View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 6/14

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 15, 2015 - 9:23 AM



This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. The annual Papa John’s Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game is Thursday at Blue Springs South and it is a great way to wrap up 2014 and start getting excited about the new season.

All-Star games in general can be interesting. Some can be exciting while others are blow outs that don’t look much like a competitive football game. Last season the game went down to the wire with Missouri earning a tough 22-21 win with a defensive stop on the last play. The atmosphere was fantastic as a big crowd cheered like it was a playoff game.

I expect a similar type game this time around. Both rosters are stacked with players who made huge impacts on Friday nights and will do the same this fall for college programs.

There are also a few who will put on the pads for the final time Thursday night. Each year it seems I get some feedback that this game should only be for players who will continue their career in college. I disagree whole heartedly. This is a game to celebrate high school football not promote future college players.

Sometimes I think we can get caught up with what is coming next. For some high school football is nothing more than a minor league for college football just like college is a minor league for the NFL. While that is the case for some players, most will play at high school to play the game, not to get a scholarship.

One of our core beliefs at PrepsKC is that we cover high school football, not college recruiting. Each has its place but we believe in covering the teams, towns, programs and players not just the top dogs who will play in front of large crowds on Saturdays.

Those players are fantastic and we all enjoy watching them. At the same time Friday nights are filled with athletes who do great things that will never play beyond the high school level. In fact a lot of winning teams and teams that win titles are made up of quite a few players who will never play college football. Those players are not just members of the team but key components of championship seasons.

I say enjoy the game in front of you for what it is. That’s what I love about the Papa John’s Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game. It’s a chance to enjoy watching some players for the very last time. You never know what you will see or who will make the big impact.