High School Sports

High School Sports

Momentum killer: Hobbled Lions beaten up in 55-21 setback to Vikings

Shawnee Mission West running back Cordi Pascal (28) breaks through the Lawrence High defense on a first-down run in the second quarter. The Lions were toppled by the Vikings, 55-21, on Thursday in Overland Park.

Shawnee Mission West running back Cordi Pascal (28) breaks through the Lawrence High defense on a first-down run in the second quarter. The Lions were toppled by the Vikings, 55-21, on Thursday in Overland Park.

October 8, 2010


— Most of the Lawrence High football team jogged to the buses behind a shed at the Shawnee Mission South District Stadium Thursday night after suffering a 55-21 loss at the hands of Shawnee Mission West.

LHS football falls to Shawnee Mission West one week after upsetting No. 1 team

Six days after upsetting Olathe East, the Lions fell to the Vikings 55-21. Enlarge video

The others hobbled, limped or used crutches to make it there.

The last two to make it back to the loading area were uninjured sophomore quarterback Brad Strauss and junior running back Charles Jackson, one of two new additions to the Lawrence High injury list. Jackson suffered a hip pointer in the middle of the second quarter with the Lions down, 24-14. Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said senior wide receiver Aaron Gile probably broke his wrist.

Lawrence (3-3) had new faces in a couple positions, sure. The team was already missing senior starters Anthony Buffalomeat, Ben Pope, Nicholas Taylor and Jonathan Pederson to injuries.

But how did the mostly-similar Lions that knocked off an undefeated Olathe East team six days earlier find themselves down 27 points to open the fourth quarter?

The team cited a lot of reasons. Wedd said he did a “terrible” job coaching.

“They weren’t prepared and that’s on me,” Wedd said. “It’s tough. We didn’t play well and when you don’t play well, it’s a direct reflection on the coach.”

The breaks that Lawrence seemed to get against Olathe East just didn’t fall the same way Thursday.

SM West and LHS exchanged long touchdowns in the first quarter — West on a 65-yard passing play to senior Jordan Chapman and Lawrence on a scintillating 72-yard run by Strauss. The Vikings moved the ball to the Lawrence 29-yardline and sent junior running back Tre Burt on a pitch left. The ball popped out of his hands and bounced a couple times on the turf, but it squirmed out of bounds before a Lion could recover.

Burt, who rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, scored two plays later on a 5-yard run.

The Vikings led, 17-7, until LHS junior Demonta Clark picked off an errant pass by West quarterback Armani Williams and returned it 49 yards for the touchdown.

It was close again, but not for long — senior Cordi Pascal took the Lions kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown.

“That just totally deflated us,” senior Chris Gaston said. “(The interception) put us right back in the game for a split-second and then our special teams, well, we’ve had some problems with that this year.”

Wedd said he wanted junior kicker Anthony Rosen to aim toward the sideline, but the ball ended up in the middle of the field.

Senior Darrin Sorem said it was disappointing being unable to keep the momentum from last week’s upset victory.

“Because we didn’t, we’re going to have to step it up,” Sorem said. “People are going to get healthy. People will come back next week and get in the right positions and hopefully play better.”

Sorem knows the younger guys filling the spots are athletic and can handle the positions.

“They need more experience, and next week in practice, they’ll get there,” Sorem said.

The Lions take on defending 6A state champion Olathe North on Friday at LHS to open district play.

Gaston will try to erase his memories of Thursday night as soon as possible.

“But you remember the feeling,” Gaston said. “You just forget about it and move on. You remember how bad it feels.”


geoismeo 7 years, 8 months ago

Wedd said he did a "terrible" job coaching. I have been saying this for a number of years. Time for a new coach.

DirtBag14 7 years, 8 months ago

Where were your comments last week? I believe people like you two are call "bandwagoners" and for good reason.

erina1323 7 years, 8 months ago

They have a tough loss last night and you think they automatically need a coaching change??? Maybe think about all the poor players that were injured last night or the week before. It was just a tough week for the Lions. Last week when they had a big win and Coach Wedd was GREAT. It is amazing how quickly people's minds change. The boys have improved so much this year, give the kids and the coaches some credit.

kujayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm not changing my mind. LHS has needed a change for a few years now. One nice win doesn't change that fact.

