MARYVILLE, Mo. — Spoofhound football's season opening game with the defending Class 2 state champions Blair Oaks is just 50 days away as the Hounds will face off with the Falcons on August 30 at William Jewell College in Liberty.
The game is a grudge match of sorts for the Spoofhounds and the Falcons. Two seasons ago, Maryville ended Blair Oaks' season in the state semifinals on the Hounds' path to a state championship. Last season, Blair Oaks beat Maryville in the season opener on their way to an undefeated state championship season.
“Our guys have not forgotten that,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said of last year's loss. “(Blair Oaks) are a very good football program and very well-coached. … Right now, it is one to one in recent years. This game is one I know our guys are looking forward to.”
In order to make sure that they are ready for the Week One showdown and the rest of their schedule that follows, the Spoofhounds have been busy this offseason with a pair of team camps. The summer slate started with Northwest Missouri State team camp in early June.
“It starts over with culture every year,” Webb said. “We work on those culture elements in the spring and it works its way up to team camps. One of our beliefs is that we have a winning culture and being 93-7 since 2012, those things don't just happen. What we try to do is expose our guys to college cultures that have the same beliefs that we do. There is none better than the NCAA Division-II powerhouse Northwest Missouri State.”
Maryville played well with the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen teams each playing games and the Spoofhound varsity finding success against the larger schools at the camp.
“It is really good competition,” Webb said.
The next week, the team was headed north to team camp at North Dakota State at the Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota. The Bison have set the standard for NCAA Division-I FCS with 15 national championships.
“Once every four years, we like to get out of town and experience a team camp that is not in our home town,” Webb said. “A dominant culture is North Dakota State.”
The Spoofhounds found success in Fargo as well and were named the Rumble in the Dome champions.
“We really just competed well and it was great competition,” Webb said. “The guys get great coaching from their staff and it was a great weekend.”
With the team adjusting to not having their seniors from last season, including All-State running backs Tyler Houchin and Eli Dowis; the coaching staff is also undergoing transition this season with longtime defensive coordinator Nathan Powell taking the head coaching job at his alma mater in Princeton.
“Nathan Powell has been here for a long time and he had the opportunity to go home to Princeton, his wife's home, and be around their family,” Webb said. “It is an awesome opportunity for him to be a head coach and lead his own program. It is exciting for me to see assistant coaches get those opportunities. Obviously you don't wan them to leave, but that is how the coaching profession goes.”
Webb will fill Powell's role as the defensive coordinator this season in addition to his head coaching duties.
“Honestly, I'm excited about play-calling again,” Webb said. “It is something that I enjoyed when I was at the college level. … It is a new and exciting thing for me. … Our schemes and technique are the same, we have great assistant coaches and the kids will go out and execute.”
The staff will have two new faces this season with Jake Vollstedt and Kellen Overstreet joining the program. Vollstedt, a former star for Northwest Missouri State, is filling Powell's other role as the linebackers coach.
“Jake is obviously a Bearcat and super proud to live in this community,” Webb said. “For him to come coach the position that he was am All-American at one mile down Munn Avenue, it is a blessing. Jake will do an outstanding job.”
Vollstedt was the 2016 Don Hansen Defensive Player of the Year for the Bearcats and was First Team All-American linebacker according to D2Football.com, D2CCA and Don Hansen after recording 140 tackles and 25 tackles for loss as a senior.
“Jake is just an unbelievable human being and the type of high-character coach that we want our athletes to be around,” Webb said.
Overstreet is also getting into coaching after a tremendous playing career. The Penney High School of Hamilton product is one of the greatest high-school running backs in the history of Missouri High School football. A Parade First Team All-American for 2014, Overstreet rushed for 4,259 yards and 70 touchdowns — just one touchdown shy of the national record.
“Kellen is another young man who has an unbelievable story,” Webb said. “He is one of the all-time great running backs in the state of Missouri. … He is a high-character young man.”
Overstreet's football career continued at the University of Wyoming. He made an immediate impact as a true freshman with 168 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Overstreet had to redshirt in 2016 with knee and shoulder injuries.
Overstreet returned for his sophomore season in 2017 and was the Cowboys' second-leading rusher with 481 yards and three touchdowns. He had 139 yards in their regular-season finale at San Jose State and 85 yards in the bowl game against Central Michigan.
Those would be his final football games as a player though as he announced in August of 2018 that he would be retiring from football following microfracture surgery on his knee.
“He just had extensive injuries where he is unable to play anymore,” Webb said.
Overstreet will be the Spoofhounds' wide receiver coach this season after transfering to Northwest Missouri State to finish his academic career.
“When you add guys like Kellen and Jake to our staff, the number one thing you think about as a head coach is the character and how our players and program will benefit just from the type of people they are,” Webb said.