Moberly Football's Magic Day Inspiring Team to Win Games

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Winless football seasons had become the norm at Moberly High School.

But head coach Jason Ambroson wasn't going to let that continue.

In 2003 under his leadership, the team turned around its tradition of losing and has since won more than 50 games. Friday, the team will look to build on its success as it plays Osage High School.

Not everyone signed on to Ambroson's philosophy when he started. It wasn't until after an October 2003 loss to Helias Catholic High School that the message of the former Iowa State quarterback and graduate assistant caught on.

"We got together at my house and put a bunch of pizzas in the oven and just sat in the kitchen and stayed there until 4 or 5 in the morning hammering out detail by detail what we had to do to get better, what kids we had to put in situations," he said. "And (we) just really had to work at being better coaches."

"It's what I like to call the Red Letter Day," another coach said.

And it worked. The Spartans went on to win six straight games, including the district championship.

"It was a proud moment," said former player Ryan McCluskey, who now coaches at Moberly. "There's nothing greater than walking in that gym that year and seeing the banner hanging up."

Moberly also won its first-ever state playoff game that year, and in 2007, the Spartans posted an 11-win season, contributing to the team's 58-38 record since the Red Letter Day.