Splitting hairs

In many ways, they couldn’t be more different.

Columbus North senior Sean Dasovich is a 215-pound, linebacking brute, a lumbering strongman who would rather go through opposing blockers than around them.

Sophomore J.D. Harris, by contrast, relies on his abundance of athletic skills and his speed to burn. He weighs just 150 pounds, but always finds a way to be right in the middle of the action.

Together, they have helped mold one of the top teams in the state as North has rushed off to a 5-1 record, its best start since 2007.

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And, when they take off their helmets, they show something that they have in common: artistry when it comes to their haircuts.

The two allowed Republic Sports Editor Jay Heater to interview them during a trip to Ray Gipson’s Coach’s Cutz Barber Shop.

Q — First, let’s find out a little about both of you. So Sean, can you tell me what J.D. is like?

Dasovich — “He has a lot of athleticism and confidence. I knew he would be stepping up and making big plays this season. He is a real down-to-earth kid, real funny to be around.”

Q — So J.D., what is Sean like?

Harris — “He is a great leader and fun to be around. He’s funny, always cracking jokes and making us laugh. He is a good person.”

Q. So what do you guys want to be when you grow up?

Dasovich — “I want to be an engineer. I like the real technical side of things and I like elaborate problems and finding the solutions.”

Harris — “I want to be a personal trainer. I want to help people reach their goals.”

Q — J.D., if it wasn’t for football, do you think you would know a senior like Dasovich?

Harris — “Not other than passing by in the hall and saying ‘Hi.’”

Q — How about you, Sean? Would you know J.D., who is a sophomore?

Dasovich — “The underclassmen, no, I wouldn’t have hung out with them as much. But there are so many different personalities on this team.”

Q — You guys obviously are different kinds of players. J.D., if you and Sean both started running a 100-yard sprint from the goal line, where would he be when you reached the 50?

Harris — “Probably at the 20 (laughs).”

Q — Same question for you, Sean, if you both started at the goal line, where would J.D. be when you hit the 50?

Dasovich — “Probably the 45 on the other side.”

Q — J.D., you’ve had three interceptions and you are one of the fastest players on the team. But it was Sean who intercepted a pass and ran 29 yards for a touchdown against Terre Haute South. Does that seem fair?

Harris — “Yeah, it was fair. Sean hustles and he works really hard. He flies around the field.”

Q — Sean, do you wish you had J.D.’s speed?

Dasovich — “He is extremely athletic. I’ll miss a play and Coach (Tim Bless) will say, ‘Get faster.’ But there is not much I can do about that.”

Q. You both might be different kinds of players, but you have helped Columbus North get off to its best start since 2007. How has it been different as a member of the team as compared to teams of the past?

Harris — “A lot more people recognize you when you are winning. It makes you feel a lot better. You can be out in public and people will ask ‘How are you doing? We see you guys in the paper.’”

Dasovich — “It’s a lot more fun. People are coming up to you that you don’t know because they saw you in the paper. ‘Hey, you had a good game last week.’ Parents will come up to you and say that they kids are trying to decide where to go to high school, so you tell them more about North. Last year, not many people came up to me.”

Q — Do the other students at Columbus North act any differently now that the football team is having a big year?

Harris — “I’m sure they care, but they don’t show it much. I do have a lot of teachers who talk about our games.”

Dasovich — “I think the general population looks at me as a friend and a peer and not as a football player. But I think teachers care if they have a football player in their class. Mrs. (Mimi) Bingham’s door is covered with Mitchell Kelley photos because he is in her class. A couple of teachers cut out the articles. And we do see more people coming to games.”

Q — Now you both, during football season, have had your barbers give you a form of a Mohawk haircut. When did this start?

Dasovich — “I did it last year. You don’t see a lot of people walking around with a Mohawk. It makes you unique. I had one teacher ask me, ‘Do you always look that mean?’ I don’t know.”

Harris — “I change my hairstyle a lot. I like to keep it different, because so many people have the same haircut. I like to stand out. They can say what they want.”

Q — Both your haircuts stand out. So what kinds of things do you like?

Dasovich — “The first time I had it done, I had a star on the right and some Aztec sign on the left. My buddies made fun of me. Now they just ask me what I’m going to do next. When my dad (Paul Dasovich) saw it the first time, he said ‘Let me take you upstairs and I’ll fix that.’ My mom (Margie) is OK with it.”

Harris — “I will probably just get the Mohawk this season with different designs. My dad (James Harris) thinks it is cool. He likes it. My mom (Jeroyl Shelley) doesn’t like it too much. She will say, ‘Are you going to get that cut off soon?’”

