There was no spumoni, chocolate or raspberry ripple to be found at Peve Stadium Friday night as the Blue Springs High School football team went through a variety of orchestrated scrimmages in its first Purple and Gold Game in quite some time.
“I promised you vanilla, and that’s what you got,” joked Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe, whose squad made it all the way to the Class 6 state championship game last season despite the loss of every starter in the backfield to a variety of injuries.
“I’ll be honest with you. After all the injuries last year – we had eight or nine starters on the sidelines in that (state championship) loss to Kirkwood (31-14) – I’m a little shellshocked this year. That’s why we stayed away from a jamboree and why we only had our starters in for a couple of series.
“Plus, it gives the guys who don’t get many opportunities to play, the chance to play in front of mom and dad under the lights.”
Following the glorified practice session, the players lined up and shook hands with the fans who filled Peve Stadium on the same night the Kansas City Chiefs were home and the Royals were playing at the Chicago White Sox on television.
“Just look at the stands,” Donohoe said, “we have such great fans. There are so many other things they could be doing tonight, and they’re out here supporting our team. That’s pretty special.”
One player who was under the watchful of his coach – who also happens to be his father – was senior quarterback Chase Donohoe, who missed the end of last season with a broken foot.
“I feel great,” Chase said after appearing in two series and hooking up with junior wide receiver Markel Cotton on a couple of timing pass plays. “I knew I wasn’t going to get hit out there in a scrimmage, but I felt like I had my timing down and the plays seemed to go really slow – which is what you want when you’re playing quarterback.
“I never thought about my foot – it felt fine – and I can’t wait for next Friday at Lee’s Summit (where the Wildcats open the 2017 season against the Tigers).”
Daniel Parker Jr., who has committed to play football at the University of Missouri, was in on two series, but spent most of the night pumping up the reserves who saw most of the action.
“This is a great night for the guys who don’t start,” Parker said, “because they work as hard as the rest of us and don’t get many chances to play under the lights. This was their night.”
The Wildcats get the season underway next Friday at Lee's Summit.