Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 6/10
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
The 2012 football season has long been over. Heck, we are sixth months into 2013 already and the first game of the year kicks off in just a few days.
The 22nd Annual Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All Star Game is this week — June 13 — at Lee’s Summit North and pits the best graduating seniors from both sides of the state line.
The game began in 1992 when the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association decided that the area needed a marquee event to showcase the talent in the Kansas City area.
The first few games were played at Arrowhead Stadium, but despite good turnout, the crowds were lost in the 70,000-seat stadium, so the GKCFCA opted for more local venues, bouncing around from big high school stadiums in Olathe, Blue Valley, Lee’s Summit and even William Jewell College’s stadium in Liberty.
The game has lived up to its promise of more than two decades ago. It has proved to be a highlight reel, of sorts, for many local players.
And for some, it’s proved to be a coming out party, of sorts.
And no game proved that any more than the 2001 game at the Olathe District Activity Center. The 10th anniversary game featured Darren Sproles, fresh off of his second-straight 2,000-yard season and a Simone Award in 2000.
But, as hard as it is to believe, there was still a bit of wondering just how good the future K-State and NFL star really was. Not really doubt, just a little wondering.
Sproles let everyone know just how good he was and just how dominant he could be with his performance in the Kansas 34-7 thrashing of Missouri.
While the series has evened out a bit over the years, back then, it was all Kansas. The win that night moved their lead in the series to 8-2. And in that 10th version of the game, it was all Sproles.
He rushed for 166 yards and three highlight-reel touchdowns. Not amazing numbers, but pretty impressive for an all-star game. Considering he didn’t play the whole game, he was pretty impressive. Ah, who am I kidding? After having watched nearly all of his high school games, I couldn’t remember him being more dominant. He had a pair of touchdowns that were jaw-dropping. They both looked like they should have been plays that went for a loss, but he turned them both into touchdowns. A third was a 42-yard dazzler that had everyone at ODAC shaking their heads.
The thing that made the night even more impressive? Well, he had 166 yards and three touchdowns, but he carried the ball only 10 times. Not a bad average, especially going against the best that Missouri had to offer.
Yep, the Kansas-Missouri all-star game is always a good show-stopper. Who knows what this year will bring.
Jim Bradford is a Senior Writer for PrepsKC.
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