Eastern Jackson County will be well-represented when the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association's Kansas vs. Missouri High School Football All-Star Game will be played at Blue Springs High School's Peve Stadium on June 19.
Peve Stadium and Blue Springs South's Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium will host the summer classic the next four years.
“We are excited to have the Blue Springs School District host the game this season and through 2017,” GKCFCA president and Pleasant Hill High School coach Kyle Roach said in a press release announcing the game and the preliminary rosters.
“We have had tremendous support from high school football fans over the years, and with the game to be hosted by a school district that is known for its passion for high school football like Blue Springs is fantastic. We expect another outstanding event this year.”
Tony Wrisinger, the co-executive director of the GKCFCA, agreed with Roach.
“With KCWJ broadcasting Wildcat and Jaguar football the past 17 years, we know what football means to the Blue Springs community,” said Wrisinger, who is part of that award-winning broadcast team. “The Blue Springs School District will be a great host the next four years for this all-star game. Lunar Bowl, KCWJ, St. Mary's Medical Center, Blue Springs Little League Football and the City of Blue Springs are sponsoring the event and are responsible for it being in Blue Springs the next four years.”
Country Mart is the title sponsor for the game.
Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz has the most representation of any area high school with offensive linemen Dalton Miller and Griffin Bledsoe and defensive back Tyler Titus being named to the team.
“We have three guys, and I think we could have had a few more, but you want all the schools represented,” Schartz said. “It's just a great event, and I'm sure some of the Kansas coaches wish the game was going to played in their state, but we're excited to have it at the two Blue Springs high schools the next four years.”
Other players from Eastern Jackson County playing for Missouri include offensive lineman Cole West and linebacker Amel Cofield from Blue Springs South; Blue Springs defensive back Antwon President; Van Horn tight end Kylan Alexander; Grain Valley receiver Hunter Ramirez; William Chrisman defensive back Bret Wolf; and Lee’s Summit North running back Josh Caldwell.
“Antwon will be carrying the torch for Blue Springs High School,” said Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe, whose team has won back-to-back Class 6 state titles. “So many of our D-I guys will have left for school when they play the all-star game, so we are proud to have Antwon represent the Wildcats.”
South coach Greg Oder is pleased the game will be in his own backyard the next four years.
“It's awesome for the local kids and all the great high school football fans in Blue Springs,” said Oder, whose Jaguars won the Class 6 title three years ago. “I think you're going to see a lot of people at the games because they will be so close – right here in Blue Springs. And we're really happy Cole and Amel will represent South.”
Blue Springs South linebacker Josh Watson will receive the Ronald Warren Memorial Award that night, which for the first time will be given to a prep linebacker from both Missouri and Kansas. Warren was a standout linebacker from Southeast High School who was killed in a car accident in 1993.
Watson's linebacker coach at South, Jon Oyler, won the award in 1995.
“There isn't a more deserving player in Missouri than Josh,” Oyler said. “He's a great linebacker and a great young man. I'm thrilled he's getting the Missouri award.”
So is Watson, who will play football at Colorado State.
“It's a great honor because it represents a great former player,” Watson said. “Unfortunately, I will already be at Colorado State, but my dad (Steve Watson, a member of the 1990 Raytown South High School undefeated basketball team) will be there to receive the award.”
The Kansas squad will be coached by Baldwin's Mike Berg. The Missouri squad will be headed by Greg Smith of Smithville. Kansas leads the all-time series 11-10, with one rainout. Missouri won 36-8 in last year's game, which was played Lee's Summit North High School.
Tickets for the 2014 Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri High School Football All-Star Game may be purchased at the gate or they may be purchased in advance online at www.kcprepfootball.org. Online purchases will be available for pickup at the will call table on the day of the game starting at 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $10 and seniors/student tickets (with ID) are $5.