New look Hutchinson Community College team looks to avenge national title loss

The Hutch Blue Dragons come into 2023 after a national title game loss and Drew Dallas' first rebuild as head coach.
Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 9:53 PM CDT
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) - Standards. A word used all across junior college football - but what it means at Hutchinson Community College is levels above the rest.

“I mean the goal is not going to change at that’s every year,” said Hutch head coach Drew Dallas.

Not only is there lofty goals, but lofty expectations for now one of the top junior college programs in the country.

“If it’s not perfect, we’re going to restart,” said Hutch Defensive Lineman Xavier Stillman. “The energy’s not good, we’re going to restart. It’s just a higher expectation all around.”

The proof of that standard is in the results produced by now fourth year head coach Drew Dallas. Not only have the wins been coming in since his first game as head coach, you can find recent blue dragons littered all across the football landscape.

“We moved 34 guys on to Division I programs and over 45 to other four-year programs [last season,]” Dallas said.

In 2022, the Blue Dragons jumped out to a historic start, remaining undefeated all regular season long, just to fall short in the national championship game, which would have been the Blue Dragon’s second in three seasons.

Now this year, comes an even hungrier squad.

“To be perfect and go all the way there and it’s just for nothing, we definitely have a chip on our shoulder and it it means a little something extra this year,” said Hutch sophomore receiver Darby Roper.

“Honestly, we just feel like we have to win it this year,” said Stillman. “You know, we came up short because of ourselves. It wasn’t anyone but ourselves.”

Coming into 2023, though, Hutch returns nearly zero starters from their title run the year prior. With Dallas’ first reload at the helm of the program, it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue to many as they still find a target on their backs as they’re picked to win the Jayhawk Conference yet again.

“You know everybody else thinks about us a certain type of way but at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter,” Dallas said. “It’s fine to know you’re going to get somebody’s best shot each and every weekend. You know that you’ve got to get up every weekend for a football game because you know your opponent is going to be swinging heavy and will be ready to get you if you’re not.”

The Blue Dragons kick off their season on August 26 at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.