After Further Review: Cole Young 9/1

Cole Young

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 1, 2016 - 7:47 AM

One of the best parts of covering football is the ability to see football on a variety of different levels.

From Rockhurst and Blue Springs South games on ESPN to Class 1 games where 50 percent of the community is at the game, you get to see it all during high school football games.

Recently, I had the chance to see what felt like football at its purest form. O’Hara and Hogan Prep faced off in a non-conference game at O’Hara.

There were no fireworks, no field turf, not even a marching band playing the national anthem, just a 1970’s version of the Star Spangled Banner on what I imagine was a cassette. The bleachers were maybe 1/3rd full with a smattering of parents and fellow students.

Add in the fact the game was delayed into Saturday because of lightning and even the cheerleaders were gone before the game ended.

Instead what was left was a stripped down version of what plays out all across the metro.

Here’s what wasn’t missing: Passion. From O’Hara coach Jim DeMarea nearly losing his voice moving guys around in the defensive backfield to Hogan Prep running back Dre’Vion Ellis running through arm tackles on a fourth and goal to score the game winning touchdown, it was hard-nosed fundamental football at its core.

On a soggy, torn up grass field, both teams played a defensive battle that felt more like playoff game than a game in the middle of August. 

After the game, Hogan Prep coach Phil Lascuola referred to games like the Rams’ 14-6 victory as “mind boggling” as they are going on but great when you’ve won.

It’s a feeling all players get whether it’s in front of 100 fans on a humid afternoon or 2,000 fans on a November night.

Sure the sound system might be a little bit louder in the Suburban Conference.

But some night, when your team is playing on the other side of the city, find a small class game to attend, you might be surprised at the quality of football played at the lower levels.