View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 4/17

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: April 17, 2012 - 6:44 AM

The rosters for the Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star game were released in the last week and once again we should have a great game.
Every year both teams feature a who’s who of high school football players from the previous season. It’s fun because you get to see players who have spent all of their high school careers battling each other join on the same team and take on players from the other side of the state line.
Both sides want to win. I don’t know any time when teams from Kansas and Missouri square off in any type of competition where it isn’t taken at least somewhat seriously. At the same time I know all of the players and coaches are just honored to be a part of a tradition that stretches back decades.
When the rosters come out there are always a few players whose names don’t show up. Those are the 10 or 15 each year who are moving on to play Division I football. In the past the game featured those athletes but in the last few years D-I programs have asked those players to not participate in those games.
I see both sides of that argument. Football at the D-I level is more of a business and somewhat of a professional minor league. There is big money on the line and the health of the players is a major part of a program’s success.
Another factor is a lot of D-I programs go ahead and have their players come to campus in the summer to start workouts and classes. This is designed to get them acclimated to college life and allow them to hit the ground running both academically and athletically when August rolls around.
While those players won’t be participating when the game kicks off June 14 at Blue Valley High School don’t think the game doesn’t feature the best players in the Metro. Not having those players actually shows the depth of football talent in Kansas City and its surrounding areas.
The Metro is filled with great football players who will play at all levels in college. It is also filled with a lot of players who were stand outs in high school but will be playing in their last football game June 14.
That’s the great thing about the game. It showcases Kansas City high school football for all of the talent in the Metro. Not just the top end but for all of the players and programs.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send e-mail to