Updated Fri, Aug 9, 2013 10:29 am
Editor’s Note: Three-Point Stance is Gridiron Glory’s written preview series leading up to its 15th season on WOUB. Gridiron is visiting training camps for all 32 teams in the coverage area as they prepare for the 2013 football season. The series continues in the MVL, where competition is always high from top to bottom.
McConnelsville should expect to see a new spirit from their Morgan Raiders football team this fall.
Head coach Nate Smith, and his players are ready to ring in the new gridiron year with hopes of improving upon past seasons.
Here are three things to know about the 2013 Morgan Raiders:
1. Offensive Improvement
One aspect of the Raiders’ game that will need to be more competitive this season will be consistently putting more points on the scoreboard every Friday night.
Offense has been a particular focus for the Raiders heading into two-a-days. An emphasis is being put on developing a more balanced attack. Keeping opposing teams off-balanced on defense will bring added success for this team.
There were many offensive frustrations for the Raiders last season, including their highest single-game point total of 35 points coming in a losing effort against Marietta in Week One. Improving an offense that only averaged 18 points a game last season will be key for the Raiders in 2013.
“(We are trying to improve on) throwing the ball”, Smith says. “Recently we’ve been a run-heavy team and we haven’t had that passing threat.”
2. Rebuilding Through Youth
Developing new players has also helped bring a fresh energy to the Raiders’ offensive gameplan.
“We have a new quarterback so we have to concentrate on that part of our offense,” Smith says.
The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2007, and in the last five years, the program has won only six games. However, two of those victories came last year, including their first MVL victory since the 2010 season. Season records may not portray it, but the Raiders have made improvements that they can build upon this season.
“We are very excited about this season,” Smith says. “I feel like we have some very good competition coming back.”
3. Balancing Act
Smith believes that his team has a better chance at competing for MVL victories this season, as opposed to previous years.
“The league seems to be very well balanced compared to years past,” Smith says.
Looking at the 2012 statistics, it can be said that the MVL was anything but balanced last season. Tri-Valley had the highest point differential last season, coming in at a +395 points. The next highest point differential was a +159 points courtesy of Philo.
The most shocking evidence of league imbalance is evidenced by the point differential from first place team to last place team, which was a whopping 850 points.
A positive mindset can help propel a struggling program in the right direction and Smith believes that this squad has the capability of doing just that.
“We have a great attitude coming into this season,” said Smith.
Fans should expect to see a Raider team ready to battle week in and week out against the top dogs of the MVL.
Morgan begins its season on the road, Aug. 30 at Marietta.
Follow @gridironglory on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Gridiron Glory Facebook page for continued coverage throughout the preseason. Gridiron Glory returns Friday, Aug. 23 at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB.