Photos by Tyler Woelfel
During the Dreads’ opening drive, a holding call and an illegal man downfield call spoiled a seemingly promising drive. More mental mistakes came at other inconvenient times during the game, too.
The costly mistakes proved too much to overcome as Fowlerville defeated Dexter 49-13.
“I think we could’ve done a better job of playing smarter and playing our own game of football,” senior Travon Reid said.
The Dreads first scored in the second quarter when senior Joey Hiser found junior Nick Fileccia wide open in the end zone. However, Dexter failed to convert on the extra point as it was blocked.
During the game, senior Joey Hiser and junior George Deljevic shared time at quarterback for the Dreads.
Once the the first half ended, with Dexter trailing 28-6, the Dreads became visibly tired. At the defensive end, they began to give up big run after big run.
A big part of that is the lack of depth the Dreads have on both offense and defense.
“It’s tough because the linemen are playing both ways the whole game,” senior Chris Kaufman said. “That starts to take a toll on our running game.”
Despite the loss, the Dreads still have some positive things to reflect on.
“Even though we lost, we all kept our heads up and played as hard as we could,” Kaufman said. “We could expand on our confidence and putting all of our hard work during practice into our games.” The loss against Fowlerville marks the 24th consecutive defeat for the Dreads, but that won’t deter the Dreads. With eight regular season games remaining, the boys are looking to retain a positive outlook.
“This team has more heart and character than any other team I have coached in the last 25 years,” Head Coach Ken Koenig said. “We made some mental mistakes last night at crucial times that set us back. They are all correctable things that we will get right to work on.”
Many athletes only dream of competing in the Olympics, but Dexter alum Lex Williams actually got a shot to compete for his spot on Team USA.
Williams is a long distance runner and ran in the 1500-meter run in Eugene, Oregon, in July in an attempt to qualify for Team USA.
Although he did not make the final cut – only the top 3 Americans in each event qualify – he got the experience of a lifetime. Only the top 30 runners in the U.S. were able to compete in this event.
High School and Childhood
Williams established himself as a star early on at the age of 10 when he won the AAU 1500m. This success continued into his high school career when he finished first in the 3200m at the state meet and third place in the 1600m at indoor nationals. He also left a piece of himself at Dexter by setting and retaining two school records in the 800m and the 1600m.
Despite all of these individual accomplishments, Williams’s favorite moments in high school are with his team: “I did some cool things as an individual, but those [three state titles] are probably my best memories,” Williams said.
Running at Michigan
After graduating from DHS, Williams ran at the University of Michigan. While there he was an All-American and was first in the Big Ten in the 5,000-meter run.
From Michigan he continued to start his professional career. Williams signed as a professional athlete with the running brand, Saucony, and the sports drink, SOS Rehydrate.
During his professional career Williams has one memory that stands out.
“Breaking four in the mile is my favorite memory I have of running,” Williams said.
The four-minute-mile barrier is the benchmark for elite milers.
After his olympic trial, he described his experience in Eugene with a smile on his face: “It was awesome. I thought I ran a great race, and just didn’t have it the last 30 meters. I got passed by three guys.”
He was one of the leaders for most of the race until the last stretch when everyone picked up the pace to cross the finish line to qualify for the next round.
“It ended quicker than I wanted to. I placed 28th, 28th in the country,” Williams said laughing. “I can walk away and be happy with that.
“The accomplishment of making it there was my personal olympic medal.”
The whistle blew and the Dexter Varsity Field Hockey team took the field for their first game of the 2016 season.
Freshman goalkeeper, Maggie Jones, arrived with something to prove as this was her first game in a Dexter uniform.
If I’m thinking about being nervous, then it’s hard to focus on the game and the shots that are coming at me,” Jones said. “…my teammates have made it really easy to not feel nervous.”
This was also the first game that Trish Machemer took the field as Dexter’s head coach after being an assistant coach for several years.
Machemer was joined by assistant coach Tori Westhead, a recent graduate of Saint Louis University where she was the goalkeeper for four years. Growing up in Ann Arbor and playing field hockey at Huron High School, Westhead was excited to find a coaching position near home where she could continue to work with the field hockey community.
Dexter took control of the game from the start and showcased their talent with a commanding 6-0 win over East Grand Rapids, proving that their freshman keeper and new coaches had earned their spots on the team.
I feel a lot of pressure when I’m playing,” Jones said. “I remind myself I’m just here to play because I love it and I’m going to do my absolute best in goal.”
Expectations for the season are very high. The coaches and players feel that they have an even stronger and more experienced team than the 2014 Division II state champion team. With such a veteran team, they’re dead set on winning another state championship.
“We’re looking forward to the season,” senior midfielder Sam Labadie said. “We have a lot of talent and coaches that know how to win.”
Labadie and the rest of the team have their minds set on winning a Division I State Championship. The veteran team is almost entirely made up of upperclassmen with the exception of its freshman goalkeeper.
Led by 11 seniors, the varsity team understands what it takes to be victorious after winning the Division II State Championship two seasons ago.
