All in, all heart, all Mauraders. Just once, I’d like to run through the Mauraders’ inflatable tunnel, and onto that turf field to the sound of the marching band cresting the hill. I’m told inflatable tunnels are big in Texas, where competition across conferences drives booster clubs into the red for the fiercest blow-up entrance money can buy. Mount Olive is onto something, that’s what the rest of us are thinking as we watch, and wait for the game to start. But we should also be thinking about last year, and how—despite injuries on both sides of the ball—Mount Olive played all the way to the end, beating rival Roxbury in a 14-7 late-season battle. That means this year they’re going to use those experienced players to show the conference: those tunnels are only the beginning of their game-day swag.
QB Alec Oriolo can run, throw, read, and audible. Last year, he had over 1000 passing yards with 4 passing touchdowns, and 293 rushing yards with 3 rushing touchdowns. RB/CB Jesse Rouson who took over for the injured Mike Moran last year, and this year will return as one of the fastest, most agile players on the field. Will Marro, WR/FS, will be all over the secondary.
Other Key Contributors
FB/LB Connor Mears is aggressive on defensive, elusive on offense, and will be Oriolo’s hit and run playmaker. RB/CB Anthony Verrone also filled in for Mike Moran, and kept the Marauders in the game. This year, he’ll be a huge part of the offensive machine. WR/CB Donte Wise, at 6’3 this receiver will be making noise this year along with WR/CB Jason Drury, G/DE Christian Pesce, and TE/DE’s Zachary Stanilious and Jumuah Abdus Salaam.
Chink in the Armor
The Marauders graduated their offensive line and most of the defensive line, including Zach Heeman, now playing for Rutgers.
Must- See Game
Everyone is talking about the 9/19 West Morris Central/Mount Olive match-up, and it’s my must-see game (at West Morris, time TBA).
Nothing to Hide
Look up! Rumor has it student- operated drones will be used to take aerial video at Marauder football games.