It’s a season of change in the Suburban Gold Conference. The league has gone from eight teams to five as the new Suburban Silver was formed and four of the five schools have brand new coaches.
Liberty, Park Hill and Lee’s Summit North moved to the Silver leaving Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Lee’s Summit West, Liberty North at Raymore-Peculiar. All of these programs have won or played for state titles in the last decade with Liberty North at Raymore-Peculiar winning in 2020 and North finishing second in 2021.
In the past few seasons Blue Springs, South and West have struggled. All three have new coaches along with North after legendary coach Greg Jones retired and moved to the college coaching ranks joining the staff at Oregon.
Below is the Virtual Media Day and previews of all the Suburban Gold Teams.
Head Coach: Jed Paulsen, 1st season
2021 record (overall/conference): 2-8/1-6
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 3/4
Biggest Challenge: It’s been a tough two seasons for Blue Springs as offensive coordinator Jed Paulsen takes over the program. With only seven returning starters the Wildcats will be young and inexperienced. As the younger players grow into their roles Blue Springs should see some improvement.
Outlook: There has a been a lot of work done to return to the traditions and culture that made Blue Springs one of the top programs in the Midwest. The Wildcats have some good pieces and with a unified approach throughout the program there should be improvement in every aspect of the team.
Coach’s thoughts: “Blue Springs High School is looking to reestablish our physical mindset from years past. We have aimed to improve all aspects of our program though accountability, hard work and brotherhood. We know and respect the tradition of our program and have asked our players to #EARNTHERIGHT to be a part of this rich storied tradition. Our kids have accepted the challenge and have been working hard to uphold the Blue Springs Wildcat name.”
8/26 @ Staley
9/2 Lee’s Summit West
9/9 Lee’s Summit
9/16 @ Fort Osage
9/23 Blue Valley
9/30 @ Liberty North
10/7 @ Rockhurst
10/14 Blue Springs South
Blue Springs South
Head Coach: Alan Wilmes, 1st season
2021 record (overall/conference): 0-10/0-7
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 7/6
Biggest Challenge: After a winless 2021 the Jaguars had a coaching change bringing Park Hill South coach Alan Wilmes in to take over the program. There is a lot of change with new schemes on both sides of the ball. The offseason has been spent installing those systems and getting the players up to speed on the new terminology and executing the new offense and defense.
Outlook: There are good players back on both sides of the ball including starting quarterback Cash Parker and defensive back Trey Patrick. There is lots of change with new coaches, schemes and overall approach. The Jaguars are looking to rebuild and get the program back to the top of the league and Missouri Class 6 and that process starts this season.
Coach’s thoughts: “We have been very impressed with our group of players this summer. We have a very talented group that has worked very hard and competed at a high level the last 2 months. If we can play hard, fast and do our job each play our season will be highly successful. There is a lot of excitement at BSS right now and we are ready to get the season started.”
8/26 Lee’s Summit
9/2 @ Rockhurst
9/9 Park Hill
9/16 @ Raymore-Peculiar
9/23 @ Grain Valley
9/30 Lee’s Summit West
10/7 Liberty North
10/14 @ Blue Springs
10/21 @ Liberty
Lee’s Summit West
Head Coach: Willie Horn, 1st season
2021 record (overall/conference): 4-6/3-4
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/5
Biggest Challenge: This is a young Titans team taking the field this year. There is some experience returning but most of the offensive players on offense are going to be new this season. West will need to lean on seniors like running back David Mayo and Derrick Miller to lead a young team looking to improve as the season goes on.
Outlook: Willie Horn comes over after spending the last three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Blue Springs South. He has a young team that will try to find its way in what will be a tough Suburban Gold along with a non-conference schedule that includes Lee’s Summit North, Park Hill South and Liberty. The Titans have always had talent it will just look a little younger than normal this season.
Coach’s thoughts: “I am extremely excited to get going with this football season. We have a strong nucleus of players that understand the work it takes to be who we want to be this year. They also understand the importance of the process and getting better everyday.”
9/2 @ Blue Springs
9/9 @ Park Hill South
9/16 @ Staley
9/23 Lee’s Summit
9/30 @ Blue Springs South
10/14 Lee’s Summit North
10/21 @ Liberty North
Head Coach: Andy Lierman, 1st season
2021 record (overall/conference): 11-2/7-0
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/9
Biggest Challenge: The position group that will be sporting the most new faces is the offensive line. The Eagles are looking for four new starters and will need that group to come together if it wants a similar result to last year’s state championship game appearance.
Outlook: The defense is loaded led by reigning Buck Buchanan Award winner Melvin Laster. The junior will be leading a group that could easily be the best in the state of Missouri. The Eagles also return Simone Award Finalist Sam Van Dyne at quarterback along with a talented group of receivers. While legendary coach Greg Jones retired and is now a part of the coaching staff at the University of Oregon the program is in good hands with Andy Lierman. The veteran assistant has been with Jones since he came to North six years ago and is a major part of the Eagles success in that time. Sky is the limit for Liberty North.
Coach’s thoughts: “I am extremely excited to coach this group of players. We have a solid core of players returning that understand the standard that we strive towards every day and want to meet that standard. This is a seasoned group of players with lots of playing experience and have played in big games. We realize that the bullseye is on us due to the success with have had and we are ready to meet that challenge head on.”
8/26 Lee’s Summit North
9/2 @ Liberty
9/16 Park Hill South
9/23 @ Park Hill
9/30 Blue Springs
10/7 @ Blue Springs South
10/14 @ Raymore-Peculiar
10/21 Lee’s Summit West
Head Coach: Sean Martin, 3rd season
2021 record (overall/conference): 8-3/5-2
Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/5
Biggest Challenge: The defense is talented but inexperienced. That group will be tested early against good offenses like Rockhurst and Park Hill. The offensive line also has a few players that will need to be replaced as well.
Outlook: With starting quarterback Zander Dombrowski, receivers Jaidyn Doss and Jaden Reddell and running back Thomas Fager this could be an offense that can put lots of points on the board. With an inexperienced defense this might be the formula for victory early in the season. This Ray-Pec team could be a dark horse state contender if the defense rounds into form and the offensive skill players stay healthy.
Coach’s thoughts: “We feel great about the experience we return on the offensive side of the ball. We are also optimistic that our defense will improve steadily throughout the season. Playing our schedule and practicing against the people we will practice against daily always offers the opportunity to improve. There are no easy weeks in the Suburban Gold conference and our non-conference is also tough with games scheduled against Rockhurst, Blue Valley North, Park Hill, Liberty and Lee’s Summit North. We are excited and welcome the challenge that each week brings.”
9/2 @ Park Hill
9/16 Blue Springs South
9/23 @ Blue Valley North
9/30 Lee’s Summit North
10/7 @ Lee’s Summit West
10/14 Liberty North
10/21 @ Blue Springs