High School Sports

New coach wants opponents to dread Dunbar football

Lafayette’s Daquis Sharp broke up a touchdown pass intended for Paul Dunbar’s Dontell Brown in the second quarter at Ishmael Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015.
Lafayette’s Daquis Sharp broke up a touchdown pass intended for Paul Dunbar’s Dontell Brown in the second quarter at Ishmael Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. Herald-Leader


Coach: Chris Mullins (first year)

Last season: 3-8 (lost to Lafayette in the first round of Class 6A playoffs)

Outlook: Mullins was the head coach at Greenup County for five seasons before becoming Dunbar’s eighth coach since 2000. He stressed his desire to bring continuity to the Bulldogs’ program during his introductory press conference in February and reiterated that recently. “Why join a program that’s turning over so much?” Mullins said. “You invest so much but you’re never gonna be overly successful because you have to learn something new every other year because you have a new coach. They just need some consistency.”

Expected contributors: Adrian Bard (sr. OL/DL); Alex Bard (so. RB); Amari Bracken (DE); Dontell Brown (sr. WR); Gavin Bugg (jr. QB); Nate Gay (jr. RB); Carter Hayslett (sr. LB); Tre Homer (jr. WR); Gbutue Vorkpor (sr. OL/DL); Kaelen Whiteside (sr. OL); Isaiah Yeast (sr. RB); Markel Yeast (sr. WR)

Senior spotlight

Dunbar will employ a spread offense this season and hopes to put up points in a hurry rather than grind down clock every possession as it did in 2015.

“Instead of us just depending on the defense, we’ll be depending on our offense a lot more now,” lineman Gbutue Vorkpor said. “The goal is probably to score as quick as possible that way we don’t have to be the team that’s always down on the scoreboard.”

Vorkpor’s parents are from Liberia but he was born in the U.S. They wanted to give him “a good, hard African name” to help him keep his roots. Gbutue means “Chief” in African.

He was able to visit Liberia as a sophomore. Vorkpor likened it to a “paradise” in some respects, and it opened his eyes to the unique things people around the world experience.

The most stark difference?

“The type of housing capabilities that they have there,” Vorkpor said. “Wooden buildings. Sometimes (buildings) made out of clay and stuff so that way they wouldn’t get washed away.”

Coach’s corner

Mullins: “I think what we’re trying to do is bring a new style of football to Fayette County. ... I’m trying to bring an Eastern Kentucky, a mountain Kentucky style of football here, where we play physical, nasty defense all the time. And regardless of the score, when your people are shaking hands at the end of the game, they don’t want to play another snap against Dunbar High School.”

Fightin’ words

Senior defensive end Amari Bracken: “I think our defense has the same expectations (as last season). We’re just looking to destroy people on the other side of the ball. ... Destroy ’em all. Every one of ’em.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps


(All times p.m.; home games in capital letters)

Aug. 19: x-Lafayette, 8:30

Aug. 26: at Mad. Cent., 7:30

Sept. 2: TATES CREEK, 7:30

Sept. 9: EASTERN, 7:30

Sept. 16: at Jeffersontown, 7:30

Sept. 23: ANDERSON CO., 7:30

Oct. 7: BRYAN STATION, 7:30

Oct. 14: at Henry Clay, 7:30

Oct. 21: at Scott Co., 7:30

Oct. 28: BOYLE CO., 7:30

x-Kickoff Classic at Scott Co.

2016 High school football preview

Read more from the Herald-Leader on Kentucky.com today, follow @hlpreps on Twitter for updates throughout the season, and get scores and statistics here every Friday night.

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