Strong arm. Check.
Dual threat. Check.
Sullivan East’s Dylan White checks the boxes needed for a high school quarterback. The senior enters his third year behind center and hopes to get the Patriots moving toward a winning season.
Last year’s 1-9 finish was tough to take, White said during Friday’s media day.
“We were 4-6 my sophomore year, and we looked at it as an OK season,” he said. “But there was no drive to come out and make a bond to go 6-4 or 7-3 the next year. This year, that 1-9 record has really pushed the team hard, and we worked like it in the offseason.”
Included in the losses was a 51-42 setback in a wild one against rival Sullivan Central.
“Ever since we lost that game, it lights a fire in us every time we think about it,” White said. “There were single plays where we could have won the game.”
White is in a position to help the Patriots succeed this year. Friday nights are a different animal for him because he’s been there and done that.
“When you’re younger and you’re trying to read plays and pre-snap everything, everything is moving so fast and flying by your head,” White said. “You’re just lucky to catch a break. But when you start to get older, the game slows down. It makes it like backyard football, just throwing the ball around and having some fun.”
White admitted he has been guilty sometimes of having a little too much fun, at least in terms of where the ball goes when it leaves his hand.
“I like to throw the ball a pretty good ways, if I have somebody open down the field,” he said. “But my coaches always get on me, wanting me to throw it short.”
Coach Mike Locke said White’s arm strength is a definite plus, but there’s value in the short game, too.
“Sometimes we have people standing wide open, and he’s throwing it and showing off the arm,” he said. “Obviously it’s a great thing if you hit (the long pass), but that’s not a great percentage. I tell him to throw it for 5 yards and let the guy run for 55. It’s the same result on the stat sheet.”
White is a dual-threat quarterback who said he likes to run more than pass. He also likes the spread offense.
“I would like to spread it out a little more,” White said. “But I do like running it a whole lot. And that’s what we do: Ground and pound and then bite you with the pass.”
White also plays baseball for the Patriots, manning center field and pitching. He said he likes both football and baseball, and it is a time-of-year thing.
“The atmosphere in football is 10 times better, but I still like baseball,” he said.