High School Sports

High School Sports

Rivalry energizes Lawrence High Lions, Free State Firebirds

Lawrence High junior KJ Pritchard drives on Shawnee Mission Northwest's Bill Graves (left) Friday, December 17, 2010 at LHS..

Lawrence High junior KJ Pritchard drives on Shawnee Mission Northwest's Bill Graves (left) Friday, December 17, 2010 at LHS..

January 25, 2011


The Lawrence High boys basketball team energetically warmed up for practice Monday. Fade-away half-court shots were attempted. Alley-oop dunks were converted.

Assistant coach David Schneider, just a couple minutes after arriving, walked off the floor shaking his head.

“There’s too much energy in this gym,” Schneider said.

Yes, the Lawrence High and Free State coaching staffs are happy their teams are energized for tonight’s city showdown at LHS. But they’re also aware that too much energy could make for a tired team, one prone to making mistakes.

LHS coach Mike Lewis didn’t win a city-showdown game last season, making his career record 0-2. He did learn from the experiences, though, especially about how to prepare his team.

The routines stay the same. The crowd will be bigger and louder than usual, but Lewis understands that his team needs to play loose.

“If they’re tight and worrying about who we’re playing or about the atmosphere, that usually leads to pretty tight play,” Lewis said.

He also learned about coaching in a hyped environment, which the LHS gym figures to be tonight.

“You learn how to try to keep your emotions and thoughts together when the gym is rattling your brain and you’re trying to keep on task,” Lewis said. “You can be distracted and definitely caught up in the moment.”

Free State coach Chuck Law declined to comment on his team Monday night, citing an internal matter at Free State.

Lawrence junior KJ Pritchard is nervous for the game but also has been looking forward to the two city-showdown games all year. He hasn’t talked to his friends at Free State in some time.

“Not close to the game,” Pritchard said.

Lawrence (4-8), led by Pritchard and juniors Anthony Buffalomeat and Logan Henrichs, finished seventh at the Topeka Invitational Tournament last weekend. Free State (6-5), led by senior Eric Watson and junior Georgi Funtarov, took sixth at the McPherson Invitational.

Both teams are looking for a boost they can ride into the end of their seasons. Lewis compared last year’s environment to a substate or state tournament game.

“It’s a good test to see where we’re at,” Lewis said.


cato_the_elder 7 years, 3 months ago

Coach Law "declined to comment on his team Monday night, citing an internal matter?" What's up?

Clickker 7 years, 2 months ago

right...dont throw out such a potential controversy without elaborating!!!

Clickker 7 years, 2 months ago

No, I think journalistically this comment raises questions for anyone who can read :

"Free State coach Chuck Law declined to comment on his team Monday night, citing an internal matter at Free State"

I would say something like "Chuck Law declined to comment on the game Monday night, citing a policy of not discussing this game to anyone outside the program"

The way it is written simply implies some other internal matter that is more important than discussing this game, and needs to be dealt with.

Lighten up

cato_the_elder 7 years, 2 months ago

Number_1_Helicopter_Grandma, you should care more about the redundant use of the word "more" twice in one run-on sentence.

iquilt 7 years, 2 months ago

Wow. The 'Lawrence High Journal World" trying to put a bad spin on Free State again. Wonder if they will print all the horrible things that the LHS students chant tonight in the article tomorrow like they did last year.

slapjack 7 years, 2 months ago

Wow back at cha. Each side will think that the Journal World favors them more than the other, quit acting like Free State never is in the paper and they try to make LHS look bad. And please....at Free State last year, there were terrible things that the student section were saying as well as some in the parents section. Do not try to act like this is one sided, because it's not, and never has been since there became two high schools. Grow up!

iquilt 7 years, 2 months ago

That really wasn't directed at the LHS fans, sorry. Just about every student section I have ever heard says some pretty bad things. My point was (and I didn't make it very clear) was that what the students say shouldn't be printed in the paper.......let the administration take care of that, or ignore it, which most of them do. Grow up??? Really????

Sheila Hooper White 7 years, 2 months ago

Ok....we must of been posting at the same time. I will now agree with you. It is sad seeing how these kids act. I have an inside source who sees and hears alot of things parents wouldn't be to proud of. It's scary so of the stuff that goes on and sadly the people who should be taking care of it, aren't.

iquilt 7 years, 2 months ago

I totally agree with you.....amazing what they let the student section say sometimes.

Sheila Hooper White 7 years, 2 months ago

Seiously?? Jealous of LHS much? I think it's pretty even. I can promise you I've heard stories about what FSHS fans do and say at LHS games. And this includes parents. If a certain FSHS parent shows up tonight and makes a scence like they did at another game, they will be asked to leave the school. So don't make it sound so one-sided.

Sheila Hooper White 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm not pointing any fingers. In your first post you pretty much blamed LHS. I don't agree with how the students act on either side. The adminstrators don't care, I for know this first hand. And how is it I'm pointing the finger when I know the whole story behind the FSHS parent.?

iquilt 7 years, 2 months ago

If you had read the article from the game last year you would understand my first post. The article actually made the LHS kids look rude. I didn't post any comment but did e-mail Mr. Keagan because I felt like the article tried to make another point, not sure what it was but it quoted several chants from the student section. I was disappointed the article didn't just talk about the game. I really have no idea who you are talking about with the parent thing.

Sheila Hooper White 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm just saying it's not just the students. Some reporters like to focus on the bad instead of the good. You can't then make it seem like LJWorld only reports on LHS, good or bad. And there's plenty of bad.....I hear stories daily about what some of these kids do to the school.

Anyway, that was my point. Not meaning to attack or make anyone mad.

iquilt 7 years, 2 months ago

Enough said:) It will be a good game tonight, it always is.

Clickker 7 years, 2 months ago

Hopefully, the parent in question will not be allowed in in the first place. There is no excuse for that stuff , and it is well beneath most rational adults.

kgolfer 7 years, 2 months ago

Is the game broadcast on the radio tonight? Anyone know?

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