Posts Tagged ‘Blue Dragons football’

Rested Blue Dragons ready for Broncbusters

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

By Rebecca Carney
Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College football team has a pretty big weekend ahead.

The 8-1 Blue Dragons are nationally ranked at No. 4 and are scheduled to take on the 8-0, No. 2 ranked Garden City Broncbusters at noon on Saturday at Gowans Stadium. The winner of this game could potentially have a spot in the NJCAA national championship game next month in Pittsburg.

Two weeks ago, the Blue Dragons had big win over Dodge City, and it did not go unnoticed by coach Rion Rhoades.

“It was really good outing for us,” Rhoades said. “I thought our team did a really good job of handling going to Dodge City and doing the things they need to do to get a big win.”

Coming off the win at Dodge, the football team headed into a much-needed bye week.

The Blue Dragons took full advantage of their week off. The team needed an opportunity to get rested, and with any luck, get some much-needed players back on the field. A light week of workouts for the team will hopefully help the team to be physically ready on Saturday.

Standout players Monty Montgomery and Dezmon Jackson both agree that last week was the perfect week for a bye week.

“We’ve had some rough games, the last two games,” Jackson said, “They’ve been very physical and they play very hard. I think this (bye) week will help us get ready for the Garden game.”

The next step is to take down Garden City and keep things under control and where they need to be.

“It can be real easy to get too amped up for a game like this, and I think that could be detrimental. There’s a real happy-medium we have to get to,” Rhoades said. “We’re in it emotionally and we’re invested. We’re excited to play and have energy and enthusiasm, but we have to make sure it doesn’t become a detriment to us. That is something we have to be aware of.”

The winner will also be crowned the Jayhawk Conference champion, as this will be Hutchinson’s final conference game. Garden City still has to play Butler.

Dez-ert storm: Blue Dragon running back has been dominant

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

By Amanda Carney
Co-Sports Editor

It’s week nine for the Hutchinson Community College football team, and one it’s one of the biggest weeks for the Blue Dragons.

The No. 4-ranked Blue Dragons will face No. 2 ranked Garden City at noon at Gowans Stadium, one of the biggest games of the season.

Growing up, sophomore, Dezmon Jackson, from El Dorado, Arkansas, went to a small 2A high school, Parker’s Chapel, playing running back on offense and linebacker on defense. Jackson then came to Hutchinson Community College, where he has made a name for himself.

Jackson received his third straight Jayhawk Conference Football Offensive Player of the Week award. Jackson has had four straight games with at least 100 yards and six games with at least one touchdown.

“My last couple of game has been great,” Jackson said. “I’ve had four to five straight 100-plus-yard games so I’m just trying to keep my head on steady and improve my game every week.”

As a sophomore, Jackson has doubled his stats from the 2017 football year, and has a total of 10 touchdowns for the season already.

“I’ve developed so much that I amaze myself,” Jackson said. “I just changed my whole mindset, being that I didn’t play as much I think I should have last year. So, I was just itching to get back out there and every game and that has helped me this year.”

Jackson also has another motivation – New Orleans Saints running back, Alvin Kamara. Kamara is a pervious HutchCC football player.

“It’s a motivation to me mainly because we played the same position,” Jackson said. “So, when I put it into perspective it just drives me to know I can make it out of here.”

Jackson is currently undecided what school he will be attending next year but plans on narrowing down the list soon.

“I have offers to choose from and I plan on narrowing the list by November,” Jackson said.

Championship aspirations: Football team improves to 5-1 again

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

By Rebecca Carney
Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College football team is off to a hot start again this season.

The Blue Dragons are sitting at 5-1 after a big win over Butler Community College on Saturday night at Gowans Stadium. This 5-1 start might look familiar to some folks, as the Blue Dragons started 5-1 during the 2017 season as well.

Although the 2017 Blue Dragons started 5-1, they eventually went down a rocky path. Out of the last six games the football team played last year, they only won two games and finished 7-5. The team hopes to avoid a slide like that again this year.

Blue Dragons coach Rion Rhoades is more optimistic about this year’s finish. The character of the football team is better than it has been in years’ past. The team also seems to be more prepared and there seems to be more trust between the players and coaches as well.

The team is also still relatively healthy, compared to last year’s team, which lost five of their top 12 offensive linemen. As the season continues, the team hopes to remain healthy and keep their attention on the game.

“Our focus is to just continue to get better at what we do. Getting off to a good start is proven to be an important thing for us. We’ve just played a lot better when we get out of the shoot and score some points right off the bat and get some stops,” Rhoades said.

With only five regular season games left, starting with Saturday’s homecoming game against Highland at Gowans Stadium, the Blue Dragons must continue to work hard.

