Perryville football will have a new “boss” on the sideline this fall.
That’s because the current one is moving on.
Blane Boss, the Pirate football coach for the previous four seasons, will be leaving the district and taking the football head coaching position at Herculaneum.
Boss enjoyed his time in green and white, but it was the 90-minute roundtrip commute he had to his home in Festus that was the deciding factor for him to become the new Blackcat head coach.
“I loved the kids and Perryville,” Boss said. “Knowing I had a 45-minute drive to work and back home after practice everyday started to wear on me after a while.”
Boss went 18-21 during his time in Perryville, which included going 6-4 in his first season in 2017. That mark was the most victories for Perryville in a single season since 1998. Perryville also went 5-5 in 2019, but did not manage to win a postseason game under Boss. Perryville came close in 2018 and 2019, falling to Potosi in back-to-back seasons, by a combined nine points.
While many will focus on the wins and losses, Boss was more concerned with getting kids to come out for the team and instilling in them a work ethic and determination to succeed.
“My main goal was to help the kids to become better people,” Boss said. “I want to prepare them for their life after high school. For 98 percent of them they don’t get to be football players but for just the time they have in high school. I wanted to be in their lives and make a positive impact. Hopefully, many of the kids felt that while I was at Perryville.”
One of those things that Boss hopes his kids took away from his approach to football was the importance of the weight room.
“Parts of it can be tough and sort of a grind,” Boss said. “If it was easy all the kids would show up every day and not have an issue. You see who you can count on the first time you step into the weight room. If a kid works in the weight room, then you know on Friday nights they will show up and it will never be a lack of effort with them.”
The year before Boss patrolled the Pirate sideline, Perryville was going through a rough time on the football field having won more than three games just once since 2010. Boss will have a similar project on his hands when he takes over the Herculaneum program this fall.
The Blackcats went just 1-7 this past season and fell to Perryville 48-12 on Oct. 24 on the Pirates’ homecoming. The Blackcats have not have a winning record since 2014, when they went 8-4. He has a familiarity with the area as Boss was a running back at Windsor and graduated in 2004.
In September 2003, Boss ran for a then-state-record 508 yards against Hillsboro; it’s still No. 4 on the Missouri all-time list. He finished with 25 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards rushing in his senior season.
Boss returned to the Owl sideline for three years as offensive coordinator from 2014-2016 before coming to Perryville.
“I grew up in Jefferson County and Herculaneum probably has the most tradition of any school in this county,” Boss said. “Football is important to this community and this school and I want to help them get back to where Blackcat football has been. I want to compete with every team on our schedule and that’s a mindset that I will have to try to get across at Herculaneum.”
Boss will get his share of games against his old team as Perryville will enter the I-55 conference this fall and compete on a yearly basis with the Pirates for a conference title. Perryville plays Herculaneum on October 22 this upcoming season. Boss will be ready for the challenge, but says it’s just another game.
“It will be a little weird, but once that whistle blows both teams will be competing and trying to win the game,” Boss said. “I still want Perryville to succeed and win as many games as they can, just not when they play Herculaneum.”