By Chris Geinosky and Jon Walker
John Roderique has accumulated quite a list of accomplishments during his 25 years as the head coach of perennial powerhouse Webb City. He added one more last week when he picked up his 300th coaching victory with the Cardinals.
Roderique has taken Webb City to the state semifinals an amazing 19 times in his tenure. He has guided the Cardinals to 12 state championships, 10 of them being undefeated seasons.
When his team claimed a 56-20 victory against Republic last Friday night, Roderique reached the 300-win plateau, giving him an incredible all-time, win-loss record of 300-29 (.911 winning percentage).
To put Roderique’s numbers in perspective, consider this: if he continues to win at the current pace, he may have the chance to catch Jefferson City legend Pete Adkins (405-60-4 record, .868 winning percentage), the all-time Show-Me State leader in career wins who is widely regarded as the greatest high school football coach in Missouri history.
“All I can do is think about all the guys that have come through this program,” Roderique told the Joplin Globe after last week’s win. “And all the parents, the administration and all the teachers. And the No. 1 thing, I think about all the great coaches we’ve had in this program. I think it’s more about the program than what I did. I’m just the one who’s been the head coach. I’m just so thankful. I’m really blessed to have the guys in this program, the coaches and players, and all the support we’ve had.”
According to Missouri State High School Activities Association records, only six other coaches in the state history have reached the 300-win mark: Adkins of Jefferson City, Ron Holtman of MICDS, Tony Severino of Rockhurst, Bob Shore of Camdenton, Bob Fairchild of Chillicothe and Geary Labuary of California.
– Chris Geinosky
Timberland, Holt meet in Week 4 battle of unbeaten
The Timberland Wolves are coming off of their closest contest of the season, a 42-41 win against Fort Zumwalt North in Week 3, and they’ll hope for their Week 4 matchup to stay that close as they’ll travel to take on the Holt Indians.
The Indians have outscored their first three opponents by a combined 176-7. It’s an offense that averages almost 60 points a game, coupled with a defense that holds opponents to an average of less than a field goal per game.
It will be the Wolves, though, looking to avenge two consecutive losses to Holt. The Indians haven’t lost to Timberland since 2018, but the Wolves are hoping to change that with the help from running back Jay Harris.
Harris carried the ball 14 times for 190 yards rushing and five touchdowns in Week 3. He’ll be looking to replicate that performance against Holt, and Wolves senior center Andrew Bontrager knows they’ll be giving the Indians their best shot.
“They’ve beaten the snot out of us the last couple of years,” Bontrager said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think Holt is going to see what we’re made of. I think they’re going to see we’re legit.”
– Jon Walker
Liberty North makes statement with blowout of defending state champion Ray-Pec
It’s official. We’re witnessing the rise of the Eagles. In just three weeks, Liberty North has gone from a youthful team filled with potential to a state-championship contender.
With all eyes in the Kansas City area focused on one of the premier games on the Week 3 slate, North completely dismantled defending Class 6 state champion Raymore-Peculiar, 42-14.
“We feel like we’re starting to come together,” North senior running back Cayden Arzola told SBLive. “Doing this puts us in the state of mind that we can accomplish special things this year. The best is yet to come.”
Last week’s win marks the first ever for Liberty North over nemesis Ray-Pec. In the past two seasons, the Eagles have lost only four games, but three of those have been to the Panthers – two of them in the state semifinals.
Because the Eagles have so many young players who were not even part of the varsity team the past few years, this cannot really be considered a revenge win. But you better believe the coaching staff wanted this one.
“It feels damn good right now,” Liberty North head coach Greg Jones told SBLive. “When you lose four games in two years to that team right there, yeah, you want to beat them. There were a lot of sleepless nights trying to scheme some stuff. Our kids came out and executed tonight, and I’m proud of them.”
– Chris Geinosky
Springfield Central snaps 53-game losing streak
Finally … The drought is over. For the first time in nearly six years, Springfield Central has won a football game.
Central snapped a 53-game losing streak with a 49-0 victory against Agape Boarding School. The last time the Bulldogs celebrated a victory under the Friday night lights came way back on Oct. 16, 2015 – when this year’s seniors were in sixth grade.
Senior quarterback Ahmias Hart ran for three touchdowns and also tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Jayden Mercado.
“We got the monkey off our back tonight,” Hart told the Ozarks Sports Zone. “We never quit through all the losing. We kept grinding in the offseason for this.”
– Chris Geinosky
Eureka looks to extend winning streak in Lafayette (Wildwood) rivalry
The Eureka Wildcats were handed their first loss of the season last week, courtesy of a 25-20 defeat from Hazelwood Central. Now, they’ll have the chance to get back on track with a Week4 matchup against the rival Lafayette (Wildwood) Lancers.
The Lancers, though, weren’t able to get their first win of the season until last week, when they beat Fox 23-12. Their climb to a winning record can begin its ascension, or be put to a halt, this weekend, and despite the record of both programs, neither team should have it easy.
Eureka has won the last handful of matchups, and the Wildcats are winners of nine of the last 11 meetings, but in the 17 meetings between the two teams since 2008, nine have been decided by seven points or fewer.
The Wildcats escaped the matchup with a 24-22 victory in 2019, and the last time the Lancers won was a 14-7 victory in 2016.
It’ll set the stage for a game that could ultimately decide the trajectory of both programs for the rest of the season.
– John Walker
COVID-19 still having an impact on high school football
It’s become quite apparent that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon.
The pandemic ruined many high school football teams’ season a year ago, and in some cases around the country, it completely cancelled high school football campaigns. The hope is that the worst is behind us, but the fact of the matter is that it’s still an issue.
Three teams that have cracked the Missouri power poll in the opening weeks of the 2021 season have already cancelled games due to COVID-19 concerns. Battle and St. Mary’s (St. Louis) both missed out on Week 2 games, only to come back and lose the following week. Raytown sat out Week 3 and hopes for better results when it returns to the field.
– Chris Geinosky
Rockwood Summit aims for only third 4-0 start in program history
The Falcons have been 3-0 seven times since 1999, including this season. However, they have only been able to reach 4-0 twice. The first time was in 2004, when they won their first four games. The second time was 2015, when they won their first five games of the season.
– Jon Walker