Marlins open with jamboree next week

Tina Harbuck

The Destin Marlin football coaching staff will get a little bit better look at what they have when the boys take the field Aug. 15 in a jamboree at 6 p.m. at Crestview High School.

The Marlins will play a half against the Davidson Panthers and a half against the Shoal River Mustangs.

“That should toughen us up a little bit,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan. “We have a lot of question marks right now. We don’t know who can hit and bring their feet.”

The Marlins are young this year. Out of the 36 on the roster, 16 are eighth graders and the rest underclassman.

And out of the 16 eighth graders, only two are returning starters on offense — quarterback Harrison Orr and Maddax Fayard at receiver.

The defense is pretty much in the same predicament with about three starters returning, with Orr and Fayard again leading the way.

Although the team is young, Hinterthan said “they’re all good kids. We’re just going to have to coach them harder and work harder to try and have the success that we had last year.”

The Marlins finished up the regular season last year undefeated.

Destin did get a move in this past week. Jayden Higgs, at 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, will be on the defensive side of the ball.

Higgs moved in from Texas where he played football.

Coach said Higgs has been to a couple of practices and understands the lingo.

“Hopefully, he’ll help us out and give us a little depth,” he said. “We’re changing the offense system to try and meet the skills and ability that we have. Defense is going to be the same as last year.

“They are smart kids that will run … and they have big hearts," Hinterthan added. “Special teams will hopefully win a few games for us. They did last year.”

The Marlins have a little bit of speed with quarterback Orr and Fayard at receiver. Jared Cutts will be the running back.

“That’s our three skill guys we’re leaning on,” Hinterthan said. “Up front, we’re pretty small but they’ve got big hearts and they’re scrappy.”

On defense, the entire front line is new and all the linebackers are subs from last year.

“We’re just very young,” coach reiterated.

The Marlins first regular season game is 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at home against the Ruckel Rams of Niceville.