It does not get any easier for the Marathon High football team with an untypical inaugural squad, in the form of True North Classic, traveling south for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday in the Middle Keys.
“We just need to keep rolling,” said Marathon coach Mac Childress. “Again we have our work cut out for us, and we just have to execute. We feel like we have broken down the film really well and know (True North Classic) has a lot of weapons, but I certainly don’t think we will see the caliber, especially on the defensive line, of Florida Christian again this year, so we should be able to move the ball from here and keep getting better every week.”
In order to continue to the maturation process of the inexperienced Dolphins squad, Childress made note that he and his coaching staff focused this week on executing their base plays.
“We really slowed things down at practice and really repped the same plays over and over again and I think that’s going to help us this week because it’s all about execution,” said Childress. “On film, they can see where they missed their blocks and that was what we really focused on because that was what Coral Shores was able to do.”
The Dolphins coach was referring to the Hurricanes’ victory last week against the Titans, in which the Coral Shores ran a set of rushing plays that are very similar to the Marathon’s typical game plan.
“This is a week that I definitely feel if we execute we can score some points,” said Childress.
That means finishing in the red zone, according to the coach, something Marathon failed to do in three trips inside the 20-yard line against Coral Shores in the season opener. Last week the Dolphins were able to cross the goal line for the first time in the shortened season.
The coach said he feels that, after scoring, his players “certainly need to have a sense of confidence or they will never be successful.”
“I think we have such an inexperienced group, which is a good thing,” said Childress. “This is so new to most of them, they are just want to keep on learning, and they are really learning a lot about the game. They are still excited and there is no one down at all.”
Marathon was also able to put up its first points without one of its top weapons as Jimmy Gimeneras was out last week, who is expected back for tonight’s contest. The coach explained having the senior back in the mix will help the Dolphins with their mental game, as last week Miguel Avena was keyed on by the Patriots defense.
“We always talk about the fight in the dog, so to speak, because we are not super-big or super-fast, but if we can play with heart and execution, we can definitely win some ball games this year,” said Childress. “It going to take our whole team buying into doing that because we have no superstars and that’s fine, but if everyone does their job, I think we can be successful.”
It will be the third straight home game to open the season for the Dolphins — who will continue to allow only a quarter capacity or roughly 350 fans in the stands — and despite, once again, being outmatched on film and paper, Childress stressed the experience gained by the underclassmen has the staff excited about the outlook of the program.
“We are starting so many young kids and we are just trying to develop for the future,” said Childress. “We are piecing the seniors in from there at key positions to bridge that gap and I think it will come together down the road.”