buffalomeat (18) fights for the ball with Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Kosh Khan in the end zone. Lawrence High lost, 35-7, at Lawrence High.

September 18, 2009, 8:11 p.m. Updated September 19, 2009, 12:00 a.m.


LHS foootball falls to 0-3

The Lawrence High football team lost, 35-7, on Friday night to Shawnee Mission Northwest at home. Enlarge video

Who says mistakes kill football teams? Not Shawnee Mission Northwest. Not Friday night.

The Cougars coughed the ball up three times, yet none was costly in their 35-7 Sunflower League cruise over Lawrence High at the Lions’ new stadium.

“The defense got us turnovers,” Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said, “and when you don’t reward the defense, it gets hard.”

Then again, it’s also hard when your offensive line is injury-riddled and inexperienced. Five juniors started up front for the Lions, and nary a one lettered last year.

Nevertheless, in spite of the line’s greenish hue, the Lions mustered 252 yards of offense, including 200 rushing, after compiling only 130 yards in last week’s 28-7 loss at Shawnee Mission South.

One of those five juniors was Ben Seybert, who started at guard for the first time in his career. Seybert, who also plays defensive end, had to switch his jersey number from 45 to 54 so he could play on the offensive line.

Another first-time starter was Kevin Weiss at center.

“I felt those guys we put in there were nervous,” senior end Taylor Coleman said, “but they played their hearts out.”

Junior fullback-linebacker Darrin Sorem felt the same way.

“We were missing two major linemen, and two juniors stepped up,” Sorem said, “and we had the best offensive drive we’ve had all year.”

Sorem was referring to the Lions’ lone scoring march, an 80-yard sustained drive after the second-half kickoff that featured a surprising 40-yard gallop by, yes, Sorem.

His jaunt was surprising because everybody, including the Cougars, thought he had been stopped after a gain of about five yards.

“The line did a good job of giving me five yards like they usually do,” Sorem said. “I was moving forward, then I felt everybody let go. I looked up and it was wide open and took off.”

Sorem was hauled down at the Cougars’ 13. Four plays later, Tyrae Jenkins bolted over when the Lions had a first-and-goal on the one.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Lions were on SM Northwest’s one-yard line again, facing a third-and-goal, but Jenkins was stuffed. Then on fourth-and-goal from the same spot, quarterback Chris Gaston tried a sneak and hit a brick wall.

Those back-to-back failures from the one — really more like the one-foot line — stuck in Wedd’s craw in spite of his offensive line’s inexperience.

“We’ve got to learn to take pride in knocking people off the ball,” the Lions’ coach said. “This group has to believe it can knock people off the ball. We’ve got to score when we get down there.”

On two other occasions, the Lions were inside the Cougars’ 10-yard line. On their second drive, they had first-and-goal on the seven when a botched handoff caused a turnover.

Minutes later, however, SM Northwest fumbled the ball right back. Unfortunately, quarterback Chris Gaston was intercepted in the end zone on the Lions’ second play.

“The interception was my fault,” Wedd said. “That was a bad call on my part.”

On defense, the Lions (0-3) surrendered 446 yards with senior quarterback Matt Nowak accounting for 275 of those yards by throwing for 168 and rushing for 107 more.

“We don’t play real good in space,” Wedd said of his defense, “and No. 12 (Nowak) was a bad match-up for us.”

The Lions, who played without four injured senior regulars, lost another senior on the penultimate play of the first half when Dom Reiske, a linebacker and back-up fullback who is also the long snapper, left with a leg injury and didn’t return.

Wedd said he was uncertain whether Reiske will be able to return for next Friday’s home game against Shawnee Mission East.


blindrabbit 8 years, 7 months ago

My how things have changed at LHS. The LHS Class of 1959 is having their 50th class reunion in Lawrence this weekend and many were attending the LHS game. If I'm not mistaken, that class was part of the long string of State Football Champioships that LHS accomplished in the 1950-1960 period. While football is not the most important school activity I'm sure some are scratching their heads.

mr_moon 8 years, 7 months ago

wow. LHS is miserable. though i hope that it won't be an 0-fer season...i wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Michael Stanclift 8 years, 7 months ago

I can't wait for the LFS vs LHS game this year. :D

jhawkfan05 8 years, 7 months ago

WOW!!! I agree with everyone that says FIRE WEDD he is worthless and LHS Football will never be the same until they do...Maybe send a letter to the new superindent....I know Ron Commons wont do crap to him....Look at Freestate and their program....look at their coach...UMMM wonder where he come from...ummm coach Freeman and the real LHS Football Team....COME ON RON COMMONS OPEN YOUR EYES AND HELP THESE KIDS THAT WANT TO PLAY FOR A REAL COACH...

