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Archive for Thursday, June 11, 1992

ATTENDANCE WILL DETERMINE FUTURE OF DREAM CLASSIC

June 11, 1992

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The first Metro Dream Classic hasn't been played yet, but Dick Purdy can't help but worry about the second.

The Classic, an all-star high school game put on by the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Assn., is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.

High school seniors from the Kansas City metropolitan area were chosen by area coaches. Raytown's Harold Albin will coach the Missouri team; Blue Valley's Steve Rampy will coach the Kansas squad.

Purdy, Lawrence High's head coach and president of the GKCFCA, hopes the game will become an annual event like its predecessor, the Big Brother All-Star Game.

But the Chiefs have said a minimum of 10,000 fans must attend the inaugural event, or there likely won't be a 1993 Dream Classic.

"THEY DON'T want to be associated with something that's not successful," Purdy said. "The number of people in the stands is what matters to them. Ten thousand is their magic number."

That many fans, the Chiefs reason, would pay enough to park and would buy enough concessions to justify the cost of opening Arrowhead and staffing it.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Dream Factory, an organization that provides trips to disabled and critically ill children.

"If we get 10,000 people there, a good amount of money will go to the Dream Factory," said Shawnee Mission Miege coach Paul Brown, a GKCFCA executive board member.

That's a big if, but Brown said it's not an unrealistic one. He estimated pre-game ticket sales to be 2,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

"WE'VE GOT them in so many different places," Brown said. "That 2,000 is just from a few schools. Our goal is to sell 5,000 in pre-sale. I think that's very likely."

Purdy's not so sure. He said the response has been lackluster in Lawrence, even though the maximum of five LHS players tailback Michael Cosey, linebackers Steve Foglesong and Nate Penny, defensive back Mike Reese and quarterback-defensive back Shane Robinson were invited.

Cosey, who injured his back high jumping during track season, is listed as probable for Saturday. However, the two-time all-stater will not be at full strength, Purdy said.

Lawrence aide Ron Commons will serve as one of the team's assistant coaches, and two area players Baldwin's Brian Sheldon and Tonganoxie's Robbie Calovich will attend.

"It's really hard to sell individual tickets," Purdy said. "Nobody's in school. I haven't had much response at all."

Back when the game benefitted the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program, Purdy said about 6,000 fans attended.

"If we only get 6,000 people in the gate, I think we can kiss it goodbye," Purdy said. "They (the Chiefs) aren't going to take a chance on lethargy."

SEVEN YEARS ago, BBBS found the work involved outweighed the benefits, Purdy said, and the event was canceled, much to the GKCFCA's dismay, and there hasn't been a game like it since.

"We really want the game," he said. "It puts high school football back in people's minds. It's fun for the players. It really helps the coaching profession. And it's for a good cause.

That altruism is not lost on the players.

"They guy in charge of the Dream Factory talked to us about the kids, and we got to meet them," Lawrence's Penny said. "It's neat we to get to make money for a good cause and we get to have fun and play football at the same time."

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