By BEN JOHNSON
A broken collarbone his sophomore year precluded David Dick from participating on the defensive side of ball as a junior. Heading into his senior season, he’s campaigning to play on both sides of the ball.
“I would like to play safety or corner, but I’m not sure how that’s going to end up,” said Dick, who also holds down quarterback duties on the offensive side of the ball for Tahlequah.
“I’m doing some (persuading). I’d like to play on that side of the ball. I’ve told (Tahlequah) Coach (Brad) Gilbert about putting me in and getting more reps at it.”
All of Dick’s pandering may have paid off. With Tahlequah set to open its 2013 season on Sept. 6 against Fort Gibson, Gilbert admitted there’s a chance Dick makes a few cameos on defense.
“We’re working him at corner and safety,” Gilbert said. “(Dick) is kind of in the same boat as Will (Carlile), where he could also see some time at wide receiver, too.”
Speaking of Carlile, that’s who Dick will share quarterback duties with for the second year in a row. To this point, Dick said, it’s been a solid working relationship.
“We’ve become comfortable with it,” Dick said. “We understand what Coach Gilbert is doing, and we’ve accepted it.”
An added bonus for Dick this season will be the experience factor. Despite a 1-9 mark last season, Dick said his time on the field was invaluable.
“From last year to this year, I feel more confident on the field,” he said. “I feel more ready and more knowledgeable about what to expect. Last year, getting my first chance to actually play varsity, the game was pretty fast and overwhelming, but now I feel more ready.”
Echoing Dick’s sentiments, Gilbert mentioned how the pace of the game has decreased for Dick.
“I can say this,” Gilbert said, “from year one to year two at quarterback, everything slows down. Experience-wise, (Dick) started all 10 games last year, so he brings more experience and a certain mentality to that position.”
Dicks’ pre-play assessment of the defense has also improved, Gilbert said.
“He has a good knowledge of what we’re doing on offense,” Gilbert said. “He’s also able to read coverage better.”
As far as results, Dick foresees a season with more victories than in recent memory.
“It’s all about staying focused,” Dick said. “We came out last year winning the first half, and we just have to find a way to keep that momentum going. Just have to stay on top of opponents and kind of have no mercy. Just have to keep attacking.”