SMITHVILLE — Following an historic 2018 football season, the Smithville Warriors have had plenty to celebrate and look forward to this fall.
But, not many had the hots for the Warriors ahead of the new campaign. Smithville found itself ranked No. 10 in the first version of the Missouri Media Rankings, behind sixth-ranked Kearney and No. 4 Platte County.
Last season Smithville beat Kearney twice and split with Platte County.
The Warriors did graduate a large chunk of its varsity talent from a season ago, including 10 of their defensive starters, the starting quarterback and a few other skill positions.
But the Warriors took notice. Coach Jason Ambroson chose to use the preseason poll as a motivation factor, at the time tweeting “Good to know where people think you stand… You can either prove them right or prove them wrong.”
Four weeks in, Ambroson’s players are doing just that, beginning the season 4-0 with three of the four wins coming in dominant fashion.
The most recent example? The Warriors’ 51-16 home win against Raytown South on Senior Night Friday, Sept. 20.
“This group means a lot to me because not only did we grow up together, we shared a lot of the same things with me having my daughter in the grade,” Ambroson said of his 17 seniors. “They’re just really good kids that work hard.”
Senior running back Isaac Miller rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns, bringing his season total to 438 yards and nine TDs (he missed week 1).
Senior Spencer Miller passed for 121 yards and three touchdowns while running for 85 yards and two scores.
Miller completed 4 of 5 pass attempts to four different receivers, with sophomore Rhett Foster, senior George Fisher and sophomore Samuel Calvert reeling in touchdown grabs.
Smithville rushed for 311 total yards and led Raytown South 28-8 after the first quarter and 43-8 at the break.
“It was a heavy dose of Isaac and Spencer, who had some good pass plays as well,” Ambroson said. “And if you have hard-nosed guys up front, you have a chance to be successful.”
The Warriors only continue to build their resume for another potential state playoff run, and prove that last season wasn’t a fluke.
They’re next chance to further drive that point home is their homecoming game against winless Sedalia Smith-Cotton on Friday, Sept. 27. The kickoff time was adjusted to 4:30 p.m. in an attempt to avoid potential storms.