WEST JEFFERSON — As the Ashe County Huskies football team prepares for the new season, starting roles and depth charts are still being sorted as players learn their new roles. One position featuring turnover is the most important in the sport, the starting quarterback.
Previous starter Luke Hudler graduated after his 3,440 yards and 42 touchdowns lead the Huskies to a 10-3 record in 2018, which featured a perfect 7-0 record in-conference. The team won the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference outright for the first time in school history, and advanced to the second round of the N.C. 2AA playoffs.
Replacing Hudler is junior Dawson Cox, who saw limited game time in 2018, but is already getting high praise from head coach Brian Hampton.
“Dawson looks good. He’s got a great arm and he’s been spending a couple years learning the offense,” Hampton said. “When he’s tight fundamentally, he throws it as well as anyone we’ve had.”
Hampton said the six feet three inches tall signal caller has grown physically and mentally. He said Cox is very well-versed in the offense and knows how to spread the ball the way Hampton wants him to. Cox has been working closely with assistant coach Drew Piscopo to instill the mentality of the offense, and be comfortable in the air-raid style of play.
Spreading the ball will be easy for Cox, with weapons such as junior receiver Austin Poe, who led all 2A receivers in yards, and junior running back Timothy Peterson, who finished fourth in the division in rushing.
Hampton said having Poe will be a boon to Cox’s first year as a starter. Peterson will also play a role in the passing game as an option later in the reads, but his 10 catches for 82 yards and three touchdowns from last season can be improved upon if the opposition allows for it, according to Hampton.