View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 8/21

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 21, 2015 - 8:16 AM



No matter when the games start the first week is always exciting. Sure I would love for the season to start a little later but it is what it is and game night is here.

In my more than 20 years covering high school football nothing matches that first game of the season. I’ve been lucky enough to cover the small programs outside the Metro along with the name-brand schools that everyone knows about.

It would be easy to say that covering a Blue Springs-Rockhurst week No. 1 game in 2002 when the Wildcats were coming off a state title and Rockhurst was the champ from the year before that would be the top pick but there are plenty of others.

I’ve seen openers in Oak Grove, Knob Noster, Fort Osage, Oak Park, Park Hill and a few other places along the way. It seems no matter what the state of a program there is always excitement around game No. 1.

One thing I have learned in that time is you can’t take too much out of the first week. Injuries, jitters, heat and other factors make the first week a bit of a crapshoot.

In fact the best thing I’ve heard in recent years from coaches is a team doesn’t win the first game it only loses it. I think the mentality of a lot of coaches is to survive the first game and then get on to the business at hand.

No matter how much work a team puts in during the offseason and summer mistakes happen. Players forget they are on the punt team. Somebody misses a blocking assignment. That talented but young running back just drops the ball. No matter what just about anything can happen.

You can’t get too excited either. That 200 yard rushing performance doesn’t mean the Simone Award is waiting. At the same time the defense that gives up six TDs might be a lock-down unit by the end of the season.

All in all it’s a great time to get back in the game. Everyone have fun and stay injury free.