View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 11/24

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: November 24, 2010 - 4:59 PM

Louisburg has been in this position before. Richmond is breaking new ground, well not new totally but new to these players.

Both schools are undefeated and playing for a state championship. Louisburg was in this position just three years ago when they took an undefeated record into the game with Andale. They would fall short but the freshmen on that team are seniors now and looking to finish what they started in 2007.

Richmond has been in the state championship before, but none of these Spartans were alive when that happened. In fact I was just a few months old when Richmond won a state title in 1971 so I am pretty sure there isn’t any experience on this team.

Louisburg will meet a team in Holton that is a throw back to football in the 1970s. They run the wishbone and will be the basic option offense that Oklahoma made famous. Richmond will see just the opposite in a John Burroughs squad that runs a wide open spread and has a quarterback with 40 touchdowns.

Each team has a different challenge in front of them. Each team has a different level of experience. Each team has an entire town behind them. That is what makes the smaller classes great. You never know what kind of team you are going to see when you get into a game and whether you win or lose a town wins and loses with you.

Louisburg has been a top program in Kansas 4A for several years. The Wildcats have been a leader in the Frontier League the last few seasons and seem to be in the playoffs almost every year. This team seems to be the culmination of many years of good football. If the Wildcats can find a way to get past Holton, we could be talking about this Louisburg program like we talk about Blue Valley and Olathe North.

For Richmond is this just a magical season or has coach Rob Bowers got things in the right direction. The last 10 years in Missouri Class 3 has seen Platte County go on a run followed by Harrisonville’s domination followed by Cassville. Are the Spartans the next great program among the Missouri small schools?

It is easy to give all the attention to big schools. Hey watching a Blue Springs, Rockhurst, Olathe North or Blue Valley team win a state title is a good time. Everybody in the Metro is talking about those big school teams.

If you really want to get a feel for what a championship season feels like, spend a little bit of time with small schools like Louisburg and Richmond. Everyone has a stake in the team’s success. I got a call from PrepsKC contributor Tim Marshall before Saturday’s game at Richmond. He calls me at 9 a.m. Saturday morning to tell me people were already in the parking lot for the 1:30 game. I’m sure it was a great atmosphere. Hopefully fans in Louisburg and Richmond will have more to cheer about for one more weekend.