With just more than a month until the prep football season starts, both Dickson County and Creek Wood are gearing up to get the season underway.
The Dickson County Cougars will be in their second season with coach Greg Burns running the show as he looks to get the Cougars football program back on the right track.
“After a tough season this year, we’ve been able to start the season with a rejuvenated approach,” Burns said. “With the roster turnover, some of these younger guys feel like they’ve got a chance to contribute, and they know they are in it for each other, and they’ve been excited so far throughout camp.”
Dickson County will have to replace a few position players from last season who made up quite a bit of production, as Kaden Thomas and Enoch Terlecki, both of whom were named to the 2020 All-County team, graduated. Quarterback Ethan Howell, who took a majority of snaps under center, and wide receiver Trey Corlew are both gone, as well, due to graduation. The offensive line will also feature some new names and faces, as Zeke Bell, Jaydon Carter and Jaiden Page also graduated.
Starting with quarterback, last season was a carousel of players who took snaps under center, as Burns looked for his main signal caller, but this year should be a little different. After transferring last season to Dickson County, Colbey Lamberth looks to be the starting quarterback heading into the season. Lamberth, who was offered by both Kentucky and Ole Miss, gives Burns his big-arm quarterback who can make most throws around the field.
“[Lamberth] is a Division 1 talent, and he’s a natural leader,” Burns said. “He makes the throws that not a lot of other people can make. We’re going to look a lot different this year, because now we will be able to do what we want to do as far as throwing the ball down the field and run the ball between the tackles with a more balanced attack.”
Clinton Shrader led the rushing attack last season for Dickson County with more than 1,000 yards on 140 carries and adding seven touchdowns. Shrader was also a receiver threat with 115 yards through the air on 10 receptions and two more touchdowns. Shrader returns this year and looks to improve on his junior campaign.
The offensive line will be much different than it was at week one last season. With Bell, Page and Carter all gone, there will be plenty of opportunities for the younger guys to make their way onto the field. Gilbert Parrish was one of the first names Burns brought up, along with Cam Smith and Jake Hoover.
Hoover was a part of last season’s All-County team and will be a large part of Dickson County’s success in the trenches once again. Eli Cude, who got some playing time last season, looks to be a part of the line, as well, and Burns said he’s got some good competition at the left tackle position between John Carney-Nicks and Eli Smith.
“Toward the latter part of last season, we made a few changes up front, and we went back and watched the tape, and there was a dramatic difference in the energy and effort level from these younger guys,” Burns said. “They were hungry, and they’ve stayed hungry. Between those guys and some of the other upcoming guys who are trying to earn some playing time, there is some good competition and some guys who can actually get the job done.
“Last season our offense was everything that it shouldn’t be. We were tight, between the tackles, single-wing offense, and that’s not what we want to do. We want to spread it out, run the inside zone and throw the ball around the edges. That’s what we really are.”
Defensively, the Cougars will look different, with both Thomas and Terlecki, who were both mainstays on the defense, are gone. New players will have to step up, but Shrader will return at linebacker, along with McKaleb Frazier on the defensive line.
Dakota Flippo and Frazier on the interior part of the defensive line were “unblockable,” as Burns put it in practices, and will give the Cougars a corruptive force in the middle.
Drew Rymer and Jayden Sutton both played a lot of snaps in the defensive backfield for Dickson and both return to lead the Cougars secondary. Tony Hampton will be one of the corners, as well.
“We want to see our defense be more aggressive this year,” Burns said. “Last year, sometimes it looked like we weren’t sure what to do, but we want to be the aggressor this year. We will be senior heavy, so we should be more sound and more aggressive. I like what I’ve seen so far.”
As usual, Dickson County will begin the season against cross-town rival Creek Wood. That game will be Aug. 20 at Creek Wood. Last year, Creek Wood defeated Dickson County 28-21. Dickson County will look to end Creek Wood’s winning streak, while the Red Hawks seek to continue their winning streak.
2021 Dickson County Football Schedule
Aug. 20 at Creek Wood
Aug. 27 vs. Columbia
Sept. 3 at John Overton
Sept. 10 vs. Clarksville
Sept. 17 at McGavock
Sept. 24 at Centennial
Oct. 1 vs. LaVergne
Oct. 15 vs. Smyrna
Oct. 22 vs. Cane Ridge
Oct. 29 vs. Antioch