The first of many?
Earlier this week I tweeted out that Blair Oaks was getting ready for its showdown with John Burroughs…in what could be the first of many.
What did I mean by that?
When it comes to the world of Class 3 football, which were just getting accustomed to, there are certain brand names…Maryville, Oak Grove, and Chillicothe spring to mind, and…John Burroughs.
The Bombers lead all St. Louis football teams with eight state championships. They haven’t won one since 2001, although they have appeared in four of the last five Class 3 state championship games, falling each time to a combination of Maryville and Oak Grove. Usually, if you’re going to win state in Class 3, you’ve got to go through Burroughs or Maryville.
I mention brand names, and by that I mean schools that you associate with a certain class of Missouri high school football. Class 1 has Valle Catholic, Class 2 has Lamar, and up until recently, Blair Oaks. Class 4 is Webb City. Class 6, there’s Rockhurst, Blue Springs, Jefferson City and CBC.
Blair Oaks was always the team to beat come November in the Class 2 days from 2004 - on. The Falcons won state championships in their first two appearances in 2004 and 2006. We went back to the Dome in ’07, and only a Justin Eiken separated shoulder and a couple of missed extra points at frigid Clark County kept us from a state title in ’08.
Semi final runs again in 2011 and 2013 to go with that wild state championship game in 2012. The Falcons won nearly 90 percent of the games Brad Drehle coached.
I figured it would take a while for us to get going in Class 3, it’s a very competitive class. But here we are…one win away from another visit to the Dome. Playing a “brand name” team.
Burroughs routinely turns out Division 1 players. Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State played there a couple of years ago. Last year’s stud running back is playing at Northwestern this season. This year, the quarterback and running back are both sophomores, but the offensive line, of course, is huge and fast and so are the team’s two best wide outs…and I almost forgot about the 6-foot-4, 240 pound tight end.
Burroughs will continue to be a brand name team for the foreseeable future because…let’s face it…they recruit and give scholarships. But the school also turns out top scholars, has famous alums (John Hamm for one) and recently had students participate in a model U.N. in Qatar. Where did you go on your senior trip?
Blair Oaks will join the Class 3 “brand names” because it thrives on success. Its students and parents and staff accept nothing but the best. The football culture is about hard work and winning, and each successive generation of football players has taken on the challenge. From its dedicated youth program, right up through the veteran coaches, Falcons learn how to play football the right way with maximum effort…a winning effort.
It’s been quite a run for this football program, one that doesn’t show signs of slowing down. 15 seasons of winning football. And now establishing a whole new era at a new level, where still…”We are Blair Oaks”.