Good night for getting better
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
It’s not a real game but it’s not your own teammates either. Friday night at Grain Valley Lee’s Summit, Liberty North, Raytown and the host Eagles got to step on the field under the lights and hit a different color jersey for the first time since camp opened 11 days ago.
The week before the start of the high school football season has become Jamboree week in Missouri and while every team doesn’t do a Jamboree, most do. Grain Valley hosted the event and Eagles’ coach Jimmy Tucker was much more pleased with this year’s Jamboree after losing his starting quarterback for the season last year at this event.
“I think we came out relatively healthy and that is a good thing,” Tucker said. “After last year losing our quarterback in this thing I’m just happy to be healthy.”
Tucker’s squad stepped up in class and played Lee’s Summit and Raytown. The Eagles opened with the Tigers and Tucker said it was good to see some different styles in the Jamboree.
“It’s good to see great competition like the speed and size that Raytown has,” Tucker said. “With Lee’s Summit you don’t see a dynamic offense like they have so it was good offensively and defensively,”
There are good and bad things that come out of a jamboree. For Lee’s Summit’s Chris Campbell getting a chance to go all out and see what how he and his teammates reacted to live game action was a huge benefit.
“This shows you how the team will be for the year,” Campbell said. “Mentally we are really testing who is going to come out and play hard. I just practice on getting tougher and my position so I know where to be in my gap.”
All four teams had some great moments and some things that looked ugly but the learning that can come out of tonight is what makes the Jamboree beneficial.
Liberty’s North’s Brian Sharp said this was a chance to make mistakes and learn from them.
“We get to get out and get better competition and work on what we need to do,” Sharp said. “We just have to build off what we did tonight, what we did well. Then we need to work on our mistakes so when we come to practice on Monday we will be able to get our mistakes fixed up and go from there.”
Lee’s Summit and Raytown didn’t scrimmage each other since the teams will meet up in seven days to open the season. The Bluejays coach Kevin Page said his team just needed to hit somebody else and play in some game-like conditions including some heat.
“I liked playing against someone else,” Page said. “It was hot this week and it was good to get out here and feel the real August and get out and play with it.”
While some teams may just try to test effort and identify areas of improvement, Page said the Jamboree helped his team practice for what they will see during the season.
“A lot of what we do is assignment based depending on the front and we’ve been looking at multiple fronts all year,” Page said. “It was a good time for our kids to see do you know your assignment when you see it right now when you haven’t had all week to prepare for it. That was good for us. We are looking forward to seeing the film and double checking our kids rules to see if they were doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
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