Blair Oaks moves up to Class 3 football

There’s not a whole lot different when it comes to the 2014 football schedule for the Blair Oaks Falcons, except for at the end.

At even then, things will look very similar.

That’s because even though the Falcons will be moving up to Class 3 this season, the teams they face in districts will be familiar foes.

Blair Oaks, a mainstay in Class 2 for football, find themselves moving up in the new district assignments released Saturday by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. The Falcons are assigned to District 6 with Boonville, California, Eldon, Fulton, Owensville, Southern Boone and Versailles.

While moving up a level of competition might faze some teams, don’t expect the Falcons to lose any sleep over it.

“Our schedule is all Class 3 teams anyway,” Blair Oaks head coach Brad Drehle said. “And with Warsaw moving up as well, that leaves Hallsville as the only Class 2 on our schedule. So as far as that goes, it’s not going to be a big a change.”

If there is a big change, it comes with the postseason. For the most part, district foes in the past have been teams the Falcons didn’t face in the regular season. But now, the Falcons have a chance to play five teams — California, Eldon, Owensville, Southern Boone and Versailles — more than once.

“The good or bad part about this is we’re probably going to be playing (Tri-County Conference) teams more than once,” Drehle said.

“That’s been the fortunate thing with being a smaller team than most of the conference, not playing them in the playoffs. It’s a lot harder to play somebody a second time, especially with there being a lot of familiarity with the conference schools.”

The regular-season schedule, meanwhile, should be easy to remember for the Falcon Faithful.

Take last year and flip the sites. That’s it.

Because of locked-in contracts, the Falcons will be playing the same opponents, in the same weeks on the schedule, this time around. That means the season opener will come Aug. 22 at home against Moberly, followed by a game at Owensville.

September starts with a home contest against Hallsville before playing at Southern Boone, at the Falcon Athletic Complex against School of the Osage and at California.

October brings home games against Warsaw and Versailles before wrapping up the regular season at Eldon.

“The one thing that’s nice for everbody is you’ve been able to set your schedule for several years, it just flips home and away,” Drehle said.

He added it’s nice not having to have been chasing after people trying to fill all the dates on the schedule.

“I was talking to the coach at South Callaway (Tim Rulo) and they’re running into that,” Drehle said. “Once you begin to win, people don’t want to play you. Being able to lock things in has been nice.”

Some people might think the move to Class 3 is a plus, as the Falcons won’t have to contend with powerful Lamar, the three-time defending state champions.

“You say that, but all you do is replace them with Maryville,” Drehle said of the two-time defending Class 3 champions. “They’ve got a tremendous program and they’ve got it going big-time, and then you’ve also got someone like John Burroughs sitting out there.

“It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to get ready for who’s in front of you and go play.”

Blair Oaks Schedule

Here is the 2014 football schedule for the Blair Oaks Falcons:

Aug. 22 Moberly

Aug. 29 at Owensville

Sept. 5 Hallsville

Sept. 12 at Southern Boone

Sept. 19 School of the Osage

Sept. 26 at California

Oct. 3 Warsaw

Oct. 10 Versailles

Oct. 17 at Eldon

Oct. 24 District game

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