STANTON — Tyler James was honored as a junior last year for his play on the offensive line of Central Montcalm’s football team.
This season he tripled his accolades, getting a Division 5-6 first-team all-state selection from the Detroit Free Press and being named honorable mention in Division 5-6 by the Associated Press and the Detroit News.
“I felt like I had a pretty good season myself,” James said. “The team wasn’t as successful as they could have been or should have been. I don’t like to talk about myself, but I got all-state in three different newspapers and I’m getting scholarship offers so I must have done something right.”
His father and coach, Marty James, said his son’s body was his biggest asset.
“God gifted him with a football body and he utilized it,” Marty James said. “Tyler has long arms so he could get his hands on someone quickly. He was a phenomenal run-blocker. He utilized his football body to his advantage.”
Tyler said he wasn’t too surprised by being named all-state.
“I wasn’t exactly surprised,” Tyler said. “I made it last year as a junior in the Detroit Free Press. Last year I didn’t think I deserved it. But this year I thought I’d get it.”
Tyler was one who Marty thought wouldn’t make varsity football because he was “gangly,” Marty said.
“I have never — and I can say this without hesitation — I have never seen a kid work as hard as Tyler,” Marty said. “He garnered all-state honors from the Detroit Free press as a junior. He deserves everything he gets. He’s evolved into the role of a leader. He’s a good kid, not just because he’s my own but he demands a lot from himself.”
And Marty treated him somewhat like a coach’s kid.
“I was very hard on Tyler both on and off the field,” he said.
Tyler took the work ethic to heart between his junior and senior years, he said.
“I’ve been working out every day since the last football season got done,” Tyler said. “This past summer I went to 13 different camps in general. Most of those were scouting camps for different schools. I worked pretty hard.”
He’s still working hard because of the scholarship offer.
“Right now I have one offer from Northwood,” Tyler said. “I’m not sure if I want to go there or not. I have three more visits to go. I went to Hillsdale. They haven’t offered yet. I’m going to visit Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech and Ferris (State).”
Marty said it’s going to take some getting used to not having Tyler there to coach.
“It’s going to be unusual,” Marty said. “As many years as I coached my own kid, It’s going to be another transition for both of us. He’s going to move on to college ball, and we’re going to have to replace him on the offensive line. But he’s laid the foundation that the kids coming in. They now know what to expect if they want to play at the level he played at. He’s set the bar pretty high.”
Tyler thinks the Green Hornets will be decent next season. Last season they were 4-5, losing five of their last six games. They went 8-2 his junior season.
“I feel like they should be pretty successful,” he said. “They have a little bit of talent coming up. The offensive line should be pretty good again. The backfield was pretty young last year, and next year they should be more mature, stronger, faster. They should be pretty good.”