To the editor:
Another season of Lansing football has come and gone, thankfully.
Sure, Lansing won four games. Yes, the Lions went to the playoffs again.
But, if anyone has watched the Lions the past few years, they know it’s a program that stinks.
Let’s look at the last three years: Despite being the second biggest school in the Kaw Valley League, Lansing is the second worst team, only ahead of Bishop Ward, which hasn’t won at all.
Throw out the Ward gimme wins that every league team gets, and Lansing has an impressive four wins in three years. Impressively bad.
Here’s a 5A team that felt it had a good season with four wins. But, against 4A teams in Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs and Piper, Lansing gave up scores of 58, 70 and 56. Yes, 61.3 points on average to 4A teams.
Then, against legit 5A teams in Mill Valley and Bishop Miege, well, we know how that ended. Ugly. Outscored by 100. Yes, 120-20 in its final two games.
Everyone from McIntyre Road to Eisenhower who cares one iota about Lansing wants a change. Of course, the keyword is “cares.”
The one who doesn’t is the superintendent. The public mantra is that the superintendent doesn’t care about sports.
So, that’s the lame excuse he hides behind on the football front? He can help lead a push for taxpayers to ante up for a new school (which was needed), a new football stadium, weight room and other facilities, but its OK to wheel out the same lame product?
Yes, there are way larger issues than sports. But, we’re still trying to instill teamwork, pride, leadership and organization.
Having a staff not attend its teams seven-on-seven activities or dressing in assorted attire on the sidelines on game days while getting thumped annually doesn’t teach anything from the top.
As for the top, if it were me, I’d wake up real fast to the league standings, to the facts that Lansing has four non-Bishop Ward wins in three years.
Just ask yourself basic questions:
Is Lansing competitive? Do a lot of kids want to come out for the sport?
Does football set the tone for the school and spirit like at other schools?
Is this a product that I want to personally endorse as the public forefront with millions of taxpayers money? Yes, debate, band, math and other programs serve higher in education. But, it’s Mill Valley 68, Lansing 8 we see on Metro Sports, radio stations and in our Leavenworth Times and Kansas City Star, not the math and English scores.
Page 2 of 2 - And, imagine the backlash next year when Lansing loses in districts to Leavenworth.
Lansing’s city motto is “The City With a Future.” So, let’s look to the future.
The Kaw Valley League nearly blew up two years ago when four league schools were narrowly turned down to join the Frontier League. With Mill Valley and Lansing as large 5As in a 4A league, the future still is bleak.
Where would that leave Lansing? Either going to the EKL (Blue Valleys, etc), Centennial (Topekas) or KCKAL. Surely aligning with Blue Valleys, Miege and staying in the region would be the best interest of Lansing.
They ain’t getting there with four wins in three years in a 4A league.
The truth is with a new mega-million high school ahead, with just one junior high feeding the high school, that if you have a junior high coach on board with the high school program, Lansing holds an advantage of starting kids on the system in seventh grade.
Lansing is a sleeping giant. Look at Gardner-Edgerton and its success on the football field. New school. New coach. Join the EKL. Town gets behind the team and Friday nights are an event. Blazer pride runs wild through southwest Johnson County.
The right leadership at the top filters down, through community and school pride, through learning how to win, through organization and teamwork.
Football is just football, and the last few years aren’t an indictment on anyone’s personal character or job performance off the field.
But, we’re talking on the field, and now is the time for Lansing to look like a football program, and onen with a future.