CENTERTON (KFSM) - It’s hard to fill the shoes of an all-state QB, but Dalton McDonald remains unfazed. After all, he’s had some practice.
"One thing about him is he doesn’t feel the pressure," laughs Bentonville West coach Bryan Pratt.
McDonald had to fill in for four games in the hear of conference play when senior QB Will Jarrett went down with injury last year. He recalls his mindset.
"I was thinking, I gotta step up, gotta be the man, gotta step up until Will’s back here."
"Will kind of groomed him while he was hurt , tried to get him ready for when he’d be stepping into the fire," adds Pratt.
Now, the junior is the full time starter, and that experience has proved invaluable. Senior Jonas Higson has seen the progression.
"Last year I think he thought he was just kind of filling the void left by Will Jarrett when he was hurt, but his year he’s had a big leadership role and really grew a ton and stepped up."
"Because he was in the situation he was in last year, kind of thrown into the fire, everything’s a little bit slower for him."
"I thank he’s been able to calm down back there and realize he knows what he’s doing," adds senior Nick Whitlatch.
"It’s been a lot different because I know I’m the man and I just gotta be the leader that I’m supposed to be."
It’s a all part of Wolverine offense that’s surprising the 7A West, taking down Fayetteville 35-17 despite losing many of their weapons from the year before. None of that is possible without the new and improved Dalton McDonald, says Pratt.
"Our offense has kind of opened up for him, last year we kind of closed the book and made it easy on him, this year’s a whole lot more difficult, and I thought a little different window of everybody getting to see the Bentonville West offense."
The next test comes this Friday against Springdale.