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Bishop Canevin senior Mike Dunn finishes career as school's all-time leading tackler

Signal Item
Mike Dunn is the all-time leading tackler in Bishop Canevin history. File art.

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Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 8:55 p.m.

Bishop Canevin's Mike Dunn has been a presence on the fields of the WPIAL for the past four seasons.

His success contributed to the reason he loves the linebacker position.

“I just like flying to the ball and hitting people,” Dunn said.

The senior leaves Bishop Canevin as the all-time leading tackler in program history with more than 350 stops and is an easy choice for the Signal Item football player of the year.

“I take pride in the fact I'm the school's leading tackler,” Dunn said. “But this isn't a one-man sport. We had a whole team out there and I wouldn't have had that many without them.”

As a freshman in 2009, Dunn recorded 12 tackles. But from there he took off.

In 2010, Dunn had 87 tackles, an interception and a sack. As a junior in 2011, he registered 148 tackles, four interceptions and four sacks.

In 2012, Dunn had 101 tackles in the regular season with four sacks and an interception.

“He has a really good sense of where the ball is going,” Bishop Canevin coach Bob Jacoby said.

“He gets good deep drops in pass coverage and reads offensive plays very well. He covers from sideline to sideline and plays an aggressive style.”

Jacoby said that with the change in the way the game is played at the high school level — more teams are embracing the passing game — the linebacker position had to be adjusted.

“You only play with one middle linebacker when you used to play with two,” Jacoby said. “You have to face offenses now that have a strong passing game and good receivers. That led to him becoming a major force in the middle to shut down the tackle-to-tackle running game.”

Not only has Dunn been a presence on defense, he has been solid on the Crusaders' offensive line.

As a sophomore, he began as a tight end but was moved to tackle. He then was moved to guard at the end of the 2012 regular season due to injuries.

“It is a team sport,” Dunn said. “I will play wherever they need me.”

Dunn said he has being receiving interest from several FCS schools such as Bucknell, Duquesne, William and Mary and Youngstown State.

“I have been working on it since I was in seventh or eighth grade,” Dunn said. “It is always exciting to hear from schools. But I think my mom and sisters get a little more excited when we get the phone calls.”

No matter where Dunn ends up, his high school coach feels he will continue his success.

“He brings an intensity to the game that whatever level he plays at, he will be a contributor to that team,” Jacoby said. “He still understands that he has a lot to learn. It's just not the physical part of the game but also the mental part. He will benefit from only have to play one way in the future.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-388-5813.

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