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Swiss Army gridder

G-R senior Colton Dinsdale a do- everything type

November 22, 2015
TYLER STRAND - Central Iowa Press , Reinbeck Courier

REINBECK - His position on the field is constantly changing. But when it comes to effort, Colton Dinsdale only knows one gear - top speed.

Whether it's outmuscling defensive backs for jump balls at receiver or blasting open running lanes for Eric Stoakes at fullback, Dinsdale can fulfill a variety of roles on offense. He's just as valuable on the defensive end where he's rotated from outside to inside linebacker, while also proving dangerous on special teams.

Trying to slow Denver's top-ranked scoring offense or finding creases against the fourth-best scoring defense will be a tall task. Dinsdale will definitely play a part in both tasks today when seventh-ranked Gladbrook-Reinbeck squares off with No. 4 Denver in a Class A semifinal at the UNI-Dome.

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"We can play him at three or four different positions (on offense)," G-R coach John Olson said. "He does everything right all the time and just works extremely hard in the offseason so it's really nice to have a person like that."

Dinsdale displayed his two-way prowess in a key moment to help the Rebels put away Pleasantville in the second round. One play after stopping Hawks' quarterback Zeb Adreon in the backfield on fourth down, Dinsdale barreled 64 yards behind a convoy of blockers for a touchdown to seal a 28-0 victory.

The senior hauled in a team-high five catches for 95 yards in G-R's first-round rout of East Buchanan and also led the defense with 6.5 tackles. Dinsdale's numbers in the quarterfinal win over BGM - two catches for 34 yards - may not jump off the page but his leadership and effort are always apparent, even if it's during a walkthrough.

The night before their quarterfinal final game with the Bears, Olson recalled a simple play in practice that a lot of players could have half-heartedly jogged through but that's simply not in Dinsdale's DNA. That energy will be ever more critical for the Rebels across the board against the Cyclones.

"We had a Thursday night practice this last week and typically it's a walkthrough and you're kind of going through the motions," Olson said. "But he runs a three-yard flare route that he's been doing since his freshman year, catches the ball and turns upfield and sprints 30 yards. Its like a Jerry Rice story. It's like 'I'm going to do that because that's how I'm going to get better at that and that's what I'm supposed to do and I'm not going to go slow. I have one speed and that's to play as fast as I can play,' and that's why he's as good as he can be. He's not a 4.5 guy, he runs a 4.7. He's not a burner but for some reason people can't catch him."

Dinsdale couldn't be caught by BCLUW in a 227-yard, four-touchdown performance in the Rebels' district opener and he broke loose for a pair of 85-yard touchdown returns, one on a punt and the other a kickoff in last month's victory over rival Grundy Center. He also had a 26-yard touchdown reception against the Spartans and has been Jake Schuman's top target this season.

"He's versatile, he's a good athlete," Schuman said. "He's strong so he can play tight end, he can play fullback, he can go split out. He just has a knack for big plays and has an eye for the ball."

The multi-sport standout leads the Rebels with 29 receptions for 517 yards and eight touchdowns, while also reaching the end zone six times on the ground with 342 rushing yards.

Spearheading the defense with 74 tackles including 10 for loss, Dinsdale also continues to set the bar high off the field.

"He's a kid that does everything right all the time," Olson said. "He's got a 3.8 grade point average, he does things the right way off the field, he's a really good leader. His freshman year he was a receiver and an outside linebacker. His sophomore year he played fullback for us a little bit and receiver and inside linebacker. Last year it was inside linebacker and fullback, I mean just all over the place position wise because he's smart, he knows what to do on the football field. You tell him something once and he absorbs it."

Dinsdale's propensity for making plays doesn't come from raw talent alone. The senior attended numerous camps in the offseason to continue honing his play for his final campaign with the Rebels.

"This summer he went to every single football camp he could, I can't remember the last time that he was even in his hometown because he was out of town going to camps, working hard, lifting all the time," Rebels lineman Thomas Mussig said. "He's extremely dedicated, a huge leader and a great athlete."

Through his four-year career Dinsdale has played in 14 playoff games according to Olson. The G-R head coach won't have to question the senior's motivation to earn a chance at No. 16.

"Four years straight of doing things the right way, good parents, he does it right in the school," Olson said. "He's just a really good football player and he does things the right way. I could go on and on about how good he is and how much he's worked for us."



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