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Martin trio technically among best

Martin trio technically among best

Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 12:00 pm

By RANDY CAVIN
Press Sports
More gridiron action is on the horizon for three Martin Middle School football players with the Future Stars game and the Football Tech game.
Dalton Turnbow and Collin Strickland will be playing in Future Stars game that will pit middle school football players from Tennessee and Kentucky against each other on June 16 in Louisville, Ky.
Turnbow will be joining Boone Brown for the Football Tech game in Atlanta on June 23 against a team that has yet to be decided.
Turnbow is no stranger to playing in all-star football games. Last year he played on the seventh-graders team for Tennessee.
Both the Future Stars and Football Tech teams are decided by combine/skill camps with participants going through tryouts.
John Morris, president of the Football Tech LLC in Knoxville and is associated with the Future Stars, says the combine is an important process in selecting the players, but not as much as the skills camp where the players show their understanding of the sport.
“The combine part is not as important as the skills camp part as we are looking for players’ talent and understanding of the sport,” he said. “The combine part of the camp carries a small part in the selection as this part of the day is for the kids and the parents to find out the true data on their son. Again, the importance of the community coaches comes into play here as they help evaluate the players and rate them on abilities and effort, attitude, teamwork and, most importantly, the player’s ability to learn quickly and his base knowledge of his position and football.
“All this data is gathered and discussed with each position coach and then with other coaches that help at the camp. This process includes everyone and helps us make sure that no one player is shown favoritism and is truly selected by his abilities and efforts.”
The players for the Future Stars game are picked much the same way as the Football Tech players as each player is run through a series of football drills to test their skills and knowledge of the game.
All three players — Turnbow, Stricklin and Brown — will be playing on this year’s eighth-grade teams for Tennessee and will be freshmen at Westview this fall.
MMS head coach Michael Stigall believes this will be a great opportunity for the players to get some exposure with college scouts who will be at the game evaluating the players.
“They will get some exposure and seen a little bit,” Stigall said. “It might bring a little notoriety to them and they will be watched while in high school. That might be a way they (colleges) get some prospects.”  This will also be a good opportunity for the players to learn new techniques from highly-qualified coaches and former college/NFL players.
In the past the Tennessee team has had former Vol and 1st round draft pick Terry Fair (’98) an Todd Kelly (’94) on the coaching staff.
No names have been announced for the coaching staff of the Future Stars game, but Morris said he has a mixture of ex-UT Vols/NFL players, high school coaches and even some middle school coaches on staff.
Practice for the Future Stars game will be held the week of the game at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City. Published in The WCP 6.5.12

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