North Marion is one of five local high schools that will experience one very big change this football season. The Huskies will be dropping down to Class ‘AA'.
"I think what the ‘AA' drop did the most, is, it took North Central West Virginia from being a solid area of football in ‘AAA' to the best area, I think, hands down," commented North Marion Head Coach Daran Hays. Coach Hays said his team really hasn't mentioned the change and it hasn't affected the Huskies's schedule much.
North Marion will look like a whole new Class ‘AA' team. Just three returning players saw lots of time under the Friday night lights last season. Coach Hays said last year's team was dominated by the senior class and when the 2012 season started sophomore stepped up to help fill the voids, the players leftover from 2011 have developed well. The Huskies are seeing a lot of young talent, but that's a good thing. Coach Hays said his team had a strong off season and practice so far has been a pleasant surprise.
"I apologized to them because I think I might have sold them a little short," stated Coach Hays. "Maybe going into the season I was thinking, a senior class of five kids, maybe it is a rebuilding type year. But after a couple of good, physical practices and after a couple of good conditioning type practices, I'm not completely sold that we won't be a pretty solid team."
"We're just going to take one game step by step, hopefully a winning season," said senior Offensive and Defensive Lineman Alec Moscufo. "That's all I'm asking."
The Huskies' size will be a notable difference in 2012. It's caused the North Marion coaching staff to change everything.
"We're a lot smaller than we were last year, a completely different style team but we have to coach to our strong points. I think if we do that, then we'll be right there in the hunt."
The offensive and defensive fronts are the biggest question marks for North Marion and consistency is a problem. Coach Hays is excited to see the Huskies' bringing back they physical play the team has always been known for. On the defense, North Marion will be going back to a style Coach Hays likes. The defense will have a multiple front, it will move around a lot and bring heat from different places. Offensively, this year's starting quarterback throws efficiently and accurately. Coach Hays said his team is still very skilled and depth will help.
"The multi guys at tailback position because those guys shifting down into the slot can give some linebackers trouble in man to man coverage, route wise, and they run the ball pretty efficiently, too," said Coach Hays. "But of course, some of them are going to be more between the tackle guys, some are going to be more perimeter guys, which really makes our job on Sunday night, making a game plan, pretty rough and we've got to be pretty precise going into things. I think a lot of the load is going to fall onto the coaching staff."
"It's completely different than last year," added senior Quarterback/Cornerback Levi Cyphers. "Last year we were just big and we lined up and ran the ball between tackles. This year we get to do some more fun stuff, get to the perimeter quicker, QB keeps and that kind of stuff."