Dexter Football Season Preview (with photos)





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From the Players

Senior QB Luke Coogan on his offseason work: Perfecting that offense and working with the boys on getting the route down. Putting in the work in the winter, making sure everyone on the line is good, and really just perfecting the art of the whole offense.

Coogan on QB battle with sophomore Colin Perechek: In the offseason everyone knows their spots not there and they have to work for it. Everybody’s gotta compete. Whoever works the hardest and knows the plays and the offense, the best guy will be out there to help win the game. I think that’s important and we’ve bought into it.



Coogan on goals for the season: A season of lasts for us as seniors, but we’ve been talking a lot of firsts. That 1-0 mentality, working to get that day to day, week to week, game to game, working on the little things first. Hopefully a lot of first this season, get some dubs and get the season going.

Coogan on seniors changing program perception: It’s not just about us, it’s about passing it on and setting it up for the guys in the future. A lot of the younger guys coming in are looking up and seeing something different than in the past. Were excited to get some games, and we know the more we win the more people are going to come out and be excited about football in Dexter for the first time in a while. I think those are the most important things, the community coming together and winning some football games.

Senior WR/CB Andy Durand on his focus for the offseason: Getting stronger and faster. Bring more energy to the team, when someone has that energy, everyone feeds off it and gets hype.

Durand on helping younger guys in his position group: I’ve been helping younger guys with where to look on certain plays, telling them technique wise. Feet wise, body position, they’ll be fine.

Getting stronger has been a focus, Duran on difference in team since Jacobs and new strength program has been implemented: We’re a lot more physical. We’re dying to get hits up, lots more physical from last year to this year, gonna be a lot of bigger hits.

Senior running back Mason Loudermilk on helping younger guys: I think we’re bringing back what works and doesn’t. Showing them what to do to make each play work correctly. What steps you have to take,

Loudermilk on experience jump from seven seniors last year to twenty + this year: We’ve definitely been able to step up, show that we’re gonna be out there this year, doing great things. It’s a band of brothers and we all have each other’s backs.

Senior Francis Fifelski on working back from a torn ACL suffered in training camp that caused him to miss all of last year: It’s been a lot about me getting stronger and re-learning all the things like muscle memory stuff that my knee and my legs kind of forgot. Getting in shape has been really big. It’s just been a lot of getting stronger a lot but there hasn’t been the chance to get quality reps in.

Fifelski on the seeing the team from a different point of view: It was really big sitting on the sideline seeing from an outside perspective what the team looks like and how the mentality was rough. We didn’t have people believing we could win, we’d have people every week just expecting to get run up on. This year we’ve done a good job changing that, I think a lot of people are talking trash about us as a team but we know that were different and we’re ready to come out and compete.

Fifelski on what he learned for his position while on the sideline: You get a lot of time when you’re not able to be on the field to watch a lot of reps and learn a lot of route combos, just being able to watch a lot of film and knowing if people line up a certain way to be ready for certain things, stuff like that.

Fifelski on being a leader: Teaching kids that you can’t make excuses for not making the right play. Because if you don’t the right play then we’re gonna get scored on. Just telling people to bring energy. Bring a lot of energy and making sure we hold ourselves and our teammates accountable. We can’t make mistakes.

Senior OL/DL Nathan Norris on what he worked on this offseason: I’ve been working on moving quicker, I’m not as big as some of the other guys, so the only way I can play the line is to move quickly and get in people’s faces fast.

Norris on preparing new players to Varsity: You get them ready by having them by being more physical and teaching them to not be afraid to hit. On Varsity it moves a lot faster than JV, it’s a big step up.

Senior wide receiver and tight end Alex Mills on 2nd-year head coach Phil Jacobs: We’re really optimistic, he and (Chris) Whittaker brought the universal strength program to our school. It’s helped us get way stronger. We’re really optimistic/

Mills on the focus for the team this offseason: Unity and bringing in more people to the program. Just getting people to buy into the work hard mentality and starting something from the bottom, and getting better as a team.

Mills on opening with Chelsea: Chelsea, it’s like the Daytona 500 of football. Opening up with the Superbowl. We only have one game left against them, we want to beat them for the first time in 23 years and go out with a bang.”

 

Key Losses

Nick Fileccia (WR/DB)

Kyle Rooke (DT)

Connor Povenski (OL)

 Key Returning Players

Sean Callahan (WR/DB)

Josh Paquin (OL)

Mason Loudermilk (RB)

Joe Luallen (RB)

Andy Durand (DB)

Evan Chapell (LB)

Mark Young (DE)

David Kreske (LB)

Alex Mills (WR)

Last Season: 0-9 (0-6)

By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com 

The Dexter Dreadnaughts came into the offseason knowing where they needed to improve as they look for their first win since 2013.

Second-year head coach Phil Jacobs is faced with QB battle between senior Luke Coogan and sophomore Colin Parachek

“We needed to make a difference in the weight room,” said Jacobs. “That was the number one thing we addressed was our strength and conditioning program. And so far, our kids have bought in really well.”

With one year of a new system and strength program under their belt, Jacobs said that players were already past the point where they were at the same time last year. Dreadnaught skill players have been involved in passing leagues throughout the summer, learning plays and routes. In addition to the offseason work on and off the field, Jacobs expects to see the fruits of their labor come this fall.

“We’ll be a completely different look on both sides of the ball,” said Jacobs. “Last year it was teaching the kids the very basic fundamentals of football, the basics of our offense and defense. We struggled last year to get lined up on both sides of the ball and execute, this year that’s been a focus.”

A focus for this team has been staying in the present.

“Our whole motto is one play at a time,” said Jacobs “That’s the whole process right there. Our focus is the task at hand, whatever that might be. That play. A block. A series. A game. One thing, one small thing at a time, and that’ll take care of the bigger picture.”

At the same time, the coaching staff has made efforts to change the attitude of the team, too. At the end of the morning session of a two a day practice last week, the team ran sprints. Each sprint held significance in an imaginary game. Each sprint was a later sequence in the game. Coming back from a deficit. Tying the game. Getting the ball back with a chance for a late drive. And finally, pulling the starting offense from a ragged line of Varsity players to form the victory formation in that game.

Each sprint was started with the players yelling two words, “BEAT CHELSEA” a nod to their season opener against their rival on Aug. 24.

“Chelsea, it’s like the Daytona 500 of football. Opening up with the Superbowl,” said senior wide receiver and tight end Alex Mills. “We only have one game left against them, we want to beat them for the first time in 23 years and go out with a bang.”

“If we (the coaches) don’t start talking about winning and putting that visual image in our kid’s head, rehearsing those winning things, it’s not going to happen,” added Jacobs. “Keep going through standard operating procedure, it’s going to be the same result. We have a great student section, we have great community support, we have great parent support, and we just have a very good fan base overall.”

After only having seven seniors last year, this year’s team will have between 20-24 seniors, a big step up in leadership and players that have taken the field as varsity players before. It was something Jacobs noticed this year already, with that onus being on the coaches in the past, seniors have stepped up, taking care of the small things and helping younger players themselves.

One battle that is taking place and will help determine the success of the team is at the quarterback spot. Jacobs told The Sun Times incumbent senior Luke Coogan and sophomore Colin Perichek will battle it out for the starting spot.

“They both bring something to the table,” said Jacobs. “Luke brings that game experience as our quarterback last year. Colin has good pocket presence. They both bring a little something different, it’s been an interesting battle this camp. It’ll iron itself out. I’m not going to go into the season platooning quarterbacks. I don’t think it’s fair to either of them. I think when we get through next week, our scrimmage, we’ll know the starting quarterback.”

 

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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