erina1323 8 years, 7 months ago

Once again I watched the abysmal display of talent at Lawrence High friday night. No coach in the world could lead these talentless players to a victory. The coaching staff did a tremendous job with the little talent they have. HOW many times were the Lions driving the ball only to fumble the ball or throw an interception. I'm pretty sure that this isn't the coaches fault. Someone tell me if the Freestate and Lawrence High teams swapped that Lisher would win with that talent.

erina1323 8 years, 7 months ago

Number_1 are you watching the same team we are???? IS there anyone on this team that can play Div.I football????? I am sure it is the coaches fault when the defense can't tackle and get's run over..... Do you all remember that Wedd coached under Purdy when they had all their success............Getting rid of Wedd &Co won't solve your problems!

cato_the_elder 8 years, 7 months ago

Number_1_Harpy, LHS has a great deal of young talent that, barring injury, will produce outstanding teams next year and the year after, while the other public high school will be almost bone dry. Because football is based on numbers, that's what happens when you split a high school and establish a boundary line in a community that has never had enough truly outstanding football players to have two highly successful football teams at one time. It's obvious that you wish absolutely no good on LHS in any of its activities, as demonstrated by your inane comments about LHS's baseball coach last spring shortly before he and his players won a State Championship. As I have previously suggested to you, please stop embarrassing yourself with your patent hypocrisy and limit your ignorant complaints to the school north of 15th, where, as you have previously stated, one or more of your grandchildren apparently matriculate.

erina1323 8 years, 7 months ago

Number_1 why don't you keep your comments to yourself, you obviously don't know a thing........ If LHS has such a good-ole-boy system why did the baseball team a State Championship last year????? Why don't you tell us what makes a second rate coach. If you know so much about coaching why don't you get out there and coach or who would you suggest to be a better coach? How is it the coaches fault when they can't tackle? The coaches are not out there playing.....

You talk about hypocrisy yet you offer no other solutions than getting rid of the coaches. Yet you fail to see how obvious talent has dwendled over the past years at Lawrence High. It is hard to compete with a Free State School that has ten times the better accomadations.

Clickker 8 years, 7 months ago

Free state was fortunate to have probably one of the best QB's in city history move into its district. That helps. Now I dont think Lisher is a great coach, and I dont think Wedd is the worst coach in the world, but what Lisher did was identify the talent he had at wide reciever, and move him to QB. Wedd doesnt have a QB that can move or throw. LHS actually threw MORE that FS in the last game...the difference was that FS completed about 90% of thier passes, and LHS completed about 10%. Wedd needs to do something creative on Offense because he simply does not have the talent right now. They have a soph running back who could be all state, but he was not even suited up for NW game. Not sure why. Also, his players were outmatched , and he basically plays 12-15 guys all game. In a physical game like that, he needed to give some guys a rest, and play others so the starters did t get gassed.

lhsalum27 8 years, 7 months ago

Number One Grandma You say that FSHS athletics are better than LHS and that FSHS usually beats LHS in most sports. This might be true but aren't state championships what matter. Since the split of the two schools back in 1997 LHS has 10 state championships to FSHS 3. FSHS may have more wins in regular seasons against LHS but I am pretty sure that post season is where winning games matter. The regular season is preparing a team for the post season. Preparing a team for post season is the coaches job correct? Well if that is true I believe that FSHS coaches are inferior to to LHS coaches in that aspect. If FSHS coaches (not naming any names) want to play 3-A,4-A schools in the regular season to make them look better so be it. But to me it sounds like some FSHS coaches resemble a coach at Manhattan High School who will never play anyone good

Gregory Newman 8 years, 7 months ago

Coaches don't teach fundamentals any more that is taboo in our current society. Coaches are into X's and O's and I don't get it. Under Woolard or Duver the O-line could walk up to the defense and say we are going left and ain't a dang thang you gonna do about it. 10 out of 10 the play worked.

Clickker 8 years, 7 months ago

"Coaches don't teach fundamentals any more that is taboo in our current society. Coaches are into X's and O's and I don't get it. Under Woolard or Duver the O-line could walk up to the defense and say we are going left and ain't a dang thang you gonna do about it. 10 out of 10 the play worked."

Well, of course it did. LHS was the biggest school in the state, and was playing teams like Paola etc. It would be like a 6a school playing a bunch of 3a schools. Cant really do that any more. We dont have the horses.

