Brock Bult liked what he saw last Thursday and Friday when his Fort Osage High School football team scrimmaged with Raymore Peculiar, Eureka and the host Blue Springs South Jaguars at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium.
“We got a lot of work in, and we saw what a lot of kids could do at the next level,” said Bult, whose 2018 senior-dominated Indians overcame a series of early-season injuries to advance to the Class 5 state championship game. “There was a lot of good competition over at South, and we all learned something, including myself.”
He was chuckling while making that remark as one of the most respected defensive coaches in the metro area is taking over the offense this year and turning the defense over to third-year assistant Zach Dudley.
“Zach is going to do a great job with the kids on defense,” said Bult, who was the team’s defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach when Ryan Schartz stepped down to become the high school’s activities director. “I think that my expertise on the defensive side will help me recognize what our offense needs to do to have success. It’s like I told our guys, we’re all going to be learning together.”
It has been so enjoyable to watch Bult grow and develop as a head coach. For years, he was one of the most respected defensive minds in the state, along with guys like Greg Oder and former Indians assistant Jon Oyler.
His idea of a perfect Friday night is watching an Indians win and returning to coaches office to watch film. Yet he has become an engaging interview, almost to the point where I think he might even enjoy one or two of our conversations.
There will be times when his patience is tested with this offense, that basically returns four part-time offensive linemen and wide receiver Dominic Meyers.
Ty Baker – who joins Jesse McBee and Skylar Thompson as Indian quarterbacks who have led their team to the state championship game (with Thompson leading the Indians to their lone state championship) – graduated this spring and is heading to Missouri State with Von Young, one of the greatest linebackers in the history of a program that is known for its defensive strength.
Bult is not about to show his hand as the new offensive coordinator, but says three players are in the mix for the quarterback position, and right now no one has the position locked up.
The Indians have to find four new members of the defensive secondary and have just three defensive linemen and one linebacker back on defense, but that’s what makes prep football and Friday night under the lights so fascinating.
That’s what makes coaches like Bult, his predecessor Schartz, Kelly Donohoe, Grain Valley’s David Allie and the retired Oder so special. Year in and year out, being dealt a new hand of cards every season, they have won consistently.
And while it might take this new-look Indians team to jell, it is going to be an exciting work in progress with the right man calling the shots.
• I enjoyed visiting in person with new Blue Springs South football coach Matt Klein this week. I saw him on the sidelines of the BeYOUnion Missouri vs. Kansas All-Star Football Game in Olathe, Kan., last Thursday, then watched him lead his Jaguars through a scrimmage on Friday.
“I didn’t get the chance to talk with Matt as much as I would have liked,” said Bult, whose Indians were involved in the scrimmage, “but I enjoyed talking with him on the sidelines. and I have heard a lot of good things about him. I think South picked the right coach for the job.”
• While I am not a St. Louis Blues hockey fan like our sports editor, Karl Zinke, I was certainly pulling for the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final because my longtime buddy Andrew Dvorak is the team’s equipment assistant.
I called Dvorak “MacGyver” when he was the Kansas City Mavericks equipment manager for eight years, before moving to St. Louis in 2017. He could take a paperclip, some glue, a piece of wire and his trusty blade sharpener and make any repair the team ever needed – at home or on the road.
I can’t wait to see a photo of Dvorak holding the Stanley Cup high over his head and celebrating with another former Maverick, backup goaltender Ville Husso. It’s nice to see good things happen to good people, and Andrew is simply the best.
– Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-350-6333. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC