The 2018 Olathe Northwest Ravens football season started early in the spring when the school hired new head coach Aaron Hafner. Coach Hafner brings 20-plus years of experience along with an army of new assistant coaches. The Ravens started the summer by going to Pittsburg State University for a team camp; the team camp was a new tradition brought in by the new coaches. Prior to the camp the players worked hard trying to learn the new offense and defense. Throughout the summer the players worked hard and participated in numerous camps to prepare them for the upcoming season. The season started against the preseason number 5 Manhattan Indians. The Ravens lost their opening game 42-7 with most of their struggles being the result of little time to learn a new offense and defense. This game was very eye opening and allowed the coaches to determine where the team was at.
After ONW played Manhattan, the team started to improve rapidly even though the record did not convey the progress by the Ravens. ONW dropped their next four games to Olathe South, Shawnee Mission East, Lawrence High, and Gardner Edgerton. The Ravens played 4 out of their first 5 games against top 10 ranked teams in the Sunflower League as well as statewide. The next game ONW played Shawnee Mission Northwest were they got their only win of the season. The SMNW Cougars were not an easy opponent boasting a 4-1 record at the time the Ravens played them. After the Ravens win, the tough schedule trend continued. ONW played and lost their seventh and ninth games against the Shawnee Mission South Raiders. The Raiders finished the season ranked 9th in the state of Kansas Class 6A. With their eighth game coming against crosstown rival Olathe North, The Ravens were determined to come away with another win. This game was a shootout with both teams scoring more than 40 points, however the scoring favored the Eagles who won the game 63-42. The Olathe North Eagles were another extremely good team and they finished the season ranked 3rd in the state. All in all, the Ravens ended the season 1-8. This season was the beginning of a new football culture that is being built by the new coaches and players.
The Ravens football team is not dwelling on the past season and are busy making improvements so that they can compete at a high level next year. The coaches are determined to create a more hardworking and dedicated environment as they build the program into what they believe could be a state title contending team in the next five years. This is a very large task for the coaches and players, but they are prepared to take it one season at a time beginning in the 2019 Season. For the 2019 season, the Ravens are returning many juniors and even sophomores to the varsity lineup next year. These returning juniors are eager to work hard in the weight room and practice field so they can have a better season than 2018. The coaches are also working on the leadership part of the team in this offseason so they have a better atmosphere in the future.