The 10-2 West
Platte Blue Jays football team has advanced to semifinal
playoff action on Saturday against 12-0 South Harrison
after defeating last year's Class 1A Champion, Santa
Fe Chiefs 14-6 on Monday night at Weston. Saturday's
contest will be the first semifinal playoff action
game since 1973 for West Platte when the team competed
in the state championship game. Front row, l-r:
Brian Barmann, Kyle Knighton, Adam Barmann, Kevin
Rhodes, Neil McGinnis and Coach Danny Brown. Second
row: Aaron Morgan, Beau Hendrix, Tim Frey, Riley
Jones, Brad Fulk, Kole Knighton, Jordan Bates. Third
row: Luke Weigel, Bobby Cornett, Nick Blevins, Dane
Greathouse, Brett Davis, Ted Llewellyn, Sam Gibson,
Solomon West. Back row: Ivan Hibarger, Erinn Lott,
Brett Henson, Ladd Cogan, Joe Van Amburg, Drew Sharp,
Lucas Wagner, Corey Rowland. Not pictured are Kirk
Grinlinton, Dusty Kerns, Josh Elder, and Brent Dunkel.
For the West Platte Blue Jays football team, a state
semifinal action playoff drought has come to an end.
Quarterfinal football action Monday night paired West
Platte against last year's Class 1A football champions
the Santa Fe Chiefs. The game came down to the final 1
minute and 45 seconds on the game clock.
On Santa Fe's final play, fourth and six from the West
Platte 8, Santa Fe ran the ball but failed to gain the
first down. As West Platte quarterback Adam Barmann finished
the game from their own 5-yard line, the Blue Jays clinched
the quarterfinal game, 14-6.
"I know it may sound cheesy, but they played with
a lot of heart and passion," said head coach, Danny
Approximately 2,000 fans came to Weston to catch one
of the biggest games in Blue Jays football history. The
year 1973 marked the last time the West Platte football
team advanced past quarterfinal action, to compete in
the championship game.
Fewer playoff victories were necessary back in 1973.
"This is the first time in the history of the school
that the football team has won two playoff games in a
year," said Brown.
The team, which consists of 32 players, takes a record
of 10-2 to semifinal action into Bethany on Saturday where
they face 12-0, South Harrison.
"South Harrison coach, Wes Croy, coached at Maysville
last year. Since we've played Maysville the past couple
of years we know a little bit about his coaching styles,"
stated Brown. "They like to run the option."
Brown added that if the team stays focused like they
have all season, they can overcome South Harris for a
chance at the state title.
"We have to be disciplined on defense and have to
continue to be very aggressive. Our key is the offensive
line. They need to play well and allow the playmakers
to make the plays," explained Brown.
The focal point for the Blue Jays has been their striving
effort to come together and work as a team.
With this in the minds of each player on the team, the
players and coaches turned last year's 1-8 Blue Jays into
a team hungry for the state championship title to come
"Last year the team suffered a lot of injuries and
at one point we lost the entire backfield," said
Brown. "With the way these kids have bounced back
and fought back, I felt it was our turn for something
good to happen."
With the loss of seven defensive starters and four offensive
starters to graduation last year, many players have stepped
up to make the plays for their team and bring them to
this point in their schools history.
Senior Kyle Knighton, tight end and middle linebacker
for the Jays, is being recruited by Division I Schools
for his contributions on the football field. This year,
Knighton has claimed 185 tackles, 27 catches and five
Junior quarterback and cornerback Adam Barmann has thrown
for over 2,000 yards.
Running back and junior, Kevin Rhodes, rushed over 1,500
yards and 12 touchdowns.
Sophomore Brian Barmann, wide receiver and free safety,
has 60 catches for 1,290 yards and 10 interceptions.
Fullback and outside linebacker, Kirk Grinlinton, senior,
owns over 800 yards, 13 touchdowns and 94 tackles.
"Character has been so important on this team. We've
seen tremendous leadership from the senior class as a
whole," said Brown.
Brown said that with emotions so high on a game like
Saturday's, he talks with the team about maintaining the
focus no matter what obstacles the game might throw in
"A football game is an emotional roller coaster-we've
just got to ride it out and try not to keep our highs
to high and our lows to low," said Brown.
Kickoff for Saturday's 1A semifinal game at Bethany is
scheduled for 1:30 p.m. against South Harrison.