Cardinals Ready To Play
Young, talented team expects toughest game of the season tonight.
By Laurie Shaffer
Sentinel Sports Editor 1989
After months of weightlifting and weeks of practices, the Webb City Cardinals are ready to start the 1989 football season in Carl Junction tonight.
“The kids are ready for a game.” Coach Jerry kill said. “They are tired of looking at the same colored jersey.”
Both teams have been picked to win their conferences this year by fellow coaches. The Cardinals were 11-1 last year, losing only to Camdenton in the state quarterfinals in Class 4A. The Bulldogs finished 7-6, advancing all the way to the state semi-finals. They ended their season winning five of their last six games.
“I don't know what more you'd want in a high school football game.” Kill said in anticipation.
He expects a tough and physical game tonight from the Bulldogs. “They are very well coached.”
Obliviously, the Cardinals hope tonight's game goes as well as last year when the they won at home by beating the Bulldogs 27-0.
Of the approximately 100 Cardinal players, only 18 are returning letterman. Seven of those 18 were starters last year.
“A lot is expected of this football team.” Kill said. “We're pretty young, though.”
He said the team hasn't felt the pressure of continuing an 11-1 start for Kill's first season in Webb City.
“A lot of people will be wanting revenge on us, so we're going to have to be ready each week.” He said.
Players to watch for: defensive line, Jeff Ogden, Craig Divine, Doug Collard, Adam Spence, Allen Goddard, Marcus Herrell, Andy Booth, Gary Webster, and Brad Carey; inside linebackers, Kevin Crain, Jeff Johnson, Scott Gossett; outside linebackers, Mark Smith, Mike Collette, Chris Whitfield, and Billy Pippen. In the secondary are Matt Berry, Brett Williams, Jason Ansley, Greg Rogers, Dustin Storm, and Stan Wallace.
Sophomore Mark Smith will lead the offense at quarterback. At tight-end look for Divine, Pippen, Spence, and Chad Carey. Wide receivers are Rogers, Ansley, Williams, and Chad Sheilds. Running back are Berry, Crain, Johnson, and Gossett.
Players seeing time on the offensive line are Shawn Hanson, Booth, Collette. Mike Calef, Kirk, Corey Johnson, and Herrell.
The 6-foot 3-inch, 2015 pound Smith is only a sophomore, but Kill says he can handle the pressure leading the team.
“Its very unusual to see a sophomore starting quarterback, but Mark is an unusual sophomore.”
He says Smith's maturity in athletic ability and varsity experience will make up for his youth.
Kill hopes a large crowd of Webb City fans will show up tonight. He thinks it would be neat if they all caravan together. Cardinal fans who want to join a caravan to Carl Junction should be at Webb City High School north parking lot by 6pm.
“We want to make sure we have as many people or more than Carl Junction does.” Kill said. He'd also like to see the bleacher creatures go over with their parents.