Allow Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder an option, and he'll take an experienced defense rather than a veteran offense any day of the week.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
For logical purposes, of course.
"If they don't score, you can't lose," Oder said. "We've never been a program where we think we're going into the season trying to outscore the opponent in a back-and-forth game. We're comfortable when we have a bunch on our defense returning."
He has his wish.
Blue Springs South returns only seven starters from a 5-5 team, one that was defending its 2011 Missouri Class 6 state championship, but six of the seven are defenders.
The list starts with two-way player Kendall Blanton, a 6-foot-7 defensive end and tight end who has committed to Missouri for his offensive capabilities. He's also a threat on defense line. Good thing, too. The Jaguars will focus on stopping the run in the Suburban Gold Conference, which includes some of the area's best tailbacks.
"We concentrate on so many things defensively, but the No. 1 thing is stopping the run in our conference," Oder said.
Blue Springs South struggled with its pass defense a year ago, although Brandin Dandridge and Austin Cobb return at cornerback to give the Jaguars some much-needed experience.
Dandridge also serves as the team's best offensive playmaker. He will start at wide receiver, but the Jaguars plan to use him in a variety of ways.
"He'll have a lot of responsibility, but he did last year, too," Oder said. "We put on a lot on him last year, so it will be more of the same."