By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
2015 was a tough year for the Marshall Buffalos. They only had 11 seniors and lost four games on the last possession. The upside is that all of the young players are back this year with a year of experience under their belt.
“We expect to get back on track this year,” said Coach James Williams. “We have a young talented team coming back.”
The strength of the offense will be the offensive line, led by 2015 All-District junior Barton Clement and senior Bryant Newson. Clement was recently ranked 110 on ESPN’s Top 300 for 2018.
“The sky is the limit for Barton. I have sent several offensive linemen to division one schools and he will be the best of them all,” Williams said. “He is big, physical and plays nasty.”
“Clement (6-3, 305) is a prototype guard with quick feet and he is really strong. What separates Barton from the others is he is really smart. He is an AP student and fourth in his class, and his football knowledge is just as high. He will make adjustments on his own, depending upon what he is seeing in front of him,” said line coach Luis Espinosa.
Newson (6-0, 285) runs a 5.0 40 and will play center this year, but he can play all line positions.
“Newson is the leader of our offensive line. He is a three-year starter and will be playing his natural position of center this year,” Williams said. “He can be dominant.” “Newson is just a superb athlete. He has the best feet of any lineman you will ever see, and he is as strong as an ox. He holds all of the lifting records,” Espinosa added.
“I have played tackle and guard but I like the center position the best,” said Newson. “We are excited about this season, and want to go deep in the playoffs.”
“Both Newson and Clement are hard workers. We will be practicing in 98-degree heat and when practice is over, both of them will want to stay out and work on line drills,” Espinosa said.
Returning All-District running back Adrion Robertson will benefit from the strong offensive line.
“Adrion is very talented,” Williams said.
All-District returnee wide receiver junior Henry Thomas led the district in touchdown catches last year, but the Buffalos will need to find a quarterback to throw to him.
Defensive lineman Chukwudalu Ononenyi, a three-year starter, will lead the defense.
“He is a very strong and physical player who can dominate,” said Williams. “I am looking for a breakout year from him.”
Another player who may have a breakout year is corner back and running back Antonio Brooks. “He is special,” said Williams.
With District 23-5A being one of the toughest in the state, Marshall will need to start fast.
“We have a very competitive district, so each week will be a challenge,” Williams said.