MHS Football, Weiss

Sophomore linebacker Connor Weiss picks off Cameron quarterback John Liberto and runs it back for a touchdown in Maryville 72-12 win over the Dragons Sept. 21.

With each high school football game played at the ‘Hound Pound comes a dose of nostalgia. Football is embedded in the veins of Maryville, a sentiment that will take the forefront Sept. 28 as the Spoofhounds face off against St. Joseph-Benton in what will be senior night for the home team.

Maryville (4-1, 3-0 MEC) will look to win its fifth-consecutive game Friday against the Cardinals (1-4, 1-2 MEC). Coming off a 72-12 win over Cameron, the Spoofhounds current form could certainly be described as “midseason.”

The Spoofhounds have once again established themselves as a powerhouse in the MEC, winning three-straight conference games with ease, by a combined score of 175-12. For coach Matt Webb, the rich tradition of football in Maryville has been vital to the Spoofhounds’ storied success.

“Maryville’s got the nickname ‘Titletown,’” Webb said. “We love football around here, and that starts at a young age. It’s going to be an exciting night to play at home.”

In some ways, senior night offers a chance at reflection for the team. While each senior’s path has come with a certain degree of individual importance, the ability to bond together has been a driving factor within Maryville football for years.

“We’ve had a lot of talent come through our program,” Webb said. “One of the things that I think sets our program apart is that while we do have great individual talent, we also understand what it takes to be a team.”

While each Maryville roster has come with its own sense of family, this one feels particularly tight-knit. Sophomore running back Connor Weiss emulated this when expressing his goal for the upcoming senior night matchup.

“Our expectation is to just try to dominate,” Weiss said. “Do whatever we can to show out for the seniors. It’s their last season; it’s everything for them.”

For Maryville, the ability to unify and handle success has been paramount in recent years. Refocusing each week, regardless of the point-differential from the last, is key to continued excellence. Coherence is important as the calendar approaches October, and with it, the prospect of postseason.

“There’s a lot of programs that may experience success, but they don’t sustain that success because they don’t know how to deal with it,” Webb said. “I see our guys forming that tight-knit bond that will stand throughout the regular season and into the playoffs.”

The Spoofhounds are firing on all cylinders. The offense is averaging 49.8 points per game this season, and the defense has allowed just 12 points since the Week 1 loss to Blair Oaks.

The ‘Hounds, led by a group of talented seniors, will look to continue their series of triumphs versus Benton. In all, a group of 15 seniors will be recognized and celebrated over the course of the evening.

For Maryville, the only celebration that matters is the one that comes with a victory. Still, the night offers a moment of sentimentality for the class of 2019, a rare opportunity for reflection in the midst of a fast-paced season.

“I’m more excited about playing at home, it being senior night for us,” Webb said. “You get to celebrate some guys that are seniors that have not only won a lot of football games, and put a lot of pride, commitment and effort into this football program, but you also get to see the youth in our community who love football. These guys are a special group.”

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