In this week’s edition of Chatting with… we managed to get ahold of the do-it-all player out of Blue Springs South, Connor Harris. Harris, the Kansas City Star’s Boys Football Player of the Year, played quarterback, safety, kicker, and punter for Blue Springs South. He managed to help lead his team to a Missouri 6A State Championship, outshooting CBC in a game that saw big plays all over the field, especially from Harris.
kcyoungguns: Alright Connor, thanks for taking the time. After losing to Rockhurst in your 3rd game of the season, what did you tell your teammates after the loss? And how did that loss help you and your team later on in the season?
Connor Harris: I told them that we’re okay we didn’t play a bad game we just couldn’t put the ball in the end zone. I also told them that we new to work harder and move on and get better if we want to play them again in the playoffs
KC: Later in the season, you guys beat the Missouri 5A defending State Champions Lee’s Summit West. What did that win mean to you and your team?
CH: To beat Lee’s Summit West, that was a big accomplishment. They are such a great team and have really good athletes and coaches. It also opened a lot of people’s eyes and we proved we were going to be a good team
KC: Incredibly, for our readers who don’t know, you play quarterback, safety, punter, and kicker. Do you ever get a play off or time to rest during the game?
CH: Haha not really. I don’t play kick return so that’s my rest, but at the beginning of the season I came out a couple more times because I wasn’t in shape but as the season went on, I rarely came out.
KC: It seems like more and more players are specializing to play one position. How did you manage to play all these positions at a very high level?
CH: You know, I just want to help my team out the most I can, and I kicked and played safety as a sophomore, and as a freshman I played QB. So when senior year came, everyone wanted me to play it again. Luckily I got to do all three.
KC: Let’s move on to the State Championship game. Can you describe the emotions you were feeling before the game?
CH: I used to get a little nervous before games, but before State for some reason I wasn’t. I just told my self and my teammates that we have nothing to lose, because nobody in the state of Missouri (the media especially) picked us to win or believed we even had a chance, but we all believed in each other and so did our fans. I also think I didn’t get nervous was because I knew that this was everything we have worked for and I was just going to enjoy it no matter what happened. It was just the best feeling in the world.
KC: After working your whole high school career to win a State Championship, what were your emotions like at the end of the game against CBC?
CH: After the game, to see all of our coaches smiling and laughing and everyone hugging each other and just knowing we did what we had dreamed about since freshman year was the greatest feeling. Also, seeing all my family standing there at the hotel waiting for me (I have a lot of family who live in st louis) after the game was a great feeling. For them to come see me play was amazing.
KC: Many would argue that you were the best football player in the Kansas City area. Could you describe your reaction when you didn’t win the Simone Award?
CH: You know I was a little disappointed, but I knew that it was going to be a toss up between all four of us. And Evan deserved that award. He is a great player and did a lot for his team throughout his career there. I was just satisfied to even be a finalist and to even be apart of that ceremony.
KC: Although you didn’t win the Simone Award, you did win the Kansas City Star’s Boys Football Player of the Year award. What does that award mean to you?
CH: That award meant a lot too me, there are so many great athletes in the KC metro and to be named the best, it was a great feeling because there are so many great players.
KC: Now that high school football is over, as of now, do you have future plans involving football?
CH: Yeah, I plan playing football in college, but I still don’t know where I am going, but I do know I want to major in Criminal justice and have a future in law enforcement.
So that’s it. We want to thank Connor Harris for completing this interview. Also, if by chance you missed our previous Chatting with… segment, check out our interview with Derek Hall, a 49ers practice player and Rockhurst Alum. And remember, if you know someone who should be recognized for the week in our Chatting with… segment, email Blase Capelli at email@example.com or Spencer Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the high school football season has been done for quite a while, we decided to bring in Rockhurst senior linebacker Mike Rose, who will be playing for the University of Nebraska next year, to talk about his upcoming All-America game on January 5th.
Thegreatdebate1: So Mike, the Under Armour All-America High School football game is on January 5th. How do you feel going into the game?
Mike Rose: I am excited to go down there and play in a pretty prestigious all American game. I just hope I do my best and play well.
TGD: How did you react when you learned that you had been selected to play in the game?
