CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — You might remember seeing him on the field at Fred G. Hughes Stadium, playing quarterback for the Missouri Southern Lions from 2015 to 2017. And though he’s not cleating up for games anymore, he’s still putting his quarterback experience to good use.
“My name is TJ Fleeton. I am owner of QB Fleet, and I’m willing to help anybody, anybody that’s willing to work, learn and play the position of quarterback.”
The idea for QB Fleet started as a way for Fleeton to honor his late father.
Fleeton says, “My dad taught me everything I need to know about playing quarterback, so I pretty much started this whole company because of my dad. My dad passed away in 2019 so I just wanted to do something to honor him.”
The mission of QB Fleet is simple: help players become better quarterbacks, and better people in the process. Fleeton holds training sessions once a week with QBs as young as nine, all the way to college age.
Mason Gilbert, Carl Junction 8th grader, says, “We moved up here didn’t have a quarterback coach, and TJ got contact with my dad and he thought it’d be helpful for me. So we’ve just kind of been doing ever since. My footwork’s been getting faster, faster reads and progressions through reading defenses. Every time I come in, I know I’m getting better.”
Rylan Houston, Joplin 4th grader, says, “He taught me how to do my steps and how to throw the ball better, and other stuff like that.”
Part of Fleeton’s mission is going the extra mile for his players, even if that means offering extra support outside of training sessions-, and it’s certainly left an impression on them.
Elijah Schultz, Carl Junction 4th grader, “I had to have my surgery for my leg. So after that, he came over and played with me and helped me get through that. I’m glad to be having TJ as my coach”
Fleeton uses that relationship with his players to push them to get better, and to him, there’s no bigger reward.
Fleeton says, “When you tell a kid great job and they can do nothing but smile, even though they’re they’re tired from doing all the drills I put them through, but just seeing them smile and seeing them see the progress and their skills and their abilities and they can even see for themselves. Just seeing that is the rewarding part.”