The Martin Tigers will take the field this year looking like a brand new team. They may have a lot of returners, but you can expect to see a different playing style, starting with the offense. Second year head coach, David Charles said the team was, 'one-dimension last year.' Quarterback Albert Estrada looked good in their first scrimmage today, hitting many deep passes.
(Coach David Charles): "We placed a lot of emphasis on the passing game this summer and last off-season. We threw the ball a lot more today and I think we're more efficient with it."
Running Back Rudy Castillo was their one-dimension of their offense last year, but this season, the back said it’s more of a team effort.
(Rudy Castillo): "One thing, we are not going to be individuals. We are not looking at individuality here on this team this year, we're all a brotherhood."
Castillo rushed for almost 900 yards in six games last year before he was injured. Martin's o-line stole the show at the scrimmage Friday, providing many key blocks for QB Estrada.
(Rudy Castillo): "I can't ask for a better O-line than that."
(Coach Charles): "I think they did tremendous today. We have two returning starters from last year, three returning starters from last year, and they did real good there. We have a sophomore starting at the left guard. We have a junior starting at tackle who came off our JV team. Those five guys are really starting to mesh together."
Teamwork will be key for the Tigers this season, as only 32 players will be dressed in uniform each week. On the opposite side of the ball, their defense looked shaky in the scrimmage as Del Rio took advantage of many holes early. Several defensive players are coming off the JV squad, but one of the defensive leaders said they are working hard to improve.
(Mark Duron): "We're here most of the time. Most of the summer I spend in here, this is our second home. We love to be here in the weight room, in the field running, bleachers."
Last year the team's expectations were to compete, but this year they want to make the play-offs and of course stay healthy.
(Rudy Castillo): "In this town, they don't think we're going to do as well as we know we will, but the expectations of the team, they are very high."