CreatureComforts 7 years, 8 months ago

Not gonna lie, I thought this might be an NFC North article ;)

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years, 8 months ago

The players play as hard as they can. We have had a number of very good players go through Lawrence High. However, every year the teams suffer an unexceptable number of injuries. Some day a team coached by Wedd/Green will realize the players bodies can not take playing greater than 90% of a game. The players are more prone to injury when they do not get periods of rest. Doubt all you want, the last several years have been full of injuries. The coaches obviously have little confidence in the players that show up and work their tales off every day in practice. They believe they can berate and try to motivate the players all they want. In the end, they always have their chosen 15 or so. No wonder there is rarely ever an opportunity for these young men to develop their skills when opportunities are rare. The opportunity to play only occurs every year when players are injured.

This team this year is better because of a something we haven't had in several years, a quarterback. It is also much improved because many of these kids had the opportunity in the last part of the 2009 season to play due to the large number of injuries. They gained experience and they gained confidence. Regardles how they are treated as young men by the coaches, they have the heart of a lion and playing with their classmates is a special time in their lives.

Coaching, give me a break. With thirty years of experience Wedd still doesn't know how to respect the young men or develop their skills. Fortunately every once in a while a few players come along to make them look good for a game or two.

kujayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

High school players can easily play 90% of the game. High school football games are really short.

No bandwagon fan here, I'm sticking with my comment that LHS needs a change regardless of how well they do this year or not.

buddy2me 7 years, 8 months ago

kujayhawk...you are correct. Just look at some of the smaller towns around Lawrence. Some of those kids play 100% of the game because they don't have enough bodies to field a team. In high school football there are teams all around the US that play most of the game. I'm with kujayhawk on this one, there should have been a coaching change a long time ago!

BillybobThorten 7 years, 8 months ago

Seems like they should play a few more guys. I cant believe that there arent guys on the bench that could come in fresh and spell a starter in the 4th quarter--like if Scottie D came in and spelled Brad Strauss at safety --it would be a big help. Strauss never comes off the field, and its a HUGE risk to have such a talented QB returning punts and kicks. For what its worth, they do the same thing north of 15th street

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

The brilliance of the football comments on this site continues to amaze. One week after a young LHS team that's finally on the upswing beats the top-ranked team in the state convincingly, it faces another excellent team but without two very key Lions who started the week before. LHS then loses its starting tailback in the second quarter and another key starter suffers a possible broken wrist, and people believe that it's their obligation to criticize the coaching staff. Good grief.

DirtBag14 7 years, 8 months ago

If you want to stick to your guns and continue to call for a coaching change, have the guts to do it when they upset the #1 team in the state. Don't only feel compelled to "voice" your opinion when they lose big the next week. That is why you sir/ma'am, are a bandwaggoner.

buddy2me 7 years, 8 months ago

Why do you all keep saying the Olathe East is the #1 team in the State??? Because they beat last years #1 team??? I don't see where Olathe East was listed as #1 in the State for 2010 on any website, can you direct me to where you found that?

dougmarshall 7 years, 8 months ago

cato and dirtbag: Nail on the Head! Frontrunners, fair weather, bandwangon, they are all over. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there were very few comments on the article about beating the #1 team in the state. Buddy2me nailed it too. Most highschool players who are any good play both ways and special teams too.

Jaminrawk 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm an LHS alum and even I think FSHS plays more exciting football. Wedd's a nice guy but not very innovative.

DirtBag14 7 years, 8 months ago

Sorry for my mistake, they were ranked #2 in class 6a on this website. Scroll to the bottom of the page if you'd like to fact check:


As far as over playing people:
Injuries are going to happen in the game of football. Ask any coach about how they are going to perform in the playoffs. The response always starts with: "well if we can stay healthy..." or "as long as our guys are healthy..."

buddy2me 7 years, 8 months ago

Dirtbag14...That's a really funny website, it means nothing at all, where you are located on that list at the end of the season is more important that being listed #1 or#25 on that list. . If you look at the Class 4A, Basheor-Linwood is not even on that list and they are undefeated and other teams are on there with loses, Basheor is a top 5 team in 4A and they are not even on the list. They (Olathe East) is on there only because they beat the State Champions from last year. There are many other undefeated teams on that list that could wipe LHS or Olathe East up. And for why no one said anything last week after their win, well, that's for each person to say, but I was not able to get on the computer until yesterday.

DirtBag14 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes I understand that the end of the season rankings are the only ones that matter. You are not the only arm chair quarterback on this blog that can quote common sports cliches.

