The decision was made long before the high school football season, though Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder did his best to keep it a secret. And so for nearly four months this fall, as the Jaguars produced one of the best seasons in school history, only a handful of people knew why it would hold special significance.
“I knew all year this was my last year,” said Oder, The Star’s All-Metro football coach of the year. “I tried not to think about all of that because those were things that were not going to help us win.
“But of course it would pop into my head every once in a while.”
It was a heck of a way to go out.
Last month, Oder won the third Missouri Class 6 state championship of his tenure, when the Jaguars beat previously-undefeated Christian Brothers College in the state championship game.
Blue Springs South, 14-0, completed only its second undefeated season in program history, and the Jaguars navigated through some of the state’s top competition to win its title. They defeated one-loss Jefferson City, unbeaten Francis Howell and one-loss Kirkwood before upending CBC, 37-28, in the championship game.
The latter was the most impressive. The Jaguars trailed 21-6 in the second quarter before outscoring CBC 31-7 the rest of the way.
“It was a a very coachable group of kids. I don’t know how it gets any smoother than this year,” Oder said. “They were extremely determined since they were freshmen, but they were all frustrated because some of the guys couldn’t get on the field for various reasons. It was a culmination of all of that thrown into one year, which is why this year was so gratifying for us as a coaching staff.”