WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City football has a reputation here in Southwest Missouri for being a force to be reckoned with, which they say they work to earn that reputation every day. To get to a place to earn that reputation, however, all starts with fundamentals.
Three points was all that stood between Webb and a shot at their 16th state championship, but after falling short of the goal, they’ll return to the field with a young and hungry team.
Cohl Vaden, Webb City quarterback says, “We’ve worked a lot harder, I felt like we’ve done a lot in our weeks of camp, we’re way better than they were last year. We’ve just changed our work ethic.”
There are a few returning starters, including Vaden, Buddy Belcher, and Braeden Jackson, DuPree Jackson, and Cade Wilson. Overall, however, the team is inexperienced.
John Roderique, Webb City head coach, says, “It’s hard to get that game experience at practice. You know, you can only do so many things, you can’t have an experienced team every year. That just doesn’t happen.”
So, until game one of the season, the team is doing what they have always done: mastering the fundamentals of football.
Roderique says, “That’s something we work on from day one to whatever of the season, so you want to be good fundamentally. One of the things we’ve always felt like, we’re a team that always gets better towards the end of the year.”
That might not be such a bad thing for the squad as they move towards their ultimate goal.
Vaden says, “They’ve practiced me [to be quarterback for] the last two years, preparing me for this moment because we knew it was gonna be this way, so, I mean, I’m just ready to do it. Being able to lead my team, hopefully to a state championship. That’s our main goal.”
Webb City will open their season at home against Joplin on Friday, August 27. To view their full season schedule, click here.