Varsity Kansas

Class 6A championship preview

CLASS 6A

WICHITA HEIGHTS

VS. OLATHE NORTH

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Yager Stadium, Topeka

Championships: Heights, none; Olathe North, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

WICHITA HEIGHTS (8-4)

Bishop Carroll L,28-0

Kapaun Mount Carmel L,27-7

Wichita Northwest W,55-21

Great Bend L,28-26

Wichita North W,35-6

Wichita South L,20-19

Wichita East W,46-20

Wichita Southeast W,28-21

Derby W,27-0

Playoffs

Wichita South W,46-14

Manhattan W,14-10

Derby W,21-16

OLATHE NORTH (12-0)

Leavenworth W,71-6

SM Northwest W,41-12

Olathe Northwest W,40-13

Olathe East W,28-14

SM North W,42-0

Lawrence Free State W,38-20

Blue Valley W,49-35

BV West W,49-8

Olathe South W,48-7

Playoffs

SM East W,42-14

Lawrence Free State W,41-28

Blue Valley W,16-14

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wichita Heights

QB Matt Reed 5-9 175 So.

FB D. Smith 5-10 205 Jr.

WR Steven Strand 6-2 170 Sr.

OL John McClure 6-4 315 Sr.

DL Z. Brickhouse 5-11 185 Jr.

LB Devon Haynes 5-9 195 Jr.

LB J. Schrimscher 5-8 160 Sr.

Olathe North

RB James Franklin 5-8 185 Sr.

OL Oliver Venegas 6-3 265 Sr.

DL Lucas Vincent 6-3 285 Sr.

LB Tre Walker 6-4 205 Sr.

LB Kyle Swartz 6-3 215 Jr.

S Jason Peete 6-3 190 Sr.

NOTES

„øOlathe North’s Franklin has 2,532 yards on 299 carries for 28 touchdowns. He’s a powerful back who combines speed with balance.

„øHeights’ Reed started the last five games after John Moreland was injured. Reed has 522 rushing yards in that span with six touchdowns. Dreamius Smith has 1,356 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.

„øOlathe North has outscored opponents 505-171 with one shutout. Its closest game was its 16-14 win over Blue Valley in the semifinals. No other game was closer than 13 points.

„øHeights opened its season with two losses and was 2-4 heading into district play. The Falcons gave up 130 points in the season’s first six games, but have given up 81 since.

„øOlathe North, which doesn’t platoon, returned all but four starters from last season. The offensive line, anchored by Venegas, is especially strong.

„øHeights is playing in its first title game. Olathe North last played in a championship game in 2004, when it lost to Salina South for the 5A title.

Wichita Heights coach Rick Wheeler

“I think this teamæ.æ.æ. went through the motions, expected things to go our way, and when they didn’t, that’s when the real magic occurred. When things don’t go your way, either you point fingers and blame each other or you reflect on a personal level on what you can do to help the team.”

Olathe North coach Pete Flood

“They’re reminded of (Olathe North’s tradition) all the time. We have five people on our staff that have played here and been a part of it. We have coaches that are preaching it that have lived it and been through it.æ.æ.æ. For us to be able to forge back and get to this point again, it’s tremendous.”

— Joanna Chadwick

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