Kansas City has a long and grand tradition of high school football. For more than 100 years the Metro and surrounding areas have produced some of the top teams, players and coaches in the Midwest.
The Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association honors that history with its Hall of Fame that began in 2015. The GKCFCA Hall of Fame will honor players, coaches and contributors with a new class each year.
People are eligible for the Hall of Fame in four categories: Pioneer Coach, Coach, Player and Associate. Below is the seventh class of the GKCFCA Hall of Fame who are being inducted at tonight’s BeYOUnion.com Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game. This group has made, and continues to make, a lasting impact on football in the Kansas City Metro and surrounding areas.
Royce Boehm is a Boonville native who began his coaching career at Belton in 1989. He was an assistant coach for the Pirates until 1995 when he moved over to Lee’s Summit North to be a part of Harold Wambsgans first staff at the new school.
When Lee’s Summit opened its third high school in 2004 Boehm was named the Titans first head coach. West would struggle through its regular season the first year going 0-7. When the district season started, the Titans turned their season around and won three straight to claim a District title in its first year as a varsity program. The Titans would go on to defeat Raytown South in the Class 4 Sectional round before losing in the Quarterfinals.
From that point on West became a power in the Kansas City Metro. In 2005 and 2006 the Titans would advance to the Class 4 Semifinals before earning the first State championship in school history in 2007. Over the next eight years West would win two more State titles in Class 5. Boehm’s teams reached the Semifinals in six of 12 seasons, Quarterfinals in nine to go along with eight District titles and seven Conference championships. Boehm was also named Missouri Coach of the Year three times.
Boehm would finish his career 117-35 coaching numerous players who went on to college including both of his sons. His oldest son Evan would become the only offensive lineman to win the Simone Award before becoming a four-year starter at the University of Missouri and is currently in his sixth year in the NFL.
He currently lives in Lee’s Summit.
In a career that has spanned over five different decades Tenny Dewey has left his imprint on multiple programs and hundreds of players.
He began his coaching career at Drake University in 1980 before moving to Bishop Miege in 1986. Dewey moved to Blue Valley North in 1988 and stayed there until 1994 when he became an assistant coach at Blue Valley Northwest.
Dewey’s time with the Huskies has seen him be a part of the program from the very beginning all the way to this past season when Northwest won its first ever Kansas Class 6A State championship.
Revered as one of the most innovative offensive coaches in the Metro, Dewey coached the offensive line for Northwest during his time with the exception of 2001-2004 when he was the Huskies head coach. During that span Northwest would win a District and Eastern Kansas League title in 2004 and were ranked in the top 5 in Kansas 6A and the Kansas City Metro in both 2001 and 2004. His head coaching record was 23-13.
Coach Dewey was also honored by the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Dave Bassore Award as the top assistant coach on the Kansas side in 2010.
People that graduate from Northwest have a saying that says you are a ‘Ski for life’ and Coach Dewey truly embodies that saying.
He currently lives in Olathe.
Kelly Donohoe is a coaching legend whose name has been known since he was in high school at Harrisonville in the 1980s. He was a standout quarterback for the Wildcats before continuing his career as the starting quarterback at the University of Kansas.
He began his coaching career in 1993 as an assistant at Blue Springs South where he was the offensive coordinator on the Jaguars first team to play for a State title in 1995. His first head coaching job came at Raytown South in 1997. The Cardinals had won four games total the three previous seasons but would finish 9-3 in his first year. During his three years at Raytown South his teams would go 25-7.
In 2000 Donohoe was hired at Blue Springs. The Wildcats had been a good program starting in the late 80s winning a Missouri Class 5 State championship in 1992. Donohoe took the program to new heights winning his first State title in 2001 going a perfect 14-0. The Wildcats would add two more undefeated State championships in 2003 and 2013 and a 13-1 title team in 2012.
Blue Springs was a title contender in almost every season Donohoe coached the Wildcats. Blue Springs would make it to the State championship game three more times in 2009, 2016 and 2017 as well as a Semifinal appearance in 2018. In 21 seasons Donohoe’s Blue Springs’ teams won 16 Conference and District titles going 191-53 in that time.
