By Chance Chamberlain
The Harrisonville Wildcat football team is prepared for the season despite the traditional Blue and White Scrimmage being cancelled and last-minute changes to the regular season schedule.
Head coach Kyle Schenker sent an email to parents last Friday to inform them about the cancellation of the blue and white scrimmage, a tradition dating back to 1968.
In the email, Schenker stated, “Due to recommendations received this week from the Cass County Health Department citing CDC guidelines, we are cancelling the Blue and White Scrimmage. The current guidelines set a maximum of 250 people per venue and since the event was scheduled for tomorrow, we don’t have adequate time to put a plan in place to ensure we are meeting guidelines.”
He added, “We want to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes and we’ve worked hard during our practices to keep the season moving forward with protocols in place. We will continue to place their health as our primary focus and truly appreciate all that the players have done to follow the guidelines.”
Regarding the cancellation of the scrimmage, Schenker said it does not have an impact on the team’s preparation for the season.
“It was disappointing to have to cancel because our kids, plus a lot of community members, were looking forward to playing and attending. We were all excited about getting back into the swing of things and to be part of something that has tradition, as well as participating in something that would give us all a sense of ‘normalcy.’
“Actually, we were able to do an abbreviated version of the scrimmage at practice on Friday. That gave us a chance to get film on all our kids and evaluate them. So it really didn’t alter our process at all,” he said.
The Wildcats have dealt with many obstacles this summer, but Schenker credits their resilience in their response to new protocols.
“Players and coaches have done a great job dealing with all of the change and uncertainty that has come with the situation that we are all in right now. We always tell them to control what can be controlled and to not worry about the rest,” he said. “We stress that in football and in life, 10 percent happens to us, the rest is how we respond. Our key to success is humility. It will provide the inner strength to improve our weaknesses, embrace our humanness, practice mindfulness and express gratitude.”
The Wildcats will rely on their experience to guide them through the season. Schenker enters his 21st season with the team, his second as head coach, and they will return seven starters from last year: River Riley, Sean Caruthers, Colin Caruthers, Josh Pesek,
Trevor Campbell, Kennedy Atkinson, Ethan Murray and school single-season rushing record holder Jace Reynolds.
Despite the team’s 6-6 record last season, the team has a handful of newcomers: Carson Miller, Zander John- son, Jake Ward, Kyle Mensching, Norris Vance, Brian Garlock, Cayse Bradshaw and Logan Mann, that can make a difference this year and provide a solid foundation for the future.
The Wildcats have a tough schedule this season, but Schenker is confident that they will find success by taking things one day at a time.
“We prepare for a tough season like we always do. We take things one day at a time. We control what we can, we stay humble and maintain our standard. ‘Be where you’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be there, doing what we’re supposed to be doing, the best we can’,” he said.
Harrisonville kicks off the 2020 season at 7 p.m. tomorrow night at Memorial Stadium where they will face off against the St. Joseph Lafeyette Fighting Irish.