E.C. Central Cardinals
Inside the Cardinals
Last season: 9-2
Returning starters: 16 (8 offense, 8 defense)
Returning offensive leader
Martayveus Carter, Sr., RB. 93 carries, 1,296 yards, 19 TDs; 8 catches, 168 yards, 2 TDs
Returning defensive leader
Patrick Shaw, Sr., LB. 168 tackles, 21 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries
Carlos Fernandez, Sr., QB/FS; Anthony Hunt, Sr., RB/LB. "Carlos is the first one at practice, at meetings, and shows his leadership continuously on and off the field," coach Stacy Adams said. "Anthony can relate to and get along with everybody. Check his Facebook and he's likely got 100,000 friends."
He's got next
Deontae Rush, Sr., WR/DB. "He's very athletic and has really bought into the mindset that East Chicago Central is out to win," Adams said of the Hammond transfer. "Deontae possesses a lot of speed and is a great cover guy as well."
The Times' breakdown
Times Coach of the Year Stacy Adams returns eight starters on both sides of the ball — 14 of them seniors. The roster is dotted with standouts at key positions, led by leading rusher Martayveus Carter (Northern Illinois), QB Carlos Fernandez (1,172 yards, 12 TDs), RB Anthony Hunt (627 yards, 7 TDs); third-leading receiver Tre'Quan Burnett (318 yards, 5 TDs); and five of its top returning tacklers in LB Patrick Shaw, LB Carter (123 tackles, 9 sacks), SS Jason Stewart (111 tackles, 4 INT.), LB Hunt (34 tackles) and DE Kenny Clark (60 tackles). "To me, Coach Stacy is like (President) Obama. He's made a difference," Carter said. "He came in and did what he said he'd do — help us win and get scholarships."
— Al Hamnik