Building a Team: Defensive Backs

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In the first game, on the first defensive series of the season for the Dresden Lions the defensive secondary stepped up and made a play. “I got an interception in the first game,” safety Gatlin Hatchel said. “I got a pick six that was real exciting. Every time you get a pick, it gets the team going and its the play of the game.” It is plays like that that define the Lions secondary. Each player has each been molded by the coaching staff to fit what they need. “You have got to be able to move well laterally and vertically,” Defensive Coordinator Chad Hodge said. “Obviously, you don’t want a big, thick kid at that position. It would be nice to have height but most of the time your looking for speed, athleticism, good feet, good hips. Things like that.” The Lions rank as one of the best in West Tennessee when it comes to turnovers. They are led by Colin Kanehl, who has four interceptions and six total takeaways. “It’s not about the stats,” Kanehl said. “I don’t go for numbers. I do it for the team and what coach tells me to. I know my coverages and he’s been right all year long and I guess that’s why I have got good numbers this year.” It is turnovers that can change the complexion of a game. And that is exactly what the Dresden coaches want. “It really breaks an offenses and teams back if you pick them when they throw, or you strip them,” Coach Hodge said. “It helps our offense but it hurts the other teams mentally.” “I like the pressure,” Kanehl said. “I always have because, you know when a play comes to you and you have the desire to come up big and do good for your team. So, it’s not pressure, it’s the want to.”