Marauders Looking to Maintain Offensive Prowess, Improve Defense< < Back to
With a new year comes a new team motto for the Meigs Marauders. This time around, Meigs is looking to play “As One.”
The motto, according to head coach Mike Bartrum, is expected to instill perseverance in the team so it will be equipped to handle the trials and tribulations of a lengthy season. This comes after an up-and-down 2014 in which the Marauders finished 5-5 and went through trial and tribulations of their own on both sides of the ball.
The defense’s shakiness, to the tune of allowing 35 points per game, counteracted success on the other side of the ball. Meigs’s offense averaged 32.3 points per game and scored over 40 points on five occasions.
“In past years, we have not pushed each other on (the defensive side) of the ball,” Bartrum said. “We are doing a lot of things differently this time around.”
To address defensive concerns, Bartrum, a former National Football League tight end and long-snapper, reached out to Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Those conversations eventually led to new tackling drills throughout two-a-days, which intend to improve tackling technique.
“Anyone can run around like a chicken with its head cut off,” Bartrum said. “But you have to have an objective every night and work to accomplish that objective.”
On the other side of the ball, Meigs will look like a very different team this season after losing running back Michael Davis and wide receivers Isaiah English and Ty Phelps, all of whom contributed to Meigs’s high-flying attack. Fortunately for the Marauders, the signal caller of that offense, Cody Bartrum, is back.
Another massive addition to the group comes with the return of Kaileb Sheets. The Wahama transfer is no stranger to Meigs, where he spent the first two years of high school. Sheets appeared on Gridiron Glory’s Player of the Year Watch List and is expected to have an immediate impact on this offense.
The GGPOY candidate mentioned he is overjoyed to be playing under Bartrum for another season, loving the enthusiasm he brings to each practice.
Sheets has a spot carved out for himself in Bartrum’s system and is set be utilized all over the field to maximize his play-making ability.
“If they throw it to me, I want to catch every ball,” Sheets said. “If I get the ball, I am scoring.”
The addition of Sheets could propel the Marauders back to the high-flying form of old.
“Our offense is not very complicated,” Bartrum said. “Paying close attention to detail is very important, and we have to find a way for everyone to buy in.”
After finishing 4-2 in conference play last season, expectations are sky-high.
“If we pay attention to the little things, it is going to happen for us,” Bartrum said. “We are going to work our tails off to get a little bit better every day, and we are all excited to get started.”
The Marauders begin their campaign at home on August 28th with a non-conference clash against Gallia Academy.