COACHES CORNER: New opportunities for Dickerson, Campbell creating positive impacts

North Side quarterback Bohde Dickerson rolls out of the pocket during August 19’s game against Snider. (Photo by Gary Hale)

On Friday night I was lucky enough to be at Chambers Field to watch what may end up being one
of the best games we will see in the SAC this season between Bishop Dwenger and North Side.

It was a hard-fought back and forth battle led by the play of two great quarterbacks. It was a QB duel that we would have not been able to see a year ago, as Bohde Dickerson and Sam Campbell stood on the same sideline at Bishop Dwenger in 2021. It was awesome seeing these two athletes creating positive impacts for their teams on the gridiron.

Love it or hate it, transferring schools has become a huge component of high school football in
recent years. You can ask fans all around the city and you’ll get all sorts of hot takes on the
topic. School A does this, while School B does that.

As a high school football fan and former player who knows what those Friday Night Lights feel like, all I want is to see the kids get a chance to play and compete at a high level. Changing what school you attend in high school won’t make or break someone from going to the NFL. But it could absolutely give a student athlete the opportunity to put out some film, make it to the next level and get a great education (hopefully with some scholarship money) while continuing their playing career.

That is certainly the case with both Dickerson and Campbell.

Bodhe Dickerson threw for 1,000 yards and rushed for over 200 yards while recording 16 touchdowns for the Saints last year and was a key contributor to Dwenger’s season that included a sectional championship.

Earlier this year, Dickerson transferred to North Side, a move that has now given both he and Campbell the opportunity to start at quarterback in one of the best high school football conferences in the state. It has also undoubtedly raised the competition level in the SAC this season while giving North Side a
chance to compete at an elite level.

Campbell has looked great for Bishop Dwenger through 2 games this season. He has completed 22 of 33 pass attempts for 437 yards and four touchdowns and also has run the ball 21 times for 99 yards and a pair of scores.

Meanwhile, Dickerson has been lights out for the Legends. He has completed 24 of 38 passes for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns, as well as 82 yards on the ground on 15 carries and 3 scores. The senior has shown great leadership in the Legends’ offense and I look forward to continuing to see him make great strides offensively.

While neither player holds any major scholarship offers, I believe both have the talent to play football at the next level, and still have two-plus months to show college coaches what they can do on the field.

Impact players like Dickerson can change a program. Coach Ben Johnson is trying to build something special off State St. The Legends’ victory on Friday was the first time they have defeated Bishop Dwenger in 10 years, and was North’s first marquee win under Coach Johnson. With the dub, they have shown now that they aren’t just internet hype and can be a true contender in the conference and sectional.

Being able to get a transfer to buy into the culture you are trying to build can be a challenge for both coaches and players. But early on it looks like Coach Johnson and Dickerson are on the right path, while Campbell at Dwenger has benefitted from the opportunity to ascend to the QB1 spot.

I look forward to continuing to see Dickerson and Campbell making big plays for their teams on Friday nights.

Wes Painter is a new contributor to Outside the Huddle. He played football at both Snider High School and Indiana State University. Following his playing career, Painter coached defensive line and special teams for the Sycamores before moving back to Fort Wayne. He served as an assistant coach at North Side from 2019-20.

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