Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 10/20
By Tim Crone Former Activies Director for Blue Springs High School
The second part of the high school football season has begun for teams on both the Kansas and Missouri state lines. This will be the last year for the Missouri side to have the two top qualifiers from each district continue on in the state playoffs. The Kansas playoff system will remain unchanged next year.
This time during the season brings fresh hope for the teams. It is possible for a team to qualify for the state playoffs after experiencing some troubles during the course of the regular season. Of course, the powerhouse teams have set all their team goals toward winning their respective districts and advancing on to state play. Either way, whether you are an area powerhouse or just an average squad, district play offers new excitement. If a team makes the state playoffs the season is viewed as positive.
It is the same playoff system for all class sizes in both states. In Missouri you still hear the usual big program names like Rockhurst, Blue Springs and Blue Springs South. The Class 5 teams likely to move forward are Staley, Ft. Osage and Lee’s Summit West. Smaller class schools like Oak Grove, Harrisonville, Grain Valley and Richmond should stand a good chance to move on. Then there are teams like Truman and Van Horn that would absolutely go bonkers given the chance to proceed from the districts by finishing in the top two spots in their districts.
In Kansas, the traditional power houses most likely to advance are Olathe North, Olathe South, Hutchinson, St Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Miege. Blue Valley teams should also make another run at the promised land.
Every year however, one or two teams in each state will rise up and make a late season run to shake up the most likely powers. Many conference championships are also decided in district play because teams from the conference are often also common teams in the district. Each year I coached the goals for the year were always to first win the conference championship and then the district championship. Since both of those victories can come in the district finals a school is able to enjoy a “double dip” victory during this time.
Of course, the main eye on the prize is a state championship victory – the ultimate goal for every player, coach and high school. It is a select few that actually obtain that goal...one school from each class. What a feeling that is too. Nothing is more fulfilling that to know all of the hard work, time and effort paid off and you are the best in the state. It is truly the memory of a lifetime.
So, good luck to all of the teams as they enter into the final leg of the season; the most important leg. As Coach Paul Bear Bryant once stated, “Winning isn’t everything, but it beat anything that comes in second.”
Oak Grove Panthers
Lincoln College Prep Tigers
Kansas City Central Blue Eagles
Afrikan Centered College Prep Pharohs
Blue Valley Northwest Huskies
Shawnee Mission Northwest Cougars
Mid Buchanan Dragons
Crest Ridge Cougars