Park Hill football signing class totals 12 athletes

There aren’t many football programs that can claim having a dozen players going on to play in college.

Park Hill accomplished the feat this year but a large class going is nothing new for coach Josh Hood and the coaching staff.

Half of those signees this year landed at Northwestern College in Iowa. Five additional players signed last month. Early signee Ethan Smith, who is headed to Air Force, was that first of the 12 to sign. He inked his scholarship late last year.

The other five this year are headed to the Division II level.

Joe Webb
Northwest Missouri State

The wide receiver caught the eye of Northwest Missouri State during team camps the past few summers.

He and Hood both said that extra exposure helped garner attention, but Hood said in talking to the coaches at Northwest, they were worried they might lose him to another school.

Webb joins a program with former Trojans Parker Sampson and Jamaal Brazil.

Northwest has won six national titles and three since 2013. The Bearcats were 10-3 last year and made the playoffs.

“It’s a football powerhouse close to home, and the coaching staff made me feel like part of the family as soon as I stepped campus,” Webb said. “It means a lot going to a school with such a winning tradition, because it puts a chip on my shoulder to keep the “torch lit” when it comes to winning championships and having great seasons.”

There is one extra benefit that Webb is looking forward to in Maryville. That is going against current classmates Seth Garrison and Deshaun Powell, who will play defense for Missouri Western.

“I can’t wait to go against Powell and Garrison, because we were great competitors in practice we finally get the chance to make plays that count against each other,” said the three-time all-conference pick.

Seth Garrison and Deshaun Powell

Missouri Western

The Griffons recruited the Kansas City area heavily and landed eight players from the metro. The two Trojans will join Park Hill South signee Payton Murray going to St. Joseph.

The Griffons were 7-5 last year and won a bowl game.

Powell will be a cornerback and Garrison will be a linebacker. Powell will also factor into the return game as a returner.

“I just felt like they have a good atmosphere everyone is supportive of each other no matter what it is everyone comes together as one for games and other activities I just feel comfortable there,” Powell, who will be a sports management major, said on why he picked Western.

Powell looked at a handful of schools from D-I to NAIA, getting the most interest from MIAA schools.

“He practiced every day like he was third string,” Hood said of Powell. “If you practice like you have the job, you won’t have that job long.”

Garrison got a look from a few schools but Western still maintained interest in landing him even after he got hurt.

“The first time I stepped on campus I knew that’s where I wanted to be with the coaching staff, players, facilities and everything they had to offer,” Garrison said. “Being at a school with a good name for itself helped a lot.”

Hood noted that Garrison’s versatility will be a key at the next level, as he could play anywhere from safety to defensive end.

The duo will be the second set of teammates in as many years from the county to head north for college. Last year, the Griffons added Platte County teammates Kobe Cummings and Tanner Clarkson.

“It’s very cool to go to college with a teammate especially when our families are close,” Powell said. “So, I’m basically going to school with my brother and excited about it because we get to play more years of football together and grind.”

Cory Reiter

While Garrison and Powell will play together, the Reiter brothers will reunite in Quincy, Ill.

Cory signed with the D-II team that is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference and features his older brother, Austin, who is a senior this fall.

Cory said that didn’t play a factor In going to the Hawks, which were 4-7 last fall.

“Quincy just felt like a place I will enjoy for many years,” Cory Reiter said.

Reiter started three years on the offensive line for Park Hill, earning all-District honors each year.

This year he was first-team all-conference pick and got honors from Varsity 810 as well.

Haden Wallace

An all-state linebacker, Wallace will be a Division I player in the near future as Augustana announced plans in December to move to the D-I level from D-II. They will likely join the Summit League in basketball and the Missouri Valley Football Conference on the gridiron.

The only Missourian on the roster, Wallace will be an inside linebacker for the Vikings.

Wallace recorded 283 tackles (160 solo), 53 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and two interceptions during his junior and senior seasons. He was a first-team all-conference, all-district and all-state this year despite playing with a hand that was wrapped up and formed a club.

“He had great success the last several years and became a tackling machine and I loved to show off his film,” Hood said.

He had offers from a number of schools but whittled down the list to Drake, Eastern Illinois and Missouri Western.

“Augustana is a very good academic school, which was a high priority, every time I visited it felt like home more and more, making the decision really easy when I meshed with the coaches right from the start,” said Wallace, a team captain this year. “It was a feeling for me, all the other schools that I visited or talked with were all great opportunities to play football at, but Augustana felt right in my gut, being the difference when it came down to make my decision.”