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Warriors looking for better outcome 2019 season

Staff writer

Both Shaun Kraft and Marion High had a challenging year after coaching great Grant Thierolf’s departure.

Last year’s team saw a 2-8 ending on a loss to a very beatable Pleasanton Bluejay team — a frustrating record for seniors who never had a losing season in four years.

Whether or not the team will improve this year still remains to be seen. However, Kraft said the Warriors are showing a positive attitude.

“I like the group of guys we have, they’ve been working hard, we’ve just got a lot of things we’ve got to get better at,” Kraft said. “We had a big turnover and we’ll have a lot of new positions.”

Will Alleven will get first crack at replacing better than 75 percent of Marion’s offense with quarterback Chase Stringer.

Alleven wrestled at 126 pounds last year and improved on the mat as the season wore on, and stacked on about 20 pounds to his frame during the offseason.

Sophomore Seth Lanning will push Alleven for reps, though.

Junior Braeden Mercer has some quickness and good footwork running the ball to help carry the load in the backfield.

Jaxton Tracy was mainly used as a slotback a year ago, but will shift into the backfield as a fullback as well as on the rush on defense.

The team shows some quickness, but its overall speed needs some definite improvement, Kraft said.

“We’ve been spoiled with having a lot of speed for a while, but now we’re back to rebuilding,” Kraft said. “From the ground up, a lot of the guys haven’t had a lot of speed work or the time working on it.

“We’re not where I’d like us to be with speed. Quickness I feel good about.”

Passing will be used sparingly, but Alleven will have Bryce Mermis, Ian Ingels, Jake Hess, and Lanning as an option if Lanning’s not in the backfield.

It took some shuffling around to get the right combination on the line a year ago, and it’s what Kraft feels the best about on both sides of the ball.

Four-fifths of the line is well seasoned and junior Todd Palic and senior Luke Lanning were starters throughout the year.

Hunter Helmer, Matt Christensen, and Cade Alleven should fill out the rest of the line.

The majority of the offensive line also bolsters the defensive with Palic joining Tracy at end and Christensen, Cade, Johnny Zeimmerman, and Anderson Waddell fighting for time inside.

Mercer, Will, Luke, Hess, Miles Olson, and Helmer expect to see reps as a linebacker with several of the receiving corps rounding out the secondary.

“Depth is obviously my biggest concern,” Kraft said. “With only 22 guys out, you’re a play away from having to go to a freshman, which can be scary.

“We have less guys than we had last year, that senior class had 11. I think we’ll be more physical than we were last year.”

The Warriors’ kicks off Sept. 6 when they host a graduation depleted Hutch-Trinity Celtic team.

Last modified Aug. 29, 2019

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