Q. How would you characterize this year’s team?
A. This is a hardworking team that knows what it takes to be successful. It has a good mix of returning seniors and experienced underclassmen.
Q. What will be the keys to your success?
A. Many factors go into any successful program, but we have to stay healthy and not get distracted. We have to stay focused on our progress each day.
Q. Who will be your key leaders on the team?
A. Drake Cardin (OL/DL), Kris Layfield (TE/DL), Nick Hamilton (OL/DL), Alex Nunez (RB/LB), Aidan Jolly (RB/LB), Jack Tillman (RB/C), Jackson Anthony (OL/DL), Taye Hutchins (QB/C), Anthony Guevara (QB/FS),
and Rylee Rogers (RB/C).
Q. What are your biggest reasons for optimism?
A. I know these kids’ hearts. The kids want to be successful and are dedicated to the school, community, and program.
Q. What will keep you up at night?
A. Much like my own son, the decisions made by these young men away from the fieldhouse. Kids these days are bombarded with outside influences. We want them to always be conscious of how a split-second decision can impact their lives and our team.
Q. What can you build on from last year?
A. Like every team in the state, we want to be there in the end, but we want to focus on the fundamentals daily and never take a day to get better for granted.
Q. Any lessons learned from last year?
A. After a down year, you always reevaluate things and learn from that.
We play in a very tough district with some very talented, well-coached football teams. Every week, we have to work hard to get better and focus on each practice we have. Our fundamentals have to be solid, and great effort is a must for our program. We know that if our team chemistry is good and players sacrifice for each other and work hard, we can hopefully have the season this school, community, and players have come to expect.
Photos Courtesy of Marion Co. High School