Lions picking up steam heading into second half of season


Rushing the field, senior tight end Cole Watson waves the United States flag before the 2022 Homecoming Game.

By Jack Ritter, Co-Editor-in-Chief of

Following back-to-back blowout wins, the Lawrence High football team (3-1) has developed and blossomed since dropping their opening game.

In their latest matchup, the Lions pounded the Olathe East Falcons (1-3), 47-6. The victory was a statement for the Lions as they move into the second half of the regular season. 

“We beat them from the opening drive until the clock hit 0:00,” senior tight-end Cole Watson said. 

The homecoming trashing of Olathe East comes in Lawrence High’s second home contest of the season. Three weeks prior, the team fell 36-32 to Olathe South (3-1) in the home and season opener. 

But while the Lions were away, they started to get going and get going fast.

The Lions started with a goal-line stop to clinch a win against Olathe West (2-2) and then stomped past Shawnee Mission East (1-3) 45-14 the following week.

“As a team, we struggled early in the year,” junior quarterback Tyson Grammar said. “But we’ve started to figure out the little things. We all knew we had to get going early in the game, and our offense set that tone early.”

Grammar, who’s thrown for over 500 yards and five touchdown passes the past two games, said he’s seen a lot of improvement for the offense, but fans are noticing the special teams refine themselves too. 

Senior Tyrell Reed, a transfer running back formerly of Highland Park, is a big reason fans see such a difference.

Reed has racked up nine touchdowns for the Lions, highlighted by two 90-plus yard kickoff returns and a 70-yard run against Olathe West. The transfer has undoubtedly bolstered the Lions’ scheme and attack. 

“That’s how you play Lawrence High football,” Reed said of the Lions’ performance against Olathe East. “We executed on both sides of the ball really well. Even though Olathe East packed the box for run, we still found a way to run and pass the ball.”

Kenton Simmons, a senior linebacker with numerous division one offers, credits the improvement to the team’s consistency and willingness to drive forward.

“We’re starting to get from good to great,” Simmons said. “Our mentality has changed overall. We just have to keep staying focused.”

Looking forward, the Lions face Shawnee Mission North (2-2), Gardner-Edgerton (3-1), Free State (1-3) and Shawnee Mission West (0-4).

Gardner-Edgerton will prove to be a good test for the Lions before the playoffs. The Trailblazers have three convincing and quality wins and a loss to the defending 5A state champions in Mill Valley. 

As for Shawnee Mission North, Free State and Shawnee Mission West, there’s not much for LHS fans to worry about.

Once again, regardless of The Budget’s views on upcoming games, Simmons wanted to remind fans about not taking supposedly easy games for granted.

“A lot of people say it’s easier, but we still have to go out and win,” Simmons said. “We gotta go out there and compete.”