Leading the way is freshman quarterback Mason Schucker. Schucker, a true freshman from Searcy, Arkansas, is currently tied for first in the Jayhawk Conference with 10 touchdown passes. He has just three interceptions.

“Everybody on the team is excited about being 5-1,” Schucker said. “They know we have a good shot of finishing out the rest of the season really well. We know that it could lead to bigger things as well and everybody’s just really excited to play each week, each game and get out there and practice and get better every day.”

A familiar Blue Dragon is back: Matt Jones, former baseball player, is now playing football

Friday, September 7th, 2018

By Rebecca Carney
Co-Sports Editor

The last time Matt Jones, a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, played football was in 2011 as a high school quarterback.

Now, for the first time in seven years, Jones is back on the football field. Not only is Jones back on the football field, but he is also back at Hutchinson Community College. In 2014, Jones attended HutchCC for the spring semester and played for the baseball team under current coach, Ryan Schmidt. During the 2014 season, Jones, who played as an outfielder, helped lead the Blue Dragons to a 43-17 season, which at the time was the best season the Blue Dragon baseball team had.

That summer, Jones was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 25th round. Jones chased his dream, playing in the minor leagues for four years, before deciding it was time to move on to something else.

Jones’ story for coming back to HutchCC to play football is not your typical story. Jones would occasionally come back to HutchCC to visit and help Schmidt with baseball, leading to the question whether Jones had any college eligibility left. In the summer of 2018, he was asked that question. Jones, of course, did have eligibility, and was asked by athletic director, Josh Gooch, what he thought about playing football.

For Jones, this was a no brainer.

He knew he wanted to come back and play football. And just like that, the plan for Jones to comeback and play football was in the works. Less than an hour later, HutchCC football coach Rion Rhoades was on the phone with Jones telling him that minicamp started the next week.

Now, two months after coming back to HutchCC, Jones is a member of the offensive line and is the starting punter for the Blue Dragons.

With Jones standing at 6-feet, 6-inches and weighing 284 pounds, he is larger than the average punter. Also, at age 24, Jones is a bit older than most players on the football team. As Jones says, “I’m old. Everybody calls me dad and that’s OK.”

With Jones being older than most of the other players, many teammates look up to him. Jones wants to be that guy that others can come to for advice and learn from him. For some, this may a challenge, but Jones handles the job well knowing that he is the “dad” of the team.

Jones being admired doesn’t just stop with his teammates, as Jones is someone whom the coaches respect as well.

“Matt is a great addition,” Rhoades said. “I’m sure that I only know the tip of the iceberg of how he has helped some of our younger players grow and learn and mature through the process.”

While Jones is headed down a very successful path here at HutchCC, he hopes his journey of playing football is not finished just yet saying, “Ideally, I would like to attend a powerhouse NAIA school or a (NCAA) Division II school after I’m done here.”

He’s always in the action: Jackson uses HutchCC to needed opportunity

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

Community colleges around the country can be considered an important stepping stone to many athletes.

Whether it’s the low tuition costs, the chance to develop yourself academically, or the ability to improve yourself physically, schools like Hutchinson Community College can help these athletes kickstart their collegiate sports career.

After receiving zero NCAA Division 1 offers, defensive back Storey Jackson chose HutchCC to begin his football journey. The Olathe North product led his team to a 10-2 record and a Kansas 6A semifinal appearance in 2015.

Upon arriving at Hutchinson for his freshman year in 2016, Jackson knew he would get a opportunity to earn a starting position the next season, so he decided to find his role on the special teams.

“My first year was so exciting,” Jackson said. “I knew my chance to get a starting role would come next year, so I balled out on special teams.”

He was added to the kickoff, punt and punt return teams. As a freshman, Jackson had to work hard everyday and impress the coaches, all to make a name for himself.

As he began his sophomore season, Jackson accomplished what he set out to do – earn a starting spot.

“I did such a good job as a freshman on the special team units,” Jackson said, “eventually it got me a starting spot on the defense.”

Jackson has turned into a key player for the Blue Dragon defense as he currently leads the team in tackles (61) and assists (36) through nine games for the 6-3 Blue Dragons.

“My sophomore season has being going great so far,” Jackson said. “I’m blessed to be able to impact the team with my skills.”

Jackson also stated he has an offer from Bethune-Cookman University. More offers could also be on the way for the talented defensive back.

Jackson’s time as a Blue Dragon is coming to an end with only two regular season games left and possibly the Salt City Bowl. However, he does want to give a little advice to any newcomers next year.

“Be sure you make or keep a relationship with God,” Jackson said. “Junior college isn’t easy and it’s not for everybody, but with consistent hard work, you can make it successful.”