The 2021 Lawrence High Fall Sports Preview

Breaking down the 2021 season for every fall sport.


By Andrew Phalen, Website Co-Editor in Chief


The Lawrence High football team will be full of new faces on the field and sidelines. The team returns just four starters and will be led by new collegiately accomplished head coach Clint Bowen. 

Senior Truman Juelsgaard will be under center for the Lions after playing the 2020 season at defensive back. 

The offense will also feature several new skill position starters, including running back junior Josh King. 

King believes that the team’s grueling workouts and practices have had a positive impact on the team environment. 

“We’ve grown closer at practice first by getting the mentality of how and when we were going to win football games and then with early morning weights you see who really cares about the team and we all came together to encourage each other.” 

Returning offensive linemen seniors Acen Villegas and Noah Smith will anchor the offensive line. Smith currently holds five Division 1 offers. 

The offense will also look for major pass-catching production from senior wide receiver Baylor Bowen, junior tight end Cole Watson and junior wide receiver Sam Sedo. 

On the defensive side of the ball, 2020 starter senior Evan Bannister will guide the linebacker position group. 

Junior Lance Bassett and sophomore Kem Allen will be notable members of an impressive defensive line group. 

Seniors Keyan Crawford and Avion Nelson will lead a strong unit of defensive backs. 

On Thursday, Sept 2 the Clint Bowen era will begin with a home showdown versus Olathe East.

Cheer and Pom

The Lawrence High Cheer and Pom team is led by a strong senior class of seven cheerleaders and dancers, as well as twenty-two other members. 

This summer, the team attended a cheer camp at Baker University to improve their skills in anticipation for this season.

“We definitely bonded so much as a team this summer, especially at our overnight cheer camp,” senior Vivian Podrebarac said. “We got to know each other better and learned more about each person.”

Podrebarac, as well as senior Sarah Derby and sophomore Charlee Burghart, were named to the NCA All-American team at the Baker camp. 

The team will cheer at all home and away football games this fall with hopes to attend Nationals in Texas after earning a bid at the Baker camp.


After a 2020 season full of growth, coach Stephanie Scarbrough and the Lions look to lean on strong leadership from seniors Gianna Cooper, Emily Silvers, Brenna Schwada and Siana King en route to a successful season. 

The team will also feature contributions from junior Dana Nichols and sophomores Izzy Waisner, Seenane Brewer and Gemma Ajekwa. 

The team will rely on its strong sense of community and teamwork, something that they have built from weeks of team bonding. 

The off-season activities definitely are a great way to get to know everyone including the incoming freshman,” Schwada said. “It’s the way we all come together as a program and have fun while working hard to prepare for our upcoming season.”

Tonight, Aug 31 at 6:00 pm, Scarbrough and the Lions hope to open their season with a win at Blue Valley Northwest. The team’s home opener is scheduled for next Thursday for a triangular.

Boy’s Soccer

Under first-year head coach Brandon Daley, the Lawrence High boys soccer team has high expectations for what the team can accomplish. 

 “With a large senior class, the team would be disappointed with anything less than a regional championship,” said senior Josh Anderson. “That sounds like a big statement and it is, but the hard work shown day in and day out proves that we certainly have the talent and determination to make a run this postseason.”

Senior goalkeeper Grant Glasgow returns for his third year in the net. Other returning contributors include seniors Josh Anderson, Aiden Perez, Levi Hinson, junior Cale Scott, and sophomore Colin Sandefur. 

The Lions open the season today, Aug 31 at Topeka High at 6:15 pm and hope to secure Daley the first win of his head coaching career. 

Cross Country

The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams both bring back almost every varsity runner from last year’s team. 

Seniors Maddie Dewitt, Eva Ackley and junior Natalie Kennedy will lead the way for the girls’ team, with seniors Jack Ryan, Diego Klish, Keat Prescott and Jesse Self doing the same for the boys. 

Many of the runners believe they are much more prepared than last season because of the amount of hard work put in during summer running. 

“Everyone is always dedicated and shows up every day to work hard,” said Ryan. 

Ryan hopes that they can qualify for state as a team, which would be a first for the program under coach Laura Brensing. 

“My favorite part of being with my team is the shared experiences, and the willingness this group has to get better,” said Self. “We expect to make it to state, that’s the end goal, the only goal.” 

The team will look to begin the year strong this Saturday in Manhattan for the first meet of the season.

Girl’s Tennis

Coach Chris Marshall’s Lawrence High girls tennis team will be highlighted by an experienced group of returning players, featuring seniors Katie Logan, Audrey Basham and junior Abby Marsh. 

Sophomore Emily Brandt will also be an important player for the Lions this season. 

“Practicing together brings the team closer and this year we got an early start on meeting the incoming freshmen so we already have a stable relationship before starting the season,” said Brandt. 

The team opened the season last Thursday at Olathe West. The home opener for the Lions is next Tuesday, Sept 7.


After an incredible 2020 season, senior Paris Spotted Tail will attempt to defend her floor and vault state championships. 

Spotted Tail, a captain alongside fellow senior Nicole Lett, thinks the supportive environment created by the team is very important to their success. 

“You will always have people supporting you and helping you get better while having fun at the same time.” Spotted Tail said. 

The team will also expect contributions from juniors Sophia Zogry and Hailey Ramirez, as well as sophomores Emily Brandt, Charlee Burghart and Ivori Jones. 

Brandt is also a member of the cheer and tennis teams. 

The Lions will look to make back to back state meet appearances after placing eighth at last year’s meet. 

The first meet of the season will be Tuesday, Sept 7 at Newton High School.

Girl’s Golf

The Lawrence High girls golf team’s Rylie Hayden looks poised to make the state golf tournament for the fourth year in a row. 

Coach John Moos will also expect contributions from juniors Emme Dye and Peyton Fowler. 

Dye believes the positive atmosphere contributes to her and the team’s success. 

“We all get along very well so playing is fun because it’s just like hanging out with your friends every day after school,” she said. 

The team opened the 2021 season last week at the Olathe West Invitational. Hayden, Dye, and Fowler all placed in the top 50 of the fourteen-team event. 

The Lions’ next meet will be versus Washburn Rural at the Wamego Country Club next Tuesday, Sept 7.