In a purposeful speech at an awards banquet, Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe put a wrap on one state-championship season and provided the motivating words to jump-start another.
That was no accident.
It was December 2012, less than one month after the Wildcats had won the fourth state title in school history, when Donohoe stood behind a lectern and thanked members of the senior class for their contributions. In the next instant, he turned toward the underclassmen and told them he wanted another ring.
“We presented that challenge to them, that they could really make some history,” Donohoe said. “We knew it had been a long time since a big school in Kansas City went back to back. I think our guys really embraced that idea.”
And they conquered the challenge. In more impressive fashion than ever.
The Wildcats, 14-0, swept through their 2013 schedule with an average winning margin of 29.3 points per contest and won five playoff games by a combined score of 222-49. The last team to win back-to-back Class 6 state titles was Hazelwood Central in 2008-09.
Blue Springs, this season, possessed one of the best defenses in school history and perhaps the best offense in Kansas City. Not a bad formula.
For his efforts, Donohoe is The Star’s All-Metro Coach of the Year. It’s his fourth state title with Blue Springs, which will take a 24-game winning streak into next season.
“I give a lot of the credit to our senior guys, because they kept their focus on being a great high school football team instead of looking ahead to their college careers — because they have bright futures,” Donohoe said. “It wasn’t easy. I think week in, week out, we feel like we were getting everybody’s best shot. We had the resilience and the fight to do something special.”