Hoover hoping to instill confidence in Mavs
The Marvin Ridge Mavericks are looking to turn around their fortunes in 2014 after the worst season in the school's seven years of existence.
The Mavericks stumbled to a 2-9 record, marking the first losing season since the school opened in August of 2007.
It also marked the first time the Mavericks ever missed the playoffs.
The Mavs are now on their third coach in three years, with former Carolina Panthers fullback Brad Hoover taking over after one season at Union Academy.
Hoover led the Cardinals to a 6-6 season that included a first round playoff victory.
Now Hoover has almost three times the number of kids to work with and sees potential.
"I feel we have talent," Hoover said of the Mavs. "It's just getting that confidence back. Anytime you come into a program that is lacking confidence, you have to build it back for them. That starts with the basics. That's what we've done to try to get some enthusiasm in these guys. I think they've responded well. Granted we won't know until we've played live action. ..."
Hoover liked what he saw in Monday's intrasquad scrimmage.
He noted that his players were getting restless hitting the same people as they prepare to scrimmage Parkwood at home on Friday starting at 6 p.m.
"We're just ready to beat on somebody else," Hoover said. "At the end of the day I think we have a lot of potential. It just depends on how we come together as a team."
A season ago the Mavericks averaged just 16.5 points per game offensively while giving up 28.1.
The coaching staff decided to strip the program down to build it back up.
"It's not that they can't do it or won't do it," Hoover said. "It's getting them comfortable to do it. I felt like we've come in with the approach of scaling back to get things as perfect as possible. That's impossible to do but it's getting them confident with a limited number of things. That's sort of how we've approached it on both sides of the ball. It's just trying to make it simplified. Trying to use their talent and abilities to the best of our advantage. They can do it but now it's about going out and doing it on the field."
Tight end Hunter Colonna and offensive lineman Josh Snapper have been leading the charge offensively.
Defensively, free safety Turner Schwartz and middle linebacker Russell Lombardo are barking signals to their teammates.
Five of the Mavs' non-conference opponents had a combined record of 50-17 last year.
Hoover likes that his team will face top competition from the outset as it fits his plans of how the team should build through the season.
"My goal is for us to go through our non-conference schedule getting better as we go along," he siad. "Then by the time we get to conference play, that's when we need to be good. That's when we really have to tighten bolts and fine tune what we've been doing. We won't know until we get there. Those are the expectations I'm setting for my team. ... Whether we hit them or not, that's on me and the players. Ultimately they play. All we can do is coach them up."
The Mavericks open the regular season on Aug. 22, when they host West Montgomery, last yeear's 1AA state runner-up.
Marvin Ridge's Projected Starters
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Grade
WR Henry Fair 6-1 180 Jr.
LT Josh Snapper 6-4 225 Sr.
LG Kenny Kardos 6-0 290 Sr.
C James Marino 5-10 260 Jr.
RG Cooper Donahue 6-0 275 Jr.
RT Dimitri Emmanuel 6-3 295 So.
WR Emeka Emezie 6-3 205 So.
QB Kevin Dobos 5-10 180 Jr.
WR Schaefer Dobbratz 6-0 190 Jr.
RB Devin Atkins 5-9 180 Jr.
TE Hunter Colonna 6-4 215 Sr.
DE John Wells 6-4 220 Jr.
DT Matt Wahlers 6-0 230 So.
DT Richard Mamajek 6-2 250 Sr.
DE Isaiah Harris 6-3 215 Sr.
LB Austin Kembro 6-1 185 Jr.
LB Russell Lombardo 5-9 190 Sr.
LB Chandler Casselberry 6-0 195 Jr.
CB Devin Atkins 5-9 180 Jr.
SS Ben Cooke 5-11 170 So.
FS Turner Schwartz 6-1 200 Sr.
CB Jake Wortell 6-0 180 Jr.
Marvin Ridge's 2014 schedule
Aug. 22 vs. West Montgomery
Aug. 29 OPEN
Sept. 5 vs. Ardrey Kell
Sept. 12 vs. Carolina Pride
Sept. 19 at Rocky River
Sept. 26 vs. Davidson Day
Oct. 2 at Victory Christian
Oct. 10 vs. Cuthbertson
Oct 17 at Sun Valley
Oct. 24 vs. Piedmont
Oct. 31 at Anson
Nov. 7 at Weddington
Marvin Ridge's 2013 results
(2-9 overall, 1-4 SCC)
West Montgomery 45, Marvin Ridge 21
Ardrey Kell 45, Marvin Ridge 24
Marvin Ridge 70, Pender 6
Rocky River 28, Marvin Ridge 0
Davidson Day 45, Marvin Ridge 0
Victory Christian 20, Marvin Ridge 14
Cuthbertson 20, Marvin Ridge 12
Sun Valley 14, Marvin Ridge 10
Piedmont 27, Marvin Ridge 16
Marvin Ridge 15, Anson 7
Weddington 52, Marvin Ridge 0