Concord can’t afford to have Jerrell Pointdexter be a one-man show on Friday nights, but the Minutemen speedster has those kinds of chilling skills.
Aug. 22 – SB Washington
Aug. 29 – at Elk. Memorial
Sept. 5 – at NorthWood
Sept. 12 – Wawasee
Sept. 19 – Goshen
Sept. 26 – at Jimtown
Oct. 3 – Plymouth
Oct. 10 – at Northridge
Oct. 17 – at Warsaw
Whether it’s catching the ball, running the ball or returning kicks on special teams, head coach Tim Dawson and his staff have to get the ball in Pointdexter’s hands. And to win another Northern Lakes Conference title, they’ll have to do just that.
Only one NLC school — NorthWood in the early 1990s — has ever won more than four straight league championships. The Minutemen will go for a fifth this season.
Concord possesses just enough Friday night experience from last year’s Class 5A semistate qualifying squad and crop of underclassmen who earned enough chops to start this fall. Dawson shares three things to watch for in 2014:
Pointing to Pointdexter
"We’ve tweaked a couple of things (offensively), but the thing about Jarrell is we have a Matt Wilmore or a Luke Simon, kids who will take pressure off of Jerrell,“ Dawson said. ”We’ve got other weapons, too, but when we put Jerrell in the slot, it’s hard to get a jam on him. So we’ll put him in motion to do some things. And if we are successful in the running game, he gets more dangerous. But not everything’s built around one guy.“
Fish-ing for a Leader
"Cullen has emerged as our quarterback. He’s had a great summer and done a great job, and we also have Jason Grooms as a very capable backup, but we’re not going to rotate,” Dawson said. “The kids know he’s worked extremely hard and trust him to understand the offense. He’s not going to be a Trevor Wilmore who’s gonna get that four yards with his feet, but he has a great understanding of the passing game and that’s where he’s emerged.”
“Right now, it’s depth at linemen. You’ll see a lot of the same names on the offensive and defensive lines. We’ve got to stay healthy,” Dawson said. “Chris Hartpence tore some ligaments in his thumb, and they’ll cast it in a couple of weeks. He may miss the first two games. We’re not a team that’s going to line up and knock people off the ball. We have to have good technique, getting in the way of people, giving backs room so they’re finding creases.
"Our strength is our secondary with Brandon Thomas, Matt Fragale and Jerrell back there, then we have a Zach Wynn who’s really taken charge at linebacker, and a Jace Krull at linebacker, kids who played secondary roles a year ago who are now stepping to the forefront.”
Bill Beck is The Elkhart Truth sports editor. Follow him on Twitter @eTruthsports