Written by Corbett Smith
Spring football report: Arlington Martin could have offensive problems but optimistic
Team: Arlington Martin
How the 2010 season ended: Martin saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end, snuffed out by eventual runners-up Euless Trinity, 42-21, in the Class 5A Division I regional semifinal.
Key returning starters: With a trio of high-touted college prospects, Martin’s defense looks tough. Twins Eric and Stephen Amoako give Martin security in the secondary, at corner and safety, respectively. The brothers have dual offers from numerous schools, including Pitt and Kansas State. Devonte Fields, a rush end and recent TCU commit, had 66 tackles, six sacks and three blocked kicks last season.
Biggest questions facing team: How are they going to get points on the scoreboard? Last year was the Danzel Williams Show. He rushed for over 1,600 yards, averaging 7.82 yards per carry and scoring 32 total touchdowns. If Williams wasn’t the focus, then quarterback Russell Bellomy was. Bellomy threw for 15 touchdowns and accounted for 10 more scores, rushing and receiving. Both of those players are gone, to Oklahoma and Michigan. Other graduates include leading receiver Wesley Hawthorne and tight end/linebacker Deryck Gildon (who signed with TCU). In total, Martin had five players in our Area Top 100 sign with big-time programs – the most of any school in the area -- including defensive backs Devonta Burns (Texas A&M) and Ryan Pollard (Air Force).
Yet, coach Bob Wager doesn’t lament the talent vacuum. A self-described optimist, he’s excited about the players who might step in – including Danzel’s younger brother Cameron Williams – a senior-to-be who started 26 games at linebacker. Williams, and 2010 District defensive newcomer of the year, junior-to-be Kyle Hicks, will transition from defense to the offensive backfield, splitting time at running back. Brody Lambert, a 6-1, 195-pound utility player who’s suffered injuries over his sophomore and junior seasons, is expected to start at quarterback.
Notables: The offensive line is a concern, but not in the typical sense. Instead of getting smaller on the line because of graduation, Martin is actually bigger in size – just lacking in experience. Left tackle Steven Baggett is the only returner.
He said it: “(Last) Friday was our first day out there, and it was like Christmas Day, for players and coaches alike.” – Bob Wager
Spring football game info: May 26, 7 p.m. at Martin High School
Season Opener: at Plano West on 8-26
Full regular season schedule (Home games played at Cravens Field)
Aug. 26: at Plano West at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2: vs. South Garland at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 9: at Flower Mound at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: vs. Arlington Bowie at 7 p.m.
Sept. 30: vs. Arlington at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7: at Arlington Sam Houston (Wilemon Field) at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: vs. North Crowley at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: at Arlington Lamar (Cravens Field) at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: vs. Weatherford at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 3: at Fort Worth Paschal at 7 p.m.