Dickens’ legacy secure with Lions


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Ashton Dickens was the electric vehicle that drove Lockhart football as a three-year starter for the Lions. He stayed charged, accounting for almost 5 miles of offense — 3,983 yards passing and 4,628 yards rushing

He also accounted for 92 touchdowns — 59 rushing, 32 passing, and 1 via kickoff return.

“I have had some great players in 20-plus years of coaching who have accomplished great things.” Lockhart Head Coach Todd Todd Moebes said.  “I don’t know all their career stats by heart. What I do know is what Ashton Dickens accomplished as our QB for three years is extraordinary.”

While his career under the Friday night lights at Lockhart are over, Dickens will continue playing football with the Army Black Knights, as will his Lockhart teammate and classmate, offensive lineman Brady Stephenson.

In his 33 games as a high school starting quarterback, Dickens averaged for 260  yards and 2.7 touchdowns per game.

“That’s pretty unheard of coming from one guy,” Moebes said. “It’s a tremendous workload. But, he prepared his body. He didn’t hardly miss a single snap for three seasons. It just goes into his preparation. He’s an extremely strong kid, probably one of the strongest kids pound-for-pound in our entire football program. He works his butt off to be able to prepare his body that way.”

Dickens completed 296-of-606 passes and ran 539 times for an average of 8.6 yards per carry.

It would be hard to pinpoint his greatest game for the Lions, but Dickens did help end a 30-year drought against Kerrville Tivy in 2022 with a 42-28 win at Antler Stadium. Lockhart made it two consecutive wins over Tivy this year with 31-30 victory at Lions Stadium.

Dickens, however, said his biggest moment may have been during his first start at quarterback as a sophomore in 2021, a 33-29 win at home over Victoria West.

“That was a big game for me,” Dickens said. “It was a close game. Everyone, all the teachers and the community, were telling me good luck and stuff. I was a little nervous.”

Dickens had come up a Lockhart Lion, with his mother having graduated at LHS, and an older brother and uncles having played football for the Lions.

“He’s as Lockhart native as anybody,” Moebes said.

Dickens said he began playing football at the age of 7, falling in love with the sport.

He began honing his skills at quarterback at Lockhart Junior High, then made the leap to high school. He split time at wide receiver and quarterback as a freshman for the Lions.

“Once I got into my freshman year, I decided quarterback was what I wanted to do, go to college for it and play football,” Dickens said.

As a junior, Dickens had the comfort of senior running back Sean McKinney and his experience on the team, but his featured running back as a senior was junior Nathaniel Gonzales.

“He was always a standout athletically,” Moebes said of Dickens. “He was certainly a standout in his class. He was someone we were eager to get to the high school from the junior high.

Quarterback at junior high. He’s been that through the system. You never know. Guys do change positions. We knew he was capable after his freshman year, but there was a quarterback competition. He came out on top.”

Lockhart made back-to-back state playoffs berth, reaching the second round during Dickens’ junior season and falling in the first round this year.

“The good thing about Ashton is he was going to be a great player for us one way or the other,” Moebes said. “If he hadn’t won that quarterback competition, he would have helped us out somewhere else. Ashton’s always been very open about doing whatever best fits the team. Certainly, the best fit for us was him being able to touch the ball.”

Moebes said Dickens developed a high IQ as a runner, learning when to get down or step out of bounds so he can move on to he next play. Nevertheless, Dickens often took some large hits, but he gave them out, too.

“Some people think you just go out there and run around and play 5A football,” Moebes said. “Well, you better learn how to protect yourself, too, know how to be able to take hits. He made us efficient offensively, but protected his longevity.”

Dickens said he learned not to try and run through defenders, rather around them.

Asked what it was like playing for Moebes, Dickens said there were times he had questions about some plays that were called, but things worked out.

“There were sometimes, I was like, why are we doing this?” Dickens laughed. “But then it would pay off.

Moebes remembers the lions facing a fourth down and one yard to go with a chance to seal the win against Tivy this season.

“If we don’t make it, they could go down and kick a field goal and win it,” Moebes said. “We had some decisions to make. I guess we had some choices. The decision was easy. We put the ball in 11’s hands and let him go get a yard and use those big guys in front of him.

“I think I’ll remember that he made football decisions easy because of the type of competitor he is. We could trust him to do great things. He had a remarkable career and was a joy to coach.”

Moebes said Dickens was also a good student in the classroom, which will certainly help as he goes off to Army at West Point, New York.

I went during July to visit,” Dickens said. “It was nice. I like the facilities and the campus and the traditions they have. It’ll be good for me.”

Dickens said he was recruited a s a quarterback, although there will be several quarterbacks vying for the position next fall.

“I would think they’ll put him in the quarterback room and allow him to compete,” Moebes said. “The great thing about Ashton is he’s not pigeon-holed into one position. He’s going to continue to grow as he gets into his 20’s. He’s gonna get stronger. He’s gonna get bigger. I think the sky is the limit for him. He’s a very versatile football player who I think could play defense as well.”

Having a high school teammate in Stephenson joining him at Army, a familiar face as he said, will certainly benefit Dickens. But there will never be anything like playing at Lions Stadium.

“A lot of the community would show up for the games,” Dickens said. “Every game was special playing in front of the town. It’s a different atmosphere.”


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