View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 4/2
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
One of the great thing about high school sports in the Kansas City Metro is there are several all-star games that allow players one more chance to play once the season is over.
In my more than 20 years of covering high school sports I think I have covered them all. From wrestling to soccer, basketball, baseball, football and softball I have been lucky enough to see some of the top players not just play for their high school but their side of the state line.
One of the things that makes the all-star contests in Kansas City unique is teams are playing for their state. Other places have all-star games where it is one side of a state or parts of a city that face off. Not in KC. The athletes get to take part in one of the oldest rivalries in the country Kansas vs. Missouri. We all know the roots of this rivalry that was once fought with guns and now is waged on the athletic fields.
All of these all-star games are great in their own way but I tend to lean to the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game as my favorite. There have been many great games in the series and it has grown in scope and visibility over the last few seasons.
Starting this year the game will be hosted by the Blue Springs School District for the next four games. This year’s game is June 19 at Blue Springs High School with the 2015 game moving to Blue Springs South. The 2016 contest will be back at Blue Springs with 2017 going across town to South.
The last few seasons the game has moved around going from one side of the state line to the other. Before that the game was at William Jewell College for three years and before that it was held at high schools on the Kansas side for a decade.
This year the GKCFCA went looking for a place to host the game on the Kansas side but could not find a school that would allow the association to use the facility without a sizeable rental charge. In the past all of the host schools have allowed the use of the facility either at no charge or a small fee. With school budgets being squeezed it is understandable for some districts to charge for the use of their facilities.
As the GKCFCA weighed its options Blue Springs made an offer of free rental for the facility. Add to that a $1,000 grant given by the city of Blue Springs and the game instantly became a great fundraiser for the association.
The GKCFCA’s biggest fundraiser each year is the All-Star game. That money is used to help fund the organization and help it fulfill its goal of supporting youth football in the Kansas City area. In the past the funds have been used in special ways. In 2011 right after the Joplin tornado the GKCFCA donated the proceeds from that year’s All-Star game to the Joplin High School football program. It was a great gift that helped a community in dire need.
With the game in a stable place for the next four years the event has the opportunity to grow in enjoyment and stature. The GKCFCA has the chance to grow this game and use the funds generated to do even more for football in the Metro. This organization does a lot of great things and what they are able to do will grow even more in future years.
The game in Blue Springs is a win-win for all involved. It should be a great event the next four years.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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