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Examiner
  • Dick Puhr: Pair of area stalwarts calling it a career

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  • Two area coaching, administrative and nice guy legends are calling it quits.
    Jerry Hedger, the former Fort Osage football coach and longtime secretary of the Suburban Conference, said this will be his last school year. The Hedger family also suffered sad news recently. His wife died because of lingering health problems.
    Also, Darwin Rold, the Lee’s Summit School District activities director, announced his final day on the job will be June 27, 2014. He also umpired softball for years and assigned officials for Suburban Conference football games.
    Both positions will be difficult to fill. And both will be missed when that time comes.
    Speaking of the Suburban Conference, the bi-yearly realignment of the 25 schools likely will be announced early next year. I’ve heard no rumors of possible changes. Schools will turn in enrollment figures sometime this month.
    Rold also said the present method of qualifying teams for state football playoffs, which is in its second year, is expected to be extended for two additional years.
    • Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West for the first time have started the football season 2-0. North faces a difficult assignment Friday night in 2-0 Liberty at William Jewell College. Lee’s Summit has a winnable assignment at Park Hill as does Lee’s Summit West at St. Joseph Central in a Suburban Middle Six opener.
    • There are several coaching changes at Van Horn. Greg Millick is the new boys soccer coach and Scorpio Horn will coach girls soccer next spring. Lindsay Hartzler is the new volleyball coach and Matt Tracy has been named the new girls basketball coach.
    • Shay Tolbert is a member of the highly successful Truman softball team. Her father Jeff is the likable football coach at Van Horn.
    • One of the state’s top football rivalries resumes Friday night with believe it or not 0-2 Rockhurst at 2-0 Blue Springs. Rockhurst hasn’t started 0-2 since 1979. Blue Springs will be seeking its third conseutive victory over the Hawklets. Rockhurst hasn’t opened 0-3 since 1978. Rockhurst is playing its third-straight No. 1-ranked team in three weeks this season. East St. Louis is No. 1 in Illinois, Bentonville is No. 1 in Arkansas and Blue Springs is No. 1 in Missouri.
    Dick Puhr is a retired sportswriter for The Examiner. Reach him at 816-350-6315.

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