Whether it is the uniforms, the gameplan, or the attitude, the Dickson County Cougars that take the field in 2018 don’t expect to be the same team fans saw in the 2017 season.
“Last year looked bad” said senior Darian Burns, “Nobody was really into it. This year the whole attitude has changed about the team, and we’re just going to play hard every game”.
Dickson County head coach Randy Murphree is entering his third season as the head coach of the Cougars, and has compiled a 4-16 record since taking over the program. However, he knew at the end of a 1-9 regular season in 2017 that changes needed to be made.
“We changed the offensive philosophy obviously, and defensively as well” said Murphree, “during the offseason I really wanted to focus on pushing the kids harder, putting some weight on the bar, and lift aggressively and you saw that in our spring scrimmage against Beech and against McGavock”.
Dickson County ran a triple option in 2017, but plans on returning to a spread offense this season.
“Its just going to work better. Last season it didn’t look like an offense you see nowadays, because most people aren’t used to it” said Burns. “Now that we are going back to somewhat of a spread, everybody is comfortable with it, they want to do it, so everything should work alright”.
Darian Burns will be one of the key cogs in that offense after leading the team with 787 all-purpose yards and 7 touchdowns in 2017, as well as throwing for 394 yards and 3 touchdowns. Burns added 48 total tackles on defense in 2017 as well, and when asked about his best qualities as a football player, he gave an answer any football coach would love.
“Leadership and IQ”.
“They all rally around Darian” said Murphree, “Obviously he’s a talented kid, as well as several others, but you know he prepares kind of light hearted. He can get it, he can pick up what you’re coaching him to do, he can go from position to position, he’s very versatile, and the kids know that”.
Burns played quarterback for the majority of 2017, but will likely be playing running back for the Cougars in his senior season. Dickson County also returns senior defensive end Trevonn Rybka, who contributed 46 tackles in 2017.
“We’ve been working hard, every day in practice I’ve been trying to push my teammates to get better” said Rybka, “I feel very confident, I feel like we can make something happen this year”.
“I expect us to go out, hit them in the mouth every play, and do what we gotta do to win”.
Dickson County kicks off the 2018 season at home against cross-county rival Creek Wood High School on August 17, a matchup Dickson County has not won since 2015, but Randy Murphree does not plan on letting the past affect the present.
“No matter who the opponent is, these kids are going to be ready to go” said Murphree, “We’ve got a lot of things to clean up, we’ve got a couple of scrimmages to do that”.
“We’re going to turn it loose in week 0, and we’ll see where it goes”.