Northwest’s football team compatible with the cloud

Posted Monday, Jul. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Underestimate Northwest’s running game and you’ll be watching a cloud of dust.


After the departure of Northwest quarterback Draze Lawliss to graduation, head coach Bill Patterson has the decision to make between two snap callers. The more dual threat of the two is Dusty Cloud.

No, really. It’s not just what he leaves in the face of opposing defenders. It’s actually his name.

“Some people want to say ‘Dusty Cloud, that’s kind of funny,’ and then you go out there and show them what you can do and they remember the name because it’s unique and they think, ‘He’s pretty good,’” Cloud said. “They don’t know if I’m going to run past them and leave them in the dust or make a pass.”

All humor aside, Cloud is a legitimate all-around, standout athlete.

Serving as the team’s backup quarterback last season, he already knew the system like the back of his hand going into spring practice this fall, in which Patterson said he did well.

Beyond his notoriety on the football team, he is a two-sport athlete for Northwest, earning MVP honors for the baseball team as a pitcher. Cloud said even before he investigates his options playing football in college, he might look into playing baseball. Best-case scenario, the rising senior will find a school that will allow him to be the dual-threat athlete that he is for Northwest.

Heading into his final high school season, Cloud hopes he can improve on the leadership skills he’s already utilized with the football team, taking his game over and beyond the athletic abilities he’s already demonstrated through the offseason.

Respect is something Cloud already has from teammates he’s played with for years. To Cloud and his teammates, this team is much more than just a school activity or personal accomplishments.

“Most of the kids that are on the team, I’ve played with all my life,” Cloud said. “I’m really good friends with them and I’d say we are like brothers. We hang out all the time and have fun. We do everything together; go out to eat and stay at each others houses and treat each other like family.”

Rising junior Jesse Drummer, who transferred into the school last December, is Cloud’s competition for the starting job, which might turn into more of a split role between the two. With Cloud’s athletic ability, he is flexible to move between quarterback, running back and wide receiver, which calls for several packages that can utilize both quarterbacks on the field.

Through Northwest’s 7-on-7 season this summer, Cloud has played primarily running back and wideout, with Drummer dishing out the passes.

With these two athletes returning, along with an veteran wide receiver corps, Patterson said the offense is in very capable hands this fall.

“We’re excited about our offense,” Patterson said. “We feel like we’ve got some guys who we can get the ball in their hands and they can do some things.”

When the ball finds its way into Cloud’s hands, whether at quarterback or any other position, let the puns and jokes fly. Just don’t be sitting back on your heels.

“Teams can’t just sit there and think I’m not going to run the ball that much and sit back and play coverage, he said. “I just bring my speed and try to make plays.”

Check next week for a feature on Drummer.

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