MR: I was shocked, I called ESPN and talked to Tom Luginbill and told him they sent it to the wrong guy. He laughed and told me I was chosen. I was very honored, and I still am.
TGD: Have you been preparing for the game in a certain way? If so, how?
MR: I have been working out, running, staying in shape lifting. I realize the competition is going to be better, and there are going to be some bigger guys so I am preparing for that. That is what I am most excited about, is the challenge this game will bring.
TGD: This year, as a senior, you’ve been regarded as a top 150 recruit in the rankings (by both ESPN and Rivals). What does that mean to you?
MR: I don’t really buy in to all the rankings. You have a lot of guys that make these rankings and honestly some have favorites, some I don’t think have played football, and some are bios to certain schools. So to put a lot of stock into a guy because he is ranked, is not a credible source. I have hoped that people would know me by how well I played, not solely on my ranking.
TGD: We know that this year’s finish to the season was a disappointment for the Hawklets football team. As a player, how do you rebound from that?
MR: Well it is not that disappointing for me, because I have been given the chance to play at the next level. My heart goes out to my teammates who will not be able to play at the next level. We had the goal of winning a State Championship again and we did not achieve that goal. Though I have one ring, I am sorry, and I am greedy. We worked very hard but just came up short.
TGD: While this year’s finish was disappointing, last year the Hawklets won the State Championship. What was that like? And can you describe your emotions throughout the game?
MR: That was an amazing feeling, especially the way that game played out with that last drive and the incompletion. We played hard, we had a lot of guys go down with an injury throughout the game but we still prevailed. Just getting ready and coming in and being in a NFL locker room and all the hype around it. Then when the final 0:00 hit the clock, it was just all that hard work finally came to surface… It was amazing
TGD: The start of this past season was a little bumpy. For our readers, can you describe what happened, and how that experience has helped you grow as a football player and a leader?
MR: Yeah, we replaced some key guys from our State Championship run at QB, RB, OL, TE, WR basically every group on offense and some key special team positions. Our defense came in as ranked #1 in the nation, which proved to be too lofty of expectations. We were a team with great individual talent, but at times we could not bring it together to be the best team possible. That is no certain person’s fault; we all had our flaws and our mishaps. We didn’t put it all on the field and we lost because of that. That is my biggest regret, I became a better leader as time went on, but in the moments I look back, when my team needed me the most, I could have done more. I hope to go into Nebraska remembering from this year, that you only have a certain amount of time to accomplish your goals.
TGD: As you begin your career at Nebraska as a linebacker, what do you think of the legendary status of the Nebraska’s starting defensive players nicknamed the blackshirts?
MR: Right now we have not lived up to the legendary expectations, but those are some tough expectations. One of the best defenses ever, some say, came from the national championship Nebraska team (95′). I think as we get more familiar with the Big 10, we will play better. With the changes going on in the coaching staff, I think the intensity will come back. The expectation will not hide, so neither shall we.
TGD: We here at the greatdebate1 have heard that you are a big help to Bo Pelini on the recruiting trail. Can you describe how you try to persuade players to go to the University of Nebraska, and maybe give us some information on some players your hoping will decide on the University of Nebraska that you’ve been talking to?
MR: At this point I talk to a lot of guys, and you know it’s more than just about coming to Nebraska. It’s all genuine. I talk to some pretty good players that I have met from going to all the combines and camps over the past four years. I just talk to them about football, about how great the tradition is at Nebraska and the people. The people at Nebraska are some of the best people I have known, I love the Husker fans and coaches and players. People will be interested; I’m just a bridge from the players to the university. If you are genuine about what you’re talking about and you’re not giving these guys a bunch of fake stuff then they will listen. I’m talking to Jordan Diggs, Quanzell Lambert, Devin Fuller, Brandon Beaver, Alonzo Moore and a bunch of other guys. We have a chance at all of them. Hopefully we will be getting some good news here soon.
TGD: Any last comments you want to make to readers?
MR: Go Big Red!
Alright, well that’s it from Michael Rose. We wanted to thank Mike for his time and wish him the best of luck as he continues his football endeavors at the University of Nebraska. Who knows, maybe we will have another interview with him in the future.