The Marceline Tigers excelled through a tragic off-season last year to claim a share of first place in the Lewis and Clark Conference. This season, capitalizing on their newfound sense of team, the Tigers have worked super hard in the off-season to prepare for the 2013 campaign.
“We hung together through some tough times and finished strong last season,” said Head Coach Paul Thomas.
Coach Thomas is in his third season with the Tigers, holding a 19-12 record at MHS and a 116-92 record overall as a head coach. He is joined this season by Assistant Coaches Kent O'Laughlin, Jeff Wright, Josh Moore, John Kruse and Lee Bradley.
The Tigers are a smash-mouth football team, running primarily out of the Veer. A pair of All-Conference running backs in Blake Belzer and Dakota Lewis lead the charge, with All-Conference utility player Blake Linebaugh at quarterback.
The line for the Black Rage team is anchored by three All-Conference linemen. Jesse Smith earned honors at Tackle, Trey King earned honors at Center. They are all joined by All-Conference Tight End Anthony Steffes.
Last season, the Tigers averaged 230 rushing yards, 65 passing yards and 24 points per game. “We should be better because of the number of returning starters coming back,” said Coach Thomas. “Also, we have some kids coming in that should make for some interesting battles on the offensive side of the ball, as well as add some much needed depth as players mature through the season.”
Newcomers on offense for the Tigers include: Frankie Herring (WR), Trevor Hamilton (WR), Daniel Corbin (WR) and Daniel Haas (TE).
Defensively, the Tigers highlight Lewis, an All-State Linebacker. They also boast a trio of All-Conference players as well: Belzer (LB), King (DL), and Steffes (DE).
“We lost some key people on the defensive side of the ball,” said Coach Thomas. “But we have an All-State Linebacker and some defensive line players that played a lot of snaps that we can build around. If the kids that step in mature fast, we should be a solid and competitive defense.”
The Tigers allowed an average of 150 rushing yards, 75 passing yards, and 15 points per game last season. The Black Rage football team will run out of a 4-4 formation on defense.
Top newcomers on defense for Marceline are: Walter Anthony (DL), Bo Hustead (DL), and Jared Best (DB).
“The Kids had a great summer of lifting and camps and we are excited for the upcoming season,” concluded Coach Thomas. “We have a very challenging schedule and if we stay healthy we should be very competitive in every game we play.”