The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

August 29, 2013

Top-ranked Webb City opens season against Carl Junction

Cardinals enter with winning streak

It’s the same every season, Webb City High School football coach John Roderique lamented on Thursday.

“The kids always are ready to play,” Roderique said. “The coaches are never ready.”

Actually, Roderique chuckled a bit after that statement. He was conceding, of course. That’s the way it’s been forever and won’t change in the near future.

Anyway, Roderique’s 17th Webb City edition is scheduled to take to the Cardinal Stadium turf at 7 tonight.

Carl Junction makes the short jaunt to oppose the Cardinals. It marks the head coaching debut with the Bulldogs for Doug Buckmaster.

The Bulldogs mentally prepared?

Buckmaster left the impression that was a preposterous question.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Buckmaster said. “We shouldn’t load the bus if we can’t be ready for a game in that atmosphere.”

That atmosphere will find the Cardinals seeking a 91st consecutive regular-season victory. The overall streak, of course, is 45 with three straight Class 4 titles. The Cardinals also will enter with the No. 1 ranking in Class 4.

The Cardinals played on their turf last Friday night in their jamboree against Seneca and Joplin.

“We emphasized cleaning up things,” Roderique said of this week’s practices after watching film of the jamboree. “Offensively, a lot of our work was on blocking and protection schemes.

“We also worked on fundamentals,” Roderique said. “We were able to avoid any injuries.

“Now, of course, we have to focus on a new opponent,” Roderique said. “We expect them (the Bulldogs) to utilize a different defense than we usually see. They’re very multiple. It’s a base 4-3 but they won’t give you the same look all the time.”

The Cardinals won 44-3 in a 2012 opener at Bulldog Stadium.

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