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High school football: Selfless blocking back has spearheaded success for North Hall's running game
North Hall head coach David Bishop will miss game, due to testing positive for coronavirus earlier this week
Menfiz Dyer
North Hall's Menfiz Dyer (24) watches after springing running back Clark Howell (3) for a run against North Murray on Nov. 28 in Gainesville.

Menfiz Dyer doesn’t care if his name ever gets called over the public address system or written up by the media for what he does at North Hall.

The senior halfback doesn’t care about scoring touchdowns.

What he cares about is wins.

And if it wasn’t for Dyer, a tough-as-nails throwback blocker in the backfield, the Trojans (7-4) would likely not still be going in the Class 3A postseason.

“Menfiz is one of those players who will die before he quits,” North Hall senior tight end Grayson Kirby said. “It doesn’t matter if both of his legs are broken, he’ll still be out there giving it his all. Everyone on this team knows they can count on him.”

Up next, North Hall will face No. 5 Greater Atlanta Christian (10-0) in the second round of the postseason Friday in Lilburn. 

Even though the Trojans have gotten to this point with their traditionally strong running attack (3,185 yards in 2020), it was slipping Dyer into that blocking back position after starting the season with losses to Paulding County and Stephens County that gave the offense an immediate jolt.

That move of Dyer proved to be one of the biggest turning points. After going 0-3 to start the season, North Hall rushed for 496 yards in a win against Chestatee. Against North Murray in Round 1 of the playoffs, the Trojans jumped to an early 21-0 lead and rushed for 370 yards.

In each and every game North Hall was successful running the ball, Dyer’s fearless blocking was one of the common threads.

He never took it as a demotion that carries would go down. Dyer looked at it as a privilege that his coaches trusted him as essentially serving as the leader of the convoy out of the backfield.

“After going 0-3, we needed a change, and Menfiz gave us the best chance to be successful,” North Hall coach David Bishop said.

Bishop will not be at the game after testing positive for coronavirus earlier in the week. In his place, assistant coach Stuart Cunningham will be interim coach.

“When my coaches told me they wanted me to move positions, I wanted to do my very best and not let them down.”

Even though he’s only about 190 pounds, Dyer hasn’t been in a position where he felt undersized. Even though his carries went down drastically, it didn’t matter to Dyer that his role was changing, as long as the wins kept stacking up.

With his role as clearing out running lanes, he’s seen the entire team grow closer in 2020. Senior running back Clark Howell is registering one of the best by a running back in school history with 1,716 yards and 23 touchdowns.

“What Menfiz has done has been remarkable and part of the team culture we’ve tried to create here at North Hall,” Bishop said.

Dyer describes a symbiotic relationship between members of the Trojans offense.

He also said it’s a joy to block for selfless players who don’t carry an ego.

“None of our running backs are selfish about getting the attention,” Dyer said. “It’s all about the team.”

Even though the touchdowns are not part of Dyer’s legacy he’ll leave at North Hall, his teammates will forever be grateful for those running lanes he created for Howell and Kevin Rochester, who is nearing 900 yards this season.

Simply put: Dyer is going to clear anyone out of the way who is standing between his running back and the end zone.

“Everyone here loves Menfiz,” Kirby said. “If you had 11 players like him on your team, that would be a scary team to play (against).”

There are stories to go with some of Dyer’s plays.

Against Dawson County, Dyer took out a defender and threw him back into a couple other Tigers players, knocking them all over like bowling pins, which led to a long Howell touchdown run.

In the playoff opener, Dyer put a defender on his back on a blast play that resulted in a touchdown run by Rochester.

The stories go on and on about the undersized blocker who will play in the rain or shine, hot or cold for his teammates.

But always know that Dyer is one good hit away from springing a big play for the Trojans’ running attack.

“Menfiz is a player who loves football and loves being a part of this team,” Bishop said.

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