Maurader offense features plenty of new faces | Football

Mariner defense returns several key contributors
By David Pan | Jun 16, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Mariner quarterback Fama Toure prepares to pass the ball during an offensive drill.

The Mariner offense is undergoing a major retooling after the graduation of several starters from its state football playoff team.

Two-year starting quarterback JJ Walker, running back Darius Brown and wide receiver Anthony Allen are among the standouts the Marauders are replacing.

“We lost some really key players,” Mariner coach Mark Stewart said. “It’s almost everyone who scored points. They all graduated. We have a good, young crew stepping up.”

The leading candidates to take over at quarterback are seniors-to-be Francisco Contreras-Gonzales and Fama Toure. The two didn’t see much action at quarterback behind Walker.

“They’re doing a nice job,” Stewart said. “The challenge is getting them out there playing at a high level.”

Questions that remain to be answered before the fall are how effective the two can run the offense and execute at a high level, Stewart said.

The Mariner coach expects that Contreas-Gonzales and Toure will have a solid offensive line to work behind with returning linemen  Luis Alvarez and Alex Tran, both of whom started as juniors.

Stewart already has penciled in senior-to-be Romelo Mangum, one of the league’s top track and field sprinters, as  the new halfback, shifting from wingback.

“We expect another big year out of him,” Stewart said.

Tyrell Waverly, who started as a defensive back as a freshmen, likely will see time at wide receiver, along with junior-to-be RJ Fry.

Stewart is looking for other players to join Waverly and Fry.

“We’re going to see who’s going to step up and make a play out there,” he said.

Mariner’s defense is ahead of the offense, at least in terms of returning starters.

The defense will be revolve around Jordan Davis-Miller, a two-year starter at linebacker,  lineman Isaiah Harrison, defensive back Casteel Njau and linebacker Zerabruk Abraham, all of whom will be seniors.

“We have a lot of experience on defense,” Stewart said. “The guys are real eager to get started. They understand what it takes to be successful. Now it’s a matter of taking the next step, competing for a league title.”

One newcomer who Stewart was happy to see is senior-to-be Levi Weaver, who placed fifth in last year’s state wrestling tournament. Stewart isn’t quite sure where he’ll fit in.

“We’re excited about him being here,” Stewart said. “We’re trying to find him a spot. He’s a good athlete and a hard worker. That’s always a good place to start with.”

As might be expected given Mariner’s success last fall, turnout is high with about 130 players out for spring practices. The Marauders will head for team camp at Wenatchee High School in mid-July.

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