During the past two seasons, Marist has been by far the more dominant team in region matchups against Redan, Columbia, Lithonia, Stone Mountain and Chamblee. Now, the War Eagles will try to add Arabia Mountain, Grady and St. Pius to that list as they push for their third straight Final Four appearance.
“I like what I’ve seen so far this particular offseason,” Marist football coach Alan Chadwick said. “In the winter, spring and summer, the kids have worked hard. They’ve had great improvements in a lot of areas — strength and speed-wise. That is a good indication of possibly having a good season.”
Since Chadwick became the coach in 1985, Marist has had plenty of success and is bringing back the necessary talent to be just as good again.
The War Eagles’ roster consists of 32 seniors, including Sage Hardin (offensive lineman), Kenneth Brinson (defensive end), Jack Trainor (OL/DL), Griffin King (fullback), Jack Kratzenberg (linebacker), Kevin Coughlin (OL/DL) and Adam Smith (LB).
“We feel very good about our lines of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and our kicking game should be very solid,” Chadwick said.
“Our biggest strength this year is definitely our line of scrimmage,” Hardin said. “We have an amazing offensive and defensive line. We’re bringing back a lot of starters.”
Hardin has already verbally committed to Georgia.
“We expect a lot of great things out of him this year,” Chadwick said.
Brinson, who had 61 tackles and 12 sacks last season, has numerous Division I offers. Trainor made 47 tackles, Kratzenberg had 84 stops and Coughlin and Smith each made 36 tackles.
Sam Phelts will replace Chase Martenson at quarterback but Chadwick is concerned about this position and Marcus Miller’s replacement.
“The biggest undetermined factor is how well are we going to make plays at our skilled positions of quarterback and running back,” Chadwick said.
But the War Eagles do have the versatile fullback Griffin King back for one more run. Last season, Griffin rushed for 902 yards, which was third most on the team, and nine touchdowns. King also had 439 yards on kick returns.
“He’s a do everything kind of guy,” Chadwick said.