Archive for Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kansas Kaos ready to wreak havoc in new football league

June 4, 2009

Many things have changed for the Kansas Kaos since the end of last season. Sure, the menacing black helmets are the same and many of the core players are back, but the Kaos have changed leagues, head coaches and have lost some of the big-name talent from last year’s squad.

In 2008, the Kaos won the Great Plains Division in the North American Football League before having their season ended in the playoffs. After winning the division title, they were invited to join the World Football League — the top minor league football league in the Midwest with teams in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Iowa and Arkansas.

Last year’s starting quarterback and former Missouri basketball standout Jason Sutherland moved on to another team and will be replaced by two different players. Former MU receiver Thompson Omboga and former Kaos quarterback Nick Wilkowski will fight it out for the signal caller position. NFL veteran Alan Williams, who spent time at running back for the Kaos last year, retired and left a hole to be filled by any number of less experienced ball carriers.

Former coach Kip Van Hoose stepped down for professional reasons, giving way to last year’s offensive coordinator Mike McDonald. McDonald is also part owner in the team and has a bright outlook for this season.

The Kaos won their first preseason game 53-0 against the Midwest Mustangs, who quit midway through the third quarter. They went on to win their season opener over the Oklahoma City Gunners in a nail-biter, 20-12.

“It was a good game,” McDonald said. “The fans really got into it out there. It was a great game for them to watch, but a little too close for a coach … very stressful.

“We have a real solid team this year and it was good to get off to a 1-0 start,” he added. “I expect us to compete for the division championship, but it’s going to be an uphill battle because we have a great team in our division — the Oklahoma Thunder. They have never lost a game, ever. We will shoot for them, but we can make the playoffs and take our chances there if we are unable to catch them for the division.”

The Thunder welcomed the Kaos to the WFL in Oklahoma last weekend by trouncing them, 79-0. The Thunder have outscored their opponents 305-7 through four games this season.

McDonald knows that the Kaos need to get better to compete with the class of the league, but he has confidence in his team to bounce back.

“Our strength will be our running game behind our offensive line that returns four starters, but our receiving corps is solid and our defense is darn good,” McDonald said. “I expect to make the playoffs and expect to have a real strong season.”

The Kaos will play host to the Lincoln (Neb.) Extreme at 7 p.m. Saturday at David Jaynes Stadium. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids. Adults can receive a $6 discount at the door if they go to kaosfootball.com, print off the team schedule on the main page and bring it to the gate.

Saturday is also “Team Night,” meaning any youth sports participant who comes to the game sporting his or her team jersey gets into the game free of charge, and the team name will be announced over the public address during the game. Halftime also will feature a special appearance by honorary Kaos captain and former Kansas City Chiefs player Will Shields. Shields will be available to sign autographs and take pictures. He will be involved in the Kaos’ youth program.

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