It’s almost time to play football again, but the new season brings changes.
Gone are the old Suburban West and Suburban South conferences. The new configurations are based on school enrollments, location and sports offered.
Parkway Central reached the Class 5 state championship game for the second time last fall. Coach Mark Goldenberg welcomes back five starters on offense and four on defense for his 12th season as the Colts’ head coach. While the Colts lost several key players from last year’s 13-2 squad, Goldenberg is used to the next class stepping up and keeping the program at a high level.
Eureka has three starters back on offense and 10 on defense from the 11-2 squad that won the Suburban West championship and reached the Class 6 semifinals before falling to the eventual state champion. Coach Farrell Shelton’s Wildcats again open the season with their traditional game against Lafayette, which should be solid once again. Coach Boyd Manne’s Lancers have eight starters back from last year’s 9-3 team.
The CBC Cadets reached the Class 6 quarterfinals last fall and coach Scott Pingel has a total of 10 starters back. The Cadets also lost several key personnel but should remain in the hunt to earn the Metro Catholic Conference crown.
Parkway South drops to Class 5 this season, but that doesn’t bother coach Joe Rosewell or his Patriots.
“Class 5 and Class 6 both have excellent teams. But playing teams that have 500 to 1,000 more students than we had was difficult,” Rosewell said. “It won’t be easy in Class 5, but we are looking forward to the new challenges.”
Westminster Christian Academy finished 10-3 last year and advanced to the Class 4 quarterfinals before falling to the eventual state champion. Coach Cory Snyder has nine total starters back as the WCA Wildcats seek to win the Metro League crown before pushing into postseason play.
There are two new coaches among West County teams this fall. Matthew Klein takes over for Ryan Thornhill at Marquette. Tim Tiecher is the new coach at Kennedy, which will merge with Valley Park for the team this fall.
Here is a look at the teams with insight from the coaches:
2013 record: 9-3. Won Metro Catholic Conference. Lost 26-24 to Hazelwood Central in Class 6 quarterfinals.
Coach: Scott Pingel, entering seventh year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Butch Dimovitz, Corey Bethany, Steve Notestine, Nick Buckvar, Moses Regular, Derrick Pitts, Tony Kosciolek and Chris LaBarge
Returning starters: 6 offense, 4 defense
Offense: multiple; Defense: 3-4
Players to watch: RB Calen Taylor, S/WR Eric Carrera, WR/CB Damion Baker, LB Alec Wardenburg and DL Quintin Wynne
Newcomers expected to contribute: RB Tre Bryant, WR/RB/DB Lamar Anderson, QB Blake Charlton, QB Jack Even, R Kameron Curtis, WR Mike Million, OL John Chamberlin, OL Jack Bertolucci, DL Kevin Williams, DL Jordan Davis, DL Miles Taylor, LB Jeremy Strong, LB Mike Jones; LB Kevin Kirkbride, LB Clayton Stalling, CB Rashon Davis, CB Hunter Robinson and S Sean Boyd.
Team strengths: “Don’t have that one dynamite player for team to lean on, so to be good, team will have to play every down as a team. Team has to play as one.”
Goals: “We changed our schedule to see how we compete with those good teams in central Missouri. We want to improve each week and play at high level; get better each practice and each day.”
Favorites to win the Metro Catholic Conference: “There is a lot of parity in the conference. Chaminade and De Smet should be good.”
Final thought: “We always talk about how each player is accountable. We want each player to be a brick so we can stack on each other. We want to be able to count on each other at all times.”
CHAMINADE RED DEVILS
2013 record: 5-5
Coach: Antoine Torrey, entering second year as head coach
Assistant coaches: RB Chris Stevenson, OL Doug Taylor, WR Carl Givens, LB Bryan Baldwin, DL Roger Jamison, DB Stanton Long and special team Antoine Berryhill
Returning starters: 4 offense, 6 defense
Offense: multiple; Defense: 3-5
Players to watch: WR/DB/P Sam Frelich, RB Dominique Bobo, TE Mark Gorman, WR Reggie Crawford, LB Zach Wilhelm, DB/WR Anthony Novelly, DB Roderick Campbell and DT/DL Brandon Haberstroh
Newcomers expected to contribute: DE Trevor Trout and OL/DL Marcus Greer.
Team strengths: “We should have balance offensively, be strong defensively and have solid special teams.”
Goals: “Play disciplined football, win conference title, win the district and then win state title.”
Favorites to win the Metro Catholic Conference: “CBC or Chaminade.”
Final thought: “We are very excited about the young athletic team we currently have from an undefeated freshman team. We have improved our team strength and speed. Our defense returns three all-conference players in Sam Frelich, Zach Wilhelm and Roderick Campbell. Our offense returns all of its skill positions but we must replace the entire offensive line. The offense currently has two very talented quarterbacks competing for the job.”
DE SMET JESUIT SPARTANS
2013 record: 6-5. Lost in the second round of playoffs.
