The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 5, 2014

Baldassarre, Green sign football letters of intent

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Kyle Baldassarre and Jordan Green will be answers to a quiz about Webb City High School football in a few years.

All ready, you’re scratching your head?

Why, they were the first Cardinals off the 2013 championship team to sign letters of intent to continue plying their trade.

A signing ceremony was held for the seniors on Wednesday.

Green, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound offensive lineman, signed with NCAA Division II Pittsburg State University of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Baldassarre, a 5-10, 160-pound running back/safety, signed with NAIA William Penn University of Oskaloosa, Iowa. The Statesmen compete in the Mid-States Football Association.

“Hopefully, a couple more of our seniors will get an opportunity to continue their careers,” Webb City coach John Roderique said.

Jordan, the son of Ruth and John Green, plans to major in physical education and coach.

Kyle, the son of Katrina and Paul Baldassarre, plans to secure a degree in engineering.

Roderique called the Cardinal careers authored by Baldassarre and Green “unique.”

Green, for example, played in four winning Show-Me bowls.

“I played (offensive) tackle as a freshman in the second half because we were winning by a lopsided score,” Green said.

Green believes he will be a center or guard candidate for the Gorillas’ Tim Beck after a redshirt freshman year.

“It was PSU the whole time,” Green said. “It’s where I always wanted to go.”

“Jordan, a three-year starter, was solid from Day 1. He had a great career,” Roderique said. ‘He was tough, physical. ... hard-nosed. He loved the weight room.”

The Webb City coaching staff will remember Baldassarre for his unselfishness as well as a productive season on both offense and defense, Roderique said.

“Kyle rushed for more than 1,000 yards and had a great season carrying the ball,” Roderique said. “But when we moved him to safety to strengthen the defense, he knew he wasn’t going to get as many carries. He was very unselfish.”

Baldassarre believes he will be a safety candidate for Todd Hafner at William Penn.

Hafner, whose dad Greg is athletics director at William Penn, will be in his 11th year as head coach of the Statesmen.  Todd, who was quarterback at Frontenac High School for his dad, has a career record of 66-46 at William Penn. Todd also has coached at Carl Junction High School.

Brett Stewart, a graduate of Webb City High School, is the offensive line coach, Roderique said.

“Kyle (Baldassarre) is a success story,” Roderique said. “He’s worked and worked. He’s improved so much because of his time in the weight room.”

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