There's an old mythological tale about a man named King Midas. The gist of the story is everything that King Midas touches turns into gold.
Right about now you're probably asking yourself what does the story of King Midas have to do with the week three TIMES NEWS Player of the Week?
His name is Dustin Vandermartin and he is the answer to that very question.
Tamaqua all purpose player Dustin Vandermartin might not be able to turn objects into gold with just a single touch. However, he has been doing a pretty good job of turning his touches on the football field into touchdowns.
Out of his eight touches this season, whether it be a touch in the run game or pass game, Vandermartin has scored six times. Meaning, that 75% of the time that Vandermartin has touched the ball this year, he has taken it to the house.
His performance last week against Shenandoah Valley is what has earned him the week three TIMES NEWS Player of the Week. Vandermartin had four carries for 163 yards and two catches for 57 yards, including four total touchdowns. His big play efforts helped the Raiders get a 38-15 Anthracite League win over the Blue Devils.
Before the season began Vandermartin knew he would have a bigger role this season for the Raiders than ever before. With the multi-talented Dalton Nunemacher lost due to graduation it was now Vandermartin's turn to step in and fill the void. So far in 2013, he has shown that he has no problem doing so.
In his first full game back from a rib injury that he suffered in a pre-season scrimmage, Vandermartin showed why coach Sam Bonner and his staff chose to make him their ultimate weapon. Vandermartin torched the Blue Devils at every turn last week and gave the Raiders the momentum they needed to pull out the victory.
Vandermartin attributes his recent success to his off-season regiment where he worked extremely hard to be physically ready to take on his new found role.
"I went to a lot of football camps this summer, probably about eight of them," said Vandermartin. "I really put it a lot of time in the weight room and gained about 25 pounds, which is really making a difference this season. I knew it was my senior year, so that kind of makes you have a sense of urgency about really being prepared once the season starts."
Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner always noticed that Vandermartin had a little something extra when it came to playing football and he also agrees with the senior that his off-season dedication has really paid off.
"Seeing the way Dustin progressed last season and seeing his off-season dedication, we knew that he would have no problem filling the void left behind by Dalton," said Bonner. "He does so much for usr in all facets of the game and he's a very valuable part of our football team."
The Raiders did not get off to the best start , losing to Jim Thorpe in week one. The Raiders' starting running back Tyler Hope and Vandermartin did not play in that game. Vandermartin believes now that his team is healthy that they need to get back to playing the brand of football Tamaqua fans have gotten accustomed to over the last few years.
"Losing to Jim Thorpe is what we expected," said Vandermartin. "But we've come out these last two games and we've generated some momentum for ourselves now heading into week four. I know myself and all of my teammates are going to do whatever we can do to keep that momentum going."