Archived Story

Stark plays ‘big’ for Chieftains

Published 9:39pm Monday, September 24, 2012

You might not be that intimidated when you look at Dowagiac senior Derek Stark.

Derek Stark

At 5-foot-8, 160-pounds, Stark is one of the smaller players on the Chieftain football team. But don’t let that fool you.

Stark hits like a hammer on either side of the football. He is among the leading tacklers on defense and when he gets a chance to carry the ball on offense, his numbers are impressive.

Stark is one of the reasons why the Dowagiac football team is 5-0 heading into Friday night’s game against South Haven and is ranked in the top 10 in the state.

The veteran defensive back and running back helped lead the Chieftains to the Division 5 District championship last season.

So far in 2012, Stark has already been credited with 29 tackles, three forced fumbles and a team-high three interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown against Berrien Springs.

“Derek put in a lot of time in the weight room,” Dowagiac coach Mike Stanger said. “Pound-for-pound he is one of our strongest players. He is a three-year starter at safety. He plays the game fast and physical. We are happy with his effort on both sides of the ball.”

The Chieftains have a bevy of running backs, so carries can be limited. Stark has made the most of his attempts this season.

He has rushed for 184 yards on 27 carries and is averaging a whopping 6.8 yards per tote. He has scored a pair of touchdowns this season for Dowagiac.


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