“We are looking to capitalize on the fact that we have such an experienced group, and are eager to end our last season at DHS on a high note,” Labadie said.
It’s hard to talk about the last decade of Dexter football without mentioning the Hiser name. Hiser is the youngest of three brothers who have all played for Dexter. Both of his brothers went on to play at the collegiate level. This fall, Hiser is returning to the quarterback position after playing receiver the past three seasons. He played quarterback from the time he started tackle football in fourth grade all the way through middle school. “I’m really excited to be moving back to QB.”
Ever since her freshman year, Emma Tamer has been dominant on the field. With a state championship her sophomore year and a commitment to play at the University of Michigan coming soon after, Tamer is no stranger to success. However, last season came as a bit of a disappointment as the girls lost in the state semifinals to Ann Arbor Pioneer in a close game, 2-0. Tamer and the rest of the seniors are expected to make a push for a second state title. “I felt like our season had been cut short.”
As one of the most experienced golfers on the team, Rylee Kim is both a leader and role model for the rest of her teammates. Kim has been golfing since her freshman year. She began golfing in hopes of meeting new people and ended up falling in love with the sport. Kim wants to focus more on having fun this fall rather than winning. As the team’s No. 1 golfer, Kim likely will have a big impact on this team’s success throughout the year. “I’d also like to score a hole-in-one sometime soon.”
Throughout his high school career ,Marc Lopez has made his name as one of the fastest members on the cross country team. After a successful junior season ending in a team win at the regional meet and a chance to run in the state meet, Lopez has big goals for his senior year. He is looking to break the school record in the 5K and earn a spot for his name on the cross country wall. He would also like to see the team finish in the top two at the state meet. Lopez expects his senior season to be his best yet. “Individually, I would like to break the school record.”
Taylor Venuto stood as the only freshman on the varsity volleyball team last season. Even though she was the youngest player and the new girl on the team, Venuto was able to make a major contribution as a middle and outside hitter. Now that she has a full season under her belt she can focus more on her game and less on getting to know everyone. Many are expecting Venuto’s sophomore season to be a big one with an even larger presence the court. “Now that Coach Dunn has seen me play a whole season, she has high expectations for me.”
The 2015-16 season has been a season of change for the NBA. The Golden State Warriors went 73-9, Kobe Bryant played his final NBA season, and new stars are beginning to emerge.
Being a big NBA fan (Pistons especially), I had a great time following the NBA season. I thought All-Star weekend was well put together, my two favorite teams had great seasons that weren’t expected, and everything seemed to be shaping up to make a great month of playoffs. I couldn’t be more ready.
I bought my Pistons tickets for game three and game four a month in advance, the day they were released to the public. All I wanted to see was the Pistons get one home win, and to see LeBron lose. Being the eighth seed, I wasn’t expecting a series win, all I asked for was one game.
It’s 3:42 p.m. The next three minutes will decide how Dexter leaves the pool: champions, or runner-ups. Bending down to grip the block just seconds before the gun, adrenaline pumps through the veins of everyone in the room. One false move will end you, one negative thought could destroy you.
“Take your mark… BEEP!” Suddenly shouts and whistles fill the natatorium. For some, this race completes a swimming career, for others it decides their future. The pressure under each and every athlete to win the title for the team, their coach, and themselves is unimaginable and enough to overload their already-exhausted bodies and brains.
March is the season for madness. Especially with teams hitting buzzer beaters to advance to the next round, like Wisconsin and Northern Iowa, or teams completely breaking down to end their journey to the title, also like Northern Iowa. The madness also resides with this year’s upsets, which have created busted brackets and a busted morale. Just talk to any Michigan State fan.
The biggest upset of this year’s March Madness, which I briefly mentioned already, was when No. 2 seed Michigan State lost to No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State. MSU was the co-favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans’ loss led to busted brackets and busted dreams of thousands of people hoping to finally win a March Madness pool.
The years of not caring about grades are over. In turn, the years of three sport athletes are over.
Being accepted into college has become so competitive that sports have began taking a back seat. Due to the rigor of many student’s schedules, and the commitment required from playing a sport, students are forced to give up playing sports they love to make sure they get the best grades possible to stay competitive in the hunt for college.
Junior Rylee Kim, who used to play three sports but had to quit basketball to manage the workload of academics, is a prime example on how heavy the era of competitiveness has hit Dexter High School.
“Sometimes I had multiple sports going on at one time, so I had to drop a sport to spend more time on academics so I wouldn’t feel as overwhelmed,” Kim said.
In 2013, the women’s varsity basketball team fought their way to the Breslin Center in East Lansing to compete in the state’s Final Four.
It has been three years since this accomplishment and the Dreads have continued to be a formidable squad. This season, Dexter has an impressive 18-1 record, turning the typical far-fetched goal of state championship into a realistic possibility.
Since freshman year, current seniors have made it a personal goal to go back to the Breslin Center. Being on that final four team, senior guard Taylor Olson knows what it takes to get back.