The Marshall Mavericks have dominated their district the last two years.
After going 13-0 in league play the last couple of seasons, the Mavs are under a bit of a new regime, with new head coach Jake Griedl.
Griedl is certainly a familiar face for the Marshall players. He was the Mavs offensive coordinator last season before being promoted when Claude Mathis returned to DeSoto. That means the play book is already in place.
“Coach Mathis left this program in great shape. He kind of put Marshall back on the map. So there’s a lot of momentum here right now. And we just want to carry that, strike when the iron is hot. And I think, you know, if we can stay healthy 2019 is gonna be a special year for the Mavericks,” said Griedl.
Marshall hopes to, once again, be the team to beat in district 9-5A Division 2.
The Mavs have nine starters back on defense, and seven starters returning offensively from a squad that lost a one-point nail biter to Huntsville in the region semis. That includes third-year starting QB and Division one college prospect JJ Green. He threw for 36 touchdowns a year ago.
“It’s irreplaceable to have a guy at the quarterback position that knows the offense, that knows the system, that can pretty much make the show go. You know, as coaches we try to put our kids in the best position possible. But when you have a guy that necessarily may not happen, can look out there and make the check, and call the audible to get us in the right position, it’s huge,” said Griedl.
Marshall will not lack experience, or as many are accustomed to, speed.
While Green has Saivon Williams back as his main target on the outside, Griedl thinks another Williams will continue to grow his role for Marshall’s high octane offense.
“Just got a really good group. DeDe Williams is a name that the state may not know, but they are gonna get to know. He’s a little slot receiver that last year we used all over the field as a utility guy. And we’re excited to see how he progressed over the spring and summer,” explained Griedl.
Griedl brings lots of energy to the field. But is a big believer in strong discipline. He says the Mavs have bought into that aspect of his style since spring practice.
“Being able to coach a Marshall kid is different than being able to coach anybody else. And so we want to make sure that we cater to that. But at the same time the kids play the style of football that we want them to play,” said Griedl.
“They see that we’re an actions over words staff. And there’s a lot of follow through. So if we can keep that momentum with them going, I think it’s gonna be really good,” said Griedl.
Marshall opens the season at home Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Tyler Lee Red Raiders.