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2016 Prep Football Previews: Dixie Heights expects Torres to be big part of offense once again

The NKyTribune will be offering focused coverage of NKY high school football throughout the season, thanks to support from St. Elizabeth Healthcare Sports Medicine. See all of our pre-season features on each of NKY’s 21 high school football teams and follow our coverage, including roundups each week at Northern Kentucky High School Football.

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

His name is at the top of several categories on the strength and conditioning chart in the Dixie Heights football team’s weight room. That shows how hard senior running back Jose Torres has worked to prepare for the 2016 season and set a positive example for his teammates.

“I think we’re pretty blessed athletically this year and he’s going to be a big part of it,” said Dixie Heights coach Dave Brossart. “Jose is the man in every way. He leads in the weight room and on the field. He’s just a workhorse. I could talk all day about Jose Torres.”

Jose Torres wt room

Jose Torres, the leading rusher on the Dixie Heights football team last year, lifted weights with the team’s offensive linemen to become a stronger runner.

There’s plenty to talk about. Torres was a third-string running back going into last season and ended up rushing for more than 850 yards. To become a more powerful runner, he lifted weights with the team’s offensive lineman during the off season because he said they “push me a lot more.”

The end result is a stronger, more confident ball carrier who’s capable of getting tough yards up the middle and breaking through for big runs whenever possible.

“I like getting the ball and being able to hit people running it,” Torres said with a smile.

Brossart said Torres is the same type of hard-nosed running back as Luke Zajac, a senior on the 2014 Dixie Heights team that made it to the Class 6A state championship game for the first time in the history of the program.

The Colonels competed on the Class 5A level last season and lost in the second round of the playoffs to finish with a 3-9 record. Most of the players on that team were first-year starters and injuries to key players didn’t help matters.

In the second game last year, Torres had to be inserted in the offensive backfield because the two running backs ahead of him were sidelined by injuries. He rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns that night and stayed in the lineup.

“I was a little nervous, but I’m pretty sure the very first play I had an 80-yard run and after that all the nerves just went away,” he said. “I was perfectly fine the rest of the season. I had confidence in myself and our team.”

St E Football plugWith all five offensive linemen and Torres returning, Dixie Heights expects to run the ball effectively this year. The main focus in pre-season practice is finding replacements for quarterback Gunther Faeth and leading receiver Ethan Schulte, who both graduated.

“We’ve got three or four kids that can run the ball and we’ve got an offensive line that’s strong and confident with a full year under their belts,” coach Brossart said. “Four of our five linemen are juniors, but there’s no excuse for them being young. The question is are they going to play physically tough like the kids we had up front two years ago.”

Torres rushed for more than 850 yards last year with the help of the team’s returning offensive linemen, who then became his weight training partners. They’ve formed a bond that should help the Dixie Heights offense succeed this season and become a contender in the Class 5A playoffs.

“I think we’re all very confident in ourselves,” Torres said. “We just need to work a little harder. If we all work hard to reach our full potential, we can get there.”


2015 SEASON: 3-9 record, lost in second round of Class 5A playoffs.
DISTRICT: Class 5A, District 5 with Covington Catholic, Grant County and Highlands.
HEAD COACH: Dave Brossart (51-45 in nine seasons overall, 27-23 in four seasons at Dixie Heights).

Aug. 26 – at Scott, 7 p.m..
Sept. 2 – MILFORD (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 – SIMON KENTON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 – at Conner, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 – at Boone County, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 – COOPER, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 – HIGHLANDS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 – GRANT COUNTY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 – at Covington Catholic, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28 – at Ryle, 7:30 p.m.

Other NKyTribune prep football previews:
Conner Cougars

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