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Chris Murphy, Published September 26 2013

D-G-F senior continues family tradition of being football captain

Glyndon, Minn.

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s Chad Johnson always wanted to be like his three older brothers.

Chad looks just like his oldest brother Justin, he talks just like Shawn and he somehow is a man of fewer words than Luke.

He has the look and the mannerisms of a Johnson boy. There was just one thing missing before this football season.

It wouldn’t be right to be a Johnson boy without being the captain of the D-G-F football team. Chad became that this season just as Shawn was in 2011, Luke was in 2010 and Justin was in 2008.

“I spent a lot of time watching them and wanting to be in their shoes,” Chad said of his brothers. “Those guys always talking about football and stuff just made me want to be in their shoes. I just like to compare myself to them. They are kind of my idols.”

D-G-F coach Anthony Soderberg has coached all four of the Johnsons and has watched as their peers voted for them to lead the team. Whether they were running backs/linebackers like Chad, Justin and Shawn or a center and defensive end like Luke, they never needed speeches to lead.

“They are very physical football players,” Soderberg said. “They’re not the biggest vocal leaders and they don’t need to be. They speak with their pads.”

Chad has spoken loudly this season in leading D-G-F to a 3-1 record and into the rankings at No. 10 this week in Minnesota Class 3A. He’s rushed for 606 yards and five touchdowns on 82 carries to go along with 19 tackles and an interception he took back 70 yards for a touchdown on defense.

His idols have noticed.

“Chad really reminds me of when I used to play,” Justin said. “Just the way he plays and stuff. It’s pretty cool to watch.”

D-G-F surpassed last season’s win total after a 33-7 win over Breckenridge in Week 4. Chad had 267 yards rushing, including touchdown runs of 76 and 17 yards, on 17 carries.

“It’s good to see him growing up and good to see him having a good year,” Shawn said. “From playing catch in the yard and now he’s growing up and doing good. It’s cool to see.”

With Chad being a senior and the final Johnson to go through D-G-F, the Rebels will be missing something next season.

“Having them come through, we’ve always known that we’d have someone that can hit on the team,” Soderberg said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll have kids that will hit and be physical when they’re gone, but we don’t have that for-sure thing coming in anymore.”

That’ll make laundry easier for Eileen Johnson, the boys’ mother.

“I swear, Justin was bloody after every game,” Eileen said. “They are just so close. No one cheers louder for them than their brothers.”

D-G-F takes on a 4-0 Hawley team today at D-G-F. As always, when discussing Hawley’s offense that has the Nuggets averaging 45 points per game and ranked third in Minnesota Class 2A, Chad had only a few words about the Rebels defense that has given up 20 points in their three wins. He’ll let his pads do the talking.

“Well, we have a good defense,” Chad said. “We can stop them.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548