Posted On: 07/25/19 7:30 PM

“The best part of pancaking someone is watching them walk right back up to the line and all their juice just disappears.” – Trey Toner. People play football for many different reasons. Some enjoy locking down a receiver all game, some love the feeling of making someone miss in the open field, and some enjoy rushing the quarterback. Donald (Trey) Toner plays football because he loves contact. Yes, he enjoys all kind of contact, as the 6’5, 235 lb. TE/DE plays both ways for 5A competitor Spring Lake Park, but Toner enjoys a specific kind of contact, one that comes with playing on the offensive side of the trenches: pancakes. Toner takes pride in the gritty kind of warfare necessary when having to move opposing defensive ends and tackles, and he believes that “my tape shows this. I can block anyone and I’m not afraid of contact. I take pride in being a nasty player who plays through the whistle. I lead my team in pancakes from the TE position.” Toner helped the Panthers pancake opponents all the way to the Minnesota State Tournament. Although Elk River ended their season in the first-round of the tournament at TCO Stadium, Toner and the Panthers feel like there is still a lot of room for improvement going into the 2019 season.

Credit: Trey Toner

Since that loss on November 10th in TCO Stadium, Toner has spent the off-season “training at GameFace to improve my strength and speed…GameFace is such a great place to workout at. They evaluated me and we constantly worked on my weaknesses. For example my defensive get-off and pass-rush moves are due to them.” He also added that “I’m really looking forward to seeing my rebuilt body in action this season” and that he “need(s) to continue to improve on my defensive moves and hand work.” His hard work will be needed very shortly for the Panthers, as they face two important conference games early in the season as they travel to Irondale on September 6th and then host Coon Rapids the following Friday at home. Toner told me that “Coon Rapids has two of the toughest players in the state, being Jordan Nolan and Myles Taylor. Both of them are great competitors and leave it all on the field. I’m looking forward to seeing them again this year. Irondale is always a huge game for us. We call it the ‘Block’ game” that includes a traveling trophy between the two teams. Toner will be crucial if the Panthers want to build on their 9-3 record from 2018, and college football coaches will be sure to take notice, as all three teams have scholarship prospects. 

Toner is obviously one of these prospects, and feels that “recruiting is going good for me. I’ve picked up offers from Concordia St. Paul, Bemidji, and most recently Augustana. I’ve been in contact and had coaches come to school from a lot of universities such as NDSU, Iowa State, Air Force, Wyoming, Wofford, UNI, NIU, UND, USD, WIU, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, SIU, and Indiana State.” He has also camped at University of Northern Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, and North Dakota State University before his upcoming senior year. Toner told me he’s learned a lot of new techniques and has enjoyed the experience of being coached by different people. For thoughts on his senior season, he stated that “State is the ultimate goal but “I’m also looking for a home for the next 4 years of my life.”

Trey Toner
Credit: Trey Toner