By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County’s Tristan Dishman had never participated in a football game or practice before coming to the high school. Four years later he is heading off to college to play at the next level.
The 6’4”, 320-pound lineman, cast his lot last Thursday to play for Lawrence Tech in Southfield, Michigan before family and friends at the high school.
Dishman’s was the team’s top lineman in 2017 on a squad that went 10-0 during the regular season and 11-1 overall. Unfortunately, the senior standout had to miss the final three games due to an injury.
He said that missing out on the playoffs motivated him to play at the next level along with his line coach Craig Cox.
“Coach Cox actually helped me get the ball rolling,” said Dishman. “I wanted to play some more after the season because I missed out on my final three games. I’m really excited about going up there to play because their line coach liked what they saw when I sent them game film. It’s a chance for me to do something that I never thought was possible. I didn’t even play football in junior high.”
“The storybook 10-0 undefeated regular season had a heavy arsenal of good football players and Dishman was one of them. Head coach Don Kerley pointed to a few factors that he felt could work in Dishman’s favor.
“He’s come a long, long way since he first started playing,” said Kerley. “He had a good season but wanted to continue playing after his injury. It’s going to be a challenge for him, but they will work hard to make him stronger. He’s got a huge frame, and he’s very young to be a senior. I know he’ll do his best because he’s that type of kid. We’re all pulling for him.”
Dishman indicated that they’re looking at him as a defensive lineman.
“I spoke with the defensive line coach over the phone, and they said I could play if I work hard,” added Dishman. “I feel like that I’ve got better, but I know that I can do much, much more. I want to make all the Johnson County people proud of me.”
Dishman plans to study business at Lawrence Technology and find some work opportunities in their intern program.
He said that beating Happy Valley and Sullivan East his senior year was two games that he would always remember.
“I wouldn’t change this season for anything. It’s been fun playing with people who basically have become my family for life. We set some school records, and that’s something we can be proud of. I’ll never forget the Happy Valley game that we won or beating East the way we did. That got our season off to a good start, and the Happy Valley win moved us up in the rankings.”
Dishman is the son of Eva Dishman nod Brian Headington. He praised a couple of his coaches for making his dream come true, to play in college.
“I can’t thank Coach Don enough for pushing me as a freshman and making me work hard in the weight room,” said Dishman. Coach Craig Cox went the extra mile for me along with Coach Kerley. All my coaches did. I could never, ever thank them enough.”