Burrell RB ready for bigger role
After just 71 carries in 10 games last season, Burrell senior Dan Domanski's workload likely will increase significantly this season.
With 18 starters missing from last season's 7-3 playoff team, including dual-threat quarterback Cam Nelson, Domanski should play a larger role with the Bucs this season.
When training camp began earlier this week, Burrell was tasked with finding 18 starting position vacancies. But one position veteran coach Tom Henderson doesn't have to worry about is tailback, where Domanski gained 324 yards rushing last season.
"Danny's a great young man, and he had a good year," Henderson said of his second-team all-conference player. "We expect a lot from him."
It's not hard to figure out why Domanski is expected to be Burrell's feature back this season.
Nelson graduated after compiling 1,957 overall yards (1,226 passing, 713 rushing). And Dave Yakopec, who won't be playing football this fall, led a strong receiving corps that included Chris Linden and Jesse Burton.
Burrell scored 31 or more points in six of its nine regular-season games last season, with Domanski contributing seven touchdowns.
"This is working out well," Domanski said of his expanded role. "It's nice to get the opportunity."
With so many new starters, Burrell's training camp has had added importance.
"Camp's where most of the learning is done, and there's lots of practices," Domanski said. "During the season, you're preparing things for the next game."
The rising senior said he gained confidence during the offseason by participating in rugby. The Burrell Buckheads, a club team, won the state title last spring.
"There are some skills you can use for both sports," Domanski said. "But for me, rugby taught me field vision. I can really see what's going to happen and where the holes are."
Burrell opens its 46th full season of football Sept. 3 at home against Valley.
Domanski doesn't mind opening the season against a rival, one in which Burrell defeated handily, 32-6, last season. The victory meant Tri-Cities area bragging rights, but Domanski didn't do much bragging.
"I try to stay away from all the talk. You have to get ready to move on to the next game," he said. "But I think Valley is a good way to start the season. It sets the tone."
For someone who grew up in Lower Burrell, Domanski is anxious to make a major contribution to the successful program he followed as a youngster.
"I remember going to the Burrell games and watching Tyler Henderson and all those guys," Domanski said. "I was always looking up to those guys who player. And now, here I am."