Second Dodge era begins

Former QB returns to Carroll


Ben Dackiw, Staff Writer

In Southlake, football has always been about one thing: winning. With the departure of coach Wasson at the end of last season, the Dragons were in need of a new head coach who understood the expectations of Dragon football. This year, former state champion quarterback Riley Dodge returns to his alma mater to coach the team he once played for.

As the head football coach, Dodge has brought a new team dynamic to introduce to the players.

“The culture we’ve brought in, we’re having a great time,” Dodge said. “When it’s time to play football it’s business, but when we get an opportunity to have fun with the players we take advantage of that.”

It’s easy for anyone, even coaches, to underestimate the pressures of the average student-athlete, but Dodge has been through what the players are currently going through.

“I understand the pressures that these players go through not just as a player but as a student,” Dodge said.

Many football coaches have played the game at some level, but the depth of knowledge Dodge possesses about Carroll football is unique to him.

“I’ve been around the game for quite a bit, and it helps to understand the hopes and expectations of Carroll ISD,” Dodge said.

While things have changed at Carroll in the last decade, such as the new fieldhouse, the biggest change for Dodge will be transitioning from player to head coach.

“You definitely see it through a different lens,” Dodge said when asked the difference in perspective from player to coach. “I grew up in this program from a young age, from 10 years old to 18, and obviously coming back is a lot different.”

A former state champion returning to his high school is interesting, and the impact of Dodge’s return has not gone unnoticed by Principal Shawn Duhon.

“Coach Dodge came to us highly recommended,” Duhon said. “He was our number one choice. I think that he is bringing a lot of excitement a lot of energy and a lot of youth to our team. The campus and the culture right now for football are just outstanding.”

Although Dodge has the approval of high-level personnel in the school district, the opinion of his players is also important.

“I think he’s really good,” senior Cornerback Kevin Cusick said, “I think he brings more of a youthful look to the team.”

With the Dragons enjoying early success, they are currently 5-0 after defeating Denton Guyer on Oct. 5, the main question is what the goals are for this program in the first season with a new head coach. For the first season, coach Dodge is keeping it simple.

“Our first goal is to win a district championship.”