Head Coach: Dustin Johnson (19-19 — .500, fifth season)
Assistant Coaches: Dillon Roberts, Jason Toms, Seth Gabbert, B.J. Skipper
2018 record: 8-2 (5-0 league)
Offensive Scheme: Air Raid/RPO
Defensive Scheme: Multiple
State Classification: 1A
|2018 Pleasanton Football Schedule|
|8/31||v. Northeast-Arma*||W 42-14|
|9/7||@ Southeast-Cherokee*||W 8-0|
|9/14||v. Jayhawk-Linn*||W 36-12|
|9/21||v. Leon-Bluestem||W 46-6|
|9/28||@ Osceola, MO (8-Man)||W 38-22|
|10/5#||v. Uniontown*||W 26-20|
|10/12#||@ St. Mary’s Colgan||L 46-0|
|10/19#||@ Yates Center*||W 44-13|
|10/26||v. Marion||W 28-20|
|11/2||@ Olpe||L 52-8|
2018 season in review: Pleasanton headed into the 2018 season riding the momentum of their previous season’s trip to the post season. While there was optimism in and around the Blu-Jay football program, not everyone was sold on their transition from 8-man football to 11-man. Any doubters were proved wrong as Pleasanton roared out of the gate winning their first six games. By the time they lost their first game in week seven to Colgan, they had essentially already wrapped up the Three Rivers League title. Senior quarterback Kaden McKee led a prolific offense that included multiple all-state performers, such as Kasen McKee and Blake Pohlmier, into the playoffs where they won their first playoff game in ten years.
QB Kaden McKee (McPherson College)
WR Ben Hockman (McPherson College)
DT Turner Dent
Top returning players:
WR/FS Kasen McKee — (5’8, 145, Sr.) — 1st Team All-State Wichita Eagle and KPreps, HM Topeka Capital Journal
RB/LB Blake Pohlmier — (6’2, 190, Sr.) — HM All-State Wichita Eagle, KPreps, and Topeka Capital Journal
WR/LB Cole Cunnigham — (6’0, 165, Sr.) — 278 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns
OL/DL Eli Bradnt — (6’1, 190, Sr.) — HM All-State KPreps
OL/DL Aden Dumcum — (6’0, 240, Jr.)
OL/DL Coleman Kelley — (6’1, 200, Sr.)
OL/LB Cam O’Berlachner — (5’11, 160, Jr.)
RB/LB Tim Anderson — (5’11, 170, Jr.) — 450 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns
WR/CB Wes Self — (6’0, 160, Sr.) — 3 Interceptions
QB/CB Caleb Secrest — (5’10, 150, Jr.)
TE/NG Malcolm “Paco” Cox — (6’0, 170, So.)
OL/DL Uriah Cain — (6’4, 250, Jr.)
WR/CB Xavier Harrington — (5’10, 145, Sr.)
QB/FS Dale Gillespie — (5’11, 155, Fr.)
RB/LB Karsten McKee — (5’9, 165, Fr.)
OL/DL Brock Chapman — (6’0, 230, Fr.)
2019 season preview: Losing leaders such as Kaden McKee and Turner Dent is always tough on a small school football program. However Pleasanton believes upcoming freshman quarterback Dale Gillespie may be the next up and coming player in the TRL, easing the blow of losing offensive standouts. The Blu-Jays also return starting upperclassman all over the offense and defense, including multiple starters on the offensive line. First team all-state wide receiver Kasen McKee and explosive running back Blake Pohlmier should ensure the Pleasanton offense does not dip in production. Heading into his fifth season as head coach, Dustin Johnson has completely changed the culture and expectations that surround the football program. Look for Pleasanton to continue to “Row The Boat” and make a third consecutive trip the the playoffs.
Predicted 2019 Three Rivers League finish: TRL Coaches Preseason Poll 2nd – Eastern Kansas Sports Contributors – 2nd
|2019 Pleasanton Football Schedule|
|10/4||v. Appleton City, MO|
|10/18#||v. St. Mary’s Colgan|
|10/25#||v. Yates Center*|
* League Opponent / # District Game
Biggest game of 2019: @Jayhawk-Linn. While the Blu-Jays started off the 2018 season winning two games, the Three Rivers League was officially put on notice after they upended the reigning league champions, Jayhawk-Linn, 36-12. In what was one the most entertaining and electric games of the season within the TRL, Pleasanton used a dominant second half performance to win. With the two towns separated by a mere twelve-miles, this once intense rivalry has been reignited.
Eastern Kansas Sports — What was the highlight of the 2018 season for you and your football program?
Dustin Johnson — “It was our first year back playing 11-man football in twelve years and we were able to adapt to a completely different game and win the league and get into the playoffs. The seniors who were freshman when I took over the program proved that with hard work and dedication to something and a ‘Row The Boat’ attitude you can build something special.”
SEK — What did you learn last season that you will bring into the upcoming season?
DJ — “Our league is very tough and you better come prepared each week for a battle.”
SEK — What players within your football program will you look to for leadership?
DJ — “We always look for our quarterback to take control and having a freshman in Dale Gillespie there we know it will not be easy at first. But, with the great supporting cast he has it should be an easy transition especially with our veteran offensive core lead by all-state performers Kasen McKee and Blake Pohlmier who are both great leaders on and off the field.”
SEK — Heading into the season what do you believe are your team strengths?
DJ — “We have great team speed and with our spread offense and fast, physical nature up front. On defense we can utilize multiple schemes and always be on the attack.”
SEK — What will be the biggest change for your team heading into the 2019 season.
DJ — “Losing an all-state quarterback in Kaden McKee, who took every single snap since his freshman season and first team all-state nose guard Turner Dent. Their toughness and heart is something you never can replace. We hope it carries on in our program for many years.”
SEK — What are your main goals for the upcoming season?
DJ — “Win the league. Win the district. Row the boat and get back to the playoffs.”
Thank you for reading along! You can catch scores, standings, schedules, and in-depth articles on SEK Sports.com all throughout the season.