The Kansas vs. Missouri High School All-Star Game has not been very memorable for the Sunflower State lately. When Missouri rallied for a 28-24 victory in last year’s contest, it marked the sixth straight time the Show-Me State laid claim to the bragging rights.
Kansas is out to reverse that trend this year. And what better way to that than with a team full of state-championship game veterans?
Eleven players – five from Class 6A runner-up Blue Valley, four from two-time Class 5A champion Mill Valley and two from three-time Class 4A-I titlist Bishop Miege – will lead Kansas against a team of Missouri All-Stars at 7 p.m. Thursday at Blue Springs South.
The Blue Valley contingent is led by Matt Dercher, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound quarterback who led the Tigers to a 12-1 record, their only defeat coming against Derby in the 6A title game. Joining him will be Gus Gomez, a 6-1 170 wide receiver; Will Evans, a 5-11 206 running back; Michael Maffry, a 6-1 215 inside linebacker; and Kirrian Kirby, a 6-3 265 offensive lineman.
Mill Valley, which won its second straight Class 5A title with a 35-34 double-overtime victory against Goddard in the final, is represented by Ben Hartman, a 6-0 173 wide receiver; Joel Donn, a 6-0 180 strong safety; Blaine Boudreaux, a 6-1 220 defensive tackle; and Keegan Zars, a 6-5 300 offensive lineman.
Bishop Miege, which finished 12-1 after winning its third straight title, will have Colin Grunhard, a 6-1 270 center; and Joe Gleason, a 6-5 225 tight end, on the squad.
There are also three players from Class 6A semifinalist Shawnee Mission East: Nigel Houston, a 5-7 165 wide receiver; Trevor Thompson, a 6-2 202 wide receiver; and Simon Bradley, a 6-0 215 outside linebacker.
Shawnee Mission West also has three representatives: Jason Meeker, a 6-0 190 strong safety; Israel Watson, a 6-3, 195 wide receiver; and Montell Madlock, a 5-11 195 inside linebacker. Blue Valley North has a trio in Keilon Hunter, a 5-10 160 cornerback; Harrison Frazier, a 5-10, 170 outside linebacker; and Zac Bayless, a 6-2 190 outside linebacker; and Gardner Edgerton has another three in Hunter Skeens, a 5-10 165 cornerback; Jonas Pippitt, a 5-10 205 outside linebacker; and Sam Stranathan, a 6-2 262 defensive tackle.
The Kansas roster also includes Shawnee Mission North’s Will Schneider, a 6-0 160 quarterback; and Danny Presler, a 6-2 280 offensive lineman. From DeSoto, there’s Chance Montgomery, a 5-11 185 free safety; and Lawson Marshall, a 6-0 240 nose tackle. Olathe North has Malik Baynham-Browne, a 5-9, 175 cornerback; and Drew Greene, a 6-0 225 defensive tackle.
Also expected to play are Nick Bulleigh, a 6-0 175 cornerback from St. Thomas Aquinas; Garrett Tierney, a 5-9 190 inside linebacker from Blue Valley Northwest; Sam Arnold, a 6-3 250 offensive lineman from Spring Hill; and Brett Sabath a 6-1 265 defensive tackle from Blue Valley Southwest.
The Kansas team is coached by Rod Stallbaumer, who guided Basehor-Linwood to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the Kansas Class 4A-I semifinals last fall.