Staley looks to keep Wildcats' streak against Jaguars alive

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Blue Springs receiver Dalesean Staley has verbally committed to FCS Northern Iowa prior to his senior season.

One look at Dalesean Staley and it's easy to see why Blue Springs football head coach David White calls him "our guy.” 

“The guy who makes big plays on offense, big plays on defense and we've even used him on some returns. He never leaves the field. He's humble, he's a leader and his teammates love him," White said of his senior standout. 

Staley is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound wide receiver and defensive back who has committed to the University of Northern Iowa. 

"They're getting a good one," White said. "No one is going to work harder or be a better teammate than Dale. We love having him on our team, and can't wait to see what he does at the next level." 

And while playing football on Saturday afternoons appeals to Staley, he and the Wildcats have some unfinished business this season.  

"When you play at Blue Springs, you are expected to win every game, and we didn't get the job done last year, and we're not where we want to be this season," Staley said.  

"Last season we had a new head coach, and a lot of new players, and it took us a while to all work together. But we ended the season strong (losing to Liberty 31-28 in overtime in a district semifinal playoff game that heavily favored the Blue Jays), and I think we can play like that again this year." 

And he believes it will happen when the Wildcats line up against the Jaguars in the highly anticipated Cat Clash, the 31st meeting since 1994 between the crosstown rivals. 

"I'm a senior and I have never lost to Blue Springs South," Staley said. "Man, I want to have four years worth of bragging rights. I know so many of those guys and am friends with so many of them, but four years worth of bragging rights is special.” 

The Wildcats have won seven straight against the Jaguars, including a pair of district playoff games, dating back to 2015 

"And don't even ask me what it would be like to have our only loss come to them my senior year,” Staley added. “We're working hard so that doesn't happen, and I know they're working hard, too. 

"That's what makes rivalry games so much fun. The schedule comes out and it's the first game you look for. I can't wait, and I know they are looking forward to it, too." 

So is sophomore quarterback Sal Caldarella, who says a player like Staley makes his life easier as he learns what it takes to run the offense of one of the most storied programs in the state. 

"I'm new, I'm still learning, and all the guys are doing all they can to help me out," Caldarella said, "but having a stud like Dalesean is awesome. I know if I get the pass anywhere near him, he's going to make something happen. And we really want to make something happen against South. 

"They've struggled and we've struggled this season and I know we're going to finish strong. And to do that, we have to get past South." 

Ask any coach at Blue Springs High School about Staley and the first thing they mention is his work ethic. 

So, can he work even harder leading up the Cat Clash? 

"I don't know, because I give it 110 percent on the field, at practice, in the weight room. No one can ever say I didn't give it all I had," Staley said. "And my teammates have the same work ethic – and I'm proud to be able to say that."