Another year is in the books for Marshall’s athletic program and new athletic director Jake Griedl said it was a good year from start to finish.
“I think it was a pretty good year,” Griedl said. “I’m pleased with what I saw. I know our fall sports did well with football, volleyball made improvements and they’re really close to being that playoff team. I think that’s going to happen this next season in making that jump from average to good and continue building. Kayla Green has done a great job with that program. Tennis and cross country did well in the fall and golf did well.”
There’s a change for the Lady Mavs on the hardwood after Garron Green recently announced he’s leaving Marshall after coaching the girls basketball team for two seasons.
“We’re going to miss him,” Griedl said of Green. “He did a really good job with that girls program, setting up the foundation for Eric Woods who’s coming in to take over that program. I think that’s a program that will be a playoff contender next year. You can’t say enough about coach Green and what he did. He really turned that program around over the two seasons that he’s been here. I know Coach (Bobby) Carson will tell you he had a down year this year and if you look at them not making the playoffs, I guess you could say that but coach Carson’s team was young and he’s got a ton of those guys coming back. He’s kind of reshaping how he wants to run that program. I expect nothing but great things from the boys basketball program next year. They’ve had a great offseason this far and you can really see them making strides. I know they’ve already started their summer league stuff and are having great success with that. That’s a program that should get back to par in terms of the standards that coach Carson sets with that program. Look for great things from them.”
Griedl said the success continued into the spring.
“Softball had a great year and that was a sport that we kind of had a question mark on just with having coach (Alli) Shepperd having her baby this year and being out on maternity leave and with them having that transition but those girls really held that program down and those coaches who stepped in, coach (Roxanne) Reed, coach (Kasey) Norris and coach (Kayla) Green all did an unbelievable job to keep that thing going so that when Alli came back, she was able to pick up from where they left off,” Griedl added. “They were a playoff team this year, which is huge. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to in round one but at the end of the day, I think we had three first-all-district players on that team. We had three second-team-all-district players on that team and all six of those girls are coming back next year. So that’s a program that I really think will take a really big jump next year to make a playoff run and change the potential of that program.
“Baseball had some struggles and I think the big one was pitching not necessarily having the numbers they’ve had in the past but again, they’re really young,” Griedl continued. “Their bats came alive toward the end of the year. Coach (Derek) Dunaway did a good job of holding down the fort with some of the things going on in the program.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting year with them next year with the amount of talent they have coming back. We should see a jump in all of our programs next year. We’re finally at the point where every program is doing a true offseason but not just an offseason, but an offseason run by an elite coach in Rob Phillips. He’s been here for six weeks and he has already made a massive difference in our athletic program. Every sport in girls athletes and guy athletes is in the weight room.”
The Mavericks also saw a tremendous amount of success on the golf course.
“Golf had a great year,” Griedl said. “We sent two kids (Ben Tackett and Colby Chambers) to regionals in golf this spring. I don’t think that’s happed in over four years that Marshall has sent two kids to regionals. That was an outstanding job by the golf guys and coach (Casey) Broadus out there. It was a good year. Everybody made improvements and we just want to continue building off that.
“We had another great season in track,” he continued. “That’s a program that we should always be good at here in Marshall. We had another great year. We had a girls and guys relays team make it to regionals and really compete. We ended up sending two jumpers to state, T.K. (Ti’naya King) and also (De’Torian) Hurd. It was another great year and we’re looking to really grow that program and get it back to where it should be.”