2018 Johnson Central football Defensive Tackle Dawson Stalker has one objective: get the ball carrier on the ground as fast as possible.
Johnson Central football displayed pure dominance in the 2016 KHSAA Playoffs as they scored an average of 51 points in five games. They capped off their dominant run when they beat the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats (KY) 48-0 to end the season 14-1 (5-0 4A District Eight). They reached the state championship game in 2015 as well but lost 36-6 to the South Warren Spartans of Bowling Green, KY.
“It’s amazing being a champion. Just to see all that work that’s put into football every day. You go to practice after school then at night you work out and at the end of the season you get to call yourself the best in the state. It’s a pretty great feeling,” Stalker said.
Speaking on what area defensively he’s most affective at (passing rushing or stopping the run), Stalker shed some light on Johnson Central football and their team-oriented approach.
“I think it’s a little bit of both. At my school, Johnson Central, when it’s a run play we want to get in and block every hole possible and let the linebackers deal with it. If we get a tackle, that’s just a bonus for us because we’re a really team-oriented defense. Pass rush, we all just go straight for the quarterback on the defensive line and I think it’s a really good and effective defensive that we have.”
Dawson Stalker is ranked a two-star 2018 recruit by Rivals, a blue-grey All-American Bowl selection and three-time All-American and has received an offer from Morehead State. He recorded 90 tackles (31 solo), six tackles for loss, three sacks and two quarterback pressures.
“To just be the best on the field and be the best team in state,” he said what motivates him to play now. The
He has high interest in the University of Kentucky and Appalachian State.
“The University of Kentucky and that’s because I’ve always liked their program and I’ve been to a few of their camps. I like Appalachian State. I’ve been to some of their camps and the campus is great a campus and the coaching staff is amazing.”
The toughest thing for the 6-foot-3, 320 pound, Paintsville, KY native is the amount of hard work he has had to put in which allows little time for other things.
“I think probably the toughest thing is the amount I’ve had to put work into football. I had to work out in the morning, then in the evenings. I can’t go out and hang out with all of my friends as much as I’d like to but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to do to better myself.”
Off the field, if football doesn’t work out or he gets injured, he wants to be an occupational therapist or set his sights a little lower to be financially responsible. Raising the money later and going to a school that could help further himself in order to save money would be his plan.
— CRAIG KNIGHT STALKER (@Stalker975) August 4, 2017
PR 4.97 timed in 40 pic.twitter.com/psMFCY1Q6X
— Dawson K. Stalker (@dkstalker75) July 31, 2017
Looking at film on Dawson Stalker, he has good burst off of the line of scrimmage and hands that allow him to shed blocks. If he doesn’t break free right away, he has the speed in space to get to where the ball carrier is on the field.
Speed and agility are things he said still need work on but his effort does not.
“I think just going out there and giving 110 percent is what my whole goal is during a game and that’s how you win state championships so that’s what I do,” he said.
Dawson Stalker is going to miss playing with his teammates on the defensive line and the Johnson Central Golden Eagle fans as well. He said games aren’t nearly as fun without the fans cheering for the team in support. He wants to make sure the fans know how much they are appreciated.
Johnson Central football has their first game vs Capital High School Cougars Friday August 25 at 7:30pm.