Dickson football experiences growing pains in 2021 opener

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Comets junior Jzavionn Bennett scored a pair of kickoff-return touchdowns Friday night against Hugo.

It’s not unusual for a squad to experience growing pains as a new system is put into place.

The Dickson High School football team knows that, as the Comets are not only adjusting to first-year head coach Matt Suffal, but they’re also having to adapt to a new offense while creating a new culture.

However, the experience is just the same for the coaching staff, as they’re finding out how the athletes perform on the big stage.

“Everyone handles the lights differently,” said Dickson head coach Matt Suffal. “Friday night when everything is bright and on them, you never know how a kid is truly going to react to that situation. We kind of reverted back to some old habits, some bad habits. That’s something we’ll obviously harp on and our coaching staff will fix this week.”

Those old habits proved costly for the Comets, as a close contest early on turned into a lopsided affair in a 40-20 loss to Hugo. However, the difference in the game came down to execution on offense, as Suffal said the defense did “really well, for the most part.”

But Dickson did have a few highlights, as Jzavionn Bennett scored a pair of kickoff-return touchdowns and also was instrumental on defense.

“Jzavionn Bennett had one pass that was underneath his zone and he comes back up and makes the tackle,” Suffal said. “He was also a lockdown corner. It was pretty impressive to watch him in his man coverage.”

Suffal also mentioned Johnny Smith and River Moody did well on offense, while Smith carried his success over to the other side of the ball.

“Defensively, Johnny Smith did a great job at outside linebacker for us,” Suffal said. “He made some tremendous plays — pass breakups, pressure on the quarterback and big hits at the edge.”

The Comets (0-1) look to bounce back when they welcome Comanche to town at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3.

“We have a lot to learn from, but right now it’s all fixable,” Suffal said. “Our kids will show up on Monday and they’ll be ready to work. You’ll see a pretty big improvement from Week 0 to Week 1.”