High School Football Tour: Marion Co (AL)

Marion County HS Red Raiders (AL)

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GUIN, Ala. (WCBI) — A new era begins in 2013 for the Marion County Red Raiders.

Three losses are all that stand next to 27 victories in the past two seasons for head coach Rusty Funk. But coach Funk and MC are losing more than just three games from the last two years going into this season.

Aug 30 Hackleburg away
Sept 6 Berry* away
Sept 13 Parrish* home
Sept 20 Hubbertville* away
Sept 27 Meek home
Oct 4 Lynn* home
Oct 11 South Lamar* away
Oct 18 Pickens Co* home
Oct 25 Brilliant* away
Nov 1 Red Bay away
*District games

Graduation has claimed the careers of DeShawn Riebesehl, Justin Sanderson, and Sean Wallace at Marion County. The three combined for over 3,100 yards on the ground in 2012. Replacing that yardage and their leadership will be a difficult task for the Red Raiders this upcoming season.

“It’s gonna be tough even though we’ve got some good kids, but those seniors have been a major part of our program since they were 9th graders,” said coach Funk. “It’s not possible to replace them.

“We’ve got some kids that have gotten playing time the last couple years and they’re ready to step up and do their part.” One of those kids is 1,000 yard rusher Ready Swanigan. The senior will have to be exactly what his name is: ‘Ready”, in order for the Red Raiders to make another run at the 1A state crown.

“We throw to him and he runs with it,” coach Funk said. “He’s a major part of us. We were balanced the last two years and we’ll still lean towards that. But he is a phenomenal athlete and he’s probably going to get the ball a little more than he has in the past.”

Swanigan and company will have their eyes set on Tuscaloosa, the site of where the Red Raiders took home their last state championship in 2011. To make their third consecutive trip to the Super 6, it’s about putting last season’s state title loss in the past.

“It definitely hurt last year,” Funk said. “When you lose the state championship game, it’s almost like having a losing season. It took a little while to get over it but these kids here now feel like people don’t have the confidence in them that they should. “These kids are out to prove themselves.”

Marion County begins their season August 30th at Hackleburg.

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