Maryville head football coach Matt Webb has one final opportunity this week to coach three of the most decorated seniors on last year's Class 3 state championship team.
Quarterback Jonathan Baker, running back Derek Stiens and tight end Tyler Tripp were selected to play for Webb's Gold Team in Saturday's 37th Annual Missouri Lions All-Star Football Game at Central Missouri's Walton Stadium in Warrensburg.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. and pre-game festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.
The Maryville-infused Gold Team is opposed by the Blue All-Star Team coached by Poplar Bluff's Mark Barousse.
Webb accepted an offer to coach one of the teams in February and later had the chance to draft three of his own players.
Baker, a first team all-state quarterback who signed with Northwest Missouri State, broke the school's single-season, single-game and career passing records as a senior. Stiens, a second team All-MEC selection, led the Hounds in rushing yards with 1,429 and scored 23 touchdowns. He also had three touchdown catches.
Tripp, who recently signed a baseball scholarship with Northwest, made first team All-MEC at tight end with seven catches for 158 yards and a touchdown. He was a second team All-MEC defensive end.
"It will be a lot of fun being able to coach Jonathan, Tyler and Derek," said Webb, the Class 3 Coach of the Year. "Those three guys were an integral part of our success as a Spoofhound team."
With only 28 players on the roster, Webb says all three Spoofhounds stand to see a lot of playing time in the game. Baker and Fredericktown's Jeremy Gremminger are the only two quarterbacks, and therefore, will split all of the game reps.
Tripp is the team's lone tight end, while Stiens is one of eight running backs.
Two of the other Gold Team backs are Bishop LeBlond's Austin Dawkins, a Northwest preferred walk-on, Hamilton's Derrick Hughes and Richmond's Tevin Robinson. Lafayette's Austin Drennen is one of the defensive linemen.
One other Lafayette player—running back Jurrell Green—and two more from Class 2 champion Hamilton—Jalen Richman and Matthew LaPiana—are part of the Blue Team roster.
"I've had some experience coaching in all-star games," said Webb who was part of Mel Tjeerdsma's staff with Team USA at the IFAF World Championships in 2011. "I learned a lot handling all-star teams and getting everybody snaps. We have a very small team, so everybody will get a lot of plays."
Both teams and coaching staffs reported to Warrensburg Sunday to begin practicing for the game.
Webb says they are scheduled to practice twice a day throughout the week.
During their down time, both teams will have opportunities to get acquainted with one another. One of the planned activities is a visit to a local veterans home.
Page 2 of 2 - "The Lions Club is a very proud organization," said Webb. "There's a lot of characteristics when dealing with athletics and student-athletes as far as giving back to the community that fits right into their motto."
The game was created almost four decades ago in order to benefit the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation and has raised over $200,000 for this statewide Lions project.
This year's game will be broadcast live on Regional Radio KAAN (95.5 FM) and at www.northwestmoinfo.com.