1A breakout player: A speedster from Mart
Our countdown to the start of high school football season continues this week with a look at breakout players in each classification. Today: Class 1A
By Dennis Hall / Texas Football
It’s almost not fair for a big, old offensive lineman to look up and see Mart’s Anthony Martin standing across from him.
Offensive linemen aren’t intimated by Martin’s size – he’s just 5-10, 210 pounds. But Martin is a track star whose amazing quickness makes it almost impossible for a lineman to get a hand on him before he has swooped past and tackled the quarterback.
“Anthony Martin is one of the fastest guys in 1A,” Mart coach Rusty Nail said. “He ran at the state track meet, and he’s a 4.4 or 4.5 guy that plays right over the ball. … We put speed on defense. Our down five guys are faster than the four guys we’ve got in the secondary.”
Martin proved his defensive ability in 2009, when he helped lead Mart on a playoff run that finally culminated in the 1A DII regional finals. And in 2010, he’ll get a bigger chance to show his offensive ability as Mart’s go-to running back.
Martin’s speed will give defensive coordinators nightmares this season as they prepare to defend him. One busted assignment, and he’ll be in the defensive backfield racing toward the end zone. Martin’s presence is a big reason why Mart opens the season ranked No. 2 in Class 1A DI and is considered a state title contender.
Mart was overwhelmed by injuries last year and ended up going just 6-4 in the regular season. If the Panthers can stay healthy in 2010, a deep playoff run is expected. And Martin should be right in the thick of it, leading Mart on both offense and defense while proving once again that in Texas high school football, speed kills.
ATH Reginald Davis, Tenaha: The Tigers open the season as our No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A DII, and a big reason is the wealth of talent they have coming back. Perhaps the team’s most exciting player is Davis, a tremendous athlete who posted 848 receiving yards and 278 rushing yards as a sophomore last season. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
RB Colin Dziuk, Falls City: It’s debatable whether we should classify a player who ran for 1,245 yards last season as a breakout player, but that’s what we’re doing. Dziuk was the Beavers’ No. 2 option last year behind star QB Will Kirchhoff, and now it’s Dziuk’s turn to shine. He’s a tough runner who will be counted on to take the pressure off sophomore QB Cameron Soto.
RB Aaron Faith, Albany: Faith was the Lions’ second option in 2009 and still ran for more than 1,000 yards while averaging 8.2 yards per carry. Teammate Elijah Hudson went for more than 2,500 yards last year, and Faith has a good chance to match that output as the new featured back in 2010.
QB Braden Hudson, Canadian: Ready or not, junior Braden Hudson takes over at quarterback for the juggernaut Canadian football team. Predecessor Brandon Robinson posted huge numbers while leading the Wildcats to the state title game last year. Hudson doesn’t have to match Robinson’s production, but if he even comes close, he’ll be a winning quarterback because of the talent around him.
QB Jorge Porras, Wheeler: Porras was an all-state safety for the Mustangs last year, and now it’s his turn to get the spotlight as Wheeler’s quarterback. He showed some running ability with 567 rushing and seven touchdowns last year. If he proves he can pass the ball, he could be one of 1A’s top dual threats.