In mid-December, Kansas Pregame contacted 6-Man football coaches in an effort to name a second annual Top 6 team of seniors for 6-Man football in Kansas.
This is the final of six individual player profiles highlighting the Top 6 selections released in no particular order:
Dalton Mackley, QB/RB/LB, 5-9, 145, Weskan
Weskan’s Dalton Mackley has a knack for helping his team win, whether it be through big plays on offense, big stops on defense, or through his leadership on and off the field.
“I think Josh Schattel, who coaches with me, might have put it best when it comes to Dalton,” head coach Brett Clow said. “There are 'know it all' guys - kids who are smart and understand football and your playbook - and there are 'do it all' guys on teams - ones who are athletic and always find a way to make plays, and the really special players are both. Dalton was both.”
Mackley was all over the field offensively and his stats make that clear. The senior carried the ball 123 times for 1,316 yards, and 24 touchdowns and went 36 for 60 passing for 447 yards and five more scores. And if that’s not enough, he also caught nine passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
“I feel like my biggest strength as a player is being quick and able to make people miss and being able to read gaps when I run the ball,” Mackley said. “I also feel like I’m a threat all over the field being able to throw the ball, run it and also catch. My coach would put me in any of the skill positions and it made the defenses communicate and get in different formations depending where I was.”
Clow had only positive words about what Mackley brings to the table for his team.
“Two things stick out to me about his leadership,” Clow said. “One is what I just mentioned, his willingness to do anything needed for the team. He had over 1,000 yards receiving for three straight seasons, was a two time all-state receiver, and never blinked when he knew he was going to have to be primarily in the backfield at quarterback and running back. He knew the offense was going to change and he would have to shoulder the workload in the middle, rather than be in space like he had been used to.”
But his best attribute was not as evident to the fans in the stands.
“The other part to his leadership is what no one else sees,” Clow said. “He is very competitive and wants to win in anything he does, but also is in tune with the team and the future of our team. He is very patient with young guys, willing to teach them, and had to communicate to so many guys almost every play as to what their job might be. He is not the jerk senior that wants to punish his teammates. He has a unique ability in building them up and bringing out the best in them, even in competitive games or tense moments. He is all in on being a Weskan Coyote and also seeing Weskan football continue on.”
Defensively, Mackley made a switch from his role as the Coyotes’ shutdown defensive back in prior campaigns, to linebacker as a senior. He also returned kicks and punts, further displaying his versatility.
Weskan finished the season a solid 5-3 with all three losses coming to teams that finished the season in the final four, and while Mackley’s impact was huge in 2021, he has long been a focal point for the Coyotes’ offense.
“His first practice as a freshman, he understood our playbook and the game as much as any player on the team and even though he was undersized, he was so quick and elusive that we were always trying to get the ball in his hands,” Clow said. “Fast forward to his senior year, I just don't know if I have coached anyone better as an all-around player. His intelligence, his mental and physical toughness, his play-making ability, especially making plays when nothing was there. His willingness to do anything needed for the team and play any position. Just an all around great football player.”
Mackley plans to attend Kansas State University after he finishes up his senior year and plans to major in something pertaining to agriculture.
“I think the moment that sticks out to me was in our post-game huddle after a close playoff loss at Ashland,” Clow said. “He was spent, completely exhausted, emotional. For me those are the moments I appreciate most. Just a culmination of everything he had put into his whole football experience and everything he had given for our team. It mattered to him. Not just one game or season, but four years of giving everything he had. As a coach those small moments stick out more to me than any play he could make. Because I can't even remember how many plays that kid has made, list is too long. Obviously I could go on and on about this kid. He means so much to us, more than just his talent on the field. Super proud of who he is and the man he's becoming.”