Pittsburg to face defending champion Mill Valley in state quarterfinals

The Purple Dragons hit the road to face the Jaguars Friday night.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pittsburg Purple Dragons will in the 5A state quarterfinals this Friday night – after claiming a regional championship last week in a 28-0 victory over KC-Sumner.

The Purple Dragons will have to go through the defending 5A state champion Mill Valley Jaguars Friday to keep their season alive and move on to the final four in the 5A state bracket.

“They’re a good team. Everyone knows that. Everyone in the state of Kansas knows that,” says Pittsburg junior Wyatt Rink, “We’re here to dethrone the kings. That’s how we roll. We’re ready to go.”

“They’re always the top dogs,” says Pittsburg senior JJ White on Mill Valley, “They’ve won state the last couple years, but why not us? Everybody at the start of the season was saying this is the worst team PHS has had in a couple years, and we went out and won a regional title for the first time in five years. Our confidence is up. We have a new head coach and we love him. He brings the energy every day. Everybody is bought in and everybody believes.”

Pittsburg has been on a roll recently.

After an 0-2 start to the season, the Purple Dragons have won 7 of their last 8 games heading into Friday’s game.

“Starting 0-2 isn’t fun. Since that 0-2 start we’ve only lost one game. It feels good to be on a roll,” Rink says, “I’m ready to stay on a roll and keep going.”

“Our confidence is a lot higher. A lot has changed. From week one to now is so much different,” White adds, “There’s so much more energy and everybody is bought in. It’s just a whole new football team.”

“We just want to welcome the challenge,” says head coach Josh Lattimer on Friday’s game, “These kids are answering the call every week when we step on the field. Right now, they’ll play anybody.”