The Blue Springs Wildcats ended a nine-year drought and won the Missouri Class 6 state football championship in 2012.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
OK, so maybe nine years isn't exactly a drought when it comes to winning state titles.
Nevertheless, the next dry spell might be an even shorter one. Blue Springs appears poised to defend its title with a talented nucleus of seniors returning from last year's championship team
That group includes Thomas A. Simone Award winner Dalvin Warmack, wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, offensive lineman Jordan Benson, linebacker Elijah Lee and safety Kaleb Prewett.
"I think when you're coming off something like that, you've really got to stay on your toes about complacency," Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe said. "We can't settle into looking and what we already did. It doesn't matter anymore. It's a whole new team."
While the Wildcats welcome back 10 starters, they must replace four offensive linemen from a 2012 team built on its running game and pass protection.
"It's going to be a different ballclub," Donohoe said. "We have some key pieces back, but we have so many new faces. Every year you're creating your own identity."
The identity will be fresh, but the team's expectations remain high after winning a state title.
Quarterback Ian Brown, a transfer from Rockhurst, is set to take over under center. He will be a bit more at ease with the return of Warmack, who scored 47 touchdowns last season.
"Expectations and the pressure are high," Warmack said. "But this year, I'm a lot more confident in myself coming into the season. My offensive line, even though they're young and inexperienced, I think we're going to have good guys up front."