Aug. 28, 2013
Creason Looks to Embrace Leadership RoleBy David Boyce
Some of the kids out here are 18 years old. Wow, says Northwest Missouri senior running back Billy Creason.
“I’m 23. I will be 24 the day before we play Mo. West,” Creason said. “It is a lot different out here being that old.”
Creason, though, brings a wealth of knowledge to the position. He has overcome adversity. He knows what it takes to succeed on the football field, Bearcat style.
Besides helping Northwest in games by running, blocking and catching passes, Creason plans to be the type of leader younger players can lean on in the good and bad times.
It is what he learned when he arrived at Northwest in the fall of 2008 after a stellar career at Grain Valley High School.
“Yes, they can come to me anytime,” he said. “I tell them any questions they have that I am always open or they can shoot me a text.
“They can come up and we can watch film together. Basically, I try to teach them what LaRon Council taught me. I looked at the way he approached things and how he helped me when I was that age. I try to mimic what he did for me when I am with the young guys.”
Championship football teams need this type of leadership from their seniors. Coaches count on it.
Northwest head coach Adam Dorrel sees it in Creason.
“It is important because he sets the standard at this position,” Dorrel said. “His personal accountability filters down to his position. I’ve seen him getting after some of the younger guys because they don’t have their chin straps buckled up or they are a couple of minutes late walking into practice. The coaches don’t have to take care of it. He takes care of it.
“He is always at the front of the line in drill work and he does his drill work properly and he does it hard.”
This season, Creason will appreciate every drill, every practice and every game. He feels blessed to have one more season.
“It is nice to be out here,” he said. “I wasn’t able to be out here in the spring because eligibility issues with me having medical redshirts and all that. It was nice getting out here and back in the flow and seeing my team and everybody working together as a unit offensively.”
Several years of crippling injuries put him on the sidelines, but the aches and pains never derailed his desire to play football for the Bearcats.
Last year he finally made it through the season without suffering an injury that put him out.
“That was important, a huge boost for me. I have been hurt for what seems like forever,” Creason said. “Making it through a full season, I haven’t done that since we won a championship. Making it through a full season was nice.”
He played a lot even though he didn’t show up often in the stat sheets.
“I think it helped him gain a lot of confidence as the season went along,” Dorrel said. “His special teams play was invaluable. He was one of our best special teams players last year.
“He played a lot last year. We used him at the hybrid fullback spot. He made a couple of crucial blocks at Washburn to spring Jordan Simmons.
“I think you will see his name more on the stat sheet this year.”
Simmons and James Franklin got the majority of carries last season. Both are gone this year. Simmons was inspirational for the Bearcats. He played his last game with an arm injury.
Creason showed that same toughness in the playoff loss at Minnesota-Mankato. He suffered a broken rib in the first quarter, but still rushed for 45 yards and caught four passes for 25 yards.
“We came in together,” Creason said of playing with Simmons. “That is one thing AD preaches to us is it is all about being tough. No toughness, no championship. That is our motto here.
“(Simmons) had surgery on his arm a week before that game. I broke my rib in the first quarter of that game. We went out there and toughed it out.”
The MIAA is a rugged league. Creason knows there will be some tough times for the Bearcats no matter how good they are. Senior leadership is important. Creason likes what he sees from this senior class.
“We have a lot of good leaders in this class. We don’t have all vocal leaders. We have leaders who are quiet, who go out and they do their job and everything they are supposed to do,” he said.
“And then we have vocal leaders like Trevor Adams. People listen to him. When he is speaking everybody is quiet and making eye contact and paying attention to what he has to say.” On the field, Creason wants to help the Bearcats anyway he can.
“I’m just doing my part when the ball is in my hands,” he said. “I will try to get vertical, get as many yards as I can and score touchdowns and protect my quarterback at all times.”
Dorrel anticipates a very good season from Creason.
“He has the skill set, the vision and the toughness,” Dorrel said. “We talk about not being a one-trick pony. He can catch, he can block and he can run. I think he can be a complete player in the league.
“I see a lot, high-quality production. If we can block upfront, he can have a really good year. I’m a guy who is always cautiously optimistic about a lot of stuff. I don’t tout kids too much.”
It is easy to do with Creason.
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