New roster, same expectations for Dartmouth High football
Dartmouth High football returns to the gridiron in a week with a mostly new roster heading into its 2022 campaign.
This year’s roster contains only four returning starters from the 2021 squad: seniors Graham White, Dylan Gomes, Eli Johnson, and Chase Lackie.
The rest are sophomores and juniors.
While not a perfect scenario in terms of veteranship, Head Coach Rick White said his squad has looked good during practice.
“I’ve been very encouraged with the effort and attitude of these guys so far,” he said. “It’s about getting more reps and experience.”
Even with the new squad, the team’s goal remains the same: win the conference.
“Just need to take things one game at a time,” White said.
In addition to the practices, the Indians took part in a couple of scrimmages against Somerset-Berkeley and Dighton-Rehoboth.
White said the Indians struggled a bit during that first simulated game against Somerset-Berkeley, but were able to bounce back with a “great showing” in the following match.
“It’s all about finding the right guys for the right positions and seeing how they succeed,” White said.
One position that needed to be filled this season is the most crucial: quarterback.
After the graduation of star quarterback Will Kelly and backup Ethan Marques this past June, it will be the first time in two years the team has to narrow down who gets the job.
Heading into camp, there were four contenders: senior Sean Martin, junior Nikko Morris and Maddox Dupre, and sophomore Jackson Hart.
As of the most recent practice, Morris is leading the pack to start the Indians’ opener against crosstown rival Bishop Stang.
“He’s done a good job,” White said. “He’s got a good grasp of the offense, he can run, and he can throw — it was a very good preseason for [Morris].”
Morris was most recently on the junior varsity squad, although his 2021 season came to an early end following a collarbone injury.
“Yeah, they had to put a bunch of metal screws in me,” he said. “But I’m all set now and ready to go.”
Although confident, he knows starting against Bishop Stang isn’t a certainty — especially if things don’t go well during the final scrimmage against Fairhaven on Friday.
“Still have to keep working,” Morris said.
If he does start, though, he said he’s very excited to try and beat Bishop Stang.
“There’s going to be a lot of people there,” he said. “Nothing better than the Battle of Slocum Road.”
The season officially kicks off at Bishop Stang on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. Dartmouth’s first home game will be Thursday, Sept. 15 against Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.