By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
As a junior sharing a backfield with some very successful seniors, running back Dontrell Chance already had the attention of opposing defensive coordinators.
With quarterback Cody Bell gone, as well as fellow running back Andy Nichols, Chance will now have the full attention of the defense. And that does not bother him one bit.
“They might know I’m coming, but it’s not about that,” he said. “It’s about what you can do. I feel like I can do a lot more than last year.”
One thing the diminutive running back knew is that with the added attention, not to mention the added load in the offense as a returning senior, he would need to be bigger.
While the lightning-fast running back couldn’t force himself to be taller, he did work to sculpt his body to take on the challenge. He decided not to play basketball, and that gave him a lot of free time to lift and get himself ready for the season.
“Non-stop working out and getting better,” Chance said when asked what he had done since last season. “I’m still small, but I hope to keep getting bigger before the season starts and not lose any quickness.”
While Chance expects to carry a bigger load on the offense this season, he knows he can’t win on his own. He said his hope is that by taking his play to another level, it will give his teammates a chance to step up as well and contribute.
But for the Vikings to be successful, Chance will have to be great, even with a lot of players returning. And the senior has high expectations for himself as well as his team.
“I want to get all-conference and be MVP,” he said. “I think we can get past the first round and go deep into the playoffs this year.”
There is a lot of competition for him for his personal goals this year, with a lot of all-state caliber running backs returning. But his coach, Mel Gilfillan, has no doubts who the top running back is.
“As far as I am concerned, he is the best player in the league,” he said.
From the Aug. 17-23, 2011, issue