Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Hometeam

Malik Womack and the Bloomingdale defense in perfect harmony

VALRICO — Bloomingdale defensive tackle Malik Womack belts out tunes as often as he belts ball carriers and quarterbacks.

The 5-foot-11, 245-pound senior sings at practice and on the sidelines during games.

"When Malik is not sacking the quarterback he is singing," linebacker Landon Moody said.

Womack perfected his pipes in the church choir. He stopped around sixth grade, but continued singing on his own. His favorite song is I Believe by Mali Music.

Truth be told, Womack will sing about anything.

"Malik usually sings R&B, but it's also stuff that he just makes up in his head," Moody said. "He just sings about what's going on around him."

Still, it is not always soothing to his teammates' ears.

"Malik is off-key I would say 90 percent of the time, but it's hilarious to listen to him," Moody said. "It brings really good energy to the team."

The Bloomingdale coaches also sing the praises of Womack's gridiron performance.

Womack has 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks and has knocked down four passes this season. An anchor in the trenches, Womack is a big reason the Bulls have allowed just six points.

"Everything we've been able to accomplish so far on defense starts with our front three and Malik is the leader of that group," Bloomingdale coach Max Warner said. "He has been so disruptive each and every week. He leads our team in tackles and (tackles for loss). He has been unblockable and plays with a great energy that his teammates feed off of. When we need a play — Malik has been that guy to make it."

By wreaking havoc in opposing backfields, Womack has drawn attention from colleges. He doesn't have any offers, but that could change soon. If that happens, Womack could fly for the first time on an official visit.

"I've always wanted to fly on a plane, but my family enjoys having car rides so I never got a chance to be on a plane," Womack said.

The longest car ride was to New York. Womack's parents, along with his five siblings (an older brother and sister and younger brother and sister), packed into a Ford Expedition for the trip.

"It happened when I was younger, but, yes, I remember the whole trip like it was yesterday," Womack said. "Very long and uncomfortable. We were driving for almost a full day."

For now, Womack is more concerned about tackles than takeoffs. Bloomingdale (6-0, 3-0) hosts Tampa Bay Tech (6-0, 3-0) in a battle of unbeatens in Class 7A, District 9.

"This game is huge for us," Womack said. "It's no secret Tampa Bay Tech is one of the better teams in our district. A win on Friday will put our team a step closer to hosting a district championship for the first time in school history. Which is what we are all working for.

"Everyone on our defense will need to do their job every play, and play hard and tough. We've been working very hard for this, and I strongly believe we are ready for whatever obstacle that comes our way."

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