Way too early Super 25 teams to watch: Webb City stands for win city in Missouri

Way too early Super 25 teams to watch: Webb City stands for win city in Missouri

Super 25

Way too early Super 25 teams to watch: Webb City stands for win city in Missouri

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Webb City has won nine of the past 13 state titles in Class 4A. AP Photo by Bill Boyce

Webb City has won nine of the past 13 state titles in Class 4A. (Photo: Bill Boyce)

While the preseason Super 25 football rankings won’t come out until late July, this is one of a series of teams that could contend in the Super 25 high school football rankings next season. We previously looked at De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), South Panola (Batesville, Miss.)Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.), Miami (Fla.) CentralChandler, ArizDeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)Allen, Texas and Cedar Hill, Texas.

Team: Webb City, Mo.

2014 finish: The Cardinals went 15-0, won the state 4A title and finished as the No. 11 team in the Super 25 football rankings.

Tradition: The Cardinals have won five consecutive 4A state titles and have won 13 state titles overall.

Spring football: None. The team begins practice Aug. 3.

2015 schedule highlights: The Cardinals open with two tough home games, playing 5A quarterfinalist Carthage on Aug. 21 and 6A semifinalist Rockhurst (Kansas City) on Aug. 28. They then travel to Springdale, Ark., to take on Har-Ber, which won its state title in 2009, on Sept. 4.

“We start with Carthage, which is probably the best team in our conference,” Roderique said. “Our first three games are really tough out of the gate. We don’t play a Class 4 school on our schedule.”

Top returnees (years listed are for next school year): Senior quarterback Tyson Roderique (1,143 yards 17 TDs passing, 816 yards and 10 TDs rushing); OL Trystan Castillo, who has committed to Missouri; RB Hunter VanLue (373 yards and five TDs rushing); RB Keaton Burroughs (919 yards and 18 touchdowns); RB Kaleb Potts (440 yards, 10 TDs rushing) and all-state LB Kolesen Crane.

Toughest to replace: All-State WR/DB Kiante Hardin (1,224 total yards), who signed with Minnesota.

Outlook: Webb City coach John Roderique doesn’t talk a lot about his team’s successful football tradition. He doesn’t have to as his players walk past a crowded trophy case every day.

“We don’t dwell on that we’ve won how many championships in a row,” Roderique said. “We had a really long winning streak that ended in 2013 and it almost becomes more of a burden. Our kids are always going to have high expectations. All that matters is you want to be playing your best football at the end of the year.”

While the Cardinals lost the speedy Hardin and four other Associated Press all-state football players to graduation, there’s plenty of talent returning. Castillo and Crane will lead the Cardinals alongside a backfield that begins with Roderique’s youngest son, Tyson, at quarterback and includes three solid backs in Burroughs, VanLue and Potts.

Webb City is a 4A school with 6A-like numbers for football. The Cardinals listed 87 players on their varsity roster last year and many of them play both ways and are multi-sport athletes.

“That has been a pretty good key for us over the years,” Roderique said. “Down through the years, very few of our best players did just football. The big part of that is the kids are competing, year-around.”

Castillo, who is 6-4 and 280, continues a strong lineman tradition at Webb City that includes former NFL defensive end Grant Wistrom, who was a tight end for the Cardinals.

“We’ve been really fortunate around here with having good lineman., but we haven’t had a lot of Division I skill athletes, like we had last year with Hardin. I think what we’ve had is a lot of really good high school football players, maybe guys who aren’t the ideal size for college. We have a lot of hard-nosed kids who make good football players.”

 

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