Even though the Marathon High football team remains winless on the season, Dolphins coach Mac Childress addressed the situation with his team at practice this week and said he feels they are still gaining momentum as a program.
“There’s only one way to go, so there’s no pressure,” said Childress. “They just need to keep playing together and keep playing hard. Especially the new kids, they are hungry and having fun. We are upbeat with them and they understand what we are trying to build, so we are just trying to get better each week.”
Adding to the anticipation of playing Friday against Ransom Everglades, with kickoff at 7 p.m., is the fact the Dolphins will have team captain Dylan Globe returning to the field after he missed the last two games with a concussion. Sean Hale, who was injured in the last game, will also be back tonight.
Unfortunately, senior running back Jimmy Gimerenas is a game-time decision after he was injured in last week’s matchup.
“Hopefully he can give us something because he has some breakaway speed,” said Childress of Gimerenas.
In his stead last week was Anthony McGuire, who the coach stated stepped up last week in the seniors’ absence, while once again expected to lead the Dolphins’ ground attack are seniors Miguel Avena and Enoc Campos.
“Enoc is starting to understand how to be that thumper which is good, then Miguel has been playing like a beast and is showing he is tough as nails,” said Childress. “It was also good to get McGuire in the mix.”
The Dolphins are also not overlooking the second-half score from a week ago, which ended up tied after Marathon won the first quarter. It is the first time Marathon has been able to win a quarter this season.
“I think that was good for their confidence honestly. You’re never going to win a game until you’ve won a quarter. So, at least we broke even in the half, and knowing we played some good football gave them confidence. I think they finally realize that when they execute on both sides of the ball, good things happen.”
Despite a majority of the Dolphins roster being first-year varsity players, Childress actually believes the squad could have as experience factor as it will be the Dolphins fourth game of the season while the Raiders’ first. Marathon’s only knowledge of the Ransom squad is from what they remember of last season’s meeting — a 41-0 final in favor of the Raiders.
“They have some pieces, they have a strong running back with decent vision, and their quarterback reads the field as good as anyone you’re going to play against,” the Dolphins coach said of the Raiders. “I wouldn’t expect anything different, but Florida Christian was a brand new team from what we faced last year with all the transfers. I think Ransom is going to have who they have, but they definitely have a good program. They are an experienced group who has definitely won some games.”
To that point, Childress reiterated to his team that being Ransom’s first game he expects some mistakes and hopes Marathon will be able to take advantage — especially after they faced a spread offense a week ago in the form of True North Classic.
“I told them they are going to be very similar,” Childless said about Ransom. “They are going to run spread, sling it all over the place, and we have to be ready to make plays against the passing game and hopefully force a few turnovers.
“Then we have to execute on offense and if we keep going the way we have been, and getting better, we will be right there,” added the coach.
In order to better prepare for that on defense, Marathon spent the week in seven-on-sevens, partly due to rain keeping the Dolphins indoors for a majority of the week, with the focus on playing the pas and being comfortable with the ball in the air.
They have also remained upbeat on and off the field, as this week the coach stated, “We want to get on the board first and score when it matters, essentially.”
“For a lot of these guys, it’s the fourth game they have ever played varsity football,” said Childress. “Their attitudes remain good, everyone has been showing up to practice and with those guys coming back from injury, hopefully, we can come out and take the momentum early.”