Suburban Red Preview

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 11, 2017 - 11:16 AM



 

Liberty

Head Coach: Chad Frigon, 7th season

2016 record (overall/conference): 7-4/4-1

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/6

Biggest Challenge: With all-everything tailback Robert Rawie back for his senior year the Jays are pretty set at the skill position. The question right now is how three new offensive linemen will do in front or Rawie. Liberty has talent up front but they don’t have the experience heading into this season. That unit will be one to watch in the early part of the season.

Outlook: The Jays had a good season in 2016 and are looking to build on that in 2017. With Rawie back Liberty has the chance to rise to the top of the Suburban Red and become one of the Missouri Class 5 teams in the Metro. This could be the year Liberty makes a deep postseason run.

Coach’s thoughts: “We just feel like we are building off what they’ve done the last couple years. Hopefully it carries over to this year. We return some experience in some key spots and hopefully that can carry us into the schedule this fall.”

2017 Schedule:
8/18 @ St. Joseph Central
8/25 Belton
9/1 @ Liberty North
9/8 Raytown
9/15 Olathe East
9/22 @ Platte County
9/29 @ Park Hill South
10/6 Truman
10/13 Lee’s Summit North

Liberty North

Head Coach: Greg Jones, 1st season

2016 record (overall/conference): 4-7/2-3

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 3/4

Biggest Challenge: With a new coaching staff taking over after seven years there are some changes in order. With those changes getting all of the players on the same page is job one for the Eagles.

Outlook: There is good talent at Liberty North. This program is just a few years removed from a trip to the Class 4 semifinals. Jones has proven he can win at every stop and is coming off back to back title games at Kearney winning the Class 4 state championship in 2015. With the changes in scheme on both sides of the ball the team that finishes the season should look a lot better than the team that starts the season.

Coach’s thoughts: “I like our defense, I like our offense. We’ve got the right skill kids in the right spots. Defensively we’ve got the kids that can be really good it’s just that they haven’t come together yet.”

2017 Schedule:
8/18 Staley
8/25 @ Raytown
9/1 Liberty
9/8 @ Truman
9/15 @ Kearney
9/22 Park Hill South
9/29 St. Joseph Central
10/6 @ Park Hill
10/13 @ Columbia Hickman

 

Park Hill South

Head Coach: Mike Sharp, 3rd season

2016 record (overall/conference): 10-2/5-0

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 4/3

Biggest Challenge: After an outstanding 2016 season the Panthers will be much younger this time around. With only seven total starters returning there will be a lot of juniors and sophomores who see time on Friday nights. How fast those players get used to the varsity speed of the game will determine how Park Hill South does in the first part of the season.

Outlook: Coming off a great year the Panthers are back to a similar place they were in in 2015. A talented but young team that will be gaining experience every time out. Having seen the fruit of that labor last season the learning curve might be a little quicker knowing the results that are possible.

Coach’s thoughts: “I think we are going to be able to hang our hat on the fact we have a good group of kids that like to work hard. They’ve done a great job of working hard in the weight room and now it’s time to transition that to the field. We’ve had some meetings and some goal settings and things like that and all of our seniors that are here want to be remembered or have their legacy as they want to be hard workers.”

2017 Schedule:

8/18 @ Winnetonka
8/25 @ Grandview
9/1 Park Hill
9/8 @ St. Joseph Central
9/15 Raytown
9/22 @ Liberty North
9/29 Liberty
10/6 @ Lee’s Summit North
10/13 Truman

 

Raytown

Head Coach: Logan Minnick, 1st season

2016 record (overall/conference): 3-8/1-4

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/6

Biggest Challenge: The Bluejays have a new coach as Logan Minnick comes over from Kearney where he was a part of a Bulldogs program that won the Missouri Class 4 title in 2015 and finished second last season. With new coaches come new expectations and the Raytown players have been learning those expectations in the offseason. Now that the season is here it will be time for those new habits to take hold.

Outlook: Raytown has experience coming back and good talent as well. The large senior class of 32 will be looking to get Raytown to a winning record for the first time in more than a decade and this could be the year it happens. To do that the Bluejays will need to close out games after losing three games last season by three points or less.

Coach’s thoughts: “We coached against Raytown last year at Kearney and they were a competitive ballclub then and I know a good group of those kids were juniors and sophomores when we played them last year. I knew that if I could get this job I’d have a lot of experience coming back with some very good kids.”

2017 Schedule:
8/18 @ Truman
8/25 Liberty North
9/1 Grain Valley
9/8 @ Liberty
9/15 @ Park Hill South
9/22 Ruskin
9/29 @ Kearney
10/6 @ St. Joseph Central
10/13 Raytown South
 

St. Joseph Central

Head Coach: Andy Ball, 1st season

2016 record (overall/conference): 4-6/2-3

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/5

Biggest Challenge: For the second straight year St. Joseph Central is getting used to a new coach. Phil Pitts took over the program last season after Jeff Wallace stepped down after six seasons. Pitts then left this past offseason to take a job in the college ranks. Ball comes to Central from Missouri Western where he was the offensive line coach. The Indians are in the learning mode for the second straight year and that could have an effect on how they are able to hit the ground running this season.

Outlook: Even with the change there is some experience back and the offense returns a lot of key players. If the defense can take hold Central has a chance to be competitive in the conference and district.

Coach’s thoughts: “I’m excited about how hard these kids have worked and how much they have bought in and how much they have retained over the summer. I’m ready to see them put this thing together and hit somebody in another uniform.”

2017 Schedule:
8/18 Liberty
8/25 St. Joseph Lafayette
9/1 @ Ruskin
9/8 Park Hill South
9/15 Raymore-Peculiar
9/22 @ Truman
9/29 @ Liberty North
10/6 Raytown
10/13 @ North Kansas City

Truman

Head Coach: Charlie Pugh, 1st season

2016 record (overall/conference): 1-4/3-7

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 4/3

Biggest Challenge: The numbers are low this season. The Patriots have a new coach and the change has gone well but there aren’t a lot of bodies to choose from. With so few players staying healthy will be a big key to the season.

Outlook: It’s a year of transition as new coach Charlie Pugh takes over after spending the last few seasons as an assistant at Liberty North. The Patriots are learning a new system so that will be an adjustment period. The players that are out are working hard but it could be tough without much depth.

Coach’s thoughts: “Truman has always been a school I’ve heard a lot of great things about. Going there it hasn’t been a disappointment at all. The kids have been great. I’m excited. Those kids are what keeps me excited about going on and getting up and getting after it.”

2017 Schedule:
8/18 Raytown
8/25 Fort Osage
9/1 @ William Chrisman
9/8 Liberty North
9/15 @ Van Horn
9/22 St. Joseph Central
9/29 Columbia Battle
10/6 @ Liberty
10/13 @ Park Hill South