• By Bill Althaus bill.althaus@examiner.net

Jaguars get final game together

Posted Jun. 7, 2016 at 12:01 AM

It was the first day of practice for the Missouri All-Stars, who will take on their Kansas counterparts at 7 p.m., June 16 at Peve Stadium on the campus of Blue Springs High School.

Players were shaking hands, high-fiving and trying their best to find a practice jersey that fit properly Monday at Raytown High School as they prepared for the 25th annual Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association’s Papa John’s Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game.

While many of the players are seeking out a familiar face, Blue Springs South seniors Achillies Griffin and Isaiah Miles feel right at home as the two standout members of the Jaguars’ Class 6 state championship team are able to share this experience with each other and teammate Noah Nigro.

“We’re all brothers and we’re on a mission to keep the Missouri winning streak going,” said Griffin, a two-way starter at South who will play offensive line for the Missouri squad. “You want to meet the other guys, especially the guys you played against the last two or three years, but it’s great to share it with my brothers from South. We weren’t a team, we were brothers – and that’s what made winning that state championship so special.”

Miles, who will play defensive tackle, agreed.

“Sharing this with Achillies and Noah makes it even more special,” said Miles, a two-way starter at South who has signed with Emporia State University. “All the guys on the Missouri team have been rivals, and it’s going to be fun the next week getting to know them as people, and not someone in a different colored uniform you’re playing against. I think that’s one the best things about this all-star game, is getting to meet so many new people. That, and being named to the team is such an honor. It’s a great way to end our high school career.”

South assistant coach Mike Fansher is one of the defensive assistants for head coach Tom Kruse of Raymore-Peculiar.

“This is my first all-star game and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work with the best players in the metro area,” Fansher said. “The group we had at South last year was so special, and now, I get to work with Isaiah (on the defensive line) and Achillies and Noah are also part of the team, which make it even more special. I can’t wait to see what the practices are like and for next week’s game.”

Griffin has signed with Missouri Western, and he said the next week of practice and the all-star game have him thinking about competition at the collegiate level.

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