After 21st straight district title, Webb City aims for spot in state semifinals

Webb City hosts Lebanon on Friday night in the Class 5 quarterfinals.

WEBB CITY, Mo. – Webb City’s district championship streak started before anyone on the current roster was born.

“I have not thought about that,” says senior Shane Noal, “That’s crazy.”

“We don’t sit around and talk about it. We don’t sit around and think about it, honestly,” says head coach John Roderique, “I was just a young guy back then. Certainly I’m not any more. We’ll reflect back on it someday and think about how special it really was.”

Last Friday, Webb City topped Carthage in a battle of southwest Missouri heavyweights to claim the Class 5 District 6 title – their 21st straight district championship.

“We hadn’t been playing Carthage in a final game like that, because they were in class 5,” Roderique adds, “They win a state championship last year and by all accounts heading in, they’re the team to beat.”

“We didn’t get to play them in the regular season,” Noel says, “Beating them in the district championship meant a lot to us.”

The Cardinals welcome in the Lebanon Yellowjackets Friday night in the state quarterfinals.

Lebanon is 7-3 and has scored 45 or more in four consecutive games.

“They’re going to run the ball right at you and challenge you at the line of scrimmage,” Roderique says of the team’s next opponent, “You have to be able to get yourselves off the field. That’s all we’ve been talking about this week to our defense. You have be able to get yourselves off the field.”

Having been in this situation for 21 straight years, one thing is certain: the lights on Friday night will not be too bright for these Cardinals.

“Certainly the kids are pretty resilient,” Roderique finishes, “When you’ve been somewhere and done that before, there’s no question it gives you a great deal of confidence in the big game, just like the district championship we played last week.”

Webb City is one of three local teams still alive for a state championship, joining Lamar in Class 2 and Cassville in Class 3.