Mariner feeling confident about its returning starters | Football
Last updated 7/3/2019 at Noon
The Mariner football team looks to have the skill players to be contenders in the Wesco 4A.
Now it’s a matter of developing an offensive line to block for those returning players.
Junior quarterback Jackson Cole is back to lead the Marauders. Cole went 2-1 as a starter last season and has emerged as one of the team’s leaders.
“He’s worked hard in the offseason,” Mariner coach Mark Stewart said. “He’s really kind of stepped up to take a leadership role. He’s really kind of taken control of the team.”
Stewart said that he expects Cole to be a dual threat in the backfield.
“He’s a really good runner,” the Mariner coach said. “He has worked hard to improve his throwing.”
Cole will have one of the top receivers in the league to throw to Roman Savchuk, a first-team, all-league wide receive and second-team linebacker.
“I’d put him up against anybody in the league and feel pretty good about it,” Stewart said of Savchuk. “Obviously, we want to get as many big plays out of him. He gets up and gets the ball.”
Stewart added that he plans to move Savchuk around a little more on defense
Mariner also has two solid running backs returning Josiah Pesterkoff and Lamin Jallow. Stewart said it’s likely that Pesterkoff will take over the role as the featured back in the Mariner offense. The transfer student from North Carolina gives the Marauders added depth.
“We feel pretty good about that position,” Stewart said.
The Mariner offensive line returns only one starter in center Josh Jarosik, so much of the attention of Stewart and his staff during this month’s practices and scrimmages is taking a hard look at the offensive line.
Stewart said there is plenty of talent and he has no concerns the Marauders will be ready in the fall.
“We have the bodies,” he said. “It’s a matter of getting our line to gel. We’ll be fine.”
The key to developing the line is simple reps, reps and more reps Stewart said.
“It’s getting them to play fast,” he added. “As many reps we can get, the better.”
A major emphasis heading into the season is on shoring up the Mariner defense. The Marauders allowed 34 points per game in 2018.
“We simply gave up too many points, too many yards to stay in games,” Stewart said. “We couldn’t hold on to leads.”
Stewart plans to do some coordinating on defense this year and call a more streamlined defense that is easier for the kids to understand.
“We want to get back to some stuff that we did a couple of years ago,” Stewart said.