FAUCETT, Mo. — The Mid-Buchanan Dragons football team (9-4) are having a special year. They earned their first nine-win season and state final four appearance in school history.
It's quite the turnaround from the team that finished 1-9 just one year ago in 2017.
Sophomore quarterback Javan Noyes is just one of the reasons why the Dragons are one win away from playing for the Missouri Class 1 state championship. Noyes was a man possessed on the field in Mid-Buchanan's 41-21 Class 1 state quarterfinals road victory over Hamilton Penney.
"We didn't want to be 1-9 again. That wasn't very fun," Noyes said. "So, we definitely stepped it up in the offseason and got after it. And, we were like, we're not going to be 1-9 again. We're gonna prove that we're not that 1-9 team this year. And, I think we did."
While most people on the outside looking in are surprised by the team's transformation into a powerhouse, Dragons Head Coach Aaron Fritz had a feeling the leader of his team would have a great year.
"It honestly started last March probably during baseball season. He caught me one day and said, 'Coach, I'm ready.' And I go, 'What are you ready for man?' And he said, 'I'm ready to be our leader. I'm ready to take that next step. I'm going to help us take that next step,'" Fritz said.
"He's one of our hardest workers. He shows up at 6 a.m., weights every day. And, when things aren't going well, he's pushing us to be better. And, when things are going well, he's always giving credit to everybody else. He's a very humble young man. And, the kids want to follow him cause he's such a good kid," Fritz added.
Noyes had quite the game last Saturday. Through the air, he was 10-of-16 for 182 yards and five touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 32 carries for 166 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
While he could take the credit for his success, Noyes was quick to deflect much of the praise to his other teammates.
"I can't put it all on myself. I've gotta put it on my teammates too," Noyes said. "There's not one person on the field. There's 11 of us. So, for everything to work out well, 11 of us have to do our job."
Noyes' teammates all have great respect for him and his ability to lead the team to greater heights than they've ever had before.
"He's a dude. He really does it all, you know? Like, if he wanted to teach a class, our teachers would probably let him teach a class," Mid-Buchanan senior wide receiver Riley Brill said. "You know, he's a great leader. He's a great person. You know, he's a great friend."
The Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week segment airs every Wednesday night during the 10 p.m. sportscast for the entire school year.