View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/23

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 23, 2010 - 9:42 AM

If you are a fan it is easy to show your bias. It’s what makes you a fan and that is a good thing. You love your school and because of that your school is better than others.

No matter where you go in the Kansas City Metro everyone thinks their brand of football is the best. I once had a fellow reporter tell me “I’m going to show my big school bias,” when talking about which schools they tended to pay the most attention.

That’s one way to cover the sport. It’s not my way, but it is definitely the way many in the business will look at it. There is an school of thought that while smaller schools play good football, the best and most important football is played by the teams at the biggest levels by players who most likely go on to play football at the bigger college programs.

While that is perfectly acceptable to some, it’s not to me. Great football is played on all levels in the Metro. At the same time, players from smaller schools not only go on to Division I programs, they thrive. The biggest indictment against most of these players is they play in leagues where it is tough to gage how they would do at the next level.

You don’t have to look far down the road to see small high school players making huge impacts at the D-I level. The University of Missouri team that went 12-2 and was ranked No. 1 in the country featured two offensive linemen from Bethany, Mo. Quick, tell me where Bethany is. If you don’t know, don’t feel bad, I had to look it up to see it is up north near the Iowa border.

I always consider that when I see games like last week’s St. Pius X at Lawson or this week’s DeSoto at Eudora. I’m not saying there are D-I players in either of those games, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great games.

The Warriors and Cardinals butted heads in a battle that went down to the last play. The bigger St. Pius X (Class 3) had one shot to tie the game and possibly kick a game-winning extra point at the smaller Lawson’s (Class 2) 11-yard line. The Warriors pass to the goal line was knocked away and the Cardinals held on to win 27-21 in one of the season’s best games.

That was a fantastic game played by teams with players who you probably won’t see in the Big XII in the next few years. I get the feeling it will be a similar experience with neighboring towns DeSoto and Eudora get together this week. Both are Class 4A schools on the outskirts of the Metro but it should be a great football game between teams battling for the Frontier league title.

Hey, there is nothing like a Blue Springs-Rockhurst or Olathe North-Olathe East game. Top players going head to head is always fun. If you spend too much time looking for those big school matchups, you will miss some the greatest games ever played. That’s my bias.


Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send e-mail to