Dolincheck displays leadership and talent as quarterback


Gavin Clang

Senior Joe Dolincheck prepares to make a pass.

Emma Gage, Reporter

Senior Joe Dolincheck has broken the state record for touchdown passes in a game, made the all-state team, and helped lead the Bellevue West football team to a state championship in 2016. These accomplishments are notable to most people. What’s not as well known is how he got there.

Dolincheck, who has been playing football since he was eight years old, is continuing his career as the starting quarterback for Bellevue West.

“I started off playing running back when I was younger, then I moved my way to defense playing middle linebacker and defensive end,” Dolincheck said. “My sophomore and junior years is when I started playing quarterback.”

Dolincheck said that he has always loved quarterback, but he didn’t get the starting spot right away. He was battling for the position of starting quarterback with one of his current best friends.

“I was competing with Evan Kieser; me and him were battling for the starting spot and then going into week four [of Evan’s sophomore year] he tore his ACL and then I was named, officially, the starter at Bellevue West,” Dolincheck said.

After his injury junior Evan Kieser started playing a different position, but he still uses his knowledge about quarterback to help him during games.

“Now I play wide receiver and since I know so much about the quarterback, me and Joe just look at each other and know what we’re about to do,” Kieser said.

Dolincheck and Kieser have been friends since their first high school season together and know what to do when the other is struggling.

“When he’s down I just give him one high-five and say ‘Let’s go’ and just leave him alone and then he figures it out,” Kieser said.

Head football coach Michael Huffman said he believes that Dolincheck took on the starting spot well.

“Last year he led us to a championship, he’s leading the state in touchdown passes, he’s on pace to break the school record in throwing yards,” Huffman said. “He’s just a good leader.”

Since taking on the role of starting quarterback, Huffman has seen Dolincheck’s willingness to help out his teammates.

“I see him be more of a leader to the other guys rather than being just a teammate,” Huffman said. “He’ll say something to somebody or lift a guy up.”

Knowing how quickly a position can change, Dolincheck helps pass on his knowledge of the position to potential future starters.

“He helps our younger quarterbacks try to learn some things,” Huffman said. “That’s always a good sign when someone’s so confident in their own abilities they’re willing to help somebody else and not worry about that person taking their spot.”