September 25, 2018
On Friday, Sept. 22, Olathe West had its first ever Homecoming Double Header against Shawnee Mission North. This means that while traditionally only a Homecoming football game is played, West played a Varsity Boys Soccer game at 5 p.m. followed by a Varsity Boys Football game at 7:30 p.m., both against SMN.
Athletic Director and Senior Administrator Pat Butler finalized the decision with Principal Jay Novacek nearly a year ago.
“Mr. Novacek and myself worked with our coaches to set up the double header for Homecoming. The soccer game was a natural fit because we were playing Shawnee Mission North for both games, both sports play in the same space, so we could have both games at one event,” Butler said.
The Homecoming Court Prince and Princesses were announced at halftime of the football game, as well as the Senior King and Queen.
The decision to have a double-header seemed like a logical one, and a simple way to maximize attendees.
“I think it was smart to have a double-header, that way you can get more people out to support both the soccer and football program, and it is kind of like a two for one deal,” Varsity goalie Ryan Sauter (10) said.
But with more viewers, the pressure increases, and as this was the homecoming game, the stakes increased even more.
“For me personally, I treat any game the same no matter where it’s at or who’s watching. I try my best to play good and help the team out,” soccer player Abel Ambessie (11) said.
It was essential to stay calm throughout the game, and Varsity player Quincy Masters (10) was prepared.
“Before the game, I just relax and keep a calm state of mind, and during I just play like I’m supposed to and I have faith that it’ll work,” Masters said.
The team’s hard work paid off with an Olathe West win and a final score of 3-1.
The football team was pitted against Shawnee Mission North in hopes to turn their inaugural varsity season around after starting off 0-3.
The impact of a big game such as the Homecoming game last Friday can occasionally be bigger than the team. Such as the quote, “the moment is bigger than the player.” But he also shared that he was not worried about this game being any more than any other game.
“It’s just like any other week. We are focused on being the best we can through this whole season. That’s our focus coming in every day and every week just trying to improve,” Coach T.J. O’Neill said.
Improvement is something O’Neill talks a lot about. His main goal for his team this season is to see constant improvement from everybody.
“Improvement and consistency is what we are gonna ask for the entire year here. That is going to be our main focus coming in every week,” O’Neill said.
Despite the rough start for Olathe West this season, their opponent Shawnee Mission North has also started the season off at 0-3. But even with SMN struggling as well, O’Neill knows what has been happening with the Olathe West season as well.
“We like our guys and we like how physical we played last week. Shawnee Mission North has some really good players as well though so we will see what happens on Friday,” O’Neill said.