Every football team has that guy others look to when they need a big play. Sometimes the intensity is not there for the team during a stretch. Other times the opponent makes a big play to take the steam out…
Every football team has that guy others look to when they need a big play. Sometimes the intensity is not there for the team during a stretch. Other times the opponent makes a big play to take the steam out of them. Times like these need someone to take charge – someone to make a play.
In 2016, when Cretin-Derham Hall needed a big play on defense or special teams, often it was junior Charlie Dennis who was that guy.
“My role on the team was to hype our defense up every play and create energy whenever there is a chance too,” Dennis said. “My second role was to be aggressive and physical coming off the edge of the line as my coach said ‘be a dude' which means to be dominant every play and create something big for us.”
The Raiders – like most years – had a solid regular season.
“The season for the team went well,” Dennis said. “We went 7-3 and lost in the second round to Eden Prairie.”
During the season, Dennis' role – ever so slightly – changed.
“I think my season went well with a position change from a safety to a hybrid safety, but I felt like I could have done more to make us have a better outcome in the overall season.”
Not just a safety, Dennis' impact was felt on special teams too.
“I did a good job on special teams – kickoff, punt, punt return,” Northstarfootballnews.com's 9th ranked junior said. “I was the guy the team relied on to make the big tackle downfield or to block a punt.”
Despite his success on special teams, the junior's primary role was on defense.
“My strength as a defensive back is that I play with passion and have good man cover ability,” Dennis said. “I play the run and the pass with great urgency. I am a big hitter who likes to come up and deliver a hit. I have good straight line speed and stay aggressive.”
This offseason he is paying attention to his technique.
“My big focus this summer is to improve my footwork skills and hips,” Dennis said. “So I can be able to open up more smoothly and be able to break down quicker on routes or juke moves by a player.”
Before he focuses on football, the three-sport athlete who qualified for the state track and field meet at the end of the 2016 season as a member of the 4X200 meter relay team, has been plenty busy.
“This winter I participated in basketball with school,” Dennis told northstarfootballnews.com. “We lost in the first round of State. This spring I am running track and trying to make it to State again.”
Dennis received his first offer from Bemidji State.
“Recruiting has been going well,” Dennis said. “I have been getting interest from several schools from the Ivy League and a couple from the Big Ten.”
Heading into his senior season, Dennis will again be relied on to make big plays for his team. If he makes plays like he did during his junior season, his team's victories and his college opportunities will continue to grow.