By: Mike Still (@mikestill94)
Feature photo: Captain Tevonne Albert will anchor the offensive and defensive lines for Maples. Photo by Peter Serrette.
Over the next month, manitobafootballfeed will be previewing each of the 31 varsity teams battling for supremacy in the Winnipeg High School Football League, which kicks off its regular season on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Below is a breakdown of the Maples Marauders.
Team: Maples Marauders
Head Coach: Peter Serrette, 23rd year with the program (player/coach)
Conference/Division: Currie Conference, Division 3
2017 Regular Season Record: 0-7
2017 Playoff Record: N/A
The Maples Marauders finished 2017 with a bitter taste in their mouth, after failing to clinch a playoff birth. Expect experienced head coach Peter Serrette to have his troops fired up for 2018 and ready to make a push for the postseason.
Offence: The Marauders offence will feature a balanced passing and running game. Their backfield will have plenty of variety, led by speedy senior running back Denzel Hooke and junior receiver/running back Mason Jesmer, who is “a hard runner who loves contact,” according to Serrette.
Additionally, three-year starter Danten Santos will play both sides of the ball, lining up at both receiver and defensive back. “His combination of speed and power make him a game-changer,” said Serrette.
The offensive line will be anchored by a trio of juniors, in Mario Sarte, Tevonne Albert and Jesse Valiquette.
Defence: Defence will be the strength of the Marauders team this season. Serrette says they will “provide constant pressure with several blitz packages, in the hope of creating turnovers and leaving the offence with a short field.”
Santos and fellow team captain Albert will lead the unit as two-way players at defensive back and defensive lineman, respectively. Support will come from multi-sport junior Adamo Urciuoli, who “has speed to burn” in the secondary. Valiquette will also play both ways as a defensive lineman, and is “a hard-working athlete who lives in the gym.”
Short and long-term goals: Division 3 is typically well-balanced, where any team can win on any given night. With that in mind, Serrette’s goal for his team is to “get better every week and win our division.”