At this time last summer, Platte County coach Bill Utz talked about rebuilding. The Pirates had just graduated 20 seniors, nine of whom were three-year starters. Rebuilding seemed to be appropriate.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Platte County opted for Plan B, instead.
The Pirates provided one of the area's best surprises last season, winning 10 games and the Suburban Red Conference championship.
"I was surprised last year, too, along with everybody else," Utz said. "I didn't see that coming."
Although Platte County again returns less than half its starting players (four are back on offense and five on defense), Utz promises nothing will surprise him this season.
"It totally changes the atmosphere and how we approach the season," Utz said. "We're not going to sneak up on anybody anymore. We can't preach the lack-of- respect card anymore. It comes down to preparation because we know teams will prepare for us."
Opposing game plans will almost certainly single out Jesse Eggers, who was the Suburban Red Conference defensive player of the year in 2012. A playmaking linebacker, Eggers recorded 81 tackles and eight sacks. He also forced three fumbles and recovered seven loose balls.
"As he goes," Utz said, "we go."
The experience on offense is more limited. Junior Tyler Cooper will take over at quarterback in the spread offense that produced 29 touchdowns. Top receivers also have graduated, but the Pirates feel comfortable with receivers Aliek Reed, transfer Jordan Branson and Darius Taylor.