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High School Sports

High School Sports

LHS vs. Free State: A household divided

The cross-town football rivalry hits close to home for the Hofer brothers, Shane Hofer, left, a sophomore on the Free State High School squad, and Drake Hofer, a senior standout at Lawrence High School. The game will be played tonight at LHS. Both teams are 7-1 this year. Free State leads the series, 8-7.

The cross-town football rivalry hits close to home for the Hofer brothers, Shane Hofer, left, a sophomore on the Free State High School squad, and Drake Hofer, a senior standout at Lawrence High School. The game will be played tonight at LHS. Both teams are 7-1 this year. Free State leads the series, 8-7.

October 25, 2012

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Shane Hofer plays football for the Free State High School sophomore and junior varsity teams and dresses for the varsity games but seldom plays in them.

Meet your LHS and Free State football starters ... Monday Night Football style

The Lawrence High and Free State football starters introduce themselves in this Monday Night Football-like video, giving their names, positions and favorite all-time football players. The two teams play at 7 p.m. Friday at LHS Stadium. By Jesse Newell and Benton Smith. Enlarge video

Ticket information

Pre-game ticket sales for tonight’s city showdown football game — kickoff at 7 at Lawrence High — will continue to be sold today at both the LHS and Free State finance offices.

Tickets will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both schools.

Sales will resume at the LHS ticket window at 5 p.m., when the stadium opens to the public.

Adult tickets cost $7 and students from kindergarten to 12th grade will be charged $5.

LHS has placed additional bleachers in the north end zone for the rivalry game between the Lions (7-1) and Firebirds (7-1), which will decide the Class 6A District 1 championship.

His older brother, Drake Hofer, is a standout senior wide receiver for Lawrence High School.

Paige Hofer, their mother, is the coach of the Free State cheerleaders but will be wearing LHS colors and cheering for the Lions, which is where her husband Jon’s loyalties lie, until next year, when Drake moves onto college and Shane plays for the Free State varsity.

In one Lawrence household, tonight’s football game at Lawrence High isn’t called the city rivalry. It’s known as the Hofer Bowl.

The interesting twist is not new to the coaching staffs. Football coaches are forever scheming to find an edge. It’s what they do. And even though Shane isn’t likely to get into tonight’s game, that doesn’t mean he is not being coached up.

“One of my coaches was talking about me setting one alarm (in Drake’s room) at 3:30 and another at 4:30,” Shane said. “I was thinking about doing it, but I don’t think I will.”

This unusual circumstance came about when the Hofers moved across the school district’s 15th Street/Bob Billings Parkway boundary for high schools when Shane was an eighth-grader at Southwest Junior High.

Football was the driving force behind the family’s move to the north side of the line.

“All my friends went there, and I knew the Free State class was going to be better in football,” Shane said.

The third and final Hofer boy, Chase, is a seventh-grader at Southwest. He’ll attend Free State, but since it’s his LHS brother who plays a prominent role for his team, that leaves him in a quandary.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Chase said when asked for which team he will root.

Drake and Shane don’t share a bedroom but do use the same bathroom.

“There’s a Free State sign right on the bathroom door,” Shane said. “It’s been there the past two years.”

Drake countered: “If it’s got to be somewhere, it might as well be the bathroom.”

Drake and Shane share a passion for football and a strong work ethic but in some ways are as opposite as their numbers. Drake wears 17, Shane 71. Drake isn’t as tall as his younger brother but is thicker. Drake is a member of the LHS a capella choir and enjoys listening to music, especially the rapper Drake. Shane said he doesn’t have much use for music.

The brothers do agree on a lot. For one thing, they agreed this was not the week to share football specifics around the house. Still, Drake tried to exploit his brother’s youth.

“He asked me, ‘Have you guys changed up your schemes?’” Shane said.

The younger brother told the older brother they made some changes.

“I asked what and he wouldn’t tell me,” Drake said.

Shane smiled and said, “So he doesn’t really know if we’ve changed or we haven’t changed.”

Shane wishes he had Drake’s speed and thinks if he did he might have gotten a pair of sacks in the fourth quarter of the varsity game against Wyandotte. Shane also wouldn’t mind having his brother’s 3.8 grade-point average. Drake wishes he had Shane’s height.

Otherwise, they’re happy with what they have.

“I love our uniforms,” Drake said, “especially with the white pants this year, like what they wore in the ’90s. I like ours the best in the (Sunflower) league.”

Said Shane, looking across the table at his brother: “I like ours. You’ve got to admit, we’ve got you on the helmets.”

Both are aware of where the series stands. Free State leads it, 8-7. It’s a close series, almost as close as the brothers who play on opposite sides of it.

Comments

kuguardgrl13 2 years, 1 month ago

Might want to look at the paragraph talking about their uniform numbers. "Drake is a member of Free State’s a capella choir and enjoys listening to music, especially the rapper Drake. Shane said he doesn’t have much use for music." In the beginning of the article, it says that Shane goes to Free State, so he should be in their a capella choir. Unless you meant to say Lawrence High's a capella choir... Either way, that seems like a mistake.

Alex Parker 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the comment, kuguardgrl13. We've corrected the error.

Tammy Copp-Barta 2 years, 1 month ago

Our house is divided as well! My husband and I graduated from LHS and our kids went to Free State and our daughter is in the FS Band who will be attending tonight ... maybe we can switch sides at the half and cheer for both :)

Pepe 2 years, 1 month ago

Very good question. It would seem like, if all the boys are living under the same roof, they would all have to go to the same school.

Catalano 2 years, 1 month ago

Seriously, I can't believe people actually MOVE based on high school football teams.

TSP 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm amazed by the number of "athletes" who don't live in their school district. No one pays attention to the boundaries and transfers are handed out like candy on Halloween!!!!!!!!! Where I'm from if you want to transfer to a different school it cost the parents money. Maybe the school district should think about charging $500 to transfer otherwise go to the school district you live in. I can't tell you the number of people going to my sons school that when I saw them I said what are they doing here? example of what my son says "Mom - he transferred here because he was afraid he wouldn't make their ___ team" REALLY! Rideculous .......... USD 497 should put a stop to it.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 1 month ago

TSP's right! Sports should be banned.

Pepe 2 years, 1 month ago

Dumb question (my kids aren't old enough yet), but I was under the impression that if you live north of 15th/Bob Billings you have to go to Freestate and if you live south of 15th/Bob Billings you have to go to Lawrence High. Is this not the case? Do you have a choice on which high school your kids go to?

TSP 2 years, 1 month ago

You are correct with the boundaries ~ However alot of kids (even in Jr. High) get a transfer to go to a different school. I know one student who went to 2 different Jr. Highs, and many households are divided ~ The boundaries are worthless. I think they need to make the transferring of schools more difficult. i.e. a valid reason, and charge a fee for the transfer. When I was looking to purchase my home the boundaries were a factor for me. I could have saved alot of money if I wasn't worried about what district my child was in. It is frustrating that USD 497 allows it.

mom_of_three 2 years, 1 month ago

The family moved when drake was in high school and the district usually lets kids finish where they start. But other younger family members have to attend the high school in their district. Its happened to a few friends.

CHEEZIT 2 years, 1 month ago

Football was the driving force behind the move? Things that make you go Hmmmmm!

rockchalker52 2 years, 1 month ago

Whatever. It's a pretty good story. Local interest & all that. May the best team win. I hope it's the Lions. Red & Black, baby!

rockchalker52 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, dang the luck. Congrats to the Firebirds!

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