By Jim Fenton, The Enterprise
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – He moved into the starting lineup for the Brockton High football team as a sophomore and never left.
Dimitri Dorinvil made a favorable impression on both sides of the ball throughout his career, and as a senior in 2017, he had 46 tackles with five sacks as a defensive end and 21 receptions with four touchdowns as a tight end.
Dorinvil got his chance to play varsity football early for the Boxers and took full advantage of the opportunity.
The same scenario has unfolded for Dorinvil in his freshman season at Bridgewater State University this fall.
Dorinvil’s playing time has increased as the season as gone on, and he is making an impact on the Bears’ defensive unit, helping BSU go 7-3 and earn a spot in the New England Bowl.
The Bears will host Salve Regina University on Saturday at noon at Swenson Field to conclude their season.
Dorinvil is tied for second in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference with six sacks, even with Colin McCabe of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and trailing only Samuel Kenny of Fitchburg State, who finished his season with 7.5 sacks.
An injury on the defensive line has opened up more playing time in the second half of the season for Dorinvil, and he has been effective in getting to the quarterback and stopping the run.
Asked if he thought he envisioned Dorinvil being so productive as a freshman, coach Joe Verria said, “Not really, but every single week he’s improved throughout the season and he seems to always come up with a big play every game.”
Four of Dorinvil’s sacks came in the final three weeks of the regular season when he had one each against Western Connecticut State and Worcester State, then added two more against Mass. Maritime.
Dorinvil put together his best game in the 40th annual Cranberry Bowl, a 21-7 win, by making 10 tackles and having the two sacks for 10 yards. In 10 games, he has made 10 tackles with 8.5 for a loss of 41 yards to go with an interception and two pass breakups.
“The biggest adjustment has been the game speed,” said Dorinvil, who has been in on 31 tackles. “I’m not really surprised (about being productive). It’s fun playing defensive end. You come off the edge just wanting to hit the quarterback.”
Defensive end is Dorinvil’s favorite position, but he liked being a tight end and fullback for the Boxers.
“Scoring touchdowns,” he said, “is a lot of fun.”
Dorinvil is helping to prevent TDs these days and got himself prepared for college football with a strenuous summer of training in Brockton.
Like a number of other athletes in that city, he worked out under the guidance of Mike Williams, a former Brockton High and Boston College player.
“To be honest, I think this is the best shape I’ve been in,” said Dorinvil. “I worked hard all summer. Coach Mike had a big influence on me. He had us work out every day throughout the summer. I was just grinding.”
The Bears liked what they saw right away when Dorinvil reported to training camp in August.
There was the normal learning curve for any freshman coming in, but Dorinvil showed he was ready to play, and the number of reps grew with each passing week.
“We talked to Peter Colombo at Brockton and Peter spoke very highly of him,” said Verria. “He’s a very good football player.
“I think he can keep getting better and better. He has a knack for running to the quarterback. He does a good job of separating and exploding to the football no matter where it is.
“I think he was well coached at Brockton and he’s got the desire to do well. With his athleticism, his feet never really stop. He’s constantly looking for the football and he’s strong enough that he separates real well from the offensive linemen. He can go where he wants to go and he’s very smart on the football field.
“He does some things that you try to coach kids and he just does them naturally.”
Dorinvil had no idea what to expect, but he’s obviously thrilled about the way his first season has turned out at Bridgewater State.
“I thought I would just do my best and see how it goes,” he said. “I think I can be even better than I am right now. It’s been an amazing season here. This group of boys, we’re like family.”