First shot at championship talk of the town in Olathe

OLATHE — Barbara Kaylor and Lora Mumm could not contain their excitement.

Kaylor and Mumm joined three other Olathe High School football players’ mothers earlier this week setting up a temporary stand in the Bank of Colorado parking lot across the street from the school.

If it was Olathe clothing you wanted, that was the place to get it.

The town is bursting with pride about its high school football team’s appearance in today’s Class 2A state championship game against Erie at Cherokee Trail High School’s Legacy Stadium in Aurora. It’s the first football title game appearance in Olathe’s history.

“We’ve had tons of people,” Kaylor said of the demand for Olathe Pirates hoodies, T-shirts, turtlenecks, caps, windbreakers, decals and anything else the well-equipped Pirate fan could need for Saturday’s game.

Drive down Fourth and Main streets and posters adorn most of the storefronts.

“We had the whole town decorated last weekend,” Kaylor said.

“Go Team,” one window proclaimed in the B&C White Kitchen Restaurant and Lounge, along with the 14-6 score of last week’s semifinal victory over Faith Christian.

Next door, at the Busy Corner, posters proclaiming “We (heart) the Pirates” and “D-Fense” are displayed prominently in a front window.

Across the street, gold balloons with blue streamers adorn the Olathe True Value Hardware store. At the Restaurant El Maguey just down the street, a poster reads, “Pirates Cruisin’ to a Victory.”

Flo Davis, who works the cash register at the B&C White Kitchen, said the restaurant has been a longtime supporter of Pirates athletes. Talk of their small-town football team has dominated the discussion at the tables.

“The community is supporting the boys,” Mumm said, “even the ones who don’t have kids (in school).”

Drive into the high school’s parking lots, and windows are painted with slogans showing support for the team.

The high school’s athletic director, Brent Wareham, who also is one of the team’s assistant coaches, said, “I think any time you have success in any program, it helps the whole school. I think it’s exciting for the school and the community.”

Unlike cities with more than one school, or Front Range communities that are in close proximity to a Broncos, Nuggets or CU game, “Here, this is the show,” Wareham said.

Olathe plans to show up in force, bedecked in blue and gold — thanks in no small part to the booming business of the Pirates paraphernalia stand across the street from the school.

From the sound of things, the last person to leave town headed for Aurora should lock the door behind them.

“The whole town is going over,” Mumm said.


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