LONGMONT — James Dick knows all about what his brothers did at Longmont Christian High School.
He spent his childhood watching Andy (Class of 2003), Josh (2005) and Jon (2008) put together stellar careers for the Warriors. All of them were star quarterbacks on the football team and all were star baseball players.
“I just remember them always making the plays,” said James, a junior who earned all-conference honors as a sophomore in 2010.
Now it’s his turn, although no matter how well James plays, it won’t quite be the same as what his brothers did. At 6-foot, 200 pounds, James is bigger than his brothers were, so he’s not playing quarterback. He’s an offensive lineman and linebacker for the Warriors, who are coming off a 4-4 season.
“The Dicks have been a huge key to the success we’ve had,” said head coach Jerry Martin, who has coached all of the brothers. “They’ve just been a huge part of the success of Longmont Christian athletics. Our school community knows that. I think James wants to find his place. It’s kind of cool for him to not be a quarterback.
“He’s bigger than all of his brothers and he’s worked hard in the weight room and is stronger than all of those guys.”
Although he plays a different position, James has a similar leadership role with the Warriors. He’s one of just four returning starters and will have a major impact on the team.
“It’s weird now that I’m here, taking that role,” he said.
Although the Warriors have a small roster (just 16 players, only 14 of which were healthy this week), they are pointing toward the Class A-8 man playoffs. A 54-48 overtime loss to Sedgwick County was the only thing that kept them out in 2010.
“I expect to do just as well as we did last season, except I want to make the playoffs this season,” James said. “Last year we lost it by one touchdown in overtime. I want to get there this year.”
James said the Warriors to need to play disciplined, mistake-free football to get there.
The Warriors also need to find some playmakers early in the season. Unlike past years, they don’t have a speedy skill player who can burn the opposition. Starting quarterback Michael Charles is also out for several weeks after breaking his ankle. The Warriors hope to get him back for the final couple of games.
Still, Martin said there is a good group of players working to make up for those losses.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good year, regardless of the win-loss side of it.”
Having James on the roster will help. As with the previous three Dick brothers, Martin enjoys coaching James, who is the leader of a talent junior class at Longmont Christian.
“It’s been a blast (having all four brothers),” said Martin, who previously coached as an assistant at a Class 4A public school in Missouri. “All of the brothers would have started at the 4A school. They all are great athletes. They all can play. I’m just really impressed with their family, their work ethic; they’ve all been really solid in the classroom.”
Martin said he’s also impressed with the family’s commitment to Longmont Christian, despite all the boys having the ability and opportunity to play at one of the area’s public schools.
As far as James is concerned, playing elsewhere has never really crossed his mind. Like his brothers, he’s a Warrior.
“There’s just something about it that I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” he said.
Brian Howell can be reached at email@example.com.
LONGMONT CHRISTIAN WARRIORS
Coach: Jerry Martin, 8th year (34-25 overall)
Last year: 4-4, 1-4 in A-8 man Plains Division
Returning starters: Michael Charles (Sr., QB/CB/K, 6-1, 170); James Dick (Jr., MLB/OL, 6-0, 200); Caleb Flowers (Jr., OL/OLB, 6-0, 180); Austin Jauregui (Sr., WR/DB, 5-11, 165); Aaron Rodarte (Jr., LB/FB, 5-10, 160).
Others to watch: David Petty (Jr., OL/DL, 6-1, 205); Michael Rampson (Jr., QB/RB/DB, 5-9, 155).
College prospects: Charles, Dick, Flowers
Must-see game: Oct. 7 vs. Sedgwick County
Strengths: Although the Warriors don’t have great size up front, they do have quickness there, and Martin believes that could be a strength against bigger opponents. Martin has been preaching toughness and he hopes his squad brings that toughness, as well as a chip on its shoulder, into the season.
Weaknesses: The Warrriors lack breakaway speed with their skill position players. That’s a crucial key to success in 8-man football, and it’s something Longmont Christian has usually had. They will also be breaking in a new quarterback, as Charles, who was supposed to start, broke his ankle in fall camp and will miss most of the season. Depth is also an issue, as Martin just 14 healthy players were practicing this week.
Sept. 10 — at Gilpin County, 1 p.m.
Sept. 16 — VAIL CHRISTIAN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — HAXTUN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — at Caliche, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — SEDGWICK COUNTY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — at Merino, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 — at Dayspring Christian, 1 p.m.
Note: Home games in all caps; home stadium is at Sandstone Park