You asked about their ranking after they upset Olathe North and I supplied a wesite with the correct information.

Nuff ' said.

BillybobThorten 7 years, 8 months ago

"I'm an LHS alum and even I think FSHS plays more exciting football. Wedd's a nice guy but not very innovative. "

Well, they have been more exciting because they had guys like the Murphy brothers, Ballard, and Cameron Torneden. Those guys were real exciting. LHS didnt even have a QB that could throw the ball last year. This year, and for the next 2 years they will, and are a little more exciting.

buddy2me 7 years, 8 months ago

Grandma is correct. Dirtbag...I'm not an armchair quarterback. I played for LHS when we did have great coaching at LHS some times not that much talent either. That's why we keep asking for Coach Wedd to be replaced. Grow up, we have had a lot of talented kids come through the program and went no where, couldn't even get to the state playoffs. So it really doesn't take a real smart person to sit here and coach the day after a game. Sounds like you are a friend of his or maybe one of the players family members that he likes!

Deb Engstrom 7 years, 8 months ago

I don't know when you played for LHS, but Coach Wedd has been here since the schools split in 1997. Prior to that LHS had loads of talent that made coaches look great. The basic coaching philosophy at LHS is very much the same as it was then, without the number of talented players.

buddy2me 7 years, 8 months ago

deb...no kidding, Wedd's been here that long. I do know that! That's why we have been calling for him to resign for so many years. My son has even played for him, believe me, we have had some very talented players come through while Wedd has been in charge, and they haven't made the coaches look good!

DirtBag14 7 years, 8 months ago

And it sounds like you are a enemy of his that waits for a loss against a tough and ranked (another funny website for ya http://www.maxpreps.com/rankings/football-fall-10/1/division/ks/iu_HA40EbkWX7BBG035eTw/division-6a.htm ) opponent to speak up on a forum calling for his head. Get real. You're worse than an armchair qb. You're a faceless blogger asking for a change of leadership right before the district playoffs start. Great way to support you alma mater.

erina1323 7 years, 8 months ago

Number_1_Grandma we were all wondering when you were going to be back to post negative thoughts, do you have proof????? Obviously you calling on their jobs is not working because you have no idea what your talking about and no one has any respect for your thoughts or opinions. Chris Gaston is a great kid and great player. Leave the kids alone. If your an adult you should be embarrassed.

mom_of_three 7 years, 8 months ago

grandma does have a point about the paper talking to certain kids week after week. Happens during basketball season, too. It would be nice to have quotes from different kids each week. but maybe the kids are shy or something.....

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years, 8 months ago

While I am not familier with grandma #1, she is correct about the coaches. They have their favorites for sure and the way they berate and attempt to embarass players is a fact. We have experienced the unacceptable way they treat some players. Mangino was fired for less. There have been good kids who have not been in trouble and do very well in classes. They do not deserve to be on the receiving end from a couple of the coaches. Everyone who has been on the wrong side of a couple of the coaches keeps their mouth shut so as not to be graded down in class or take on more insults. Nothing is pursued with the school or administration for fear of retaliation or comments from those who just can't believe it or choose not to believe it, such as erina.

listener 7 years, 8 months ago


because one person agrees with you and one admits you have a point about something does not give you credibility about your main issue which is that the coach should be fired. You and kulhslionsfan state you have been "calling for his resignation" for some time now. My question is ths; calling for it where? On an anonymous reader reaction foum? If you seriously want his resignation, make it public, go to the school board where you have to be accountable for your statements. Do the coaches use the "f word" as you call it; sure they do. Do you honestly believe that any of these boys step onto that field having never heard that word before (or used it for that matter)? I'm not saying I condone or support cussing, but from my experience, it is not done AT the players. It is done in general. The boys are not berated or degraded. And, let's be real; life it tough. If you are lucky enough to have a coach or two along the way who genuinely cares enough about you to deliver the tough messages, you should consider yourself lucky.

I have talked to a few of the current players-some who play regularly and some who don't. They have great respect for Coach Wedd and DON'T appreciate these comments about him.

I also find it interesting that all of you "calling for his resignation" were silent until today. When things were going well, you were quiet. One tough game and here you are shouting for blood. Guess we know how much you can be counted on in tough times.....................

