Countdown to kickoff: Arlington Martin Warriors

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Arlington Martin

District 4-6A

Last season: 10-3 (6-1 District 3-5A)

Key players: LB Josh Watson (5-11,195), QB Eric Walker (5-10, 165), S Trip White (5-9, 180), RB Nic Smith (5-8, 175), DB Jared Phipps (5-8, 160)

The big picture: Arlington Martin has some big shoes to fill after losing one of the top recruits in the nation in defensive end Myles Garrett and his counterpart Justin Hollins. However, run defense will still be a strong point of Martin’s game because returning linebacker Josh Watson, a TCU baseball commit, recorded 141 tackles, seven sacks and two blocked kicks last season. He will be joined on defense by senior Trip White, who made 111 tackles last season and accounted for six takeaways. Of the six returning starters on defense, three are in the secondary. On offense, eight starters return, including all the skill positions, center Alex Shamshoum and tackle A.J. Brown. Martin also returns quarterback Eric Walker and running back Nic Smith. Both are juniors. Walker threw for 2,057 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Smith ran for 1,439 yards and 19 touchdowns. Senior running back Jalum Bouldin added 649 yards and nine touchdowns last year. In a position that might go unnoticed at other schools, kicker Julien Martinez will get his shot to follow three former kickers, all of whom went to Big 12 schools.

Quotable: “If you were to look up captain in the dictionary, [Watson’s] picture would be there. He’s a standout multiple sport athlete and has self-discipline.” — coach Bob Wager

“We’ve got a lot of speed on our team and I feel like we can use that to our advantage. Our coaches are definitely going to use that skill that we have to set our type of play.” — linebacker Josh Watson

Notable: Watson is the first returning captain in Wager’s nine seasons at Martin, an honor voted on by Watson’s teammates. Martin has made the playoffs eight consecutive years.

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