By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
John Roderique, head football coach/athletic director at Webb City High School, is headed for Canton, Ohio.
And it isn’t just to see the bust of his favorite linebacker in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Roderique is representing Missouri in the 13th annual NFL Foundation-USA Football Youth Summit.
Roderique plans today to fly from Springfield to Cleveland and bus to Canton.
Roderiqus said on Monday the trip is his first to Canton.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Roderique said. “I’m thrilled to represent Webb City High School, Missouri and my profession.
“Hopefully, I’ll bring back some things (to help the Webb City program and area/state coaching associations),” Roderique said. “Most of the work — a lot of meetings — will be done on Wednesday and Thursday.”
A group of coaches, including former NFL players now coaching high school and youth football, were selected by the NFL to participate in the event. State representatives were chosen through a nomination process.
In addition to coaches, more than 90 other supporters of youth and high school football, including youth commissioners and ADs from across the country, will attend the summit.
Roderique said current issues will be discussed with an emphasis on the health and safety of players (including concussion treatment and prevention and heat and hydration in youth sports among the topics. Attendees will be trained in USA Football’s Heads Up Football.
Roderique, a master trainer in Heads Up Football, indicated the summit wouldn’t be all work.
“We’ll have a reception at the Hall of Fame on Wednesday night,” he said. “We’ll go to a country club for a recognition-type banquet on Thursday night.”
Roderique, a 1986 graduate of Webb City, starred as a player at Pittsburg State before embarking on a coaching career. He assisted with the Gorillas before taking the reins of the Cardinals in 1997.
Roderique, who’ll be in his 17th season, has a 193-18 overall record and eight of the 11 Webb City state championships.
MaxPreps ranks Webb City No. 3 in its list of the Top 15 Missouri Football Dynasties behind Kansas City Rockhurst and Blue Springs.