Boyle County linebacker Lamar Dawson doesn't like to talk. It's
just not his thing.
The way the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Dawson figures it, he's got
teammates who can do the talking. He prefers to simply go out and
"I just try to lead by example," Dawson said. "That's my way
of being a leader. I just tried to get better and make sure
everybody was working hard."
Few can quibble with Dawson's work ethic or his talent. The
senior was selected the Player of the Year by members of The
Associated Press after leading Boyle County to another state
"I think he's probably the most talented young man that I've
ever coached," said Boyle County head coach Larry French. "He's
one of those young men, they don't come around very often but when
they do, you want to take the time and watch them develop and watch
them play. It's an enjoyable experience."
Well, to everyone except Boyle County's opponents.
Dawson finished with 158 tackles and four interceptions on
defense while becoming a legitimate threat on offense. He rushed
for 686 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 270 yards
and a score while alternating between running back and tight end.
"He's a very intelligent young man, he grasps it," French
said. "He's a quick learner and he wants to learn. He's got a
burning desire to be the best that he could possibly be."
That goes for the classroom too, where Dawson has a 3.7 GPA.
"He could have gone the wrong way but he chose to go the right
way," French said.
Dawson usually does, particularly on the football field. A
nagging turf toe injury got Dawson's season off to a slow start,
but as the temperature dropped, his level of play rose.
He was at his best in the playoffs, helping Boyle County to its
second straight state championship. He had 6.5 tackles, a rushing
touchdown and a 20-yard reception in the Rebels' 21-14 win over
Allen County-Scottsville in the title game.
"The No. 1 think about him is from sideline to sideline you've
got to worry about him," said Allen County-Scottsville coach Brad
Hood. "He covers 53 yards of football field very well."
Hood admits he tried his best to gameplan against Dawson, with
"You try to counter, try to double team him and he's going to
find a way to get there," Hood said. "From sideline to sideline
he's as good as I've seen in my years of coaching."
The humble Dawson tries to shrug off such high praise, insisting
his only goal all season was to end his career with a championship.
Ask him to evaluate his season and he mumbles "I thought I did
Particularly on offense. French knew the Rebels needed to boost
their offensive production this season if they wanted to continue
their dominant run through Class 4A, so he asked Dawson to take on
a larger role, and not just with the ball in his hands.
While Dawson was dangerous with the ball in his hands, he was
just as effective when lined up at tight end. The Rebels ran behind
him constantly, as he used his power to help open up gaping holes
for teammates like Chris Cook.
It wasn't always easy work, but Dawson embraced the challenge
even though he knows his football future lies at linebacker.
"We was willing to do whatever we asked him to do," French
said. "He was able to adjust to that real quickly."
What's next for Dawson remains a mystery. He is in no hurry to
make a decision on where to play in college.
Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee are among those hoping to land
him. He likely won't make his choice public until National Signing
"I'm going to take my time and hopefully make the right
(decision)," he said.
Dawson received seven votes from the panel of over a dozen media
members across the state. Ballard (Louisville) wide receiver
DeVante Parker, Bell Co. linebacker John Hilton, Pulaski Co.
running back Alex Abner and Christian Co. wide receiver Marcoreyon
Tandy also received votes.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)