Countdown To Kickoff: P.K. Yonge Blue Wave

Young roster has much to live up to after 2021 playoff appearance
Season two under Kevin Doelling full of challenges
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -It’s one thing to have a good season, but a sign of a winning program is year to year consistency. That’s the idea at P.K. Yonge, after Kevin Doelling went 8-4 in his first year as head coach.

“I was coming back to a program to guys I had been coaching for a handful of years already,” said Doelling. “They understood the environment, how I handled my business. And it was good for the younger guys to see how we handle business together.”

With the season opener set for Aug. 26 against Eastside, Doelling is now handling a roster of only three returning starters on defense, and one on offense, running back Devin Pedro. Leadership responsibilities fall on a handful of seniors and the coaching staff.

“It’s crazy, everyone is excited about this new season because they’re itching to play,” said senior running back / linebacker Ernest Davis. “It’s like last year we had a breakout season, and everyone is expecting the same thing.”

“We just all have the right mindset, no one can get really cocky,” said senior running back / defensive back Devin Pedro. “We need to stay focused, and locked in on every game, and play one game at a time.”

“Right now the biggest priority is mental growth,” said Doelling. “Obviously, the physical aspect comes down the road. For us, it’s about making sure our young guys are following suit.”

P.K. Yonge’s difficult schedule includes Hawthorne, Union County, and Trinity Catholic, a rematch of the Blue Wave’s 35-7 defeat to the Celtics in last year’s region semis.

“I’m glad we made it that far, but this year we have to prove ourselves to a lot of teams,” said senior running back / linebacker Rashaun Walden.

“I hope the playoff loss inspires everybody, to show everybody we deserve to be in the postseason again,” said Pedro.

P.K. Yonge is now classified as 1A suburban, and plays in a three-team district with Trinity Catholic and St. Joseph Academy If the team can get through that, you might just see that year to year progress that the Blue Wave crave.

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