Replacement runner: Greenwade latest in line of Catamount ball carriers

Doug Smith/

Dalton High School's Tyson Greenwade reaches the end zone for a touchdown against Calhoun.

When he was a kid, Tyson Greenwade already knew he one day wanted to play football at Dalton High School.

"Just growing up and watching Dalton High football is something I would love to do," Greenwade said. "Being there on Friday night is just something special. The environment is unlike anything else."

Part of that allure has been the Dalton High running backs, especially of late, and especially as Greenwade found himself playing the position as he grew up.

The junior saw running backs like Ahmaad Tanner and Tyis Love find success for the Catamounts. Greenwade watched from afar in middle school as Jahmyr Gibbs burst onto the scene in 2018, then was a freshman on the team as Gibbs showed out in 2019 before heading to play for Georgia Tech.

"It helped a lot talking to them to get to know Dalton High a lot," said Greenwade of Gibbs and Maurice Howard, who was the lead back last season and is now at Valdosta State.

Greenwade saw some action last season as a sophomore behind Howard, but this season was set to be his year to take over that lineage of Catamount ball carriers.

Through two games, Greenwade's kept it in good hands so far.

Greenwade's tallied five rushing touchdowns through two games — two in a narrow week one loss to Calhoun and three in a blowout against Ridgeland last week.

"We knew how the game ended last year, and we didn't want that to happen again," Greenwade said of the Calhoun game. The Catamounts fell 41-14 to Calhoun in 2020 on their way to a 2-7 season. "It didn't end the way we wanted, but it really opened our eyes to see how much better we could play."

The Catamounts rolled through an overmatched Ridgeland last week and travel to play Class 7A North Forsyth tonight at 7:30.

Greenwade is pleased with what he's been able to do so far on the ground in 2021, but he's quick to tell you that he hasn't done it alone.

"It's really all thanks to the coaches and my lineman. With the line blocking the way they were, it made it easy on me," Greenwade said. "With the wide receivers we have out there, it's hard to stack the box with the people we've got out there being able to make plays."

With good blocking and spacing, Greenwade then lets the lessons take over he learned from watching Howard and Gibbs.

"They really taught me right from wrong and what to do and not to do as a running back," Greenwade said. "I just appreciate them for what they've done for me and help me get to where I am."

Greenwade has used different skill sets to help him reach the end zone five times so far.

On one of his scores against Calhoun, he plowed into a line of defenders inside the five and kept upright long enough to reach the end zone. Against Ridgeland, Greenwade broke off a long score, utilizing some of that good blocking to make a couple of defenders miss downfield and speed the rest of the way in.

Greenwade is glad to reach the end zone, but mostly because it helps his team win.

"Right now, we're all looking to win a region championship," Greenwade said. "As a running back, my goals are the team's goals and the team's goals are mine. I'm just looking to help win a region championship."

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