First-year Pleasanton BluJays Football head coach Caleb Hendricks put it straight forward on the makeup of his team.
“If we can find a way to combine our speed with a high level of physicality, I think we have a chance to surprise some people.”
Hendricks, a former defensive coordinator at Pratt and Inman, takes over a soaring Pleasanton program that suffered a setback last season due to upperclassmen injuries.
The BluJays football program continues to look towards it’s underclassmen class to fill voids.
“There is a lot of opportunity on the table for young guys to come in and make an impact.”
Leading the way this summer is a group of seniors that welcome the challenge.
Seniors Uriah Cain, 6’4″ 265 lbs., Aden Dumcum, 6′ 260 lbs., and Cam Oberlechner, 5’11” 160 lbs., will be the wall up front.
Those three will also be counted on defense to get a good push to get to the backfield, as well.
“All-in-all, I feel like we are very balanced in terms of size up front, speed on the perimeter, and tough running in the backfield,” commented Hendricks.
“We have a lot of speed and athleticism that we will have to use to our advantage.”
A bright-spot in the 3-6 BluJays season is now sophomore quarterback Dale Gillespie.
Gillespie will have a solid, veteran line in front of him on top of varsity experience.
The skills positions leaders include seniors Tim Anderson and Caleb Secrest.
Anderson, a 5’11” 160 lbs. senior, should get plenty of carries this season. Anderson received more touches as the season progressed.
Sophomore Karsten McKee will join Anderson in the backfield. McKee begins the season at 5’9″ 225 lbs. and should balance out Anderson’s speed.
Secrest, a 5’9″ 150 lbs. senior, will lead the receiving core.
Junior Judah Skipper should receive some targets from Gillepsie in the BluJays Spread Offense.
Much like the line listed above, the skill players will play both ways, starting on defense.
“Our biggest strength is that we’ve got tough kids that are willing to work hard,” said Hendricks.
“Having a motor and that drive to get better can be hard to find, so that will all pay off when it comes time to play.”
Pleasanton plays in the 1A classification for the next two years.
The BluJays are in a seven-team district with some top-tier teams in the state.
The Olpe Eagles continue as one of the favorites in not just the district but also Class 1A.
It’s a toss-up with Central Heights, Lyndon, Northern Heights, and Uniontown. Northeast-Arma promises to be an improved team over last year as well.
“Another goal (this season) is that we need to learn to compete with talented programs,” noted Hendricks.
“There’s a lot that goes into that which we will have to learn, but it starts with everyone doing their job 100%, 100% of the time.”
Pleasanton beings the season at home against the Christ Prep Patriots on Friday, September 4th.