by Dan Kinvig – Abbotsford News, Aug 30, 2014
Heading into the high school football season, it’s safe to say that no player in Abbotsford – and perhaps even province-wide – has bigger cleats to fill than Jacob Dodd.
The W.J. Mouat Hawks’ senior moves into the starting tailback role recently vacated by Maleek Irons, who happens to be the most prolific rusher in the storied history of B.C. high school football. Irons racked up a mind-bending 6,175 yards and 76 rushing touchdowns on behalf of the Hawks, before graduating and moving on to the NCAA Div. 1 Ohio Bobcats.
Some might find the challenge of following Irons to be daunting, but Dodd isn’t worried about the pressure – he’s excited for the opportunity.
“I’m just going to go in and do my best and see what happens,” he said. “I’m just hoping I can do what (Irons) did – play my hardest and just have a really good season.”
Dodd showed flashes of brilliance last season as a Grade 11 – with Irons sitting out a game against the Rutland Voodoo in October, he scored five TDs, and head coach Denis Kelly believes he’s got what it takes to carry the mail as a senior.
“He’s a very good tailback,” Kelly asserted. “He’s been working out all summer long and doing all the right things, and he has a chance to play college football.
“He’s a very good inside runner, and he’s deceptively fast. He’s very hard to bring down, and picks up a lot of extra yards by maintaining his balance. He’s going to surprise some people.”
Dodd is among the leaders of a Hawks team which begins the season as an honourable mention in the provincial AAA rankings. Other key players include Slater McRae (slotback and defensive back), Providence Ndizeye (slotback, cornerback) and wideouts Elijah Falconer and Cole Barker. Quarterbacks Noah Falconer and Noah Dietrich are battling for playing time.