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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Black Rage Football Changes Hands

  • It is not every season, thankfully, that the football teams in our area change hands. But this next season, the Black Rage football team will be under the guidance of Head Coach Kent O’Laughlin. Departing Head Coach Paul Thomas, and Coach O’Laughlin took some time to talk Marceline Football.
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  • It is not every season, thankfully, that the football teams in our area change hands.  But this next season, the Black Rage football team will be under the guidance of Head Coach Kent O’Laughlin.  Departing Head Coach Paul Thomas, and Coach O’Laughlin took some time to talk Marceline Football.

    Thomas Reflects on Time as Tiger
    Coach Paul Thomas is leaving Marceline to take the Head Coach position at Warsaw High School. Coach Thomas spent the last four seasons at MHS, and this past season led the Tigers to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for the MSHSAA Class One State Championship game.
    “The time here has been good,” said Coach Thomas.  “The community, the Board of Education, the Administration, the kids and parents here at Marceline have all been super.  They made my job really easy.  It’s been fun, and I’m truly gonna miss it.”
    Coach Thomas is no stranger to his beloved game of football, having coached at Marshall before coming to Marceline, and also having coached High School football in Texas.  But it is the work ethic of the Marceline players that sticks out to the departing coach.
    “I have learned from these kids how hard they really work,” said Coach Thomas.  “The kids here work extremely hard to be good.  They are like I am, in that manner, and I really like that about them.”
    This past season—one of the best in Marceline High School history—has stuck out in the memory of Coach Thomas.
    “It’s this past season that sticks out to me, but all four years have been good,” said Coach Thomas.  “The Bell Games have been amazing; I haven’t coached in a game like that before. But overall, it has to be this past season, with this group of kids for all four seasons. And getting to the Dome was really incredible.”
    O’Laughlin Eager to Face Challenge
    Head Coach Kent O’Laughlin comes into the Head Coaches position at Marceline after having held the same position at:  Paris, North Shelby, South Shelby and Mexico.  Coach O’Laughlin will continue to serve as Activities Director and Head Girls Basketball Coach.
    “I am looking forward to the opportunity,” said Coach O’Laughlin.  “I have helped Coach Thomas for three years. He gave me the opportunity to take over and keep things rolling.”
    As defensive coordinator, Coach O will see his focus shift back to an overall gameplan, not just how the Black rage defense will tackle the competition.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Definitely, the way that I do things offensively will have some changes,” said Coach O’Laughlin.  “Anything from the style of play to how things are called.  Defensively, we won’t change.  Offensively, our game will still be based on a running attack.”
    Expectations for the Tigers Football Team will not change a lot, as Coach O will expect his players to be ready to work at practice.
    “Players will show up, know that if they are on the team they are expected to work hard, and that this isn’t social time,” said Coach O’Laughlin.  “I want you to be a contributor, and attack it that way.”
    The re-broadening of his talents is a task that Coach O is eager to undertake.  “It will be exciting to be back in the realm of game planning on the offensive side,” said Coach O’Laughlin.  “I haven’t been involved much in that since I was at Mexico.  I enjoy defense, but I enjoy offense just as much.  It will be nice to make some plans to figure out how to attack teams.”

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