The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

August 22, 2013

Teams ready for jamborees

NEW YORK — Area high school football coaches will see their teams play at full speed during jamborees scheduled for 7 p.m. today at several sites in Southwest Missouri.

Webb City will line up against Joplin and Seneca at Cardinal Stadium in Webb City. Cardinals head coach John Roderique said he wants to see what his offense looks like against the personnel of an opposing defense.

“With us, we’re in a unique situation,” Roderique said. “We have so many new faces in the backfield getting their first varsity experience. We’ll see how they respond against a different team.”

The jamborees allow teams to scrimmage against opponents in a controlled environment. Carthage, Monett and Nevada will face off at Carl Junction, East Newton will be at Pleasant Hope, Aurora and McDonald County will be at Branson, and Lamar, Mount Vernon and Pierce City will be at Stockton.

 The jamboree will be Webb City’s first chance of seeing live action before the Cardinals begin the season at home Aug. 30 with a nonconference game against Carl Junction.

“It’s a different level of intensity that’s hard to emulate in practice,” Roderique said. “I want to see how we respond, particularly at the skill positions.

“It’s great to have an opportunity to jamboree. Last year, we had several players with playing experience. A team like this that’s so young, they need the live action with the speed of the game and the intensity.”

Joplin head coach Chris Shields said he is looking forward to the opportunity to evaluate his players in a game-like setting.

“It’s exciting. It’s our condensed version of a preseason,” Shields said. “First, you make sure no one gets injured. You want to execute and not make mental mistakes. The coaches won’t be out there. They have to do it on their own.”

Although Shields said the Eagles have established their starting lineup, players can always be moved on the depth chart based on their performance.

“You’re always going to have injuries,” he said, “so we’re always looking for guys who step up and make plays. On defense, I told our guys the big thing we want to do is run to the ball and hit. We’re not as worried about what the other team is doing. We just want to go out and execute.”

Carl Junction has had some preseason injuries, so head coach Doug Buckmaster has made avoiding injuries his top priority as well as the season nears.

“I want to stay healthy,” he said. “We’ve had more than our fair share of injuries. I want to see kids play hard and compete.

“The big thing is how we execute,” Buckmaster said. “Are we blocking the right people and running the right routes? On defense, we want to see kids run to the ball. We have to run to the ball better and not stand back and watch one or two guys make the play.”

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