Suburban Big Six Preview

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 11, 2015 - 2:28 PM

Blue Springs

Head Coach: Kelly Donohoe, 16th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 8-4/4-1

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 2/2

Biggest Challenge: The Wildcats will have a lot of juniors and a few sophomores starting so there isn’t a lot of game experience. Getting those teams up to speed and ready to face a tough schedule will test Blue Springs early in the season.

Outlook: For the first time in a while Blue Springs is not the favorite for a state or conference title. The Wildcats will be playing a lot of young player who have talent but it could be a tough learning curve. Blue Springs starts with two tough out of conference games with Staley and Fort Osage so games outside of the league aren’t weeks off.

Coach’s thoughts: “The last three years you have felt that the target is pretty big on your back. We don’t feel that as much going into this year. I think people feel like we’ve lost a lot of guys. We take that as a personal challenge. We really like our football team it’s just that a lot of guys that need to get some game time. If they get that experience we are going to be a good football team.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Staley
8/28 Fort Osage
9/4 Blue Springs South
9/11 @ St. Joseph Central
9/18 @ Lee’s Summit
9/25 Rockhurst
10/2 @ Raymore-Peculiar
10/9 Lee’s Summit West
10/16 Lee’s Summit North

Blue Springs South

Head Coach: Greg Oder, 15th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 5-6/3-2

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/4

Biggest Challenge: The Jaguars are looking to fill four spots on the offensive line with only one returning starter and another player who filled in the starting rotation last year. Offensive line is the biggest unit on a football team and South will need that group to find its footing early in the year to compliment a good group of skill players.

Outlook: This is a group that has been successful at every sub-varsity level. Many of these seniors and juniors got lots of playing last year. One issue that dogged last year’s team beyond its youth was its health. South played with several quarterbacks and suffered injuries at other key spots as well.

Coach’s thoughts: “The senior class that we have has always been a good class. They are all good dudes. There are now problems. They are either a good leader or doing what they are supposed to do and they are fun to be around.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Park Hill
8/28 @ Liberty North
9/4 @ Blue Springs
9/11 Raymore-Peculiar
9/18 @ Rockhurst
9/25 Raytown
10/2 Lee’s Summit West
10/9 @ Lee’s Summit North
10/16 @ Lee’s Summit

Lee’s Summit

Head Coach: Eric Thomas, 6th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 4-6/2-3

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 5/7

Biggest Challenge: Lee’s Summit will be heading into the season with a rebuilt offensive line that will feature several talented but young players. That group will be tested in the early season as the Tigers look to get its offense going early on.

Outlook: Gone is Drew Lock but the Tigers return several key members off of last year’s team. The defense might be the strength. Lee’s Summit has a lot of players on the defensive side that even if they didn’t start saw lots of playing time down the stretch. With a new quarterback and inexperienced offensive line the defense will be counted on to be a big part of the Tigers success.

Coach’s thoughts: “I feel like defensively we have a chance to be pretty good. We return quite a few guys. Our defensive coordinator has been with me for year three now. I feel like we have a great system in place. I feel like our coaches are doing a great job of coaching on that side of the ball. We have some guys with some playing experience now. We won’t be the biggest defense but I think our guys are going to play hard, play fast and play for each other. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they respond and how they play on Friday nights.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Truman
8/28 Columbia Hickman
9/4 @ Fort Osage
9/11 @ Lee’s Summit North
9/18 Blue Springs
9/25 @ Lee’s Summit West
10/2 Park Hill
10/9 @ Raymore-Peculiar
10/16 Blue Springs South

Lee’s Summit North

Head Coach: Jamar Mozee, 1st Season

2014 record (overall/conference): 1-9/0-5

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 7/7

Biggest Challenge: Finding wins has been tough for the Broncos the last few seasons so gaining confidence will be job one. Lee’s Summit North has solid returners on both sides of the ball but they must now learn to not only compete but find a way to close out games and go home with some wins.

Outlook: Enthusiasm is high for the program with almost 100 freshmen in camp to start the season. The Broncos will have lots of experience on both sides of the ball and will need that experience to take the next step. There are no easy spots in the Suburban Big Six and it is even tough for teams trying to climb the ladder. North could be a much improved team this season even if it doesn’t finish with a winning record.

Coach’s thoughts: “The funnest thing about this group is you can see they really want to win. They definitely want a change and so they really, really put in time and work. They’ve been very coachable. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do from attendance and being there on time. They’ve been kind of leading. They nicest thing about having these guys back this year is they are taking responsibility for the team. They are making it theirs.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Park Hill South
8/28 Winnetonka
9/4 @ North Kansas City
9/11 Lee’s Summit
9/18 @ Lee’s Summit West
9/25 Raymore-Peculiar
10/2 Columbia Battle
10/9 Blue Springs South
10/16 @ Blue Springs

Lee’s Summit West

Head Coach: Royce Boehm, 12th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 6-4/2-3

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 6/7

Biggest Challenge: The Titans have the talent to compete at a high level in Class 6. They have proven that over the years with their domination in Class 5 and several wins over Class 6 schools. As West heads into year two developing the depth of talent to survive a full Class 6 schedule will be project No. 1 for the Titans this season.

Outlook: West took the step up last year and learned a lot in the process. The schedule is the same but the program is now armed with the experience of a season in Class 6 along with a good group of talent on both sides of the ball. West should be right in the mix for conference and district titles.

Coach’s thoughts: “We’ve got to learn from last year. We have to learn from what we did wrong as a coaching staff and what we did wrong as a football team. I think that is the biggest thing we have to look at and move forward with. We started that this summer. Our kids really attacked the weight room hard and did everything we asked them to do.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 @ Liberty
8/28 Park Hill South
9/4 Winnetonka
9/11 @ Columbia Rock Bridge
9/18 Lee’s Summit North
9/25 Lee’s Summit
10/2 @ Blue Springs South
10/9 @ Blue Springs
10/16 Raymore-Peculiar


Head Coach: Tom Kruse, 16th season

2014 record (overall/conference): 8-3/4-1

Returning Starters (Off/Def): 7/7

Biggest Challenge: The Panthers return good players on both sides especially at the skill position. The question will be what happens if one of those players goes down during the course of the season. Ray-Pec has a talented group of sophomores and juniors but how they react to Friday night football will be key for the Panthers.

Outlook: Ray-Pec shared a conference title with Blue Springs last season and beat the Wildcats during the regular season. This could be the year the Panthers take that next step and earn a Big Six title and maybe even a deep run in the Class 6 postseason.

Coach’s thoughts: “I don’t want to say we are rebuilding, I hope it is a reload mode. I feel good about our senior class. We’ve got 34 of them and a pretty good number of them played pretty significant roles for us a year ago. I think our leadership is going to be good again. Depth early on is a concern but I like our skill kids. Right now our goal is to be the defending Big Six Conference champions and go out and defend it.”

2015 Schedule:
8/21 Belton
8/28 Staley
9/4 @ Liberty
9/11 @ Blue Springs South
9/18 St. Joseph Central
9/25 @ Lee’s Summit North
10/2 Blue Springs
10/9 Lee’s Summit
10/16 @ Lee’s Summit West