Platte County lost nearly half of its offense, but with nine of 12 All-Suburban Conference Blue Division honorees returning, the Pirates have plenty of reason to believe a second playoff trip in three years could be possible.
After a loss to Smithville in the Class 3 District 16 title game added another adventurous chapter to the series, Platte County will once again look to compete with its chief rival in the postseason. The Pirates won the 2014 championship matchup to forge a playoff return but were unable to defend the title last season.
However, Platte County’s back line returns nearly intact with Blue Division co-defensive player of the year Mason Hays, a senior, fellow senior Zach Rolofson and junior Cole Wedekind. They will play in front of third year goalkeeper Bailey Ride, another senior, looking to build on last year’s six shutouts.
“I think we can go on, play better, move forward, take some experience we got from past years,” said Rolofson, who missed much of the early season with an injury last year. “I think we can step up and control everybody from the back.”
Platte County went 17-7-1 in 2015 and placed second in the Blue Division with a 7-3 record behind unbeaten champion Belton.
Baylor Cox’s goal production will be sorely missed after his senior season allowed him more freedom to attack from a forward position. Chandler Peterson — a junior midfielder who earned honorable mention all-state honors last year as a sophomore — paired with Cox to provide the majority of last year’s offense.
Peterson finished with 28 goals and 18 assists last year. In addition to an all-state selection, he also earned Blue Division co-offensive player of the year honors.
Sam Stuteville and Trent Hynes — both seniors — rejoin Peterson in the midfield along with sophomore Conor Hunt after all four were all-conference performers a year ago. Blake Cochran, a sophomore, followed Cox and Peterson on last year’s scoring list and will be the top forward on the roster.
Platte County lost six seniors, including all-conference performers Cox, midfielder Jonah Hoppe and defender Isaac Martin.