Prairie Falcons High School Football 2019

Coach: Mike Peck

2018: 5-5, lost in state preliminary round playoff; 3-2 3A GSHL, third place. 

Mike Peck is entering his second season as the head coach at Prairie. Photo by Mike Schultz
Mike Peck is entering his second season as the head coach at Prairie. Photo by Mike Schultz

Biggest offseason news:

The head coach has gained some national recognition for the Prairie football program. Mike Peck, who uses Twitter and other social media to learn more about coaching and the game as well as the opportunity to praise his players, gained the attention of some national coaching groups. He was a guest on the High School Football America podcast, plus he was asked to write an article for the American Football Coaches Association magazine. All to talk about Prairie football, the community, the players, and the support system in place for the program. Here’s a link to the podcast: https://highschoolfootballamerica.com/podcast-mike-peck-talks-prairie-falcons-washington-high-school-football/

 

At stake in 2019: 

With an all-league quarterback returning to a team that made the playoffs in 2018, this season is a chance for the Falcons to show that they belong, that they are on the rise. Last year, the team had a winning regular season. These Falcons proved it could be done. They got past that hurdle. Now they want to prove they can win in back-to-back seasons. 

 

Spring/Summer standouts and stories: 

A.J. Dixson with his development. Zach Brown, the team’s other quarterback, wowed the coaching staff, too. Treyce Teague (who moved to Prairie from Hudson’s Bay) has impressed Peck with his work, leadership, and maturity, as he learns a new system and meets new friends. The coach also loved the work of the offensive line.

A.J. Dixson returns to quarterback the Prairie Falcons in 2019. Photo by Mike Schultz
A.J. Dixson returns to quarterback the Prairie Falcons in 2019. Photo by Mike Schultz

In the spring, the Falcons went up against power programs such as Camas and Skyview in scrimmages and drills. 

“We really challenged our kids to compete at a high level. We really challenged them to play an elite schedule,” Peck said. “Proud of how they responded and grew as a team.”

 

Skill position players of note:

A.J. Dixson was voted all-league quarterback last year for the Falcons, and he has only improved, according to Peck. 

A.J. Dixson, left, will compete with brother Zeke Dixson during practice but during games there will be a lot of “A.J. to Zeke” for the Prairie Falcons. Photo by Mike Schultz
A.J. Dixson, left, will compete with brother Zeke Dixson during practice but during games there will be a lot of “A.J. to Zeke” for the Prairie Falcons. Photo by Mike Schultz

Devante Clayton. Had an incredible offseason. He’s a running back on offense and an all-league defensive end. That is an odd combination, but it works for him, and the Falcons.

Devante Clayton is a beast at defensive end for the Prairie Falcons. He also plays running back. Photo by Mike Schultz
Devante Clayton is a beast at defensive end for the Prairie Falcons. He also plays running back. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

Zeke Dixson will see time at running back and receiver.

 

Then there is Treyce Teague, Nick Lawhead, Ian Davis, and newcomer Jimmie Barton as receivers/defensive backs. Barton finished sixth in Oregon’s Class 6A state meet in the 100 meters this past spring.

Linemen of note: 

Tim Banaszek. “He’s a leader. The kids rally around him. As a center, he’s the glue that binds that group together.”

 

Christian Lowry. Big. Athletic. Can move well. Expecting him to have a big senior year. 

 

Also, Connor French and Brody Schlaefli bring lofty expectations.

The Prairie coaches say Brody Schlaefli should have a monster year on the line for the Falcons. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Prairie coaches say Brody Schlaefli should have a monster year on the line for the Falcons. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

Coach Talk:  

“As head coach, you always want to take another step forward from the previous year. Goal is to make the playoffs and compete for a league title,” Mike Peck said.

 

Biggest game on the schedule: 

Naturally, the Mountain View game is big on any team’s schedule. But before Prairie can compete against the top team in the league, perhaps a better test will be the battle against last year’s second-place team, Kelso. That game is on Oct. 4 and it is the first league game of the year for the Falcons.