After the 2020 season Donohoe made the move to rival Rockhurst taking over for the legendary Tony Severino who retired following that season. Donohoe and Severino became good friends during the two plus decades they coached against each other and now Donohoe joins Severino in the GKCFCA Hall of Fame.
Donohoe currently has a 225-69 record heading into the 2022 season. He currently lives in Blue Springs.
Eric Driskell was a part of Blue Valley football since the time of its first-ever State championship in 1991. He was a senior on that team that would be the first of five Tigers’ teams that would win a State title.
After high school Driskell played at Baker University before becoming an assistant coach at Blue Valley in 1996. He was part of GKCFCA Hall of Fame Coach Steve Rampy’s staff that would win three more State titles in 1998, 2003 and 2006. Blue Valley would also advance to the State championship game three other times during that span.
In 2010 Driskell became the head coach at Blue Valley and his first team would win a state title that season. In 2013 the Tigers would win another championship. From 2010-2016 Blue Valley won two State titles and played in three more State title games. Driskell compiled a 71-18 record during that time.
In a short amount of time as a head coach Driskell had earned a wide-ranging respect of other coaches. He began serving on the GKCFCA Board of Directors in 2014.
On February 12, 2017, Driskell suffered a massive ruptured brain aneurysm with irreversible and instant brain damage. He passed away five days later at the age of 43. Driskell was survived by his wife Kari and daughters Rachel and Laurel.
After his passing, the GKCFCA adopted his slogan “Live Like a Champion.” Also the Kansas City Chiefs named its annual High School Coach of the Year Award the Eric Driskell Coach of the Year Award. Driskell was a three-time winner in 2011, 2014 and 2016.
Driskell’s mission statement was: “I coach to assist athletes in becoming more than they thought they could be physically, mentally and emotionally while instilling in them the synergy of Family and Team so they can live life as Men of Honor.”
Bubba Starling is one of the most dynamic athletes to play high school football in Kansas City in the last 30 years. A three-sport athlete at Gardner-Edgerton he would lead the team to its only State championship appearance in 2009 and win the Simone Award in 2010.
Starling was a three-year starter for the Trailblazers going 34-3 as a starter. He was a true dual threat quarterback rushing for 4,033 yards while throwing for 3,121 in his three-year career. Starling ran for 50 touchdowns while throwing 37 more. He averaged 12.4 yards per carry for his career.
Football wasn’t his only sport as he would be named All-State in basketball and baseball. After his senior year Starling had committed to the University of Nebraska and was rated as one of the top recruits in the county.
Starling never made it to Lincoln, Neb. after the Kansas City Royals selected him seventh overall in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. He was widely considered one of the best all-around athletes in that draft class.
After moving through the Royals minor leagues he made his major league debut for his hometown team on July 12, 2019, in front of friends and family at Kauffman Stadium. Starling would play in 56 games in 2019 and 35 in the 2020 shortened season.
In 2021 he represented his country in the Tokyo Olympics helping United States earn a silver medal. Starling announced his retirement from baseball in October 2021. He currently resides in Kansas.
If there is a voice of high school football in the Kansas City Metro, it’s Kevin Wike. The veteran television play-by-play announcer has been calling games for 25 years for Metro/Spectrum Sports.
An Olathe native he attended the University of Kansas and began his broadcasting career in Louisiana and Nebraska before returning to his hometown.
Wike has called the game of the week for what was Metro Sports and is now Spectrum Sports KC. He has worked with Will Shields, Richard Baldinger, Kendall Gammon, Dannan Hughes, Jayce Pearson and Marc Boerigter.
The booth mates may have changed but Wike has been the anchor of one of the best high school sports broadcasts in the nation. Besides football Wike has called basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball and softball.
He is a passionate fan of high school sports and said the GKCFCA All-Star Game is one of his favorites to call every year. He is on the call of the game tonight.