Get out of our way

Mike King/Special to PrepsKC

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: October 14, 2011 - 7:07 AM



There wasn’t much talk about Blue Springs South heading into this season.
Oh most people thought the Jaguars would be pretty good they usually are one of the top Class 6 teams in the Metro even in what could be called a rebuilding year. It wasn’t that people were doubting the program or Head Coach Greg Oder and his staff it was they just didn’t know what to expect out this year’s South squad.
The Jaguars would be replacing most of its offensive and defensive line, a two-year starter at quarterback, two dynamic running backs to go along with the usual amount of graduation losses.
This group of seniors had a few players who had been seeing time since they were sophomores and this year was their time to shine.
“As a group we’ve been playing together for a really long time,” senior lineman Trevor Westcott said. “Our group has really stuck together. We just have such good team chemistry. We play together and there is not just one star and I think because we play so well together as a team. No one player gets the spotlight because we play as team.”
Shine is exactly what this team has done in the first seven weeks of the season. Blue Springs South opened with two impressive wins over Raytown South and Park Hill South. A close loss to Rockhurst followed in a game that the Jaguars had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter until a tipped pass was intercepted in the endzone.
From that point Blue Springs South has been dominant. With wins over Lee’s Summit West, Raymore-Peculiar, Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit North. In those four games the Jaguars have outscored their opponents 174-30 including back-to-back shutouts over Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit the last two weeks.
Even with those big wins Oder said he feels like this team still needs to find out what it has. He said this team is still getting better.
“They’ve improved themselves in the weight room a lot,” Oder said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are smart guys and that helps when it comes to picking things up,” Oder said. “They are very, very competitive.
This team doesn’t have any stars like some past years. There aren’t any names that have people across the Metro talking about Simone Awards or big-time Division I recruiting. This is just a group of players that come to practice and games looking to play hard, tough football and go home at the end of the night with a win.
“This group of seniors are good guys,” Oder said. “They are good leaders and they do it in a way that kids want to follow. They’ve done a nice job with it so hopefully it pays off.”
This week the challenge is one everyone at South and in Blue Springs as a whole is very familiar with. The Jaguars make the short journey to rival Blue Springs to take on the Wildcats in the first game of district play.
“Like coach Oder always says it doesn’t matter what you’ve done it matters what you do from here,” Westcott said. “That is true because everybody’s record is 0-0 and literally what you’ve done to this point doesn’t matter at all. You have to bring it to another level because everybody is bringing it to another level. Everybody is playing for their life.”
The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat for the Suburban Big Six Conference title and the district championship. This year winning the districts means home-field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs including a possible rematch with Rockhurst in the Class 6 quarterfinals.
The players at both schools don’t need any of that extra incentive for this game.
“None of us have beaten Blue Springs at the Varsity level,” Westcott said. “That is really weighing on our minds and I think that is going to help people work even harder this week and have an even more increased level of focus knowing we have lost the last two years to these guys. Also, the series is 9-8 us and we don’t want to let them tie it up when we are seniors.”