Rugged Olathe North football preparing for first state title trip in nine seasons

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OLATHE, Kan. -- There's a lot to be thankful for at Olathe North High School.

The Eagles (10-2) are preparing for this Saturday's Class 6A Championship game. Coach Chris McCartney and his team travel to Emporia this weekend to face Derby. Olathe North`s football program hasn't played for a state title since 2010. Making it this far is special, and McCartney says the two mid-season losses this team took made them stronger.

"We got tougher. We got better. Our coaches did a great job of getting these guys ready. The kids responded. It`s pretty awesome," McCartney told FOX4.

If the Eagles expect to soar against Derby (12-0) they'll need a huge effort from their player of the year candidate Arland Bruce IV, a tailback who accounts for 40 touchdowns in a dozen games this season.

"That would be the best thing for this community, this school, the city of Olathe, the people who rally behind us. That would mean everything to us. We have a strong community around here," Bruce said on Thursday.

No Olathe-based school has won a state football crown since Olathe South did in 2011. The school hopes its fans, and those of other Olathe schools, will express some civic spirit as their team bus sets out from the high school parking lot around 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning.

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