Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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April 3, 2014

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Heading off to the Valley

Malakoff running back Damontes Dowell signs with Cardinals

MALAKOFF — Trinity Valley Cardinals  football coach Brad Smiley did not have to go far for his latest commit.

“We are excited about Damontes and he is a heck of an athlete,” Smiley said. “I look forward to helping him develop as a student athlete here at Trinity Valley next year.”

On Tuesday, Malakoff senior Damontes Dowell made it official that he would head down Highway 31 to the Valley in the fall.

“It was close to home and it was the only college that I really liked,” Dowell said. “It made me feel comfortable to be able to come here.”

Malakoff head coach Jamie Driskell believes this is a great fit for Dowell.

“I think Trinity Valley will be the perfect fit for him because he will still be close to home,” Driskell said. “He can focus on his studies and work on football the next two years.”

Dowell finished out his senior season at Malakoff as the District 7-2A Most Valuable Player and the Athens Daily Review All-Henderson County Player of the Year.

He rushed for 1,804 yards and 31 touchdowns during the regular season, while also catching 19 passes for 406 yards and three more touchdowns.

He said following a career in which he played linebacker, wildcat quarterback and running back, the coaching staff has a new position for him to play in college.

“They are talking about putting me in the slot and they told me I would probably play a little bit of defense at safety,” Dowell said. “I was also told that they might put me on special teams.”

With the transition to junior college football, Dowell knows he has some areas to work on during the summer.

“I need to be able to work on my speed and I need to get bigger,” Dowell said. “I really have not played slot but I have been told that they will help me out on that position. I need to work on my acceleration also and I think the speed will throw me off since I played at a 2A school.”

Smiley said Dowell needs to work on getting in shape during the off season.

“We want him to be in the best shape he can be,” Smiley said. “We don’t have off seasons to work with these guys and I wish we could have them over here but it is not allowed.”

Dowell will be joining Athens High School senior Chris Jefferson as he signed with the team back on national signing day.

Dowell will wrap up his high school playing days as he takes part in the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star game July 22 in San Antonio.

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