Trey Vaval is an up-and-coming star for the Blue Springs South football squad.
Scouts from Blue-Grey Football saw him play in a game and invited him to participate in a football camp followed by an invite to the Rocky Mountain Super Regional Combine in Denver.
While there, he had an 8-foot, 10-inch broad jump, a 4.61 40-yard dash time and a shuttle time of 4.28. Because he impressed so much at the combine, he received an invitation to the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, which will take place on Jan. 29, 2019 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
“I’ve never played at a place that big,” Vaval said. “It’s definitely a blessing to be able to play there.
“At the first two (camps), I got defensive MVP, so I think I went out and did what I could do,” Vaval said.
The senior defensive back said he hopes that he can attract more attention from college coaches after playing in the All-American Bowl.
“I am actually very nervous. Playing against the top players in the United States is something really big. It’s like playing in a little college game,” Vaval said. “I think I will be fine. I just have to go out there and do what I got to do.”
Added South head coach Jon Oyler, “I’ve had some other athletes go to that game, and they were impressive like Trey is.”
Vaval has emerged as South’s No. 1 cornerback and made some improvements on being more consistent, Oyler said. The senior also was a threat as punt and kick returner. He returned 11 kickoffs for 211 yards and had 23 punt returns for 171 yards and one score.
On defense, Vaval has two interceptions, four passes defended and 58 tackles. He’s drawn some interest from NCAA Division I FCS teams such as South Dakota State and Minnesota State.
Oyler was able to see Vaval’s talent even when he wasn’t on the football field. The third-year coach remembers seeing the senior show his athletic prowess as a member of the Jaguars junior varsity boys basketball team.
“I saw on the basketball court what a special athlete he was by the way he defended,” Oyler said. “They had a stud on the other team and Trey picked him up full court. You could tell the other player was frustrated and wanted to get the ball out if his hands, so he didn’t have to deal with Trey anymore.”
So far, Vaval has looked equally as impressive in practice.
“At the cornerback position, he’s looked like a missle coming in,” Oyler said. “He’s a special player. He can get the face of defenders and can do a little bit of everything in the secondary.
“He had a lot of impressive tackles last year. He’s a little bit of a skinnier guy, but it’s fun to see him come in like a missle and hit someone.”
And the consistency is starting to come in his senior year.
“He’s been way more consistent with his play this year,” Oyler said. “He had some ups and downs last year. But I couldn’t have asked for him to do a better job this year.
“Other than two practices that we’ve had over the summer, he’s been on point.”
Vaval has credited his improvement to South’s new cornerback coach Connor Harris, who was a former safety/quarterback who led the Jaguars to the 2011 state title and became a three-time All-American at Lindenwood University,
“He’s helped make me into a better player over the summer and going into the season,” Vaval said of Harris. “He’s helped me with my footwork, my backpedal and my jam technique.
And Vaval will need those newly improved skills in Week 1 as he will likely be the primary defender for Raytown wide receiver Desmond Hutson, who committed to Iowa.
“He’ll be good competition. He’s a really good player,” Vaval said of Hutson.