There was a sequence during Thursday’s three-team varsity football scrimmage where Dexter didn’t look anything like a team that has won just one game in three years and finished 0-9 last season.
Call it a light at the end of the tunnel or hope in the middle of a football rebuilding process but it was hard not to be impressed. Who knows, maybe even the Chelsea coaches standing in the bleachers watching the Dreadnaughts saw their rival taking some big steps in the right direction.
Read The State of Dexter Football: Koenig Believes Program Headed in Right Direction for the history of how Dexter football has performed and where the program is headed.
The first step was a touchdown against Jackson Northwest set up by a couple of excellent pass plays showing that Dexter has the ability to move the ball through the air.
The next came on defense when a Dexter defensive back outfought a Jackson NW receiver for the ball and intercepted the pass. The defense seemed to get better as the day went along as the Dexter coaching staff fixed problems and shuffled players on and off the field.
After the interception, Dexter struck again on another long pass play that resulted in another touchdown.
All of this happened in just a few minutes. Touchdown. Interception. Touchdown. HOPE!
“We saw a lot of positives (Thursday) offensively and defensively,” Dexter coach Ken Koenig said. “Now we will clean up a couple things and start preparing for week one. Overall, we were satisfied with how we played.”
Koenig took over the program three years ago and despite what the win-loss record shows is bringing the Dreadnaughts back to playing competitive football.
“We have many returning players with varsity playing experience,” Koenig said. “We need to do the little things well and pay attention to details. We are trying to really build the foundation of this program the right way.”
Dexter will play a spread offense and a 3-4 defense.
Top returners include senior Pat Mayrand (DL/OL); senior Chase Rojeck (WR/OLB); junior Will Feldkamp (LB/OL); junior Joey Hiser Jr. (WR/DB); senior Nick Winston (QB/DL); junior Braeden Ballard (QB/DB); senior Tommy WcWilliams (LB/OL); junior Seamus McCurren (WR/DB); senior Danny Mitchell (WR/DB); senior Ethan Stairs (RB/OLB); and senior Jordan Scott Sr. (OL/DL).
Top newcomers include junior Ryan Flattery Jr. (WR/DB); junior Caden Koenig Jr. (WR/DB); sophomore Kyle Rooke (OL/DL); sophomore Brian Kramer (OL/DL); and sophomore Truman Stovall (RB/OLB).
Koenig is right about doing the little things and taking care of details. There have been many times over the past few years where a turnover turned the momentum the other way or a penalty stalled a promising drive. The Dreadnaughts need to be the team creating turnovers and then making the other team pay. They need to be the team that limits costly penalties. They need to be the team that makes the big play to keep the chains moving.
Football is a game of execution and confidence. The two go hand in hand, especially for a program trying to change the culture.
“We have a great nucleus of players and definitely see some wins on the horizon, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Koenig said.
The Dreads begin the work on Friday, Aug. 28 at Fowlerville. It’s only the first game of the season but for Dexter it’s the biggest game of the season because a win to kick things off would give the confidence level a huge kick in the right direction.