Q — Have you both had your heads completely shaved?

Harris — “I hate having it cut completely off. I like having hair to do stuff with.”

Dasovich — “I had it all cut off before, it was cold.”

Q — Do you try to talk your teammates into getting their hair cut like you?

Dasovich — “No. They are always like, ‘I will get it cut off for sectionals’ and I am like, ‘No. This is my thing. It’s something I do.’”

Q — So do a lot of your teammates get designs cut into their hair.

Dasovich — “No. Only Coleman (Tennyson) does it. And J.D. has done it since I’ve known him.”

Q — So do you draw up these hair designs?

Dasovich — “I let (barber Jermaine Lackey) do his thing. It’s about whatever he is feeling. He does a good job.”

Harris — “The left side I picked out today. It’s a Versace cut. The right side is freestyle, whatever (barber Peter Soler) wants.”

Q — So you guys obviously care about your hair. Do you care about your clothes and what you wear?

Dasovich — “Three-quarters of my closet is filled with North football stuff, so I guess I don’t really care (about fashion).”

Harris — “Yeah, I do. I like shoes a lot. And when I dress up, I wear a bow tie because not a lot of people wear them. I stand out.”

Q — Football teams often have way more options in terms of their uniforms these days. Do you care about your uniforms and the colors?

Dasovich — “Coach (Tim) Bless tends to let the captains pick the uniforms. We’ve been wearing the white jerseys with the black camo pants or the blue jerseys with the white camo pants. I like them both.

Harris — “I like the white pants with the blue jerseys. But I really like all our combinations. I think they look really good together.”

Dasovich — “I really don’t care for the blue jerseys with the blue pants (North’s freshmen wear that combination and it often is termed “Blueberries.”)

Q — Back to football, how much fun has it been to play for North’s football team?

Harris — “It always feels like the coaching staff is behind us. And when I am on the field, I definitely am with my brothers. I am never alone on the field.”

Dasovich — “Just the relationships are great. There is a family aspect to it. Years from now, we will have this one thing in common. We will ask each other, ‘Do you remember this? We’re going to have those memories from high school football.”

Q — You both talk about all the fun, but isn’t it hard going through practice every day?

Harris — “Practice is fun until we have to do 42s (running two 40-yard dashes under 42 seconds). Then it stinks for a few minutes. Then we get back to hitting and doing the things we like to do.”

Dasovich — “Some of the practices are more of a grind than others.”

Q — J.D., who is your position coach?

Harris — “Kyle Todd. He’s a high-energy guy and when we mess up, he lets us know we messed up. He lets us know that we have to stay in the game.”

Q — How about you Sean?

Dasovich — “My position coach is Coach Bless. At first it was real intimidating but after a couple of weeks, it was fun. We get to joke around with him, and we’ve learned a lot.”

Q — So why is this team so much better than previous years?

Dasovich — “We have a ton of experience. Last year we were starting a lot of first-year guys. Now we all know the schemes.”

Harris — “We have experience, but we also have young guys who have stepped up into key roles.”

Q — Football is a tough game. What has been your worst injury?

Dasovich — “I broke my collarbone my freshman year. I missed six weeks. It is still sore sometimes and there are some lifts I still can’t do. But it was definitely worth it.”

Harris — “I weigh about 150 pounds, but I’ve never been injured. I’m pretty agile.”

Q — One hundred and fifty pounds? Are you on a special diet to get heavier?

Harris — “I’ve gained weight because I played last season about 135. I drink Muscle Milk every day.”

Q — What has been your most fun playing high school football?

Dasovich — “I can’t single out one particular time because there have many so many fun times.”

Harris — “It was the most fun for me playing in the East game, even though we didn’t get it done. It was a fun game to be part of and the crowd was amazing. Our student section was great that night.”

Q — So how far can you go this season?

Dasovich — “We can go deep. We’ve got a lot of skill and I think we can make a run in the tournament.”

Harris — “I think we can go pretty far if we stay healthy.”

Q — Now that the barbers are finished, you can go back out into the community. I guess the important question is whether the girls will like your haircuts and whether you care if they do?

Harris — “Some do, and I’ve had others who don’t, so not really.”

Dasovich — “I’ve got a girlfriend, so I don’t really care if girls like it. And when I told my girlfriend I was (getting a Mohawk) she wasn’t a big fan. But some weeks she likes it, and some weeks she doesn’t. Hopefully she likes this one, because it already is done.”