Tolar senior B.J. Dollins earned second-team all-state football honors the old fashioned way – he worked hard.
Head coach Mike Franklin said Dollins put in the necessary work in the offseason to get to that level as a defensive back, and he was pleased to see that he received recognition.
“I was ecstatic. I was so excited for him,” Franklin said. “That young man worked real hard to earn everything.”
Dollins became the first Tolar player to be voted all-state at the Class 2A level.
Dollins, whose last name was mistakenly released by the Associated Press as Collins when their 2A All-State Team was announced, led the Rattlers in total tackles with 99, including 13 behind the line of scrimmage. He also intercepted three passes, caused one fumble and recovered one.
Dollins had been attending school in the Granbury ISD and was a serious soccer player before transferring to Tolar before his sophomore football season. At that time, Franklin said, Dollins didn’t seem to be a likely candidate to reach the all-state level in football.
“He put time in the weight room and he worked himself into being a good football player and a good leader for us,” Franklin said. “He got a lot stronger over (last) summer. He got about 15 pounds heavier – but it was nothing but muscle. He hit a growth spurt.”
Franklin said Dollins also grew stronger from another kind of hard work. He started his own lawn service along with his brother John, who will be a junior next fall after having been the JV placekicker last season.
Dollins strained his right quadriceps muscle midway through the regular season, but continued to play on defense in the final seven games.
“It slowed him down a little bit, but it didn’t stop him,” Franklin said, noting that he missed “very little” playing time on defense. “We took him out in blowout games early.”
Franklin said that on defense, Dollins played a “hybrid” position – mixing stints at free safety, strong safety and inside linebacker.
“He allowed us to be very multiple in our defense,” Tolar defensive coordinator Gregg Lee said. “He could do a lot of things. He was really smart, and he saw the field well and he was a great open-field tackler.”
Dollins’ offensive duties became lighter when Justin Brown was moved to fullback. He still ended up as the team’s third-leading rusher with 282 yards.
Dollins was a two-year starter, although in 2011 he was primarily used at outside linebacker and defensive end.
Kicking was another area in which Dollins began to excel as a senior. For the most part, Dollins was forced to give up his job as kicker on extra points and field goals the rest of the way after his leg injury, but finished with nine field goals and a dozen extra points.
Franklin said Dollins had made a 48-yard field goal in practice just before his injury.
“Depending on the wind and the situation, we weren’t going to hesitate (on) a 40-yarder in a game,” Fraklin said.
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