Tyler Shuey and the Panthers will be on a state title defense in 2021. (Photo: Darryl Woods, 810 Varsity)
A year ago, Raymore-Peculiar targeted returning to the Missouri Class 6 state title game and finishing business.
Now that the Panthers finished business, winning the 2020 state title, Ray-Pec is now the target of everyone in the city – and state.
“We will be tested all season,” stated Ray-Pec head coach Sean Martin. “We have talked about the target that we have on us as returning state champions. We are embracing this and excited about the challenge. We know that we will get everyone's best shot.”
Martin guided the Panthers to their first Class 6 championship in school history in his just first year as a head coach, after 20 years as an assistant coach.
“Last year was a special year for the team, school and community,” Martin recounted. “We went into the season with high expectations and were able to meet our goals working together as a team, school and community. We were able to overcome the competition on the field and navigate through the pandemic.”
Even with the success, Raymore-Peculiar has stayed focus on the 2021 campaign.
“This offseason, we have been very focused on the now,” stressed Martin. “The players and coaches realize how narrow the margin is between winning and losing, great and good. We are trying to get better every day and go 1-0 each day in what we do.”
The biggest void to fill from the title team will be Simone Award winner, quarterback Conrad Hawley, who now is playing at the University of Kansas.
In the mix to take the reigns at playcaller are sophomore Zander Dombrowski (5-foot-11, 170) and junior Rylan Teale (6-0, 170).
Regardless of the starter, they’ll boast one of the Metro’s top targets in standout wide receiver Jaidyn Doss (6-0, 210). The junior was named the Otis Taylor award winner for top wideout in the city last year, after hauling in 46 receptions for 976 yards and eight touchdowns, as well as 267 rushing yards and three scores. Doss already holds offers from Mizzou, Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, Nebraska and others, and was a first-team Missouri Class 6 all-state selection.
Jaidyn Doss won the Otis Taylor Award in 2020 and holds many Power 5 offers. (Photo: David Smith, 810 Varsity)
Also catching passes will be senior tight end Tucker Miller (6-foot-5, 220), who snagged 41 balls for 467 yards and four trips into the end zone. Miller was selected first-team Missouri Class 6 at Athlete.
On the ground, senior Nick Karr (5-foot-11, 195) returns after gaining 442 yards with four touchdowns, as well as two scores via air.
Up front, senior tackle Brandon Plumb (6-0, 225) and junior center Zach Mitchell (6-0, 250) return on the offensive line.
Across the line, senior defensive tackle Isaac Cook (6-0, 260) and senior Tyler Shuey (6-oot-3, 270) return on the line. Senior Seonta McIntosh (6-0, 230) will step into linebacker after two years as a backup.
“We have a senior class that have a lot of players that have played behind really good players the past two years,” Martin said. “They are working hard to make their mark this season. We will need to continue to work hard daily to improve ourselves, each other and our team.”
In the secondary, senior Jack Ardito (6-1, 180) registered 76 tackles and four interceptions at free safety, while fellow senior Fabien Billbe (6-0, 170) will start at cornerback.
Fabien Billbe helps lead the secondary again this season. (Photo: Darryl Woods, 810 Varsity)
“We feel like we have some key pieces returning from last season but will have lots of guys that will be tested early and often with our schedule,” Martin touted. “We will have to rely on one another and play smart football as we gel as a team.”
As usual, the Suburban Gold will be rugged, as well as a schedule opening with Rockhurst.
“We talk a lot as a team that games are hard to win and easy to loss,” Martin stated. “We try each day to make small deposits to win those margins that add up to wins on Friday nights.”