By Christopher Tenpenny
The Harrisonville football team has a long and storied history with five Missouri State Championships in eight appearances. Its success will be recognized as the Harrisonville High School Football Program will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Oct. 13 in Springfield.
Former Harrisonville head coach and current Athletic Director Brent Maxell will be accepting the award and speaking at the luncheon.
“What a great honor for the school and the community,” Maxwell said. “The community has had such a huge part in this. They’re as much a part of it as the coaches, players and administrators before them. It certainly is a special place to be at a Harrisonville football game on Friday nights.”
Maxwell came to Harrisonville as an assistant coach in 2006 before taking over the head coaching duties in 2015. He was the head coach for the 2016 State Championship team.
“This is awesome and it hasn’t completely sunk in yet,” Maxwell said. “I know we aren’t talking about Canton or Cooperstown, but this is a big deal for everyone who has been involved with this program.
“I’m looking forward to that day and getting to see some of the old players and coaches I’ve worked with as well as the players and coaches I haven’t had the opportunity to meet but have heard so much about.”
The football program had its first official season in 1920. Since then, the Wildcats own an impressive record of 631-327-40 over its 101-year history. The Cats have had 26 different head coaches. Since 1968, the program has been dominant with a 422-150-40 record and five state championships.
Most of the recent success has been through seven head coaches: Hugh Cobb, Bob Barrett, Tim Dade, Fred Bouchard, Chuck Lliteras, Brent Maxwell and Kyle Schenker. Barrett’s teams had 113 wins from 1976 to 1989, while Bouchard’s teams were 75-6 from 2002 to 2007. Maxwell led the 2016 championship team. The program also counts nine undefeated seasons (1907, 1928, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1971, 2003, 2006 and 2007) and an enjoyed a 41-game win streak (Sept. 9, 2005 to Nov. 24, 2007), which is fifth-best in state history, and a 40-game win streak (Oct. 20, 1950 to Oct. 29, 1954). The Wildcats also enjoyed a 48-game conference win streak from Nov. 1, 2002 to Sept. 28, 2012. Along the way, Harrisonville has won 18 district titles and 34 conference championships.
Harrisonville’s football program will be the second Cass County program inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in the last two years. Midway’s football program was inducted in 2020.
The other inductions this year will include Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Tamba Hali, University of Missouri running back Devin West, Kickapoo High School and University of Central Missouri quarterback Scott Loveland, Salem High School coach Bill Schuchardt, and Lebanon radio broadcaster Kevin Stubblefield, and Cassville High School’s 2008 and 2009 state championship teams.
The football luncheon is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday Oct. 13 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.