PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The Arnold football team is looking for its first winning season since 2015 and returning a very young roster.
The Marlins finished 3-7 last fall and four of their five offensive producers (yards and scoring) eighter graduated or transferred.
“We graduated 19 seniors last year so we’re really young in certain areas and really we’re young in other areas,” Arnold Head Coach Shawn Campbell said.
Arnold will have youth all over the field but Coach Campbell expects a couple of position groups to be their driving force.
“Offensive line is going to be a pretty good strength I think,” Campbell said. “They’ve come on pretty good, and then our secondary, we’ve got all those guys back. So hopefully that’ll be our two strengths on offense and defense.”
A question mark for the Marlins this offseason has been who the starting quarterback will be.
Junior Chris Noble served all of the backup snaps to graduated senior Seth Hernandez last year, making him most likely to take over the lead role.
However, sophomore Will Cotter has been keeping the battle interesting.
“Right now, they’re kind of Even Steven,” Coach Campbell said. “Chris has a little bit of an advantage on him because he had some live reps last year, but right now we’ve not made a decision on that as of yet.”
Noble is likely to take the first-team snaps for the preseason and regular season opener but he said having the competition this spring and summer has kept him from getting complacent.
“It honestly is probably the best,” Noble said. “It helps me so that I don’t slack off knowing that I have the spot, that I need to work each day to make sure that I’m ready for the game.”
While seniors are few and far between for Arnold, Coach Campbell said the team has done well to rally around each other.
“I’m really proud of our leadership within our team as a whole,” Campbell said. “We really don’t have a lot of dominant leaders but we have a group of guys that are trying to lead. So that’s good to see and I’m excited for the future.”
The Marlins will unlikely be the favorites in many games this upcoming but Noble said they’re going to come out swinging each and every week.
“We have that fight where we feel like we’re the underdogs and we feel like we need to show everyone that we can actually play,” Noble said.
Arnold will open its preseason at Bozeman on Thursday, August 17, then will open the regular season at Bay on Friday, August 25.