Dexter senior David Kreske is certainly looking forward to 2019 and a new and exciting chapter in his life – which we will get to. But he will always remember 2018 with a smile on his face and with great pride as both a student and an athlete at DHS.
Kreske was a key member of this past season’s Dexter football team. And while Kreske and his teammates ended years of losing and will be remembered for being the first Dexter team to play in the postseason, the 2018 Dreadnaughts will be more remembered as a beginning and not an ending.
The senior class not only helped lead Dexter into the playoffs for the first time in school history, but they also helped establish a program that should be strong for years to come under head coach Phil Jacobs.
Kreske tried all the sports growing up. In third grade his parents put him in the Dexter Youth Football League (DYFL) and football soon became a regular part of his schedule.
“Yeah, I liked football right away,” he said. “At that age I was one of the bigger kids and in football I could hit people and not get in trouble.”
When Kreske was a kid he remembers going to Dexter varsity football games.
“The players would come to our practices or games at DYFL and we would look at them like they were the best things we’ve ever seen,” he said. “I don’t think we knew about how they were doing. We just saw them as varsity football players and really looked up to them. You just wanted to be like them someday.
“Even when we got older we didn’t think too much about the record or tough times they were having.”
As a freshman, Kreske played on the Dexter freshman team which went 5-4 overall and one play away from going 6-3. It was an impressive year for the ninth-graders and set the ground work for bigger things to come.
“That season really brought us together as a group,” he said. “We looked at each other and felt like we would be the group that would turn this thing around. After we went 5-4 it showed how good we could be and it really motivated us. We wanted to be the best team we could be. And we didn’t want to win just one game, we wanted to win most games.”
Kreske moved up to varsity as a sophomore and the Dreadnaughts went 0-9.
“The seniors that year were great but we just didn’t have the numbers to compete,” he said. “If we got down at halftime you could tell that some people wouldn’t give 100 percent in the second half because they figured we were going to lose anyway. Everyone was frustrated.”
Kreske was a junior when he first met Jacobs, the new coach on the scene.
“The first time I met him is when he came in and talked to the team,” he said. “He was captivating from the start. The way he spoke got to you as a person. He really got your attention.”
Still, the Dreads lost all nine games in Jacobs’ first season as head coach. But Kreske says something was different. The roster included seniors and sophomores but the junior class dominated much of the playing time. The foundation for something special certainly was there – both on and off the field.
“We could tell things were coming together,” he said. “We started to learn our roles and trust each other. The chemistry started to fall into place.”
Dexter didn’t come into this past season looking for one victory. They had much higher goals then ending a long school losing streak. They were going to turn this thing around in a big way.
“We knew we could do something special,” he said. “Even after we lost the Chelsea game. We still believed in ourselves. We prepared for Ypsilanti (in week two) like we were the better team and we should win this game. After we got that first win, it actually got easier. We proved that we could win so why couldn’t we win again and again.”
The Dreadnaughts reached the playoffs and faced an undefeated South Lyon team on their turf. It was a very difficult challenge for a first-year playoff team but the Dreadnaughts battled right to the end and almost pulled off the upset.
“We knew it was going to be tough but we also knew we could hang with them,” Kreske said. “We got them into overtime. It didn’t end like we wanted it to but we proved we could play with them.”
And the big picture of what the Dreads accomplished in 2018?
“It went beyond the football team,” Kreske said. “The whole community was behind us and believed in us. That meant so much to us. It really changed how not only the students but the community viewed the football team.”
Kreske has decided that he will end his football career as a Dreadnaught – a winning Dreadnaught. He plans on attending Ferris State University to pursue a degree in nuclear medicine.
“I was looking for jobs that work with the body but also were interesting, had patient interaction and could provide me the life I wanted as far as pay,” he said. “After the first two years most of my classes would be at the Grand Rapids campus. The degree I am pursuing is four years, with three being in the classroom and then doing my clinical right after to finish.”
When it comes to football – mission more than accomplished. Now it’s on to even bigger, better and more important things.