By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– It was weird to see Thursday night Owen Hess dropping back and throwing the ball, playing Quarterback after the graduation of Ashton Foster after this past season. Consider this, last year Hess led 5A with 114 tackles as a junior and is now making the switch over to offense.
But for Hess, he described his junior year where he made his mark on the defensive side of the ball as just doing his job. Trying to be a leader for his Dragons team that reached the 5A State Quarterfinals after their first round win over Pendleton in 2021. And entering this season, he’s looking to do the same at the Quarterback in 2022. To do his job, to lead and put his team in the best possible position to win ball games on Friday night. It doesn’t matter if he’s hitting the running back or quarterback or throwing touchdown passes, it’s all about doing everything to the best of his ability.
“It was nice being the defensive leader of the team, but all that was going through my mind was doing my job to the best of my ability and I will continue to do that in the future. If good things happen, good things happen,” Hess starts. “For me it means doing everything, every aspect of everything you do to the best of your ability and not complaining about having to do anything that you want to do….but just getting straight to it. For me to show that I can play multiple positions and not just be a safety on defense and it’ll be a great opportunity to lead my team towards winning games.”
Thursday night’s practice was the second of the day for the Dragons as they put on the pads for the session after going through the Special Teams intro in the AM. Hess was one of several Dallas players to have played in the Oregon All-State Series over the Summer time, joining Emilio Miradanda, Corey Miller, Garrett Munkers, Isiah Mosley, Steven Ward, Dominic Sobota, Emilio Rocha and Brock Dunkin all to represent the Dragon program and getting some extra reps in going into this season.
For Rocha, he hopes that they can carry the momentum over into the Fall from 2021 and the Summer with the program setting their heights high with their jamboree coming up on August 26 and Silverton Week 1.
“It’ll be huge. We’re looking good, we’re looking awesome. We got a bunch of studs on the team and we’re looking solid. Hopefully we can make a good playoff run and hopefully a Title,” Rocha said. “(The Pendleton game) was great, you need momentum going into the next season and you need returners and leaders to lead your team and do good.
“All these guys, all my brothers out here. Having them on my back going through adversity and what not, it makes you feel great. Our offense, we’re going to be scorers. Our defense, we got one of the best defenses in the State. We’re going to get a lot of stops this year and a lot of wins. It’s going to be great,”
Their Week 1 game against the Foxes will be September 2 at 7pm in Dallas, the Dragons will then host McKay September 9 before hitting the road Week 3 at Lebanon September 16 for their first road trip of the year.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald