The North Kansas City football program has shown steady signs of improvement over the past three years — in victories, talent and the number of players on the sidelines every Friday night.
But to reach their next goal — surpassing the .500 mark — Hornets coach Leon Douglas said he needed to see progress in the team’s offseason training program.
He finally saw it this summer.
“I definitely think we’re ready to get over that hump of being .500,” Douglas said. “We’ve already done a great job of buying into the system during the season, but now what we’ve done is make that commitment a year-round deal. I think we’re at the point we’re ready to see what we can do in our conference.”
North Kansas City managed four victories in the Suburban White Conference last season, but it was blown out in both of its losses, which came courtesy of traditional Class 5 powers Staley and Fort Osage.
Douglas says he’s equipped with the personnel to at least make it interesting against every conference foe this season. He likened quarterback Fasil Kassahun’s talents to those of Marcus Jones, who was a second team Class 5 all-state player two years ago.
Kassahun will run behind a formidable offensive line that includes Anthony Newton and Mohamed Jamal — a pair of players in which the Hornets possess plenty of confidence.
“We have a very impressive line. We’re solid up front,” Douglas said. “Those guys are competing hard. It’s great to see.”
Newton and Jamal will also play on the defensive line. They will be joined there by high-energy Kardo Muhedeen, a speed rusher off the edge.