July 30, 2022

By Fred Liggett

On September 1st a new MIAA football season will kick off but when the season comes to a close fans can expect familiar results. The 12 team MIAA conference held their annual media day festivities in downtown Kansas City. The pre-season coaches and media poll has defending conference champion Northwest Missouri State repeating. Lincoln finished last in the 2021 season and is predicted to do it again this season.

While the results are expected to remain the same throughout a tough 12-week regular season, some familiar faces are in new places. Central Oklahoma has brought in Adam Dorrel as head coach. Dorrel previously served as head coach at Northwest Missouri State. While working in Maryville Dorrel won three national championships and was named three times as NCAA D-II coach of the year. Josh Lamberson is familiar with MIAA fans having been a starting quarterback at Northwest Missouri and now is a first time head coach at Central Missouri.

Area high school football fans will want to keep an eye on conference results this fall as several local prep players are now playing in the MIAA. One of them is Lee’s Summit North WR Devin Blayney who will be a true freshman this year for the Northeastern State Riverhawks. Riverhawks head coach JJ Eckert says of Blayney, “has a great attitude, is working hard.” Eckert adds, “Blayney works hard to going out there and we are excited to have him be a part of the program.”

Other familiar names for area fans to follow include Grayson and Lincoln Sprouse both from Summit Christian and now playing at Washburn. Grayson, a redshirt freshman, heads into fall camp as the third string quarterback for the Ichabods. Former Lee’s Summit North QB Christian Carter is slated to get playing time at wide receiver for Pittsburg State. Michael Haggerty, a tight end, is expected to see playing time as a true freshman at Missouri Western.

The MIAA has a history of success and 2021 was no different. The conference had seven different teams reach a national title game, four won a national championship. The conference is looking to reclaim a title in D-II football with Northwest Missouri being the best bet. Bearcats starting QB Braden Wright says of the team, “a talented group of guys.” The Bearcats will enter the season with several new starters, Wright says, “They waited their turn and will fit in nicely.”

When the regular season comes to a close on November 12th MIAA football fans will know how well the pre-season predictions turned out for the 12 team conference.