Coach: Pat Mahoney, entering 14th year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: John Hawkey, Eric Whittingham, Kevin Harrison, John Atwell, Brett Jewell, Colby Robinson, Elmer Rhodes, Will Maas and Dez Riechold
Returning starters: (no details provided)
Offense: multiple; Defense: multiple
Players to watch: Griffin Palmer, Andrew Winter, Issac Williams, Brian Pandolfo and Alik Shelton
Newcomers expected to contribute: Julian Fowler, John Ames and Keenan Agnew
Team strengths: “Youthful exuberance.”
Goals: “To continue the formation process according to the mission of our school.”
Favorites to win the Metro Catholic Conference: “CBC”
Final thought: “Here we go.”
2013 record: 11-2. Won Suburban West Conference, won district, lost 42-14 to eventual state champion Blue Springs in Class 6 semifinal.
Coach: Farrell Shelton, entering 15th year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Pat Grimshaw, Gregg Cleveland, Pete Grace, Tyler Wasson, Justin Morris, Jacob Sumner, Rob Droege, Ryan Thornhill, Andy McCollum, Rick McReynolds, Bryan Clar, Ralph Gianino and Tim Yancey
Returning starters: 3 offense, 10 defense
Offense: spread with a four wide receiver set; Defense: 3-4
Players to watch: QB Brett Geisz, LB Brock Geisz, FS Daniel Shelton, DB Chaun Smith, DB, Andy Loseman, OLB Andy Coulter, DB Dimitrius Marks, OLB Pat Echard, DT Jake Summers, LB Zach Seiler, WR Dylan Brems, K Bo Highfill and DT Cole Reat
Newcomers expected to contribute: RB Stephen Erutti, DT Brendan Schulte, WR Laron Woods, DB Mike Hill and OL Cam Beecher
Favorites to win the American Division: “Lafayette”
Final thought: “I am always excited for this this time of year. We have put in a lot of great work but we know our schedule is very tough so we have to be physically ready for the demands of the season. Friday nights are special at Eureka and these players know the hard work that has to be paid in order to ensure their legacy.”
2013 record: 0-10
Coach: Tim Tiecher, entering first year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Greg Taylor, Pat Crawley, Pat Holley, Andrew Kelly and Chris Merker.
Returning starters: “Not relevant because we are merging with Valley Park.”
Offense: power run game and play action pass, manage the clock; Defense: 4-4 but will adjust per opponent.
Players to watch: RB Quinton Tomso, OT Dalton Thoma and TE Steven Reinhardt
Newcomers expected to contribute: FB Aquario Reed, OLB Alec Powell and RB Donovan Marshall
Team strengths: “Running game and clock management.”
Goals: “This being our inaugural season and with little context of high school football standings, team goals are related to effort and execution.”
Favorites to win the AAA: “Judging from film, O’Fallon Christian looks to be exceptionally well coached.”
Final thought: “It is very exciting to have the opportunity, not just to coach football at the high school level, but to have the support and resources to build a real football program from the ground up. We plan to take a holistic approach in developing our players. One that is not just focused on position specific fundamentals and technique, but on building character traits like: discipline, respect, accountability, perseverance and courage. Our plan and expectation is to build a winning tradition in our players that results in them giving everything on the field of play.”
2013 record: 9-3. Lost to Eureka in Class 6 quarterfinals.
Coach: Boyd Manne, entering 14th year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Steve Miller, Craig Raymond, Rick Voss, Adam Hicks, Roger Fischer, Tom Beckmeyer, Jonathan Sumner, Ed Miles, Marty Taylor and Stephen Polster
Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense
Offense: multiple spread and pro style Defense: 4-2-5
Players to watch: DB/WR Alvin Houston, DB/WR Cedric Sacus, RB/LB Justin Perry, QB Cameron Scales, DT/OT Chase Behrndt, DE/TE Brendan Scales, WR Colin Paul, LB Luke Finder, LB/DE/RB Drake Dunker, DE/RB Marquise McClendon, OL/DL Caleb Lewis, C Michael Wiles, K Jake Reynolds, FB Matt Waeckerle and DE/TE Grant Zellers
Team strengths: “Our players’ ability to adapt to what they have to do to be successful on and off the field. They are doing everything we are asking of them on the field, and in the weight room and classroom.”
Goals: “To improve every day as a people and players.”
Favorites to win the American Division: “Eureka”
Final thought: “We are excited about the upcoming season. Our players have done a good job preparing and are excited to embark on a tough schedule and see how we compete and improve each week.”
2013 record: 2-8
Coach: Matthew Klein, entering first year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Scott Cleer, Dan McMullen, Walter Sparks, Jason Kipp, Kyle Devine, Josh Barbo, Tony LaRusso, Eric Nesbit, Chris Robin and Dave Trog
Returning starters: 5 offense, 3 defense
Players to watch: OL Kevin Tippit, OL Cayden Sparks, WR/DB Cairon Wesley, RB/MLB Jacobi Boykin and DE Brandon Arnold
Newcomers expected to contribute: QB Jason Powers, DB/WR Turner Cook and DB Demarco Johnson.
