MMS All-Star Turnbow hungry for more grid glory
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:03 am
By: By KENNETH COKER, Press Sports
Martin Middle School’s Dalton Turnbow got a taste of what he’d like to experience in the future.
Now, he plans to work his way back in both the near and somewhat distance future.
The eighth-grader-to-be took in the college life while playing for the Tennessee team at the Football Tech Camps Future Stars all-star game on the campus of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City recently.
The Panther lineman was the starting right tackle on a TN squad that bested Kentucky 26-25 in overtime.
“My dream is to play college football,” Turnbow said, while noting that Ohio State would be his team of choice. “Getting to play on the college field showed me what it’s like and it’s something I want to do.
“I also want to go back to the all-star game as an eighth-grader.”
Turnbow will have that opportunity next summer when the selection process for the game begins.
The 13-year-old MMS offensive/defensive lineman was chosen for this year’s All-Star game via film unlike many of his fellow players.
Most of the participants in the game qualified for it via work done at a Football Tech Camp earlier in the spring.
Turnbow’s selection came after camp organizers viewed a DVD that was sent in by Panther skipper Mike Stigall.
“They contacted me and wanted to know if we had any players that might be capable of playing in the seventh-grade game,” Stigall said. “We sent in a DVD and they selected Dalton.
“It’s a great experience for him to get to meet all those guys and form friendships with kids he wouldn’t otherwise know.
“He also got to be part of a system that he’s not accustomed to and got to experience a college campus, which will help him in both high school and if he goes to the next level.”
Turnbow’s chances at playing certainly benefited from last fall’s Martin Middle School campaign as he lined up as a starting guard.
“We normally don’t have to start seventh-graders, but a handful of them got that chance this year,” Stigall said. “Dalton came on strong and earned his starting spot.”
From his “spot” on the line at Jefferson City, Turnbow told that he saw some outstanding talent.
“There were some great players up there, especially on the Kentucky team,” Turnbow said. “They had a lot of fast people compared to what I’ve seen from the teams we play at Martin.
“Staying in the dorms was weird at first, too, because I’m used to being around my parents, but by the end o the week I was getting used to it.”
Preparation for the game began on June 8 — a Wednesday — with the contest scheduled for June 11 (Saturday).
The Tennessee squad went through two-a-day practices on both Wednesday and Thursday with a single session on Friday morning and a game walk-through in the afternoon.
The squad also got to tour the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium during its stay in East Tennessee.
Turnbow, who was accompanied to the game by a contingent that included both his father and step-mother (Brian and Wendy Turnbow) and mother (Kim Turnbow) among others, was one of a handful of selections to the team from rural West Tennessee alongside Union City’s Jacob Hyde and Paris Inman’s Brevin Odom.