Starting a football team from scratch isn’t an easy task, but it is a task Stewarts Creek coach David Martin has tried to tackle head on.
And despite no spring practice, a limited fall camp and virtually no time to install his offensive and defensive schemes, Martin has been pleased with how his 135-man roster (including freshmen) have responded to the uphill battle.
“Every football team is going to have adversity and this team is no different,” Martin said. “The guys have come together well and done everything we’ve asked of them to this point.”
Martin, who has more than 200 career wins in high school football in Tennessee, said this year is about establishing the right values and culture for the Red Hawks, who will be District 7-AAA newest member.
“Our focus isn’t on wins on losses so much as it is about seeing how well we can compete and carry ourselves,” the former Goodpasture coach said. “Those things are important for what we’re trying to do in [our] building.
“All 10 weeks, we just want to get better every week.”
Martin will utilize a Wing-T offense in 2013, which will be led by quarterback Mason Hall.
The 17-year-old junior played for Father Ryan High School before his family moved to Rutherford County this summer.
“I would have competed for the starting job [at Father Ryan] last spring,” Hall said. “We (Stewarts Creek) installed our offense in a week.”
Martin said the teams biggest on offense will be at the skill positions while the offensive line, which will feature mostly sophomores, will be the biggest weakness entering the season.
Some of skill players Hall will be getting the ball include sophomore running back Cynterius Lyons, running back Jerry Carnell and running back Marsallis Snoden.
“We’ve got several guys with speed and quickness,” Martin said. “If the offensive line can give come together and give us some time, I like where our skill position players are.”
Martin will employ a 4-3 scheme on defense in his first season as head coach of the Red Hawks.
“Like our offense with the skill positions, our linebackers and defensive backs will be our strength, and like on offense with our line, the defensive line will be our weakness.”
Carnell, Snoden and Lyons will play key roles in the secondary for Martin.
Steven Billiott, who was slated to start at one of the linebacker positions, will miss all of the season after breaking his ankle in the team’s opening preseason scrimmage.
Junior Connor Helton will anchor the linebacker corps for Stewarts Creek in Billiott’s absence.
The defensive line will feature a platoon of different players. Martin said the final rotation hadn’t been determined yet.
Isiah Biles will handle the team’s punting duties.
Jonathan Sneed will be the team’s kicker. Martin said he was perfect on extra points and field goals in the team’s first preseason scrimmage.