BUFFALO, Mo–It’s week three of the high school football season.
And it’s also Friday the 13th.
So knock on wood, watch out for cats and don’t walk a ladder.
It’s time for 1st & 10, and KOLR 10’s Matt Vereen’s standing by live in Buffalo.
Dan, Buffalo has had this game circled on the calendar for a while.
It’s the home open night of a newly refurbished stadium and they going against an El Dorado Springs side that ended the Bison’s historic season last year.
But if you ask this Buffalo group, they’re entry into the school history books is just getting started.
Last year’s Buffalo team set a new benchmark for the Bison with the most wins since 1992 and the first home playoff game in two decades.
Buffalo Football Head Coach Ed Phillips: “Yeah, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. We had to go to SBU because of our field. We have our field done now. It was a lot of fun and I think our kids enjoyed it.”
This year, the Bison are looking to build on that historic season, and luckily they have the same backbone to do it with.
Buffalo Sr. Offensive Lineman Cody Smith: “Coach told us that the O-lineman were getting interviewed. I was like it’s finally our time to shine. It’s for us.”
Phillips: “All of them being back and stronger, a year stronger, a year more mature, understanding the offense a bit better, blocking.”
Buffalo returned every member of last year’s offensive line, but now the boys are seniors hoping to leave the Bison with an even higher benchmark than they just set.
Buffalo Sr. Offensive Lineman Hunter Crandall: “I’ve seen us get a lot better with footwork. We’ve been working hard on that, trying to get faster. We want to be the fastest O-line out there. And we’ve definitely gotten stronger. We’ve been hitting the weight room a lot this summer.”
The group is full of all conference talent and last week they went 7-7 on scoring drives in a 56-26 win over Versailles.
Smith: “After Ava, we felt like that game came down to errors. So Versailles we kind of bounced back, focused up in practice. Really just slowed down practice and focused on mental, just getting through it.”
And that work clearly paid off, bringing the Bison back to 1-1.
But in an era when quarterbacks buy luxury gifts for the men up front, here in Buffalo the O-line is happy with simple expressions of gratitude.
Smith: “If I get a breakfast, I’ll be happy.”
Now, I hope they had a hearty breakfast today because this is a big one.
El Dorado Springs beat Buffalo in the conference championship last year.
So the Bison told me tonight is about righting a wrong and getting some revenge along the way.
We’ll have a full recap tonight at 10, but for now live from Buffalo High School – Matt Vereen, Ozarks First.