Junior fullback also a starter at linebacker on defense
By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WOODSTOCK -- Central's running game has been strong all season and there's plenty of players who deserve credit for the Falcons' success on the ground. One of those who often gets overlooked is fullback Hamilton Argueta.
The Central junior quietly leads the way for his tailbacks as they rack up plenty of yards and touchdowns.
"He does the job," Central coach Mike Yew said of Argueta. "A fullback's not a glorious job. It's kind of a glorified lineman. He might carry the ball one-to-four times a game. He's carried it some big times for us this year, some big plays. Other than that, he's our lead blocker. He sets the tone for Daniel [Molina] and Jordan [Umstead], and he does a good job."
Molina got the bulk of the carries until he suffered a season-ending injury late in the regular season. Umstead then took over and has had three consecutive 200-yard games.
Argueta said it doesn't bother him that the tailbacks get a lot of the glory, he just wants the team to be successful.
"I'm just happy for them," Argueta said of Central's tailbacks. "The running backs are doing a good job finding the holes and hitting them."
On the season, Argueta has 14 carries for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Argueta started at fullback last year as a sophomore, and Yew said he just keeps getting better.
"He's a weight room kid for us in the offseason," Yew said. "He really dedicates himself to the things we're doing. He's here for everything football-related we do year-round -- every chance he gets."
Argueta does a lot more than just play fullback for the Falcons. He's also a starter at linebacker on defense.
He leads the team in tackles and has one fumble recovery for the Falcons.
"He does what he's supposed to do," Yew said. "He's not an overly big kid. He's very averaged-size, but he's a weight room kid. He works hard. He's very coachable. He does what he's asked to do. And when he makes a mistake, he's very accountable to himself. He really gets frustrated because he's the first to acknowledge, 'I didn't do this or I didn't do that.'
"He knows what mistake he made. He's not a finger pointer. He points the finger at himself first and makes sure he tries to fix what he did wrong."
Last year Argueta had only 18 tackles, but all the hard work he put into the offseason has paid off in a big way this year. Argueta said he feels he's done a better job of reading the blocks and knowing where the running backs are going.
The Falcons (9-2) are only allowing 19.1 points per game and have been balanced against the pass and the run. Argueta said he feels confident in his teammates no matter what the offense tries to do.
"We know how to stop the [run] if we have to," Argueta said. "We know how to pick the ball if we need to."
The Falcons have a big game Friday when they host rival Strasburg in the second round of the Group A, Division 2 playoffs.
Central beat Strasburg 25-20 two weeks ago, and another close game is expected Friday.
The Falcons lost in the second round of the playoffs last year, and have a lot back from that squad. Argueta said that experience is valuable to the Falcons.
"It helps us a lot," Argueta said of the Falcons' experience. "We're motivated to make it further this year."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org