A football field sits behind the southeast corner of the dark red-brick Delta Woods Middle School. There’s nothing particularly idiosyncratic about the field, but it’s a meaningful site for a cluster of Blue Springs South High School seniors.
In 2011, they didn’t lose a game on this field, nor anywhere else, on their way to an undefeated season. A year later, the same group served as the core of a freshman team that completed the same task.
Two seasons. Zero losses.
It spawned some lofty talk on the practice fields.
“We talked all the time about, ‘Wait until we get on varsity,’” said Blue Springs South senior quarterback Noah Nigro, a member of both undefeated teams. “We all said that when it’s our chance, we’re going to take it all the way to the (Edward Jones) Dome in St. Louis.”
A bevy of key injuries played a role in derailing those plans over the past two years. Nigro missed the better part of both seasons. His top wideout, Briley Moore-McKinney, did, too.
In 2015, the core group is healthy. Finally.
And it’s making good on its prediction. Finally.
In a quest for the third Missouri Class 6 state championship in program history, Blue Springs South will face Christian Brothers College at 7:30 p.m. Friday inside the Edward Jones Dome.
CBC can win its second straight state Missouri Class 6 championship. Blue Springs South’s senior class can finalize its own familiar accomplishment:
An undefeated season.
“We’ve been waiting for this chance since at least our freshman year — ever since we knew we could do something special,” said senior Adam Cofield, who splits his time on offense and defense. “We just wanted to play in the Dome one day.”
It required navigation through difficult terrain.
Blue Springs South faced one-loss Jefferson City, undefeated Francis Howell and one-loss Kirkwood over the past three weeks to clinch a spot in St. Louis on Thanksgiving weekend. And yet none of the games were competitive in the late stages.
“We talked to the seniors before the year that we thought they could be pretty good,” Jaguars coach Greg Oder said. “We knew it was a special group. But we’ve had some good kids and talented kids in the past who didn’t play in a state championship game. It takes more than talent.”
The Jaguars start nine seniors on both sides of the ball — the group accustomed to winning championships. They’ve played like an experienced bunch in the postseason, even though they won only one playoff game during each of the past two seasons.
It’s a different story in 2015. The Jaguars have kept their playoff opponents out of arm’s reach, winning every postseason game by at least three possessions.
That’s been followed by an extended break. Because of a new format in the Missouri Class 6 playoffs, a bye week precedes the state-championship game.
“When you feel like you’re playing well, you don’t exactly want to take some time off, so that’s been weird,” Oder said. “At this point, you just want to try to treat this week like the rest of them. It’s gotten you this far.”