When you finish one game short of a conference championship, it's easy to pinpoint a game, perhaps even play, that might have made the difference. In the case of Raytown South, there are plenty of options from which to choose.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
The Cardinals held a second-half lead in each of their first eight games last season, only to cough up wins in three of the eight.
Coach David Allie won't need to repeat that fact often. Raytown South returns 17 starters who experienced the late-game woes.
"A lot of those games we were playing good opponents, but we did some things to beat ourselves," Allie said. "We're looking at everything — halftime adjustments as coaches, making sure the kids remain focused. We're looking at every avenue to improve that."
Turnovers loomed large in those games. The Cardinals, who finished 6-5, turned the ball over four times per game in the five losses.
Such experience should change that. Raytown South will start seniors at all but three positions on opening night, led by tailback Glenn Pargo, who headlines a talented and deep backfield.
"He's a special athlete," Allie said. "He's one of three guys we have who have started a game, but Glenn will probably be our go-to guy in the backfield."
The Cardinals will key on stopping the run defensively. Dezmin Rucker has shifted from the line to to linebacker. Defensive end Casey McDermott recorded 17 sacks a year ago and leads a talented and sizable group up front.