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Home » Sports » MIAA Football Teams Get That...

MIAA Football Teams Get That "Championship" Feeling

MIAA Football Teams Get That "Championship" Feeling

August 9, 2014 

Tribune Photo/Fred Liggett 

By Fred Liggett

A number of years ago there was a popular song called Hooked on a Feeling and that was certainly the case Tuesday at MIAA Football Media Day, held this year at Sporting Park.

In this case there were many MIAA conference officials and 12 football coaches who had a "Championship" feeling. For the first time in history, the NCAA D-II Football championship game is going to be played in Kansas City. 

The Big game is set for Saturday, December 20 at Sporting Park, the home of the Sporting KC Soccer team. MIAA Commissioner Bob Boerigter commented, "I'm pretty excited about that.” 

The MIAA has been represented in the D-II championship game the last nine years, seven in a row by teams, the other two years by a crew of officials. There is no reason to think the streak cannot reach 10 years in a row this season. 

Defending NCAA champion Northwest Missouri State is picked to win the MIAA this year. Pittsburg State was picked second in both coaches and media polls, picked third by the coaches was Central Missouri, the media chose Emporia State.

All 12 coaches spoke about the opportunity for their teams to finish their season at Sporting Park and play for a national championship. 

UCM football coach Jim Svoboda called Sporting park "a fabulous facility." He cannot imagine a better venue.

Coach Svoboda admitted he took his team to sporting park this past spring. Svoboda showed the team the stadium after one of their spring practices and called the experience "a special day." 

Before the Mules can think anymore about a possible championship appearance there is the regular season which starts for them on Thursday, September 4 at Missouri Western. 

“It's third year in a row opening up with them and we lost last two years," Svoboda said. "Everybody plays everybody and I feel good because I have players who have been there before.” 

Svoboda feels it's a good thing that team members know that they have to be ready to go, starting with game one.

Another coach present was Missouri Western coach Jerry Partridge. Partridge called Sporting Park "a beautiful facility". Tuesday was the first time for Partridge and his players present at Media Day to be there. Unlike UCM coach Svoboda, Partridge has not shown his team the facility as he does not “do gimmicky things like that." 

Regarding his team's opener vs Central Missouri, Partridge feels that an all conference schedules guarantees a good first week matchup. Partridge does strongly encourage his players to watch Kansas City Chiefs players in training camp that is held each year on the Missouri Western campus in St. Joseph. Partridge feels it's good for them to see how professional players work on and off the field to prepare themselves for the upcoming season.

After all 12 football coaches and players addressed area media members, Bob Boerigter commented more on hosting the championship game this season. 

“It all started when the Contract for the D-II championship game held in Florence, Alabama was up and the MIAA conference took the lead in the project to bring the game here, Boerigter said. 

The MIAA collaborated with members of the Kansas City Sports Commission and the Sporting Park facility. The process started inside the MIAA offices in downtown Kansas City with Assistant commissioner Amber Feldman overseeing all the paper work. When the NCAA came to KC for a site visit, Sporting KC staff and Marriott Hotel representatives were also involved in showing off the facility.

For many MIAA teams, their 2014 football season begins on Thursday, Sept. 4, it will be a lot of fun for the coaches, players, alumni, and area fans to follow each week to see which one of them will end their season at Sporting Park on Saturday, Dec. 20 for a chance to bring another national championship to the MIAA conference.



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