RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 11, 2014 - 7:42 AM

Savannah at Grain Valley

7 p.m. Friday Aug. 22 Murray Moody Stadium

The season always opens with some new faces in new places and Grain Valley is one of those places. The Eagles have a new head coach and it is a name that is familiar to high school football fans across the Metro.

David Allie left Raytown South after 14 seasons as the head coach to take on a new challenge at Grain Valley. The Eagles have a large group out for football and enthusiasm is high. The Eagles offense will look a little different while the defense is totally new.

The first week of the season could see some growing pains but the Eagles will have to grow up quickly with Savannah coming to town. The Savages have been one of the better programs in Class 4 the last few seasons and look to be competitive again this year.

The question for week No. 1 is will Grain Valley be able to ride its enthusiasm with a new coaching staff to a big first victory or will Savannah be too much to handle right out of the box.

Liberty at Lee’s Summit West

7 p.m. Friday Aug. 22 at Lee’s Summit West Stadium

Two teams that passed each other in enrollment square off in the first week. West moved up to Class 6 and the Suburban Big 6 this season while Liberty slid down and took West’s spot in Class 5 and the Suburban Middle 6.

Both teams bring back a good amount of talent. Liberty is led by senior quarterback AJ Cambric and the experience of a returning QB should help in the first week of the season. The Blue Jays showed a lot of improvement in 2013 and are hoping to continue a trend that has seen them go from 3-7 in 2010 to 7-4 last season.

West lost some key players but has shown over the last few years that it just reloads instead of rebuilds. The Titans bring back standout tailback Ryan Williams who should be a big part of their offense while the defense should again be strong.

This is a great opening week game as both teams are looking for big seasons as the make the move to different classes.

Smithville at Pleasant Hill

7 p.m. Friday Aug. 22 at Pleasant Hill Stadium

These two Class 4 teams meet in the first week of the season for the third straight year.

While some programs like to play a team it is unfamiliar with in the first week of the season these two settle in for a game where there are no secrets. Not only is this the second year in-a-row they have played to open the season, they have long worked together during the Smithville Team Camp during the summer. Both coaching staffs know each other well and there shouldn’t be too many surprises when they take the field.

Smithville comes in off another strong season finishing 6-5 including a win over Platte County in the first round of postseason play. The Warriors bring back a good group that will need to be ready to play right off the bat. Smithville plays an always tough Midland Empire schedule but not before this non-conference game with Pleasant Hill followed by a game with Class 5 Park Hill.

The Roosters are coming off one of the best seasons in school history. Pleasant Hill rolled through the regular season undefeated earning the Missouri River Valley Conference West title along the way. The Roosters made it to the district final where they lost to Bolivar to finish at 11-1.

Pleasant Hill will have some new faces at key positions like quarterback but a good group remains with lots of experience from last year’s conference title run.

Both teams will be looking for that all important first win in a game that should go down to the wire like last year’s 17-16 contest won by Pleasant Hill.