By Jacki Wood
Maryville and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or Batman and Robin. Or Kansas City and barbecue.
It’s that way from the Northwest Hounds youth team all the way up to the college ranks with the national champion Bearcats.
Title Town, as some call it.
And at Maryville High School, that tradition runs long and deep. Long before Head Coach Matt Webb returned to his alma mater five years ago, although that’s what most people probably know best.
This story has been told. You’ve read it before.
It’s played out each fall when the Spoofhounds take the field.
But it’s rewritten each year, in large part to a phrase Webb likes to use: Tradition never graduates.
Last year’s team went 14-1 (8-0 in the MEC) with its only loss in the Class 3 State Championship. But with 22 seniors on that team, the Spoofhounds and their fans will have to wait and see how the story unfolds in 2017.
That fact hasn’t fazed Webb though.
“New year. New team. Ready to go for it again,” he said.
The Spoofhounds will be led by two senior captains in All-State lineman Jalen Sundell, who recently committed to play football at North Dakota State next year, and All-District lineman Jacob Search.
Webb will be assisted by Matt Houchin, Nathan Powell, Grant Hageman, Ryan Lessman, Marcus Grudzinski, Travis Verdi, Leslie Blackburn and Tyler Henry.
The team will focus on the football fundamentals, Webb said, with one team goal in front of them: win one game at a time.
The Spoofhounds will put that goal to the test on Friday, August 18 at home against Lawson.
And new chapters of the story will be written each week as the tradition carries on for another season.
For stories on other schools and other sports teams, see the printed Nodaway News Leader.