Busy Homecoming weekend coming up for Pirates

Football team will face tough Grandview squad; softball and volleyball teams to host tourneys

Homecoming week can be a challenge for high school sports teams — and their coaches. While coaches want their student-athletes to enjoy the festivities and social events that accompany Homecoming, they also expect those students to respect their commitment to the team.

Platte County is one of three area schools in the throes of Homecoming this week and Pirates football coach Bill Utz said it is an exciting week.

“Homecoming is a great event,” Utz said. “It is always nice to get a great crowd. It does cause a bit of schedule adjustment for us. The distractions can a problem, if we let them. We embrace the activities and hope our kids thrive off it.”

Of course, Utz also knows there is no better way to put an exclamation point on the week than with a win Friday night. The Pirates, who moved to 2-1 on the season with a 47-7 win at Ruskin last week, have their work cut out for them when they host a tough Grandview team at 7 p.m. at Pirates Stadium.

“The real meat of our schedule starts this week,” Utz said. “Grandview is a team that is much improved from a year ago. They have some very good players and have a good coaching staff as well. They have a tight end committed to Nebraska and an offensive lineman committed to KU. We need to play error free and not allow them to get any momentum.”

Grandview, which topped Oak Park and William Chrisman before falling 31-28 to Winnetonka last week, is led by running back Jerel Alexander and wide receiver Ry’one Winters, who had 100 receiving yards last week. Tight end Freedom Akinmoladun committed earlier to Nebraska, while 6-foot, 4-inch, 380-pound offensive lineman Apa Visinai is a load up front and will play at Kansas.

“Grandview presents us with our toughest challenge yet,” Platte County defensive coordinator Eric Mitchell said. “It will be a good challenge to see how we stack up with their offense. They have scored a lot of points so far this season and we will need to slow them down this week.”