Depth, Athleticism Boost Outlook of Monarchs
By SHAWN RINE
GLEN DALE — If the assimilation of quality depth is the key component to contending at the West Virginia Class AAA level, John Marshall will be far more prepared to navigate the storm than it was last season. The Monarchs welcome back a wealth of returnees on both sides of the ball from a 2-8 team that was not only young, but was hit with some key injuries.
Entering his sixth season at the school, Coach Rick Goodrich is excited about the potential.
”I think we’re making progress and we’re much better than we were when we first got here,” he said. ”It may not show in wins and losses, but as far as numbers and things like that I think we’re going in the right direction.
”We need that one year to break through and turn the corner.”
This could well be the time.
Known for his deliberate offense, Goodrich and his staff believe they have the weapons at the skill positions to be much more versatile this season.
Nobody can do more — from several areas on the field — than senior Dereck Hess (6-foot, 185 pounds). He was the team’s starting quarterback before being injured last season and upon return, was used in more of a running back role.
”He’s going to play quarterback some this year in a wildcat package,” Goodrich said. ”The difference is, this year he can run our complete offense (with a healthy shoulder). It’s not going to be Hess running all the time. Now he can throw the ball.”
Junior Jordan Wood (6-1, 150), who was thrown into the fire last season when Hess went down, will be the quarterback.
”He came in and did a real nice job for us,” Goodrich said. ”That kid’s a competitor and he wants to be good.
”He spent all offseason with Zach Amedro and threw. He pays attention to detail and does everything to make himself good.”
When Hess is lined up at quarterback, Wood will be split out wide.
Sophomore Justin Frohnapfel (6-0, 185), who lettered last season mainly at receiver, could also take some snaps at QB depending on the situation. Hess and fellow senior Nick Coulter, who at 6-2, 220, is likely JM’s most physically gifted athlete, will begin as the starting receivers, with Frohnapfel, junior Devin Norris (6-0, 180), senior John ‘B.B.’ Santamarino (6-0, 190) and Alec Edge, a 6-0, 170-pound junior, also in the mix.
”It’s the most depth and athleticism we’ve had since I have been at the school,” Goodrich said. ”So it’s not going to be run it off left tackle, run it off right tackle.
”We’re going to be able to run some zones and some jets because we have the speed to do it. In the past we just didn’t have it.”
Not even mentioned yet is last season’s leading rusher, Chas McCool. Now a junior, he’s gotten bigger and faster and gives the Monarchs yet another weapon.
”Edge can run, Frohnapfel can run, Hess can run, McCool can run, Coulter can run and Jordan’s not too bad,” Goodrich said. ”We feel we have some athletes and we like our skill set.
”We feel like if we get the ball in our hands, we can use our athleticism.”
Senior Ronnie Durrah (6-0, 200) is the starter at tight end, but classmate Adam Carpenter (6-0, 185), who is said to be the better pass-catcher of the two, will also see time.
It all, of course, is contingent on the guys up front paving the way. As excited as Goodrich is about his skill players, the offensive line has everyone equally giddy. It’s a big, athletic, explosive group.
Sophomore Colby Cubick (6-0, 260), Bishop Donahue transfer and junior Shane Hercules (6-5, 295) and senior Andrew Simonton (6-1, 255) are fighting for the two tackle positions. Senior Brandon Durrah (5-8, 200) and junior Brady Williams (5-9, 240) are set to the be the guards.
The center is another ex-Bishop, 5-8, 215-pound junior Hayden Kaschke.
”All of them can move, which will allow us to be more versatile in what we do offensively,” Goodrich said. ”They are all thick and athletic.”
Junior Gavin Lockhart (5-7, 215) and senior Gabe McCardle (5-10, 195) have worked themselves into playing time.
Defensively, John Marshall will move to a 4-3 alignment. That means shifting a few people around from outside linebackers to defensive end.
Bailey Williams (5-9, 215) and Hunter Temple (5-9, 195), who will split fullback duties along with another BD transfer, Clinton Whitelatch (6-2, 205), are the two ends. Temple is a converted linebacker.
Simonton, Brady Williams and Cubick will all see time at defensive tackle. Others looking to gain action are seniors Norris, Chaz Burge (5-7, 245) and Brandon Durrah (5-8, 200).
”Defensively we’re going to be much more athletic,” Goodrich said. ”Cubic is going to be pretty good and Simonton can be as good as he wants to be, if he commits himself.
”We’re going to possibly be the best defensive unit we’ve had since I have been here, but that is yet to be seen.
”Those guys up front, they are quick and athletic.”
Coulter, a returning all-state selection, leads the defense from his linebacker position. He’s joined by Durrah and McCool. Whitelatch is also expected to see action here.
The secondary is also deep and talented.
Frohnapfel will be joined by fellow sophomore John Davis (6-0, 190) at the safety positions. Edge and Hess are the corners, with senior Roy Rayl (5-11, 170), Wood, sophomores Michael Mason (5-8, 135) and Izak Wiley (5-8, 160) and Santamarino also in the mix.
Hess or Santamarino will handling the punting duties, while the kicker position is an unknown, though that position could be held by Jacob ‘Cub’ Varner.
”Jumping out of the blocks with University, they are going to be one of the top-2 teams on our schedule,” Goodrich said. ”We’re going to find out how good we are.
”We’ve told our kids that we can beat everyone on our schedule, but everyone on our schedule can beat us once. We have to show up and play. There are no second chances.”
Goodrich is assisted by Ray Anderson, Joel Sansone, Mike Sforza, Gerald Miller, Joe Sturgill, Jason Willis, Nate Skrzypek, Jason Merryman and Adam Parsons.
Aug. 25: at University 7 p.m.
Sept. 1: at Mountain Ridge 7 p.m.
Sept. 8: at Weir 7 p.m.
Sept. 15: Bellaire 7 p.m.
Sept. 22: at Parkersburg South 7 p.m.
Sept. 29: Buckeye Local 7 p.m.
Oct. 6: at Warren Local 7 p.m.
Oct. 13: Brooke 7 p.m.
Oct. 20: Morgantown 7 p.m.
Nov. 3: Wheeling Park 7 p.m.
Win 6, Lose 4
Chaz Burge, Adam Carpenter, Nick Coulter, Brandon Durrah, Ronnie Durrah, Dart Feil, Slayer Gray, Brandon Henry, Dereck Hess, Gabe McCardle, Roy, Rayl, John Santamarino, Andrew Simonton, Hunter Temple, Garrett Tingly, Kyle Truszka, Cub Varner, Clinton Whitelatch, Bailey Williams, Jarrod Yocum.
Kory Bratton, Ethan Cameron, David Clayton, Noah Conner, John Davis, Alec Edge, Jakob Gardill, Joey Gresak, Shane Hercules, Chase Hummel, Hunter Kaschke, Brandon Knight, Clinton Lestor, Gavin Lockhart, Chas McCool, Trey Moore, Devin Norris, Zach Tschappat, Brady Williams, Jordan Wood, Austin Yurcina.
Jacon Armstrong, Zachary Birkett, Zach Bishop, Jace Boggs, Dakota Bonds, Bradlee Clark, Michael Cross, Colby Cubick, Brennan Daniels, Justin Frohnapfel, Harry Galloway, Ethan Gray, Brandon Heath, Wyatt Hill, Hunter Johnson, Zach Leach, Michael Mason, Sherman Milam, Austin Moore, Izak Wiley,