Rain, rain go away

Dion Clisso/PrepsKC

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 1, 2016 - 8:35 AM

Practice for fall sports started this morning and most programs around the Missouri side of the Metro looked to get underway right after the sun came up.

That was a great plan but Mother Nature was the big winner for a large part of the Metro. At Kearney, Fort Osage and Blue Springs South the teams enter the 2016 season as defending champions but day one was more of a waiting game than practice time.

Kearney tried to wait out the rain but moved into the weight room to get some work in. For the Bulldogs the goals are the same but a lot of new faces will be competing for starting jobs.

Head Coach Greg Jones said he was excited to see this group grow and compete with games just a few weeks away.

“The thing that we feel like we have that we haven’t had in a little while is competition factor at every single spot,” Jones said. “There may be one or two that probably have in the back of their mind they are thinking I’m probably a starter. The rest of them they don’t know. We’ve challenged them all summer. In the weight racks they’ve been with the guys they are competing for. At practice we’ve been switching the lineup all of the time.

“We feel like we’ve got a lot of depth. We’ve got 30 seniors and hopefully we can reload and they can get better during the course of the year they will be solid and we can make a run again.”

At Fort Osage the first-ever state title is still fresh in the minds of the players and coaches but a new leader will take the team to the field. Brock Bult took over for longtime coach Ryan Schartz who is now the Activities Director. Most of the staff is the same so there is a great amount of familiarity for Bult and his staff on the first day.

“We’ve enjoyed the challenge so far,” Bult said. “We are all in new roles but we are all here together still so we are still figuring stuff out as we go. We are looking forward to it. We have high expectations and we have a lot of new young kids who haven’t played yet that are ready to get going and we are excited to see what they can do.”

Blue Springs South is almost a carbon copy of Fort Osage. The Jaguars won the title last season and then head coach Greg Oder retired. Longtime assistant Jon Oyler took over and most of the staff is back again.

Oyler said it has been a great summer and he was excited for the first day.

“You have so much expectation and anticipation for the new season starting up,” Oyler said. “Our kids have done such a great job this summer so I was pretty fired up to get here this morning.

“I’ve been very pleased with the guys that played a lot for us last year, the leadership that they’ve shown during the summer on both sides of the ball. Just being dedicated and being about the team which I think is one of the biggest things about a good high school football team.”