Dickmann aims for Peach State success with Hoyas

Harrison High School

Harrison’s last taste of the postseason was in 2010, but that has seemed like a distant memory to the traditionally successful Hoya nation. A 3-7 record in 2011 was followed up by a 4-6 campaign last season, which also included a resignation from head coach Marty Galbraith. With an enrollment close to 2,600 students, the Class AAAAAA Cobb County school is not far from returning to form.

The hunt for a new head coach, spotted Matt Dickmann who came to the helm with an impressive resume. The former Seminole Ridge, (Fla.) head coach turned the Hawks into a perennial power in the talent-filled “Sunshine State.” Ultimately, the vacancy at Harrison and its better pay encouraged the beloved Florida coach to make the move.

Georgia football has its differences to Florida, but Dickmann admits that he “will not be able to compare the two [states] until after week 1″ when Harrison plays Woodstock.

The Hoyas are pinned in one of the deepest and most competitive regions in the state. McEachern, North Cobb, Marietta, South Cobb and Hillgrove all finished with better records than the Hoyas last season and look to be improved this year. Kennesaw Mountain, Campbell and Pebblebrook round out the rest of the region, and are also superior opponents in comparison to last year.

For Dickmann, the rebuilding will start with the defense. Last season, North Cobb broke the single season scoring record for Cobb County behind rising junior quarterback and Auburn commit Tyler Queen. McEachern, who finished undefeated in Region 4 last year, has one of the best rushing offenses in the state and ran a 61-21 track meet on Harrison in 2012. The Hoyas finished with a Region 4-worst 32 points-per game allowed on defense. Under Dickmann in 2012, Seminole Ridge boasted a solid unit that held six opponents to one touchdown or less.

“The O-line and D-line are always going to be included in success,” said Dickmann. “Our goal is to put points on the board, but [winning] starts with the defense.”

The new coach is looking forward to monitoring the development of his underclassmen, and has one of the brightest young stars in the state to work with. Dual-threat junior quarterback Lorenzo Nunez picked up offers from Ohio State, Boston College, Charlotte, Clemson and Kentucky after his breakout sophomore season. The 6-foot-3 four-star has impressed Dickmann who says, “Lorenzo is the most talented junior quarterback I have ever worked with.”

Starting center Byron Glass is also a junior and has a chance to pick up steam in the recruiting ranks this season. Bradley Mell will return healthy this season as a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker and running back.

Nunez will be the player to watch this season, as the playmaker continues to electrify the Harrison offense. Dickmann’s hire has brought direction back to Harrison and makes the Hoyas and Region 4 race that much tougher moving forward.


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