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Not to be overlooked

Hart senior establishing himself on both sides of the ball

Posted: November 18, 2009 10:21 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart senior Ty MacArthur might have been overlooked by many people at the beginning of the 2009 football season. But a standout year at wide receiver and defensive back has established MacArthur has an integral part of the Indians' playoff plans.

Before the season began, the list of the Foothill League's top wide receivers was fairly distinguished.

There was Valencia's Zach Tartabull, who led the league in receiving in 2008.

There was Saugus' Manny Padron, an integral weapon for the 2008 league champions.

People would talk about Hart senior Blake Borland, who led the Indians in catches, yards and touchdowns last season.

Not many people were talking about Borland's teammate Ty MacArthur.

That didn't bother MacArthur.

"I always knew that if I had the chance to play offense, I could make a name for myself," MacArthur says. "There's no doubt about that."

There sure isn't anybody doubting him now.

The senior wideout has been exceptionally productive and is one of the most important cogs in Hart's high-powered offense, which has averaged 31 points per game this season.

The maestro of the offense, senior quarterback C.J. Reyes, isn't surprised.

"At the end of the year last year, I knew Ty was going to be one of my main guys," Reyes says. "I knew he'd make the plays that were needed."

MacArthur has been playing football since fourth grade, when he started with the Santa Clarita Valley Warriors, and he's played both receiver and defensive back his whole career.

He and Reyes have been best friends since their freshman year at Hart High School, but as a junior, MacArthur's career took a sharp turn.

He broke his thumb during a practice in the middle of the season and had to play with a cast on his hand.

The cast meant he couldn't make catches as routinely, so he had to play safety exclusively for the varsity team.

Although he loves to play on offense, MacArthur says he adjusted quickly to playing defense full-time.

"I love hitting people," he says. "I love making tackles. Whatever can help the team is what I want to do."

He certainly helped, finishing the season as a first-team All-Foothill League defensive back.

MacArthur says he learned a lot from his brother Johnny, who only played football at Hart for one year but quickly became a versatile, talented player thanks to his commitment.

That same dedication helped MacArthur excel at defensive back. But if there was an upshot to the broken thumb, it kept MacArthur's offensive skills a relative secret until this fall.

Hart head coach Mike Herrington looks at it another way.

"He was an all-league defensive player, so they probably didn't think about him being on the offensive side," he says. "He was known as a good player, but to be one of the top two-way players, I don't think people were expecting that."

Herrington says the coaches haven't been surprised by MacArthur's emergence, but they have been very happy with his performance.

They're not the only ones.

Borland describes MacArthur as a smart player with breakaway speed who can catch anything thrown his way.

That skill set has brought a new dimension to Hart's offense.

"Being able to spread the ball around helps the offense as a whole," Borland says. "It's hard to cover a team that can pass to either side of the ball."

MacArthur says he and Borland complement each other in Hart's passing attack.

"I run across the middle a lot," MacArthur says. "I like getting inside, getting linebackers and safeties on me so I can make some moves and get yards after catch. Blake's more of a downfield threat."

Wherever MacArthur is, Reyes is confident he can find him.

"He knows what I'm going to do, I know what he's going to do," Reyes says. "It's really helped."

Reyes says that MacArthur has also become more vocal in the huddle, and he keeps everyone focused while on offense.

Thanks in part to MacArthur's two-way contributions, the Indians finished second in the Foothill League and will host Hueneme in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cougar Stadium.

It all comes after Hart finished 5-6 in 2008 and didn't advance past the first round of the postseason.

"We want to erase last year, and this year we're hoping to win a couple games in the playoffs and see what happens," MacArthur says.

Once his high school career is over, MacArthur will try to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing college football.

He says he's been in contact with some schools, including Air Force, UC Davis and Northern Arizona, but his size - MacArthur describes himself as 5 feet 8 inches tall and 145 pounds - means he's not at the top of their lists.

He wasn't at the top of the Foothill League receivers list when the season began, either.

Look where that got him.


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