Bryce was a dyer for North Medford – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

North Medford seniors’ talent for clutch play boosts Black Tornado

Wonderful and often inexplicable, some athletes just have that special quality about them.

When the outcome of a game is at stake, they are there to make a big game, over and over again.

It’s a treat for a coach and a program when you have such a player, and that’s exactly what North Medford High has enjoyed in recent seasons with senior Bryce Dyer.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound wide receiver and half proved it again last week in Black Tornado’s thrilling 31-27 win over Liberty, in which Dyer had two touchdown receptions and two interceptions. to help turn the tide.

“The ability for him to make a play when it’s needed, he just has that gift in him,” said North Medford football coach Nathan Chin. “He’s an extremely explosive athlete. Being around him for a few months here, I can tell you that when games are in play and there is something competitive coming up, he increases that level of competitiveness. There aren’t many people who operate that way. In competitive situations, he will find a way to play the game. “

In truth, this is really nothing new to Dyer.

In his first college action in his sophomore year, it was Dyer who landed the winning touchdown in overtime to deny Reynolds in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

On the basketball court, it was Dyer who provided an unlikely four-point play in the dying seconds to force overtime against crosstown rival South Medford in a dramatic rally that ultimately failed in double overtime.

While others might be reluctant to hold their team’s fortunes in their hands, in all humility, the 17-year-old Dyer welcomes it.

“I’ve always been an extremely competitive person in everything I do,” says Dyer, who earned A’s throughout high school. “If I take a test, not only do I want to get the highest score, but I want to be the first to take it. I just do a competition.”

“Especially when it comes to athletics,” he adds, “a loss is never pleasant and I always try to do anything to help us win, whether it’s basketball or football. I don’t know if I just have the knack of being in the right place but in general it goes well. I always want the ball in my hands, whether it’s basketball or football. I still feel confident enough to help the team win.

The results certainly confirm that such confidence is well deserved.

Last spring, during his delayed junior football season, Dyer was North’s leading receiver with 16 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns in six weeks.

After averaging 9.4 rebounds per game in his sophomore basketball, he took on a more balanced burden in the weeks following the spring football season to help fuel the 14-2 Tornado with 8.2 points, 8 , 3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Already this fall after just three weeks – North Medford (2-1) saw its opener called off – Dyer had 15 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns before Friday’s home game against Bend (2-2). Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m. at the Spiegelberg Stadium.

“He’s been doing this for a few years,” Chin says of Dyer’s clutch efforts, “and you can tell the confidence factor that kids have in him, and we as coaches obviously do too. . He’s a savvy soccer player and just the kid you want on the pitch.

Helping Dyer all the way has been a unique agility and speed for someone his size, as well as an unquenchable desire to succeed.

“The ability for him to beat you over the top because of his speed, and then to be able to catch a short ball, a hitch or something of that nature, and turn it into 60 yards is amazing.” , Chin said. “These are the things that we have seen in the last few weeks. Most of his long catches have been 5 or 10 yard catches that go for 50 or 60. “

“You’re going to have to respect him vertically because he’s fast and he’s a big catcher,” adds the coach, “but at the same time he can catch something underneath and he’s so quick and nimble to be able to make the first guy. and the second guy is missing, he can turn a short pass into a big game very quickly.

In the third quarter against Liberty, Dyer got the upper hand with a 49-yard catch and run that saw him take a quick pass from Mason Warren, juke his defenseman and run intact into the end zone to give North his first lead. to 10-7.

“He just has the ability to put his foot in the ground and go the other way in the blink of an eye,” notes Chin. ” It is very impressive.

On the possession that followed, Dyer made his first interception by falling to the edge of the sideline. He later capped North’s offensive push with an 8-yard touchdown to take the score to 17-7.

After second-year tight end AJ Pugliano, a dynamic playmaker in his own right, made an innocent pass into the flat and turned it into a 52-yard scoreline to put North for good at 31-27 , the game was still not sealed until Dyer’s interception at the goal line in the dying seconds.

While this may have been the best football game of Dyer’s career with the Tornado, he says it was also a great learning experience for everyone involved.

“Last week was a great test for us,” says Dyer. “We were hit by a lot of adversity and we fought right away. AJ had a great play on that 50 yards to the house and then bowing his back at the end and getting that save on defense was great for us.

“There’s a lot to learn from games like this that end,” he adds. “Obviously it’s great to blow people up and let everyone in the game, but there will be games, especially in the playoffs, that end. Having previous experiences like this – and being able to gain those previous experiences – will be great for us at playoff time if we ever find ourselves in this situation. “

In a changing dynamic where more and more athletes are specializing in a sport more than ever, Dyer suggests that it’s his basketball experiences that can help him the most on the grill.

“Jumping balls or melted balls are basically like bounces for me,” he says, noting that practicing his footwork on the pitch also translates into his agility in football. “I’ve always been a pretty good rebounder so I’m just trying to get him high in the air and try to get past the (defensive back) or defenseman if it’s basketball. . These things are a bit the same.

The dyer must know that he spends his year essentially practicing one sport or the other. It’s more likely eight months of basketball and four months of football, but whenever he gets the chance he does something athletic.

“If I don’t have something like homework I want to be outside… unless it’s dark and cold,” he laughs. “I don’t even play video games a lot because I don’t sit down a lot.”

That’s why getting into athletics at such a young age was a perfect fit for Dyer, and he’s grateful for it to this day.

“I’ve always been drawn to running, going out with my friends and having fun,” he says. “I’ve always thought of sport as something I can do, not something to do. I pretty much love everything about it. I never really liked baseball but even like soccer I can go for a run and kick a ball and find something fun about it. I have always liked to be active, to be active and to compete.

It’s safe to say that North Medford fans are reveling in it as well.

Do you have a story idea? Contact sports editor Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, [email protected] or

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford Bryce Dyer during practice Wednesday.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneBryce Dyer of North Medford catches the ball over Ben Pike of Roseburg for a score during the first quarter of the spring.

North Medford’s Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneBryce Dyer of North Medford was fouled while shooting a three-point shot for a four-point game to tie the game against South Medford at the end of the fourth quarter.

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