Football: Hiser passes the test of switching positions

Joey Hiser saw a vacancy. But he also saw an opportunity so he took his plan to the Dexter coaches after his junior year on the football field.

It was a plan that not only was appreciated but “passed” the test and was openly accepted by the coaching staff.

“It was my idea at first along with the coaching staff,” said Hiser, who offered his services to play quarterback after playing his first two varsity seasons at wide receiver. “I felt we needed a quarterback to step up and lead the team and I felt like I was the right person to do that.”

And the coaching staff agreed.

“Joey is an explosive athlete who we feel is a great fit at quarterback,” said Dexter Coach Ken Koenig. “Everything he does is full speed. He has a great attitude and gives maximum effort and has an excellent approach to the game. What he lacks in experience he will make up for in his effort and athleticism.”

Koenig said Hiser is one of those athletes who can play anywhere. And after their starting quarterback from last year graduated, there was a need behind center.

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“We have some really good receivers in my class and coming up but didn’t have an experienced quarterback coming back,” Hiser said. “I just saw a place we needed to get filled.”

The adjustment has been pretty smooth through camp and into the scrimmages.

“I was coming from baseball so I was used to throwing a baseball so it took a little while to get used to throwing a football,” he said. “I had to get the foot work down and remembering the plays so it’s been some work. Everything is going really well.”

As a freshman, Hiser played wide receiver and free safety on the junior varsity team. As a sophomore, Hiser was pulled up to varsity and started at free safety and rotated at wide receiver.

He said playing varsity as a sophomore was beneficial in that it gave him a taste of life on the big field.

“It was a really good experience,” he said. “Everyone on varsity was a little bigger and a little faster so it was an adjustment for the speed of the game. But coming back for my junior year I knew what to expect and was ready. Everything slowed down for me and seemed a lot simpler. And I feel the same way heading into my senior year.”

Hiser is following in his brother’s athletic footsteps. Noah, who graduated in 2011, was a two-time All-American in track and played football at Hillsdale. Nick, who graduated in 2007, played football at Adrian for four years.

Joey is coming off an excellent baseball season where he was an All-Conference centerfielder and helped lead the Dreadnaughts to an outstanding season this past spring.

“I’m looking at a couple colleges for baseball,” said Hiser, who recently finished playing summer baseball for his travel team. “I’ve been talking to Western, Eastern and Wayne State and a few others.”

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Hiser is optimistic the football Dreadnaughts can be competitive and stick a few games in the win column in 2016.

“We look pretty good,” he said. “We have good team chemistry and everyone is working together. Everyone is really supporting one another which is important. We are taking everything step by step this year and focusing on knowing our roles and doing things the right way.”

Hiser and the Dreadnaughts open the 2016 season on Friday at home against Fowlerville.

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