Team strengths: “Running backs: We feel that we have some depth at this position, which is going to allow us to rotate the carries and keep our backs fresh late into the season. Defensive backs: The back end of the defense is something that is going to be a strength for us and one that we feel we have some depth at.”
Final thought: “We are extremely excited about the upcoming 2014 season. Our kids have been working really hard on a daily basis throughout the summer and into the first week of practice. We always talk about taking steps to make yourself better every day and we feel that we are becoming a better football program by focusing on these daily challenges. We have a tough schedule ahead of us and we will need to stay healthy to be competitive throughout the 2014 season.”
2013 record: 4-6
Coach: Josh Smith, entering seventh year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Matt Buha, Brian Coco, Brian Lewis, Paul Reinke, Joe Scherer, Todd Small, Robin Thompson and Latrelle Yancey
Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense
Offense: spread; Defense: 4-2
Players to watch: RB/LB Cole Sigmund and RB/CB Nobel Tobias
Newcomers expected to contribute: WR/CB Keiondre Jordan
Team strengths: “We are going to be balanced and we have good team speed. Our group is hungry.”
Goals: “Hit the season rolling. We are going to improve on 2013 and play our best football each weekend.”
Favorites to win the Metro League: “John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Priory or Lutheran South”
Final thought: “Our players have worked hard all season and we are excited to see them perform on the weekends.”
PARKWAY CENTRAL COLTS
2013 record: 13-2. Won Suburban South Conference. Lost 51-14 to Lee’s Summit West in Class 5 state championship game.
Coach: Mark Goldenberg, entering 12th year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Mike Wright, Aaron Mueller, Ryan King and Aaron Snodgrass
Returning starters: 5 offense, 4 defense
Offense: I Pro/spread; Defense: 4-3 or 4-2
Players to watch: LB/RB Michael Slater, DE/TE Tommy Payne, RG/long snapper Harley Whitehouse, LG/DE Dan Lewis, FB/LB Daniel Burcke, DT Keith Bobo and RT Matt Sanders
Newcomers expected to contribute: FS Jordan Dimmitt and WR/LB/SS Nathan Sanders
Team strengths: “Strong on both lines of scrimmage.”
Goals: “To be competitive in every game and get better as the season goes on, so when the playoffs come, the team will be hitting its peak.”
Favorites to win the National Division: “Ladue or Parkway Central. It’s hard to tell really. There’s a lot of parity in these teams. Will have to see.”
Final thought: “I feel great about the work the players have put in this summer. We have to keep working and improving. We have a lot of new people. We have to figure out how to win at this point.”
PARKWAY NORTH VIKINGS
2013 record: 7-4. Lost in second round of playoffs.
Coach: Bob Bunton, entering 15th year as head coach
Assistant coaches: Clint Johnson, Jim Parks, Doug Newton, Fred Friedman, Mark Reeder, Mike Bunton, Ali Ghasedi, Jeff Kinney, Jason Breeland and Russell Vincent
Returning starters: 4 offense, 5 defense
Offense: multiple; Defense: 3-4
Players to watch: RB Roosevelt Abram, LB Taylor Jones, DB Quran Williams, DE Rashon Anderson, TE/LB Ryan Newton, FB/LB Ryan Smith and RB/LB Rashaad Taylor
Newcomers expected to contribute: WO/DB Qwan Holmes and OT/DT Michael Thompson
Team strengths: “Experience at the skill positions.”
Goals: “To be prepared each and every week to compete and play fundamentally sound, mistake-free football. By doing this, we hope to be playing our best heading into the postseason.”
Favorites to win the South Division: “Webster Groves or Kirkwood.”
Final thought: “June and July were two of the most enjoyable offseason months we have had around here in many, many years. This group of kids worked four times a week to make themselves better football players and we are excited to see what kind of team we can be. Our staff is looking forward to being with these young men for at least the next three months and hopefully longer. A new school year and football season is always exciting and filled with anticipation of great things to come.”
PARKWAY SOUTH PATRIOTS
2013 record: 4-6
Coach: Joe Rosewell, entering third year as head coach.
Assistant coaches: Ryan Barnes, Dan Bredenkoetter, Ryan Evers, John Heath, Jeremy Houchins, James Lake, Matt Maier, Phil McGuire and Ronnie Smith
Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense
Offense: spread; Defense: 3-3
Players to watch: OL/DL Steve Greer, RB/DL Eddie Morris, QB Nick Sprague and OL/DL Max Pyle
Newcomers expected to contribute: WR/DB Adam Dalton
Team strengths: “Should be a well balanced team.”
Goals: “To improve every week and be playing our best football at the end of the year.”
Favorites to win the South Division: “All of them are strong teams.”