Jon Oyler gets a big ol’ bullseye on the back of his Blue Springs South attire, even before he steps on the field for his first game as the Jaguars head coach.
But not a bad thing, when you get to take over the head spot of the defending Missouri Class 6 champs.
“Any time you have success, it makes other teams want to go against you with their best,” said Oyler. “While it’s not the same kids returning, others still want to go out and beat you.”
Meanwhile, Oyler takes over for long-time Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder, who advanced to four state title games and won three, including the 2016 title.
“I’m having fun so far and enjoyed it,” stated Oyler of taking the head post. “I’m following up one of the greatest coaches of all-time and they’re big shoes to fill.”
Also filling big shoes will be some Jaguars on the field from last year’s squad, starting with quarterback. Senior Camden Sprouse (6-foot-3, 220) and junior Brody Parker (6-5, 220) still are battling for the starting nod going in the final week, with the other moving to starting linebacker.
“It’s good to have two plus players at quarterback, and we’re fine with either,” Oyler said.
Returning at running back will be senior Myles Davis (5-9, 190), who rushed for 302 yards as a sophomore, but missed the 2015 campaign with an ACL injury. He’ll be joined by sophomore Austin Terry (5-10, 165), with wide receivers / running backs in senior Jerome Hawkins (5-8, 170), DJ Frost and junior Ethan Swanegan providing a big target at 6-foot-6, 205.
On the line, seniors Bryce Greenwood (6-foot-3, 265) and Isaiah Jackson (6-0, 260) return as starters, leading a cast of new faces for the Jaguars.
“The offensive line has come a long away – probably the group that’s come the farthest during the offseason,” Oyler touted.
Defensively, Blue Springs South looks to rebuild its entire defensive line from 2015, but return strong linebackers in three-year starter Nick Blair (94 tackles, 9 for loss) and Collin West (105 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 interceptions join middle linebackers in junior Adrian Jones and either Parker or Sprouse.
In the secondary, senior strong safety Cale Connors (6-1, 170) leads the way with 61 tackles and eight interceptions in 2015. Frost and Hawkins (27 tackles each) join senior Doobie Burns (5-8, 150) at defensive back.
“We are really excited about these kids, and most importantly, the leadership they bring not just on the football field, but in the classroom,” Oyler said.
As if the Suburban Gold isn't difficult enough, Blue Springs South's three non-con games are Staley, Olathe North and Rockhurst.
"Any team we'll play, we'll have to bring our A game," said Oyler.
Blue Springs South 2016 schedule