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Pioneers Sports

Moquan Dickens Signs With Maine

Posted Monday, June 02, 2008 by Kenneth Barger
Pride of the Pioneers
Poughkeepsie’s Dickens signs letter of intent to play football for University of Maine

Poughkeepsie’s Moquan Dickens signs his letter of intent with Maine University on May 16 at Poughkeepsie High School while his mother, Charlene, looks on. (Photo by Matt Rohr)
By Matt Rohr
When the Maine Black Bears travel to Iowa University this August to open their football season against the powerhouse Hawkeyes, Charlene Dickens – and many other Poughkeepsians – will be glued to any coverage they can find.
That’s because Poughkeepsie High School’s Moquan Dickens, a standout running back and kick returner for the Pioneers, will be playing for Maine this fall, the recipient of a full football scholarship to the Division I school.
“I believed he could do it from Day 1,” said Charlene, Moquan’s mother, at his National Letter of Intent signing at the high school on May 16. “Even in Pop Warner, when he was the shortest on the field and the coaches told him he wouldn’t make, I never doubted him. I knew he could do it.”
The signing, a common practice for recruited athletes, was a chance for Moquan to reflect on his accomplishments, and his place in the Poughkeepsie community.
“It’s a special day for me,” he said. “Things have been really good for me. A lot of people really look up to me, and for this to happen, it’s special.”
Most of the football team, as well as the coaching staff and teachers and school administrators, turned out for the signing, with athletic director Matt Cameron and head football coach Ken Barger introducing Dickens to the packed room.
“This is a special day,” said Cameron. “Maine got a great young man, and he’s done an awful lot to be where he is today.”
Barger said he was proud of the work Dickens had put into his football – and academic – career.
“He’s one of the most dedicated and professional students I have,” he said.
Barger said he’s also proud of the graduation rate – 100 percent – for the football program this spring, while Dickens had simple advice for the room.
“Just work hard – you can do the same thing I did,” he told his teammates.
Despite injuries throughout his career, Dickens managed to rack up 1,549 rushing yards on 204 career carries for the Pioneers, including 18 touchdowns. This past fall, he was widely regarded as the fastest running back in Section I. He also played basketball for the Pioneers, starting for the varsity team this past winter.
Dickens said that Maine head coach Jack Cosgrove has him listed as a starting receiver and kick returner for the Black Bears, who went 4-7 last season playing in the Colonial Athletic Conference. Known more for their hockey squad than their gridiron unit, Dickens said he’s confident that he can make an impact at the school.
“They run the same offense we use here (at Poughkeepsie),” said Dickens. “It’s a similar style. Maine was my No. 1 choice.”
After being recruited by several other schools – Central Connecticut, Sacred Heart, SUNY Albany and Rutgers among them – Dickens said he chose Maine because of its location, as well as its football program.
“I wanted to try living far away from home on top of playing football,” Dickens said.
His mother, on the other hand, said she wasn’t concerned about how far away Moquan would be playing.
“Eight hours is just eight hours,” she said, talking about the travel time from Poughkeepsie to Orono, Maine, where the school’s campus is located. “Eight hours is nothing.”

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