Lions look to answer question marks in opener

After unveiling a no-huddle offense and a platoon system for offensive and defensive players throughout the offseason, Lawrence High’s football team is ready to see how it looks on the field.

The Lions, after winning their first Sunflower League title in 22 years last season, will feature plenty of new faces in new roles against Shawnee Mission Northwest at 7 tonight at LHS.

Both the no-huddle offense and platoon — players will primarily line up on only one side of the ball — are firsts for 18-year Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd.

“We need to play a game to see where we’re at,” Wedd said. “We have a lot of question marks. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a season with this many question marks.”

Behind junior quarterback Dante’ Jackson, his first time playing the position, the Lions are confident that their offense will look different but produce similar results from past seasons.

Wedd said the Lions were still learning a lot about ins and outs of the offense during practice this week, but the goal is just to keep mistakes to a minimum. The Lions will feature a rebuilt offensive line with only senior Jesse Tunget returning from a starting role last year.

“Honestly, from Sunday night,” Jackson said, “it just hit me, ‘It’s game week. It’s my junior year. I have to show something this year, show up for my team and make sure we win some games this year.'”

Senior defensive end Jacob Unruh added: “I think we’re going to go out there and play pretty hard, but I mean, I don’t know what to expect yet because we haven’t played a real game. But I’m very excited to see what happens.”

With the platooning system, the Lions won’t feature a group of players playing significant snaps on both sides of the ball. Unruh said it’s a big benefit because players have a chance to catch their breath and they’ll concentrate more on their one position.

But beyond the new offense and platoon, the Lions are just excited to return to the field.

“I remember a couple of years ago — it feels like yesterday — I was a sophomore and I was starting my first game as a varsity player,” Unruh said. “It is weird. It makes me feel old now. I feel like I’m getting some white hairs finally on my head. But it’s a good feeling.”

LHS probable starters


LT — Kristian Russell, jr.

LG — Nick Englebert, jr.

C — Jacob Mills, jr.

RG — Jesse Tunget, sr.

RT — Kevin Nichols, sr.

QB — Dante’ Jackson, jr.

RB — Trey Moore, sr.

WR — Harrison King, jr.

WR — Caleb Mondi, jr.

WR — Jalen Dudley, jr.

WR — Ekow Boye-Doe, jr.

K — Cole Brungardt, sr.

P — Dante’ Jackson, jr.


DE — Jacob Unruh, sr.

DT — Mark Greene, sr.

DT — BJ Murry, sr.

DE — Eric Galbreath, so.

LB — Santino Gee, sr.

LB — Angel Garcia, jr.

LB — Erik Shackelford, sr.

CB — Ja’relle Dye, jr.

CB — Jaxon Malone, so.

SS — James Reeder, sr.

FS — Cade Burghart, sr.