Shaking off the rust

Cole Young/PrepsKC

By Cole Young PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: August 30, 2013 - 5:56 AM

If there's one thing players, coaches and refs can all be thankful for, it’s that next week the games will start counting.
At the jamboree held at Raymore-Peculiar on Friday with the Blue Springs South, Park Hill, Park Hill South and the host Panthers each knocked off some of the preseason rust.
At times there looked to be plenty of rust. There were the occasional balls bouncing off receiver’s chests, coaches frustrated with how their teams lined up and even a few inadvertent whistles.
Even with all the nerves and early season cobwebs, there were bright spots
Blue Springs South seniors Brandin Dandridge and Kendall Blanton were possibly the biggest stars of the night, causing havoc on both sides of the ball. In addition to an interception, Dandridge scored for the Jaguars. Blanton, who has verbally committed to Mizzou, shut down the right side of their opponent’s offense while playing defensive end. On offense he pulled in a pass at his shoelaces in addition to scoring.
“One of the best things for us was that defensively I thought we flew to the ball,” said Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder. “We didn’t have a game plan we just wanted to see them going hard.”
That sentiment carried throughout.
Park Hill and its new coach Josh Hood came in hoping to use its new up tempo offense against live competition and get it honed in before opening the season next Friday against Raytown South.
“We came in and wanted to have a laundry list of things to improve on over the next week,” Hood said. “Hopefully our list won’t be too long.”
Hood said he was also pleased with the performance of some of his second string players against Raymore-Peculiar and Blue Springs South, both Class Six opponents.
Park Hill South also squared off against the same two opponents.
For South head coach Mark Simcox, the goal of the night was to play physical. The Panthers have experience on both sides of the ball, but still need to fill four or five spots on both sides of the ball.
Overall, Simcox said he was happy with how the new starters looked. That didn’t mean though there isn’t some room for improvement.
“We had way too many penalties tonight,” he said. “That’s on us as coaches. It’s the first time you have live refs and typically during practice we are so busy following the ball that we don’t see the penalties.”
But that’s what jamborees are for. They provide the teams a chance to work out some of their kinks without suffering a loss on the scoreboard.
That’s exactly what the host school, Raymore-Peculiar did.
“Our main thing tonight is we wanted to see how the guys executed,” Raymore-Peculiar head coach Tom Kruse said. “We saw a few guys cement their spots and a few other positions kind of see the battle open back up.”