Marauders making changes on and off the field | Football

Mariner will have new quarterback in the fall
By David Pan | Jun 27, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Mariner junior quarterback Denis Biryuk throws the ball during an offensive drill at Mariner High School.

The Mariner football team is putting the off-season to good use.

The Marauders will have a new look on the sidelines and on the field with the arrival of first-year defensive coordinator Austin Richard and a fresh face at quarterback.

Austin Richard, who previously coached football at Eastlake and who currently coaches the Unified Basketball team at Mariner High School, is taking over the defensive responsibilities.

“He’s been a good addition,” Mariner head coach Mark Stewart said. “He brings some experience and enthusiasm. We’re making some progress with our defense.”

The biggest change on the field will be at quarterback. The Marauders will have their third starter in the last three years, though who that will be has yet to be determined.

“We have a couple of young guys,” Stewart said. “We’re not sure who that’s going to be. That’s still kind of in flux.”

Junior-to-be Denis Biryuk and sophomore Jackson Cole are the two frontrunners.

The good news is that regardless of who Stewart settles on, he likely will be starting for the next two years. Stewart also expects Mariner’s next quarterback to do a little more running with the ball.

The Marauders will have a fair number of familiar faces at running back and wide receivers.

Junior Josiah Pesterkoff and senior Devontae Donaldson are two players who Stewart expects to be in the backfield.

The wide receiver corps is likely to include junior Roman Savchuk, senior RJ Fry and senior Jahee Nelson.

“We have some pretty good skill people there,” Stewart said.

Returning seniors James Althar and Jason Hapaianu also bolster the line.

“We’ve got guys with experience coming back,” Stewart said.

The Marauders are looking to get back to the district playoffs after missing out last season. Mariner advanced to the postseason the previous three seasons.

Stewart and his team wrap up their formal spring/summer activities with a team camp in Wenatchee in mid-July.

“The big issue is just trying to become efficient on both sides of the ball,” Stewart said. “We want to make sure we’re further down the road.”

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