WEBB CITY, Mo.— In a final dress rehearsal before the regular season arrives next week, Webb City hosted Lamar, Seneca and Joplin for the annual prep football jamboree on Friday night at a packed Cardinal Stadium.
It was the first time the Cardinals lined up against an opponent since last November’s Class 4 semifinals, as Webb City does not participate in full-contact camps or scrimmages against other schools over the summer,
Webb City coach John Roderique noted his team still has work to do.
“The biggest thing is you don’t want to make a lot of mistakes,” Roderique said. “We had some mistakes tonight. It’s one thing if the guy across from you is just better physically, you can live with that. But I saw some mental mistakes tonight. We’ve got a lot of new guys up front and it showed at times tonight. But for us, that’s the first time we’ve played against anybody since last November.”
Seneca coach Ryan McFarland noted his Class 3 squad gained valuable experience against the Class 4 Cardinals and Class 6 Eagles, a pair of teams reloaded after semifinal appearances in their respective classes in 2018.
“We know that Joplin and Webb City are probably going to be two of the better teams we play this year,” McFarland said. “So we just wanted to come out and compete and play hard. We just wanted to see the guys do some good things that we can carry over into next week.”
With only bragging rights on the line, Webb City lined up against Lamar and Seneca at the event.
The Southwest Missouri perennial powers squared off first.
Lamar’s offense scored one touchdown against the Cardinals, as freshman Austin Wilkerson scampered into the end zone from three yards out.
Short gains on the ground by junior quarterback Cody O’Sullivan and junior running back Case Tucker set up the Tigers’ lone score.
Main highlights for Webb City’s offense against Lamar included a 20-yard touchdown run by junior Devrin Weathers, a 35-yard touchdown sprint by senior Bronson Alcazar and a 16-yard scamper by junior Eli Goddard. Senior Kade Hicks and junior Cole Gayman were under center for a large part of the night for the hosts.
In the Webb City-Seneca scrimmage, Indians senior Trey Wilson hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Lance Stephens and sophomore Ethan Fritchey rushed for a 6-yard score.
Webb City’s Goddard scored on a 16-yard run and junior running back Cale Stephens reached the end zone on a 26-yard sprint.
The Indians also scrimmaged against Class 6 Joplin.
“I’m proud of our guys,” McFarland added. “We played a lot of guys tonight and I thought our guys did well.”
Both Roderique and McFarland noted there’s a realization that comes with the conclusion of the jamboree — Week 1 games arrive next Friday night, ready or not.
“Now we have a sense of urgency,” Roderique said. “Now we have to prepare for Week 1.”
“We have 20 seniors and they’re a special group,” McFarland said. “I’ve had them for their whole high school careers and we want to do something special this year. I’m excited to see what they can do.”
NOTES: The new classifications and district assignments were released on Friday, and Webb City remained in Class 4.
“I thought we’d move up, but you never know,” Roderique said. “It is what it is.”
In next Friday’s season openers, Webb City travels to Carl Junction and Seneca hosts Springfield Catholic.