25 Teams in 25 Days

St. Martin football has talent to contend in 2016

jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The St. Martin football team will not have Tyler Polk as a star playmaker for the first time since the 2011 season, but there will be no shortage of offensive firepower for the Yellow Jackets in 2016.

Polk has moved on to East Mississippi Community College and Wayne Overman appears set to have a big senior season after sharing snaps behind center with Polk.

Overman received the majority of playing time at quarterback last year and put up some impressive numbers to earn a spot on the Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,752 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the ground with 167 carries for 1,148 yards and 16 scores.

It will be difficult for Overman to top those numbers in 2015, but Whitehead believes the left-hander has shown improvement.

“His decision making has improved,” Whitehead said. “With us running the zone read, it's always up to the quarterback whether he gives it up or keeps it. He's working on being perfect in those situations and being a team leader.”

Overman holds scholarship offers from Navy, Air Force, Army, Citadel and Southeastern Louisiana.

While there is no Polk, Overman is surrounded by plenty of players capable of putting the ball in the end zone. Senior receiver Kalem Reddix will again be Overman's go-to man in the passing game after catching 44 passes passes for 815 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Reddix also has offers with Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, Southern Miss, UAB and Middle Tennessee all pursuing him.

“He's been pretty special,” Whitehead said. “He's catching the ball really well starting the season out. He could play a little bit of defense like last year, but he'll play mostly on offense and in the return game.”

Joining Reddix at receiver will be senior Isaac Williams, senior Quan Walley, senior Blake Palmer and sophomore Elijah Washington.

At running back, sophomore Ham McGee appears destined to get the majority of carries. He will be tasked with trying to replace Polk's 1,186 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground last season.

“You can't replace a kid like Polk, who was electric, had a great attitude and athletic ability,” Whitehead said. “We definitely miss Tyler. He's been the face of St. Martin football for several years. Nobody can replace him in his spot, but we have a young running back, Ham McGee, who I really think is going to be special.”

Senior Kelvin Chestang, a 6-foot, 255-pound tackle, will lead a St. Martin offensive line that features three new starters. The only other returning starter is 6-foot-3, 265-pound guard Jadarian Evans. Four sophomores – Ethan Anderson, Brandon Cunningham, Devin Washington and Kobe Evans – are in the hunt for the other starting spots.

Walley, Washington, Palmer, Williams and Reddix should also see playing time in the defensive backfield. Senior Jaylan Kirkland will also factor in at cornerback.

One of the areas of strength for the St. Martin defense will be at linebacker where sophomore Donte' Starks and senior Peyton Piglia return as key contributors. Last season, Piglia had 88 tackles and Starks had 73.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Starks holds scholarship offers from Tulane, Louisville, Southern Miss, UL-Lafayette, Texas-San Antonio and Troy.

“He's a tremendous player who has a nose for the ball,” Whitehead said. “We were scrimmaging a little bit yesterday and he was sideline to sideline.”

Sophomore Keni Williams, McGee and sophomore Mileon Graham join Piglia and Starks on the depth chart at linebacker.

Dylan “Snoop” McGee and Evans should line up at defensive tackle while Chestang, sophomore Norde White and sophomore Brandon Cunningham will be in the rotation at defensive end.

St. Martin, which hasn't been to the playoffs since 2003, also has the advantage of having one of the better kickers on the Coast in strong-legged junior Sean Gomez, who made 3-of-6 field goals and averaged 40 yards a punt last season.

At a glance

2015 record: 9-3

Region: 4-6A

Head coach: Eddie Wayne Whitehead

Assistant coaches: T.J. Windham, Brad Talley, Thomas Lyons, Chris Letart, Kevin Fayard, Justin Holland, Joey Waites, James Antonini.

Offense: Spread

Defense: 3-3 stack

Starting lineup

OFFENSE

QB Wayne Overman

RB Ham McGee

RB Dante Starks

WR Kalem Reddix

WR Isaac Williams

WR Quan Walley

WR Elijah Washington

WR Blake Palmer

C Ethan Anderson

G Devin Washington

G Jadarrion Evans

G Kobe Evans

T Kelvin Chestang

T Brandon Cunningham

DEFENSE

LB Donte Starks

LB Ham McGee

LB Peyton Piglia

LB Mileon Graham

LB Keni Williams

CB Quan Walley

CB Elijah Washington

S Blake Palmer

S Isaac Williams

CB Kalem Reddix

CB Jaylon Kirkland

2016 roster

1 Ham McGee

2 Kalem Reddix

3 Wayne Overman

4 Landon Pankonin

5 Franchot Canaan

6 Donte' Starks

7 Elijah Washington

8 Casey Fayard

9 Holden Reimillard

10 Isaac Williams

11 Nick Ross

12 Spencer Lutgring

13 Blake Palmer

14 Sean Gomez

15 Quan Walley

16 Jared Wetzel

17 Dante Dismuke

18 Cam'ron Jones

20 Jamal Moody

21 Jaylan Kirkland

22 Jayce Franklin

23 Jay McGee

24 Mileon Graham

25 Rico Moore

26 Anthony Morgan

27 Joseph Spratley

28 Shazim Williams

29 Jeremiah Williams

30 Devin Moore

32 Alontae Hughes

33 Cameron Salas

34 Daniel Olivera

35 Thomas Cole

36 Dakota Groue

37 Chris Jones

40 Dylan Hughes

41 James Ladnier

42 Chaz Pylate

44 Easton Whitehead

45 Derrivck Turk

48 Peyton Piglia

49 Sam Borque

50 Lee Micheal Mayfield

51 Daulton Caudell

52 Clarence Brown

53 RJ Nelson

54 Keni Williams

55 Kobe Evans

56 Kelvin Chestang

57 Christian Beverly

58 Kris Hood

59 Norde White

60 Jason Bouland

61 Markel Scarbrough

62 Johnny Eriquezzo

63 Dylen McGee

65 Adrianna Lashley

66 Logan Williams

68 Deven Tapper

69 Devin Washington

70 Kadren Magee

71 Braxton Gardner

72 Ethan Anderson

75 Andrew Lutz

77 Jadarrion Evans

78 Brandon Cunningham

81 Clay Gollott

85 Alvin Cooks

86 Sebastian Nga

2016 schedule

Aug. 19

POPLARVILLE

Aug. 26

At Madison Ridgeland Aca.

Sept. 2

At Picayune

Sept. 9

CRESTVIEW (Fla.)

Sept. 16

At East Central

Sept. 23

GULFPORT

Sept. 30

HANCOCK

Oct. 7

At Harrison Central

Oct. 14

At Biloxi

Oct. 21

OCEAN SPRINGS

Oct. 28

GEORGE COUNTY

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