There will be moments when Olathe South can’t escape the fact that it broke through to win the Falcons’ first Kansas 6A state football championship last season.
But that status won’t mean anything when the new season dawns.
“It’s cool to be the returning state champions,” Falcons coach Jeff Gourley said. “And quite frankly, I can’t wait to hear them say, ‘Please welcome your defending state champions’ as we run out onto the field. That’s all nice, but that was also last year. Especially in high school, you get a new group of kids, and they are going to have to step up.”
Senior quarterback Frankie Seurer Jr. returns to lead an offense that has some holes to plug on the line, at running back and wide receiver.
Junior Braden Smith anchors the offensive and defensive lines. He’s a dominant, game-changing force, but also the only full-time starter returning in the trenches.
Running back Matt Elliott, a big-play threat who also starts at cornerback, returns and should become a breakout star, while senior Russell White projects as the workhorse running back, replacing Jordan Ward.
“People talk about the pressure of repeating, but I find it to be more exciting rather than feeling pressure,” Seurer said. “We have a target on our back, but I’m excited to start the season.”
Along with Smith in the middle of the defensive line, and controlling the “A” gap to either side, senior Remington Whitley returns at linebacker.
Senior safety Dylan DeVries is back to lead the secondary with fellow senior Chase Hanson moving from linebacker to free safety.
There are holes to fill, but South should be strong in pursuit of a repeat.
“We definitely have it as a goal and believe it’s realistic,” Whitley said. “Hopefully, we’ll be picking out rings again in December.”