What Steve Said: Steve Bubalo 1/6

Steve Bubalo

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: January 10, 2019 - 2:12 AM



It’s not often that state championship weekend is an unsuccessful one for the Kansas City side of the state in Missouri, but that is the way the 2018 came to an end this past weekend in Columbia.

For the first time in what I can only imagine is a long time, no Kansas City area team from Missouri claimed a state title. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful season for a number of teams, but it’s definitely a noteworthy statistic.

In a weekend full of lopsided title games, I got to witness a talented, scrappy Fort Osage team go toe-to-toe with an impressive Vianney squad. I thought the Indians were going to pull the upset, leading 14-0 at the half and the 14-13 going into the fourth quarter before finally losing steam and falling 28-14.

What a year for Fort Osage, especially when you consider how it started. They were 3-4 at the halfway point of the season, finally got healthy and showed what they were capable of the last half of the season. Not to toot my own horn, but I will real quick. I saw this potential playoff run coming for the Indians based on my column from early October.

“In my opinion, Fort Osage is the sleeper that I’m sure nobody is actually sleeping on, if that makes sense. The Indians may be 5-4 but they have had some close losses this season, including Lee’s Summit West and Raytown by a touchdown, and North Kansas City by a single point. By now, teams know better than to sleep on the Indians.”

It’s nice to be right every once in a while.

It was an impressive run the Indians went on down the stretch. Their defense was incredible, and for the first half against Vianney they were lights out against a big, talented team. It wasn’t meant to be but it was still a memorable season.

I always like to wrap up the season by pointing out some games or players that grabbed my attention throughout the season.

It’s hard not to start with North Kansas City’s Clyde Price. What a joy to watch him play. My first time seeing him was against Fort Osage in which he ran the rock almost 45 times for close to 300 yards in that big win for the Hornets. That kind of performance turned out to be a weekly occurrence for Price. From 3-7 a year ago to 9-2 this year, North Kansas City was one of the coolest stories in the area this season.

The same could be said for Raytown. Despite an early exit in the playoffs, the Bluejays had a great run, going 8-2. Joe Campbell led a dynamic offense that was a lot of fun to watch. In fact, the first two teams I’ve mentioned here, North Kansas City and Raytown, had one of the most exciting games of the year in the final week of the regular season. It was a 35-34 win for the Bluejays that came down to a late two-point conversion, which they stopped to preserve the win. It was a great atmosphere that night.

Odessa-Pleasant Hill Round 1 was a wild one that showed how impressive the Bulldog offense was this season. After a slow start, the Bulldogs scored 41 in the second half. Quarterback Josey Meierarend threw for seven touchdowns, five of them to Jonas Bennett in what was an impressive second-half offensive display. Bennett, especially, made some eye-opening plays that night.

Blue Springs-Rockhurst played another classic in the playoffs, that was unfortunately, marred by some questionable calls from the referees. But there was some great play-making from both defenses that day, and to see the game sealed on a blocked field goal isn’t something you see too often.

Here’s to the 2019 season having just as many memorable moments with a few state titles mixed in.