New Beginnings: sophomore Dylan Dunn earns starting quarterback position for the varsity football team

In high school sports, there are many changes that can happen between seasons due to never having the same team twice in a row. After former quarterback Tanner Curry graduated last year, the door opened for a new quarterback to fill the role. By the end of the off-season, the coaches chose sophomore Dylan Dunn to be the quarterback for the varsity team and he began to train for the upcoming season.

“I was preparing all summer,” Dunn said. “[Being starting quarterback] was a good feeling and I guess I was ready for it.”

Dunn said he faced some challenges since he was younger than most of the other players on the field, but said his teammates helped encourage him.

“They’ve been really supportive of [me],” Dunn said. “I was a little nervous heading into [the first game] because everybody’s older than me … but I felt like I was prepared, too.”

Even though Dunn was worried about playing his first game, his coaches were confident he would play well due to the progress he made during training. Head coach Anthony Orrick said the coaches chose Dunn because of his determination to improve his skills outside of practice so he could become the starting quarterback.

“We felt pretty comfortable with Dylan, especially with his development throughout the summer, in the offseason,” Orrick said.

Orrick said another reason the coaches chose Dunn was because he has good knowledge of the game and a great work ethic.

“​​He’s a very smart football player who studies the game,” Orrick said. “What really stood out was just his knowledge of the game, his desire to learn our offense inside and out and to put in the extra work that it took to become the starting quarterback.”

Orrick said Dunn has improved each week as he gets more experience playing varsity.

“He just keeps continuing to strive,” Orrick said. “Each week he gets more and more experience and more and more understanding of the speed of the game at the varsity level.”

Becoming the starting quarterback as a sophomore could prove to be an advantage for the coming years.

“It definitely sets you up for the future,” Orrick said. “When he’s junior and senior, it sets you up pretty well because he’s had the experience going into next year.”

Senior running back Jake Laurie said part of the job of upperclassmen is to help the younger players prepare for future years.

“There’s been a couple sophomore starters in the past, but this year, there’s quite a few,” Laurie said. “It’s just a younger team, so senior leaders like myself have to step up more and be better examples.”

Although younger players have to adapt to the higher pressure situations, they must also develop their skills to be able to play at a higher level.

“He’s been doing a really good job,” Laurie said. “I think he’s improved his running ability.”

Laurie said Dunn quickly adapted to the varsity level of play.

“[Varsity] is the first year of playing ­— instead of in front of your parents, you’re playing in front of a lot of people,” Laurie said. “He is really mature. He really cares a lot. He’s had struggles, but he’s definitely proven he’s worth the spot.”

On Oct. 29, the Timberwolves defeated Leavenworth in the first round of playoffs. Final score was 37-7. Next up, they will take on Topeka-Seaman in the Regional Championship on Nov. 5.