Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of feature stories highlighting the area high school football standouts who were selected to play in the June 11 Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Mo-Kan All-Star Game that was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dakota Robertson, The Examiner’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, won’t have the opportunity to meet Lee’s Summit North defensive lineman Mark McGhee before they both head north to play football at Missouri Western State University.

The two dominating defensive standouts would have been teammates on the Missouri squad in the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Missouri vs. Kansas All-Star Game, which was scheduled for June 11 at North Kansas City High School.

In a unanimous decision, the association voted to cancel the game because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s one of the best things about making an all-star team is that you get to be teammates with guys you’ve played against all through high school,” said Robertson, a two-time all-state selection and a three-year starter who continued the Indians’ tradition of postseason defensive excellence.

“I have heard all about Mark and know what a great D-lineman he was for North, and I was looking forward to meeting him and some of the other guys on the Missouri team, but that’s not going to happen.

“It’s disappointing, but I get to play college football and that is the most important thing to me.

“I have been playing football since I was 5 years old, and I’ve been going to Fort Osage football games for about that many years, too.

“Football is my life, my passion, it’s all I think about. I live, eat, breathe and sleep football and that is why the Indians and Coach (Brock) Bult and his staff mean so much to me. I wouldn’t trade my four years at Fort Osage for anything.”

Robertson finished last season with 72 tackles (49 solo), 16 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception and 1 blocked kick.

He earned a spot on the Missouri Football Coaches Association Class 5 second team for the second straight year. He also was all-district, All-Suburban Middle Seven and the Suburban Middle Seven Defensive Player of the Year.

There are many similarities between the 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive end, who will play linebacker in college, and McGhee. They don’t say much, but you better listen when they do.

“I’m so proud of Dakota and the player and young man he has become,” Bult said. “He was a leader on our team and he always put his team first throughout his entire career.”

Robertson was a driving force in the Indians’ march to the 2018 Class 5 state championship game and made sure the 2019 team enjoyed great success even though they lost many of the starters off the 2018 squad.

“He became a dominant player with a hand down, and from a two-point stance,” added Bult, who switched roles in 2019, going from the team’s defensive coordinator to working on the offensive side of the ball.

“He also helped on offense by learning to play tight end his senior year. I will never forget our conversation about playing defensive line his junior year. He didn’t want to do it, but agreed to play it to make the team better. We wouldn’t have made the state championship game had he not put the needs of the team ahead of his desires.”