View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 6/23

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 23, 2013 - 7:20 AM

This year’s Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All Star Game was a big success. Biggest crowd ever, more interest in the game from even the most casual of high school football fan.
The game is organized and put on every year by the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. This group does a great job and the people behind the game get better and better every year.
The process of selecting a site, coaches and players takes months to complete. In a metropolitan area the size of Kansas City there are enough talented players to have five all-star games. The talent pool is deep and it is a tough choice for the coaches every single year.
It seems every year I get or hear questions as to why one player was selected over another. That’s natural. Just look at last year’s Major League Baseball All Star Game. Most Kansas Citians were bent out of shape over Billy Butler’s snub from the Home Run Derby.
The process of selecting a team starts with member schools in the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. That number of schools is almost 100 but if a player is from a school that isn’t a member of the GKCFCA they are not eligible.
It’s the GKCFCA’s game. They put it on and all of the work of the individuals is on a voluntary basis so it would make sense that if it was the association’s game only member schools would be eligible. Think about it like this. If the Big XII put on an all star game would SEC players be eligible?
When it is time to put together teams for both sides of the state line member coaches submit nominations. Just because a player is on the roster doesn’t make them eligible. They need to be nominated by their coach.
The coaching staffs of each team then select the players. That may sound like the end but it is really the beginning. Once they select the team the players must then agree to play. They have to commit to 10 practices, a game and a few other meetings leading up to the game.
Players who are nominated and selected don’t always agree to play or they agree to play and then back out for various reasons ranging from work, school or vacation conflicts or they just change their mind and don’t want to play.
This entire process isn’t done in a weekend. It takes months. The nominations for the all star game are due in March and the selection process begins at that point.
There is a lot that goes into this game. The coaches charged with selecting these teams spend a lot of time over several months putting the team together, organizing practice and preparing for a game.
This is all done on their own time while they are also doing their first job as teachers, second job as a coach, oh and throw in whatever family responsibilities that come before during and after those other two jobs.
The Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All Star Game is a great event put on by people who donate their time and efforts. The players work hard and the game is fun and enjoyable to the fans. It is one of my favorite events of the year and I say thank you to all who were involved. If you are a fan of high school football in the Metro I would invite you to do the same.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email to