CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) – Anderson County High School football head coach Davey Gillum wasn’t surprised to see his junior quarterback rifle off such a fine performance in his first game of the season last Friday.
“I never doubted that he was ever gonna not be back or be less than great.”
You don’t need to look much past his stat-line to understand why Stanton Martin was our Friday Night Hits Fox Toyota Player of the Week. His total of 247 yards and 3 touchdowns passing, alongside another 193 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing is more than evident. But required in any great quarterback, Martin has leadership in spades.
“Stanton’s a special kid. He’s a role model for our whole community. He’s been helping me lead Bible study since middle school,” says Gillum. “He goes to the elementary schools a couple times a month to speak to kids, he takes my kids to the movies.”
He also possesses boundless resolve, derived from his Christianity.
“He’s placed these trials and adversities in your life, knowing that you can overcome them,” says Martin.
And overcome he has. A torn labrum ended his freshman season during his first start. Last year, it was a broken jaw that sidelined him, and sidetracked the offense, midway through the season.
“I had it sealed shut for six weeks. I had to drink Ensure, and stuff like that. It was terrible. I lost 20 pounds, I was frail.”
“It was definitely devastating for the team,” recounts senior running back Mason Phillips. “We all went over to his house to try to cheer him up. His mom passed out chips and he was just sitting there drinking water, there was nothing we could do.”
Carter High School couldn’t do anything about Martin in the Mavericks 55-27 win, a culmination of his determination, direction and faith.
“His exact words within two hours of the injury were, the Lord’s got a plan for him,” says Gillum. “I couldn’t imagine anyone handling it any better than he had.”
“It’s all in his hands, and that kept my head up through those down moments in my life,” Martin admits.
His return to health, and the football field, has him appreciating the little things more than ever, like that first meal after they unsealed his jaw.
“Best believe, that first meal I could eat, I was excited. I had these soft mac ‘n cheese noodles, cause I could barely chew. Mashed potatoes with the skin in them, my favorite. I still remember the taste.”
A season opening win was nice, but like Martin, the Mavs are still hungry for more.