The Warrior girls are ready to get going this season and head back to state to finish going all the way since they lost last year in the second round of sub state.
They can do it too with a solid set of upperclassman returners including seniors Laura Savage, Anne Baliel, Megan Neufeld, Chisholm Waner, Abigail Stuchlik, Jaden Slifer and junior Jadyn May. A few underclassmen are ready to help out as well including Calli Burkholder and Grace Hett.
“We have a skilled group of girls who are eager to play this season, and we expect to be very competitive in the league this year,” said Head Coach Kris Burkholder.
Like all fall sports, the team faces the same opponent.
“Our biggest challenge this season is for our players and coaches as well as our competitors, players and coaches to all stay healthy,” said Burkholder.
The team is ready to give it their all though and take care of business.
Coming- The Warriors start their season at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 3 at Inman.
The Warriors have a solid core of returning players that saw some action last season with four returners on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
“We will also have several more guys on the roster this season, to field a junior varsity team to give our younger guys some game experience,” said Head Coach Shaun Craft who has been coaching at Marion for three years.
At quarterback, Seth Lanning will return for his senior season after taking over the starting duties week 4 of last season.
At running back, Jake Hess and Nathan Hoffner will share the load-carrying the ball this season. All-league running back and return specialist Braedon Mercer will make the transition from RB to receiver this season along with fellow teammates Will Alleven and Ian Ingels split out as well.
“Others fighting for time at receiver are Miles Olson, Chance Shults, and Jonathan Frese. Todd Palic will be our lone returner on the offensive line. As a three year starter on the O-line, he will anchor the line and lead the way for us there. Other guys that we are expecting to step-up there are Quade Williams and Anderson Waddell. Two other positions on the O-line are still up for grabs. We have had some good competition going among some younger guys; Caulin James, Trevor Schafers, Jack Lanning, and Caleb Darrow. Defensively, the Warriors will return four starters as well,” said Craft.
The defense will be lead by all-state defensive end Todd Palic who ended up with nine sacks last season. Although, he will be making the transition back to middle linebacker to feel that hole. Joining Todd in the linebacking core will be Nathan Hoffner and Braedon Mercer. Trevor Schafers, Jack Lanning, and Jonathan Frese are still competing for the last linebacker spot.
“On the defensive line, we will look for Quade Williams to anchor down the line. He has had a great off-season and brings some size and speed there us. Others we expect to step up there this season are Jake Hess, Anderson Waddell, and Ian Ingels. The secondary will probably be our most experienced position on the defensive side with Seth Lanning, Will Alleven, and Miles Olson,who all saw time there last season,” said Craft. “So far, we have been very pleased the time and work all the guys have put in. We have had nearly perfect attendance all summer long in the weight room and expect that to pay off this season.”
Coming – The Warriors kick-off their season on Friday, Sept 4 with a home game against Ell-Saline.