|Injury forces Dyer to take on new role; Brown keeps producing|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Oct. 14, 2004 - CUMBY - After suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in a 34-16 loss to Celeste, Cumby senior football captain Nick Dyer wraps up his senior year on the sideline while teammate Brandon Brown continues to play strong this season.
"I had a lot of chances, and I was having a pretty good year this year," Dyer said. "This season was cut off in a heartbeat, and I can't play anymore and will probably not get to play in a competitive nature ever again."
Brown said losing Nick this season was a tough loss for the team because he is a captain of the team and was one of the Trojans' top players.
"It hurt us pretty bad because the Wolfe City team was all about speed and running and Nick had that," Brown said. "He was a real good player and a real good receiver, and he just landed wrong on his shoulder."
Before the injury occurred, Dyer was second in tackles and was quarterback Matt Steward's favorite target on offense with seven catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns in four games this year.
"I was having a really good year and there was a lot of expectations for me and now there can't be any. I was shocked by the injury because I have never been hurt of the football field before," Dyer said.
With the team heading into Friday's game against the Melissa Cardinals, both seniors will try to step up and be the leaders they need to be whether it is Dyer helping out on the sideline or on the football field with Brown.
"I think the seniors on this team need to step up and be leaders. We need to get everybody hyped up before the game and during halftime," Brown said. "At the first of the game, it is like we are using all of our energy before the game trying to get pumped up."
"That is one of the worst feelings that you can have seeing your teammates bickering during a game and trying to control it because you are supposed to be in control since you are the captain of the team," Dyer said.
Head coach Kent Hawthorne has been impressed with the play of Brown this season as the team's starting running back and with his willingness to play at any position on the defensive side of the ball.
"Brandon is a senior kid who transferred in and played all year last year on the JV, and we thought he could help us on varsity somewhere last year but because he was a transfer he had to wait his year before playing varsity," Hawthorne said. "He is one of the faster kids on the team, and we are trying to put him in a situation to help this team win."
Brown said he appreciates the comments by Hawthorne but says he is not performing to the same intensity he did last year while on the junior varsity squad.
"I appreciate it a lot. I don't think that I am that great because I am all right on defense. I don't get a lot of tackles and I don't try to stand out," Brown said. "I don't think I have been running all that hard this year because I am just trying to do the best that I can."
Dyer said since his role has changed this season that he will be at every game and every practice to give the team another eye on the sideline and still be a captain for the football team every week.
"I have been at every practice that I could be at since the injury occurred," Dyer said. "I am going to be on the sideline at every game and will try to get their heads in the game because that is a problem that we have right now. If we can do that, we will be able to win because we have the talent."
With four games to go against Melissa, Detroit, Boles and Rivercrest, the Trojans still have a possibility to win out and receive a playoff berth and Dyer and Brown hope the team can get on a winning streak and end the season with a 4-2 district record.
"We need to come together as a team and keep our spirits up and try to shove the ball back down their throats," Brown said. "I sure do hope we get back on a winning streak because I hate losing."
Dyer said one of his main goals is to help his teammates find a way to win out the remainder of the season.
"If we could win out there is still a chance for us to make the playoffs this season. I want everybody to enjoy the last few ballgames this year, because there is not a reason why they shouldn't enjoy them," Dyer said. "I will enjoy watching them play from the sideline, and I hope we can play as a unit and win."