Bret Wolf must feel like he needs to pinch himself, just to make sure he's not dreaming.
“I'm a Missouri all-star football player,” said the William Chrisman High School strong safety, who will be a part of the Missouri squad that takes on its Kansas counterparts next Thursday at Blue Springs High School's Peve Stadium in the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game.
“I can't believe it! I really can't. We didn't have a lot of success my senior year (winning one game), and this is something I never even thought about. Then, I got the phone call asking if I'd like to play and I said yes before the coach was even finished asking the question.
“I've watched this game, watched some of my former teammates play in it and I dreamed about it. I really did dream about it – but you just don't think it's ever going to happen. Now, here I am practicing with the best of the best from the state of Missouri – wow!”
At a recent practice session at Raytown South High School, Wolf attracted some attention when he made a diving interception, quickly got back to his feet and raced down the sideline.
He glanced up to see a menacing Fort Osage running back Ezra Vaoifi about 10 yards up field.
Instead of making a tackle, or attempting to knock Wolf out of bounds, Vaoifi called out to his new teammate, “Way to go Bret. Great pick! That's what we want to see against Kansas.”
Wolf grinned and nodded in response.
“Ezra Vaoifi, one of the greatest running backs I ever played against, knew my name and congratulated me after I made an interception as his team was driving down the field,” Wolf said. “That was pretty cool. But that's what this game is all about.
“We've only had a few practices and we're already a team. We're bonding like you bond on your high school team, and it's great. I wish I could put into words what it means to me to be on this team, but I can't.”
As practice continues, there is a new bounce to Wolf's step. A young man who missed three games with a broken hand last season and only won four games over the past two years proved he belonged with the elite players from this side of the state line.
“The thing about this game is that if you're playing on this team you deserve to be here,” Fort Osage offensive lineman Griffin Bledsoe said. “A kid like Bret Wolf didn't win a lot of games in high school, but when we played Chrisman, those kids played hard. They tackled hard.
“Now, here he is with a chance to win his last high school football game. And except for a guy like (Blue Springs defensive back Antwon) President, (who was on a Wildcat team that won the Class 6 state championship the past two seasons) we're all trying to win our last high school game. I'm honored to call Bret my teammate – we all are.”
Wolf has now gained some of the respect that was missing during his playing days at Chrisman.
“I loved playing at Chrisman and wouldn't trade it for anything because I loved the guys I played with,” said Wolf, who will play football at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. “But now, I feel like I have some respect, and that means a lot to me. To have the respect of guys like Ezra and his Fort Osage teammates (who also made the Missouri squad) is an honor. It's just special. This is something I'll never forget.”