Faces in KS: Trey Dubbert

Trey Dubbert of St. Johns/Tiptonis one of the top small school athletes in Kansas. (courtesy photos)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Aug 26, 2014

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We all know about the large high school programs, the 5A’s & 6A’s in Kansas, and the top prospects that they have year in and year out. Head to Beloit, a town of 3,800 in Mitchell County Kansas and you will find Beloit High School, a small school that was the 3A state runner up in football from last year, and is known as a sports town in Kansas over the years. But there’s also another team in town. In fact, two small high schools that combine to play 8-man football in Beloit-St. John’s and Tipton Catholic, who according to KSHSAA combined for a total of 68 students in 2013-2014. The Blujays, not only successful as a team last season, feature one of the best small school athletes in Kansas in senior, Trey Dubbert.

Dubbert, a 6-0 185 pound senior quarterback, helped lead the Blujays to a 11-1 record (8M-II) and sub-state runner-up finish last fall, falling to Sharon Springs Wallace County. He passed for 1,354 yards with 20 TDs, while rushing for another four touchdowns on the season. St. John’s Tipton would score at least 40 points in the first 10 games of last season, probably the reason his stats aren’t inflated. The most impressive thing, four years ago the Blujays were 0-9 and then 2-7 when Dubbert was a freshman.  

“Last season was great for us, we have came along way over the years, but we want that elusive state title in football,” Dubbert said.

Last year, football is what the Blujays may be known second best for and is probably Dubbert’s second best sport. Last season as a junior, he helped lead his team to the 1A-II state basketball title by beating Wallace County 60-58 in the title game.  He earned 1A-II Player of the Year honors from Sports in Kansas and 1A-II State Tournament MVP from Kpreps. Dubbert averaged 13.2 points per game, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest in leading his squad to a 25-1 record. The Blujays, coached by Lance Bergmann, only loss in 2013-2014 came to 2A state runner-up Plainville (59-56). Dubbert’s most impressive performance came over the state tournament, picking up 53 points and 13 rebounds in three tourney games.

“The state championship in basketball was a dream come true last season. To see all the hard work pay off was the best feeling,” Dubbert said.

Dubbert’s teammates also know how special of an athlete that he is and how valuable he has been for their success.

“Trey is super gifted, he is a very special player and we are lucky to have him,” senior teammate and All 8M-II offensive lineman Riley Gates said. “The crazy thing, football is his second best sport”.

Dubbert doesn’t know what his plans are at the next level, but thinks that basketball may be his best option. 

“As much as I love both sports, basketball is my favorite,” Dubbert said.

As mentioned before, Beloit is a known sports town in Kansas. Last season, Beloit High School and St. Johns Tipton combined for a 24-2 record in football. Beloit would also take second in 3A state basketball, as the Blujays captured the 1A-II crown. 

"It is truly a privilege to be able to have both our schools in Beloit having good programs. It is nice to see the community rally around both of us and cheer us both on.  I also like the fact that we can support one another because we don't have to play each other, so we don't worry about rivalry between the two of us.  Most of us know each other pretty well, so it is cool to see  us supporting each other when we can." Dubbert said

For now, Dubbert and St. John’s Tipton football, led by head coach, Keith Kresin, are primed for another great year , and it all starts on September 5th with an opening matchup against Hill City. When asking him what his 40-yard dash time was, he responded he had never ran a timed one. Forget the 40 yard dash times in small town Kansas, it doesn't matter, this kid just likes to win and he's proved he's good at doing so.  St. Johns Tipton has never won a state football title, but you have to like their chances in 2014. We caught up with Dubbert below.

Q&A w/ Trey Dubbert

How did you get involved in athletics?

Ever since I was born I have had a ball of some sort in my hands. I grew up playing ball in the yard with my dad, and my siblings. When I was young I would go to all the St. John's football and basketball games to watch my uncle play, and my dad was a referee for basketball and football so I would often go with him just so I could watch people play. Going with my dad to the games was always something that I looked forward to, just because I had a love to play sports and compete. Ever since I was a little kid I just wanted to do anything that I could do to get a ball in my hands, weather it was a basketball, football, or baseball. 

Talk about how last football season went for you and your team?

