Boyer, Campbell Still Making Memories

Adam Dean Howe
Enterprise Staff
It probably wouldn’t be difficult to get Ryan Boyer or Harrison Campbell to sit down and tell football stories.  They have plenty.  But after this Friday night, they will have a new one to add to their lore as the former Wildcats, 2004 WHS graduates and lifelong best friends will face off in the first round of the Class 2 District 7 MSHSAA football playoffs.
Boyer’s Wildcats (3-2) will host Campbell’s Lone Jack Mules (0-7) this Friday night in the first known meeting of former WHS players turned head coaches in any sport.  
You see, this one is even a little different than that though.  Boyer and Campbell go back.  As a matter of fact, they go way back.  
Both coaches entered preschool together at Warsaw R-IX North Elementary School in 1990 and, before that, had even attended daycare at the same location.  They both stayed in the Warsaw school district throughout their elementary years and did all of the things that little boys do; like play sports together, spend nights together, climb trees, hunt, fish, camp out together and obviously much more.  But they were becoming best friends.  The two remained close and were graduates of the WHS class of 2004 where they continued to do all of the things that big boys do; like play sports together . . . yea, just play sports together.  As a matter of fact, both then also started out at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri.  Boyer would stay and play football for the Eagles and graduate in 2009 while Campbell would eventually transfer to the University of Central Missouri and graduate with his degree in 2010.
Campbell married his wife, Brittany in 2007 and Boyer was his best man.  He got his first coaching gig at his Warsaw alma mater as the offensive line and defensive line coach for former head coaches Randy Morrow and Kevin Gundy in the 2010 & 2011 seasons.  
Meanwhile, Boyer began his career in coaching fresh out of college as an assistant coach at Smith-Cotton in Sedalia in 2009.  He was an assistant there for 5 years under Mark Johnson.  In 2012, he married his wife, Brandi, and Campbell was his best man. 
Campbell’s next stint took him to Pleasant Hill where he was a linebackers coach and junior varsity defensive coordinator from 2013-2019.  
After 5 years as an assistant, Boyer succeeded Johnson as the head coach at Smith-Cotton where he held the position for 3 years.  
That all brings us to where they are now.  In 2017, Boyer finally returned home where he was named the head coach of the Wildcats after the departure of Paul Thomas.  Campbell was named the head coach of his Mules in 2019.  
Both coaches were challenged with rebuilding programs and have leaned on each other for advice throughout the process.
“I think it’s pretty cool that both of us got to play for Coach (Randy) Morrow and now we’ll be passing along that knowledge to another generation of kids on the field,” Boyer said.
“Ryan and I grew up with some of the best coaches in the business and we have a great pedigree to refer to,” Campbell commented. 
As to what they’ll look forward to in this week’s meeting . . .
“I’m looking forward to getting to see him and visit before and after the game,” Boyer said.  “We always get together in the offseason to catch up and share stories, but being able to see each other during the season, we usually don’t get to do that.”
Campbell said, “I look forward to the opportunity to bring our team down and compete . . . and it's always good to catch up with a dear friend and someone that I respect.”
In regards to whether one or the other has anything special dialed up for the other . . . 
“Nah, we’ll let the boys handle that part,” Boyer said with a laugh.
Campbell, however, left room for suspicion by saying, “I would say that most coaches always have something up their sleeves and I look for both of us to show something that we haven’t seen from one another.”
For after the game, no plans are made between the two.
“I’m sure we’ll tip our hat to the winner and just be with our respective teams,” Campbell said.
Boyer added, “You don’t always like to have to coach against a friend, but I’m proud of everything that he’s been able to accomplish.”
“I’ve always been proud of him (Boyer) and I look for it to be a great contest,” Campbell stated. 
In conclusion, Campbell added, “The game brought us together a long time ago, we always love talking football and here we are.”
Yes, here you are.  Friends from the beginning and still making memories doing something that you love.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?