Tino Ellis: Senior Year Has Begun
It’s me, Tino Ellis again with my third diary. It has been a little over a month since my last diary. I want to touch on a few key events that have happened in the past month. Since the season started, one of my teammates and one of my brothers, D.J. Turner suffered a serious injury that ended his season, and I received my Under Armour All American Jersey as did a couple of my teammates.
The first game of the season was a nationally televised game against Miami Central, one of the best teams in Florida. The game was part of the ESPN High School Showcase; it was really cool to play on ESPN. My first touchdown of the season was not a receiving touchdown or a defensive touchdown, it was actually a special teams touchdown where I recovered a blocked field goal and returned it over 80 yards for the score. My exact mindset before the play was to stay contained for a trick play, but once the ball was blocked I knew if I got my hands on the ball that I had to score. We won the game 38-14, but we lost one of our best players, D.J. Turner, for the season. D.J. broke his leg in the opening game and was ruled out for the rest of his senior season. The injury impacted our team a great deal; he played an important role. Everyone has stepped up in his absence, but individually Myles Canton has really stepped up and has made some major contributions. As a team we are absolutely motivated even more to contend for a national and state championship. The next game was against American Heritage. The trip to Plantation, Florida was a great experience and traveling with my DeMatha family made the trip that more exciting. For us the players, it was a business trip, no time for relaxation. We had to work through Plantation, Florida’s humid weather conditions that we weren’t used to. We went through a series of hardcore training every day and worked towards getting and bringing the win back to Maryland. All of the teams we have played have been tough, but the game against Heritage was probably the hardest so far. American Heritage is an extremely well coached team and they were not going to lay down for us. They fought hard and wanted the win just as bad as we did. The game ended 23-22 as we beat them in an extremely close game. The last two games were played against La Salle College (Pennsylvania), and St. Mary’s Ryken (Maryland). We won those two games with a combined score of 81-12. Looking ahead to some of the upcoming games, I am really looking forward to the game against Gonzaga. This is my senior year and it will be the last time I play in this rivalry game. In my four years at DeMatha, my only loss to Gonzaga came during my freshman season. Since then we have beaten them every time in the regular season and in the playoffs. I would have to say that I’m proud of my team thus far. We have had to deal with D.J.’s injury in our opening season game and that wasn’t easy for any of our players. I would have to say there is always room for improvement. I believe when you become satisfied with something, you may not see any room to get better. We as a team have to improve in order to win the WCAC crown and a national championship.
It has always been a goal of mine to play in the Under Armour All American Game. The best players in the nation are all going to be there and I am thankful for the chance to be able to attend. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me to showcase my hard work, dedication, and my skills amongst other great players and coaches. I was not the only DeMatha player to receive a jersey from the Under Armour game. Besides myself, Shane Simmons and Terrance Davis also will be playing in the game. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I will play one last game with my DeMatha brothers. The Under Armour Game showcases the best football talent from all over the country and I want to go up against the best. I am really looking forward to competing against Levonta Taylor. I can’t wait for it.
I am still being questioned about my commitment to Maryland, but I stand by my decision. I remain 100 percent committed to Maryland and I am so excited to play in front of my family, friends, and the best fans in college football next year. I like to keep up with how the rest of the class of 2016 is doing in their seasons. It is important for me to keep up with other UM commits, as we will all be playing together next year. I am still trying to convince my DeMatha brother and current Penn State Commit, Shane Simmons to join me and the other future Terps in College Park. I think Shane would be a great fit at Maryland. He is a very skilled player and I enjoy playing with him at DeMatha. I believe that UM would better serve Shane and it would better fit his talents. I can’t wait to play with the class of 2016. We are going to bring something special to College Park. I am most excited to play with Dwayne Haskins, current Bullis School quarterback. He is a phenomenal pro-style quarterback who is going to throw the ball deep and get the ball down field. I look forward to taking on the next level of football with Dwayne as my quarterback.
Make sure to check out all the rest of the player diaries and be sure to come back often. Follow me on Twitter @IamTinoEllis to get updates on my season and also follow @RecruitDiaries to get updates about when all the diaries are posted. GO TERPS!!