My definition of a playmaker is an athlete that can dramatically effect the outcome of a ballgame from anywhere on the field. Having a special player that can break a game wide open at any moment gives your team a chance regardless of the situation. Two players that have established themselves as some of the top playmakers in the Northwest are the dynamic juniors: Roosevelt’s WR/DB #23 Antonio Bella (5-10, 165) and Gresham’s RB/DB #21 Devauntae Hoffman (5-7, 180). Both these guys were 1st Team-All League in their respective conferences as sophomores while starting both ways and returning punts and kicks. This year as Juniors, the two have run a clinic.
Arguably our states most dynamic player is the walking highlight reel, Gresham’s Devauntae Hoffman. Hoffman was born in Boise, Idaho and moved to Gresham, Oregon when he was just two years old. He grew up playing football, track, and basketball in Gresham youth programs so he is a homegrown product. This season Devauntae has gashed defenses thru 8 games with 970 yards on 11.3 yards per carry with 15 touchdowns and 1 passing touchdown while returning punts and kicks for the Gophers. Hoffman has multiple 3+ TD performances this season and last Friday he rushed for a career high 228 in a win against Barlow. Devauntae is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the state having won Oregonlive.com’s “Fans Athlete of the Week”, 3 Times already this season. Hoffman is also an excellent punt returner taking 3 to the house this sesason. He also returns kicks but opposing teams kick away from him he says. His punt return a few weeks back against Reynolds is going viral and is an example of how explosive Deveaunte is (see below). Hoffman is also one of the top corners in the Mt. Hood conference with 2 Int’s but he does not play full time. This spring Devauntae is one of Oregon’s top returning sprinters in track having finished 2nd at the Mt. Hood Conference championship in both the 100 and 200 as a sophomore only losing to now Oregon Duck, Arthur Delaney. This winter Hoffman will play guard for the Gophers basketball team as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOfi29T4N8M Gresham #23 Devauntae Hoffman Punt Return Vs. Reynolds
Roosevelt’s star Antonio Bella started his high school career at Grant High School but transferred to Roosevelt for his sophomore season of football, though he still maintains a close relationship with current Grant star Nathan Halverson. What a blessing that was for the Roughriders. As a sophomore Antonio played WR and Safety and tallied up 12 total touchdowns while earning 1st team-all city honors at DB. Affecting all phases of the game is what Antonio is able to do, displayed by his 4 INT’s, 3 Punt Return TD’s and 27 receptions for 417 yards and a touchdown is a prime example of how Bella does that.
This season Antonio has struggled with some knee problems but the Roughriders are at 6-2 and his production has not slowed a bit. Thru 8 games, Bella has 8 Total Touchdowns while tallying up 5 INT’s and over 30 tackles. Offensively Bella is more of weapon than those may think. Former Olympic Wrestling Coach and current Roosevelt Assistant Coach, Donnie McPherson, described Bella as an, “Outstanding and very coach-able young man. He is a great route runner and overall fierce competitor on the football field.” So far this year on offensive Bella has hauled in 40 catches for 628 yards and 5 touchdowns. Antonio states he has received a little bit of college interest so far but that is bound to pick up. The schools that he mentioned he liked off hand were University of Oregon, Oregon State, and UNLV.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eBA7_QGeY8 – #23 Antonio Bella Sophomore Season highlights
If you are a football fan we are getting a treat having the opportunity to watch these young men make plays all over the field. It’s also a testament to the fact that there is great talent all over that state at every level. Good luck stopping these two over the next season and a half opposing D-Coordinators. And colleges looking for playmakers – add these two to the list.