Kansas All-Stars getting comfortable
By PrepsKC Managing Editor Dion Clisso
Work continues on both sides of the state line as the squads for the Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game have completed three days of practice.
The Kansas players have been doing their work at Olathe South under the guidance of Falcons coach Jeff Gourley and his staff of coaches from around the Metro.
The first three days have seen the Kansas players learn a new offense that is familiar to Olathe South players but somewhat of a mystery to others. In an era of pass-happy spread offenses the Falcons run the Wing-T and that is the same offense Kansas will employ when they meet Missouri 7 p.m. June 14 at Blue Valley High School.
The Wing-T is a run based attack that requires coordination from the offensive line and backs to produce a dynamic and hard to defend scheme. The Kansas team features two running backs from Olathe South in Teddy Colbert and Jordan Ward and one lineman in Scott Gourley.
The experience in those positions is helping and Blue Valley Northwest quarterback Garret Fugate said they are getting a little better each day.
“At first it was a little rough cause it is completely new to me,” Fugate said. “We went from a spread to a Wing-T but day three it is coming together. We looked a lot smoother today and everyone is kind of understanding the offense a little bit better.
“We’ve just been working on execution not the quantity but the quality of our plays. Today we turned it up a little bit. It’s a lot of fun when everyone is out here going full speed.”
Overall the practices have been a good experience for all involved. Much like on the Missouri side the players are excited to be a part of this game and are working toward a win in this rivalry game.
For the coaches the depth of talent is fun to coach as the players are learning something totally new offensive system.
“These kids are great athletes, there is not a bad athlete on the field,” Jeff Gourley said. “It’s just a matter of trusting what they know. We are starting to see them trust themselves more. It’s the third day we’ve been going. They are tired today. It’s like anybody the third day is always the toughest.
“None of the kids, none of the coaches there are no egos. We are all here for one purpose. Everyone is bonding real well and having a good time.”
Practice for both teams continues through next week.
Tickets for the game are $8 for adults and $5 for students. The can be purchased online at www.kcprepfootball.org or on game day at the door.
Below are the rosters for both the Missouri and Kansas squads.
Olathe North Eagles
Bishop Ward Cyclones
Van Horn Falcons
Rich Hill Tigers
Grain Valley Eagles
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
Oak Grove Panthers
Pembroke Hill Raiders
Shawnee Mission East Lancers
Blue Valley West Jaguars