Chrisman grabs wagon wheel at Truman

By Bill Althaus The Examiner
Posted: September 3, 2016 - 12:50 AM

As James Bailey and his William Chrisman High School teammates drove south on Noland Road Friday night, to christen the new Truman High School Stadium, one thought kept running through his mind.

“One inch,” said Bailey, the senior quarterback, who was stopped an inch away from scoring the potential winning two-point conversion in last year’s 28-27 loss to the Patriots in the annual Wagon Wheel Trophy game at Independence All-School Stadium.

“I wasn’t going to let an inch keep us from winning tonight. We were going over to their place to spoil their first (home) game, because they spoiled our game last year.”

Bailey didn’t have to worry about inches Friday night as he was 6-of-12 for 176 yards and two touchdowns in the air and carried the ball 17 times for 188 yards and four more scores in a convincing 48-14 rout of the Patriots, who were playing their first game at the newly renovated and expanded Truman High School Stadium.

“I have never been this happy on a football field,” said Bailey, who is the reigning state champion in the discus in track and field. “I owe this all to God. It starts with him, then I want to thank my coaches and my teammates. My offensive line was amazing tonight – they opened some big holes for me to run through.”

As he spoke about the Bears’ effort, he was hugged, high-fived, asked to pose for selfies – all the while smiling from ear to ear.

“I have thought about that loss so many times, and now I can forget about it and enjoy tonight. I think we have the chance to be a very good team this season,” he said.

As activities director Greg McGhee scrambled to find an answer to the question – when was the last time a Chrisman football team started a season 3-0? – coach Scorpio Horn addressed his team at the 50-yard line.

“When I took this job, people asked me why,” Horn said. “They asked, “Why you going to that school? You can go anywhere you want.’ Well, you know why I came to this school?”

He then grabbed the Wagon Wheel Trophy, which is given to the winner of the annual Noland Road rivalry contest, and thrust it into the air.

“I came here because of you guys!”

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