Post Season Athletes

Olathe North fall sports teams soared into the postseason this year, with cross country and football leading the charge and representing their school with team awards and accolades.

Cade Heikes, Staff Writer

Levi Huseman
Olathe North Cross Country displays their awards

Cross Country

The cross country team started the trend as the boys and girls both won the Sunflower League meet with ease. The following week, the boys put up a nearly perfect score of 19 in the regional meet, receiving 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th and 10th place. The top ten individuals get medals, which meant there were more Olathe North runners on the podium than any other school in the region combined. The boys won the meet and the girls were runners up, qualifying both teams for the state championships.

At the KSHAA State Championship, at Rim Rock farm in Lawrence, the Eagles showed the state they were the top dogs. The boys team defended their state title and won their 3rd state championship in four years. They were led by individual medalists Brian Beach (5th), Cade Heikes (6th), and Jackson Caldwell (11th).

Despite having a less than average day for the team, the boys still beat the second place team by over 40 points. “We approached the meet with a fearful, lets not mess this up, mindset,” commented senior Jordan Yonce (26th). This was a result of the pressure that comes with defending a state title and being the favorites to win. The team overcame this and used it as a learning experience. The girls placed 4th and were led by Sarah Whitaker (14th). They survived the toughest girls regional and placed well for the competition that they faced at state.

Two weeks later, the team went to the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional meet to compete against some of the toughest teams from the surrounding states. They were trying to win a bid for the national meet in Portland, Oregon. The boys team landed a historic 9th place finish, the highest in school history, however fell short of qualifying. Jackson Caldwell led the team, placing 25th and finishing with a time of 15:49.

Hailey Kitivoravong
ON’s defence prepares for their opponents to snap the ball


Eagles football came back into the spotlight with an extremely successful season that set them up to be competitive in the state tournament.

Olathe North cruised past the Shawnee Mission West Vikings in a 56-14 blowout. In similar fashion, North smacked local rival Olathe South, 50-13 to become regional champions. Perpetual leading rusher Daymon Sanchez had 23 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns, followed closely by sophomore Arland Bruce who had 23 carries for 168 yards and three touchdowns. Olathe South was hyped before the game, but fell silent as the slaughter unfolded before them.

The first real test came against Shawnee Mission East. Both teams fought for the entire game, but the Eagles came up on top. In the 24-21 victory the eagles struggled to pass the ball, with only two completions on eight attempts for 15 yards. Fortunately, Sanchez and Bruce tore into the secondary all night with help from excellent blocking, combining for 64 carries, 394 yards, and three touchdowns. Sanchez had one particularly impressive 72-yard rush. The defense worked tirelessly to stifle the lancer offense. Senior Devin Stoker had twelve tackles, eight solos, one for a loss andan interception. Senior James Thomas had eight solo tackles.

In the sub-state game Olathe North faced off against Blue Valley North, and the night quickly turned into a shootout. Arland Bruce and the coaches brought out the passing weaponry in a much-needed move. Bruce threw 12 completions on 22 attempts for 185 yards. Senior Elijah Williams showed up and brought down four touchdown catches in an excellent performance. Sanchez added another 200+ yard game as well. On the other side of the ball, AJ Patillo had 13 total tackles, 10 solos, and a sack. Sophomore Mario Sanchez had two key interceptions and eight tackles. Despite playing the game of their life, the men fell short, losing 51-49 after a late game safety sealed their fate.

The Eagle football team represented Olathe North in the best way, competing at a high level all season, including on a trip to Colorado. Senior Devin Stoker is hopeful for the underclassmen to continue the culture of excellence, saying, “The defense might struggle just a little bit… but I have no doubt our offense will still be the same because it’s a bunch of young people.”

The boys put on a great show for fans this season and made Olathe North proud, bringing back the tradition of winning.