The Marion Patriots took several steps in the right direction last season. Marion won five games last season and that was a major improvement. The five victories were a year removed from a team that had only won one game in 2014. A difficult task now faces the Patriots, and that is meeting and exceeding expectations for the 2016 season.
Marion’s offense operates out of the spread formation and it is a roster that is well suited for that particular offense. The Patriots have five starters returning on the offensive side of the ball. Marion fans should keep an eye on wide receiver Collin Chambers. Chambers earned all-conference honors last season after racking up over 600 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. Chambers has terrific speed and is a match up problem for opposing defenses. Marion should not have any trouble finding the end zone this season.
The Patriots’ defense is not without its share of talent. The linebacker position is an area of strength for the Patriots. Michael McNeely is back this season after amassing 80 tackles last season. McNeely is an instinctive player and a solid tackler, which should do well in a difficult conference. Kabryn Williams is a player to watch in the secondary after racking up over 100 tackles last season. Williams is a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and gives the Patriots an aggressive player in the secondary.
Both the Patriots’ offense and defense will have a tough time catching everyone off guard this season. Marion is a solid team and should not need to surprise too many teams. The Patriots will suffer a few losses but this should be a solid team for Marion and a playoff appearance is not out of the question.