TRL Football Preview: Pleasanton


Head Coach: Dustin Johnson (11-17 — .393, fourth season)

Assistant Coaches: Dillon Roberts, Jason Toms, Seth Gabbert, B.J. Skipper

2017 record — 8-Man: 6-4 (3-1 league)

 2017 Pleasanton Football Schedule
 9/1 v. St. Paul*L 32-8
 9/15# v. Marais des Cygnes ValleyW 54-8
 9/19 @ Osceola, MOW 38-26
 9/22# @ LeboW 60-14
 9/29 @ Wichita HomeschoolL 64-42
 10/6# @ WaverlyL 44-28
 10/13# v. Chetopa*W 72-0
 10/20# @ Altoona-Midway*W 56-0
 10/26# v. Colony-Crest*W 58-0
 11/3 @ Hutchinson Central ChristianL 66-34

2017 season in review: The Blu-Jays were trending upward in the 8-Man division after finishing just under .500 in 2016, going 4-5. It all came to fruition in 2017. After only losing one senior from the 2016 squad, Pleasanton was able to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in twelve years. This was in large part due to how hard the roster worked during the off-season. While they the 8-Man game is known for its high scoring games, Pleasanton’s up-tempo offense did not disappoint. They averaged over 40 points per game, with many contests ending at the half. Leading the up-tempo offense was quarterback Kaden McKee, who was voted All-State Honorable Mention.

Top returning players:

QB/LB Kaden McKee — (5’11, 170, Sr.) — HM All-TRL QB, First-team All-TRL LB, Honorable Mention All-State

WR/S Ben Hockmen — (6’1, 180, Sr.) — HM All-TRL WR

OT/DT Turner Dent — (6’0, 180, Sr.) — HM All-TRL OL, First-team All-TRL DL

WR/DB Kasen McKee — (5’8, 140, Jr.) — HM All-TRL WR

TE/DE Austin Ralle — (6’2, 190, Sr.)

C/LB Jeb Ralle — (5’11, 180, Sr.)

RB/LB Tim Anderson — (5’10, 150, So.)

2018 season preview: The upcoming season brings some major changes for the Blu-Jays. After a successful 2017 season, Pleasanton will be making the move from the 8-man division to the 11-man division. With a new division comes a brand new schedule with eight new opponents. However, one thing that stays the same is the return of quarterback Kaden McKee. He will reprise his role as a team leader after throwing for 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns. McKee also picked up 600 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns, as well as 80 tackles. Also returning are wide receivers Kasen McKee and Ben Hockman, who combined for 24 total touchdowns. It will prove to be a story to watch as to how Pleasanton is able to adapt to 11-man football in their first year back. While it is their first year back, many believe Pleasanton will be able to compete immediately because of their overall team speed. The Blu-Jays are a team to keep an eye on during the 2018 campaign.

Predicted 2018 Three Rivers League finish: TRL Coaches Preseason Poll 2nd (tied)–    SEK Sports Contributors – 5th

 2018 Pleasanton Football Schedule
 8/31 v. Northeast-Arma*
 9/7 @ Southeast-Cherokee*
 9/14 v. Jayhawk-Linn*
 9/21 v. Leon-Bluestem
 9/28 @ Osceola, MO (8-Man)
 10/5# v. Uniontown*
 10/12# @ St. Mary’s Colgan
 10/19# @ Yates Center*
 10/26 TBA

Biggest game of 2018: Northeast. 
I was tempted to choose Uniontown due to how competitive the 11-man contests used to be between the two schools. However, with the Blu-Jays transitioning to 11-man football I believe game number one may be the biggest of the year. Northeast has struggled in recent years, but will Pleasanton be able to compete on the 11-man stage right away? This contest may very well shape how their season goes. With a win Pleasanton and their players will be validated knowing that they can compete with the “big boys,” putting the TRL on notice. The Blu-Jays certainly have the athletes to win games in the 11-man division, but it will be interesting to see how quickly they adapt to the new level of competition.

I would like to give a huge thanks to head coach Dustin Johnson for taking time to share insight about the Blu-Jays’ upcoming season, as well as wish his team the best of luck!

This concludes the 2018 TRL 11-Man preseason football preview. Thank you for reading along! You can catch scores, standings, schedules, and in-depth articles on SEK all throughout the season.