View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/9
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
The season is now fully underway. Both sides of the state line have begun their seasons and a question has popped into my mind. What town or school is the most football crazy in the Kansas City Metro?
What got me thinking about this were some games the last few weeks. The first was Gardner-Edgerton opening its season last week at home against Blue Valley West. Watching the Trailblazers is turning into the thing to do on a Friday night in Southern Johnson County. They are the sexy team right not with a Division I quarterback and an ESPNU game on the horizon.
Another school that seems to be football crazy is Kearney. The Bulldogs are off to a 2-0 start and haven’t allowed a point in either game. Kearney has been good for a long time winning two state titles early in the century and one more last year. It seems that Kearney is a juggernaut that won’t be stopped for many years to come.
Those two stand out but there are others. I know Harrisonville is as crazy about football as any school in the Metro and places like Olathe North, St. Thomas Aquinas and Raymore-Peculiar are very serious about their football.
There are plenty of bigger schools that have great passion for their teams, but something is missing. To me the passion seems to come from a one-town, one-team arrangement. Maybe it goes back to my days covering the Missouri River Valle Conference.
Back when I was traveling in the MRVC every town whether they were good or bad always had a strong following. Whether I was at Carrollton where the filed slanted down hill on one end, or Richmond that sat up on an open hill where the wind always seemed to blow, the passion of the fans made it a great atmosphere to watch football.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen some great atmospheres at the big schools. I can remember last season at Blue Springs as a dominate Wildcats squad scored 21 points in the first quarter against cross-town rival Blue Springs South. I was standing in front of the student section and it felt like the field was shaking when Darrian Miller that final TD in the first quarter to effectively end the game.
Other schools also have great traditions. O’Hara played all of its home games on Saturdays up until a few years ago. The Celtics fans would tailgate from early in the morning and the smell in the parking lot was much like Arrowhead stadium on a Sunday morning. Then when game-time came everyone would walk to the field that sat in a valley that gave it a very cozy feel.
So for the next couple of weeks I challenge you the fans of high school football to tell me why your town or school has the best high school football atmosphere. Tell me what makes you special. Why would someone want to come to your school just to be a part of the frenzy on a Friday night? Send your stories, pictures and descriptions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share them with fans from all over the Metro.
Grain Valley Eagles
St. Joseph Central Indians
Blue Valley Northwest Huskies
Afrikan Centered College Prep Pharohs
Excelsior Springs Tigers
Van Horn Falcons
William Chrisman Bears
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
Bishop Ward Cyclones
Bishop Miege Stags
Jefferson County North
Crest Ridge Cougars