Wildcats ready to jam

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Cassville sophomore quarterback Shannon Haney looks to lead the Wildcats into the jamboree on Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Fans to get first look at gridiron squad Friday

For the Cassville football team, Friday night marks the first chance Gold to hit people in jerseys of another color.

High school football in Missouri starts unofficially Friday night with the annual football jamborees. What, in reality, is nothing more than a glorified practice, the jamboree gives coaches a chance to evaluate their respective teams.

The Wildcats will hit the road for Springfield for a jamboree with Parkview, Willard and Bolivar.

"I love the jamboree format," said Lance Parnell, Cassville coach. "You can't simulate other teams' speed or style of play in practice, and playing three other opponents gives us a great look at where we need to grow."

According to Parnell, there are plenty of questions for the Wildcats going into Friday night's event, and the coaching staff hopes to answer several of them.

"We always use these games as a measuring stick for our program," Parnell said. "All we have done to this point is see each other. We have a linebacking core that has little to no experience under the Friday night lights. I think some of our guys' eyes will be opened on Friday."

Outside of the obvious in-game benefits for the Wildcats, the team will get to practice its full pre-game warmup.

Parnell and his coaching staff preach leadership and accountability nearly every day in practice. The seniors, according to their coach, have taken this message to heart.

"Our players, especially this senior class, have embraced their leadership roles," Parnell said. "Without strong leaders, teams struggle in pressure situations. We are young in several spots on the field, and we want to see who can step up and fill those gaps. We need those older guys to be our leaders on and off the field."

The jamboree at JFK Stadium is slated to begin at 7 p.m.

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