One question though...when Wedd did have the horses, like McAnderson etal, how did he do? Seems like they did OK in 2002 with Brandon and a few others.

formerlhsplayer 8 years, 7 months ago

as a former LHS player I would say that it is not coach wedd's fault and it is a lack of talent. number 1 grandma needs to just sit at home and cheer on her grandkids and not comment about something she is obviously lacking knowledge of. I was part of the 09 class and I played under coach wedd for 2/3 years i was in high school and i will say that anybody that worked hard and listened to what coach wedd had to say had great success including me and i know my fellow teammates would back that up

Clickker 8 years, 7 months ago

Anyone know what happened to that Soph RB? He didnt suit up on Friday. Flu? or other issues?

formerlhsplayer 8 years, 7 months ago

he got in some trouble with the law that's what i heard

kujayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

As a former LHS player, I hate to admit it but Wedd needs to go.

MissinLawrence 8 years, 7 months ago

Guess LHS is missin Coulter Vestal now...he's doing quite well over in Eudora

Clickker 8 years, 7 months ago

Vestal was OK, not great, and he wouldnt make a difference. He's playing at about the level of competition that he should be.

3up3down 8 years, 7 months ago

2002 was a good year. My son was part of that squad. It was all coaching that lost us the possibility to go to the state game. BMac was killing them inside and Fulton was burning them outside. Why the sudden change in strategy and run Fulton to the middle and BMac outside is still haunting my us. You can have all the talent in the world and still get your butt handed to you if the play calling is suspect. And one more thing while on the subject. Ask him about special teams play. He will tell you straight to your face that special teams have no impact on the game. He has stood behind this idea for years. He also has the knack of running off players. He ran off one of the best defensive ends that season when he forced him to make a decision between football and music. This kid was going to miss at best two practices and the Coach said make a decision music or me. He told the Coach to take a flying ........... and walked away. Narrow minded. One dimensional thinking. That is why the program is in a state of chaos. Smash mouth football. Run it up the middle. Get real coach. The game has left you in the dirt and you will never catch up. I know a few kids on the team and they said he was experimenting with the shot-gun. I about fell off the couch. Call 911, Wedd was attempting to grow a brain.

cato_the_elder 8 years, 7 months ago

3up3down, sorry to burst your bubble, but other than having Brandon McAnderson the 2002 team was not a state-caliber team as far as overall talent was concerned. Fulton was frustratingly inconsistent, and while there were a number of fine young men on that team, certain of whom were legitimately good players, the other legitimately good players they needed were attending the school north of 15th. As far as talent is concerned, the only state-caliber team LHS has had since the school was split was the 2005 team, which had really good football players at virtually every position and barely lost to Olathe East in the state semifinals. Unfortunately, the only thing that team lacked was a Brandon McAnderson. At least we now know why you consistently rail against Coach Wedd. Sorry your son's team didn't make it to state, but your complaints should have been directed to the Lawrence School Board, which foolishly chose to split LHS well before it was necessary and in so doing perpetrated one of the biggest taxpayer scams in this city's history. According to USD 497 statistics released just the other day, the total high school enrollment in Lawrence now is only 200 or so students higher than the enrollments LHS had in 1979-82, when LHS had only about three-fifths of the space it has now.

lhsalum27 8 years, 7 months ago


Not sure where you are getting your information on coach Wedd saying speacial teams has no effect on the game becasue I graduated after your son and im pretty sure that he stressed every week during film about getting better at special teams. Then the next practice we would spend 30 min plus on special teams. I also have seen him stress to the field goal kicker that he has to make his field goals and extra points.

DanielsT 8 years, 6 months ago

TEAM- Don't abandon the goals you've collectively established for this season. If you have none, discuss what YOU wish to accomplish and be realistic about it… Count on each other! Believe in each other! Believe in yourselves….. ESPECIALLY when others don't! On a weekly basis YOU have a tremendous opportunity (& task) of displaying/developing your ability in front of your friends & family so play/coach within your ability, which may exceed or fall short of the opinions of the talking heads. Whether YOU succeed or fail miserably there will always be those OFF of the field that will find fault with YOUR efforts and they’ll take your heart, your motivation, and your joy if YOU let them- so have a short memory on those not-so-hot stands and commit to playing each snap--as a TEAM! Collect motivation wherever it comes from and mentally shred the opposite. You are fine!! Re-grip, re-group and HAVE FUN!

IT'S STILL A GOOD DAY TO BE A LION!!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck......

hail2oldku 8 years, 6 months ago

"3up3down (Anonymous) says… Narrow minded. One dimensional thinking. That is why the program is in a state of chaos. Smash mouth football. Run it up the middle. Get real coach. The game has left you in the dirt and you will never catch up."

Tell that to the two best programs in the state - at any level - Hutch and Smith Center. Both programs pretty much walk up to the line and tell you we're gonna run right tackle, or were gonna run left tackle. Try and stop us if you can.

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