Last season's football run was something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.  It was a season for us to show that when you are dedicated, determined, and willing to put the work in even when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, that the hard work really does pay off.  We were able to prove to ourselves and others that we were a group of young men that were full of determination. Being undefeated going into sub-state was so awesome but it unfortunately ended one game short.

Any goals for you this season?

This season I have one goal, and that is to win the State Championship! I have always wanted to compete at a high level, and last year I was able to do that. This year I want to be able to compete at that level again, but I don't want our season to end the way it did last year in Sub-State. I want to win it all! It has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid.  My coaches and teammates know that I am going to do everything that I can to help lead this team, to win games, and ultimately to win the State Championship!

What are the teams expectations in 2014?

To compete at a high level in every game and to ultimately win a state championship.

What will it take to make a run in 8MII this season?

To make a run at the Championship this season we will have to be able to fill some keys spots that we lost from last years seniors.  We are going to have to stay healthy and focused.  We are also going to have to work hard, and improve as a team every day. 

What do your opponents look like this season?

This season we will have the toughest schedule that I will have played in my four years of high school football. In week two we will be taking on the reigning Champions in the Osborne Bulldogs. Then we have a very tough district in Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Otis-Bison, Natoma, and Northern Valley. Along with Thunder Ridge and Victoria, we have all been ranked highly in the preseason polls. So we are going to get the opportunity to play some very good football teams this season. We are up to the challenge.

How has practice went so far for you?

Practices have started off very well for us this season.  We have made many improvements since day one, and we have many more that we are going to be working on the entire season.

You return several key players, talk about some of the key returnees for the Blujays?

We are returning several key players from last year. To start we have Riley Gates coming back on the line who was an all state offensive line selection last season.  Also his brother Parker is a key player for us at running back, and in one poll was named the sophomore of the year. We also have some good senior returnees in Garrett Mishler, Andrew Eilert, and Michael Schmitt. My brother Davis, Mason Eilert, and Aaron Henke are sophomores, and we are expecting big things from them this year.

To someone who hasn't seen or played 8-man, describe it in one sentence. 

Eight man football is a fast-paced, wide open, fun game to play and watch.

What do you use as motivation to become a better player?

Simply the will to win. I want to win that elusive State Championship! I just want to be the best player that I can be so that I can lead the rest of our team to victory. I will do whatever it takes to make myself and my teammates the best players and team that we can be.

Talk about the state championship run in basketball?

The Championship run in basketball was a total dream come true. I had been dreaming about that my entire life! It was the best feeling be able to know that all the hard work I put into it, along with my teammates had finally shown through and paid off. It made it even better to be able to do it with my best friends and my brother! We grew up playing pick up games in the back yard and dreaming about winning a State Championship. To actually see it happen was unbelievable!

So which is it for you, basketball or football? And do you plan on playing at the next level?

As much as I love both of these sports I would have to say that basketball is my favorite.  I do plan on playing basketball at the next level, I just don't know where yet.

Favorite subject in school?

I would have to say my favorite subject in school is either Algebra of Biology.

Do you play any other sports besides football and basketball?

Yes, I do. In the spring I am able to do both golf and track for my high school.  Then in the summer I also play American Legion baseball for the town of Beloit.

What is it like to grow up in Beloit?

It is nice to grow up in Beloit because it is a small yet very supportive town. I like the smaller atmosphere and knowing that if you need a hand in something that there is always someone that is going to help you out.  You are able to know a large majority of the people living here in Beloit. 

What is it like to have two programs that are good in your town in Beloit and BSJT? 

It is truly a privilege to be able to have both our schools in Beloit having good programs. It is nice to see the community rally around both of us and cheer us both on.  I also like the fact that we can support one another because we don't have to play each other, so we don't worry about rivalry between the two of us.  Most of us know each other pretty well, so it is cool to see  us supporting each other when we can.

Best opposing player you've faced in high school?

The best player I have played in high school so far would have to be Hadley Gillum.  I played against him  the last two seasons in basketball.  He was a dominant player the entire game this year.  He was a player who could bring the ball down the court, post up hard inside, or step outside and hit the jumper.  He is definitely the best player I have faced so far.

When you aren't playing sports, what do you do for fun?

I like being outdoors and hanging out with my family and friends.

One thing the average person wouldn't know about you? 

That I am on the high honor roll and student council president.