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Listener, great post. I assume that Number 1 Clueless Grandma will now call for Bob Lisher to be fired since his team committed a number of key mental errors and lost to Olathe East 17-0 after LHS beat Olathe East 27-21 the previous week. If she were to do so, she would be as ridiculously wrong as she is about Coach Wedd and his staff.

To those whining about "berating" kids: Football is football. It's one of the very few things in public education today that hasn't been dumbed down. Excellence is demanded 100% of the time, and the kids know it. Get over it.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 8 months ago

Number_1_Goofy_Grandma, I've suggested this before, but you should consider posting on a subject that you actually know something about instead of continuing to embarrass yourself.

listener 7 years, 8 months ago

I am not a coach or any other way affiliated with the school system. If you have talked to kids on the current team, are you? You seem to think there is no other way to have access to these kids. I would appreciate it if you could provide one real liife example of Coach Wedd berating or belittling a child for lack of talent. I know you can't because it doesn't happen. Lack of effort, sure. But that is totally appropriate. If a kid doesn't give maximum effort, they are cheating themselves and their team. This is what I believe Cato is referring to when he says "it's football".

If you honestly think Coach Lisher doesn't cuss at and around his kids, you are seriously demented. I have heard the exact same complaints about him that you are making about Wedd.

I encourage you to re-read some of your own posts. You seem to feel the need to belittle or berate when someone doesn't agree with you. Just because I don't agree with you on this topic doesn't mean I am not using my head or not "listening". I have read your posts on other topics and generally speaking you seem to be a reasonable and logical person. We simply don't agree about this.

Coach Wedd genuinely cares about the boys he coaches. He cares about their success on and off the field. I have seen it first hand. Can you provide one example of actual belittling for lack of talent?

listener 7 years, 8 months ago

Grandma, it is clear you will not change your opinion of Coach Wedd, so I will stop trying. However, you are takinig things out of context. I also know boys who were present for the speech given by Coach Wedd at the beginning of baseball season and he did not say what you claim he says. Plus, to imply they did not go to state because Wedd did not provide an adequate motivational speech at the beginning of the season is just ludicrous.

And yes, Lisher DOES cuss at this kids. But really, I have to say my issue is not with the language. I can cuss at a kid all day long and not say anything berating. However, I can also belittle and berate a kid to death and never use profanity. So, I personally think focusing on the F word is narrow minded.

The other issues you bring up about kids being overworked are really the resonsibility of their parents. I know parents who don't let their kids do certain workouts because they feel the are not appropriate. If parents feel their kids are in danger, they should take a stand and not let them participate in that activity. If they don't, that is on the parent. WE are responsible for our kids.

This will be my last post on this subject as it is clear we do not and will not agree. I will leave you with this: If you want to have any coaches fired, please make those statements to the appropriate people at the appropriate times. If you truly have children/grandchildren on the LHS teams,you know it does not help their morale to have this type of conflict during their season. These boys are playing their hearts out and they need community support.

lhsalum 7 years, 8 months ago

Number 1 Grandma,

I think it is hilarious that you can say that coach lisher does not drop the F bomb. I had the privalage to coach a few members of Free states football team this summer for baseball. I can remeber multiple times that these kids would come to practice and tell me that coach lisher would rip their a**es and would use a few select words, one being the F bomb. I don't think these kids would make this story up.

Second off, you can attack the coaching staff all you want, but please do not imply that Coach Wedd's family does not have class. If you only knew what this family has gone through you would be ashamed of yourself.

In my three years as a football player under coach wedd/green and baseball player under coach green, i have never seen or heard of any degrading comments towards the players. Yes i have heard the coaches joke around with the kids but there is a fine line that has never been crossed. I dont know where you are getting this information, but whoever is telling you this is flat out wrong. I dont know what your grudge with the LHS coaching staff but i think it is about time to get over it. Maybe, a child or grandchild is not getting as much playing time as you would like, but that is life. Life is not always fair. I know for a fact that these coaches are going to play the best players.

Another issue you bring up is these kids are overworked. I am assuming that you or anyone in you family has not played a sport at the collegiant level. I currently play baseball at the collegiant level and the workouts we do here are ten times harder than anything i had to do at LHS under coach wedd. I have also been told that coach wedd is toning down his workouts and making them easier. If you actually believe that these kids are being overworked, i would really question the work ethic of the kids you are recieving this information from. A matter of fact if those kids want to move on and play a sport at the next level they are in for a rude awakening come college.

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