2022 is a reload year for Destin Marlin football

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Destin Middle School Marlin football team is reloading this year. 

“We’re pretty young,” said Destin Coach Mark Hinterthan, who is entering his sixth year at the helm of the Marlins. “We don’t really have anybody coming back. We’re reloading.” 

The Destin Marlins are young at quarterback with two seventh graders rotating at the position. Pictured here, Owen Vandervluch drops back to pass during an early morning practice this week.

And with the reload, the Marlins are building some depth. The Marlins have been practicing five days a week since July 18 in the morning. 

“We have more depth than we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Hinterthan said. “We’ve got two tailbacks, two fullbacks, two quarterbacks, two tight ends. And we’ve got linemen with some good feet.”

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The Marlins are looking to try and do some different things this year. 

“We think we’ll be able to run downhill a little bit more and we always throw the ball,” he said, noting the Marlins have some “pretty decent” receivers. 

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But Destin is young at quarterback, two seventh graders, with a lot of learning to do, Hinterthan said.  

The two QBs right now are Ethan Thomas and Owen Vandervlucht. 

As for defense, the Marlins have depth there as well. 

This is Coach Mart Hinterthan's sixth year to head up the Destin Marlin middle school football team.

“I think we’ll be better. Hopefully we will be a bit better with the physicality of it. We run a bit better as a unit,” he said. 

Right now, the Marlins really don’t have any standouts. 

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“But with the depth hopefully we’ll be better as a team,” Hinterthan said. 

The Marlins have also been trying to incorporate the sixth graders, which is part of the senior squad for the Destin Dolphin city league football team. 

Coach Mark Hinterthan said the Destin Marlins have depth on the squad this year in many positions.

“We’re trying to get the youth levels under us going again,” Hinterthan said. 

The sixth graders are practicing with the Marlins and “doing everything we’re doing,” Hinterthan said. 

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With the sixth graders, the Marlins are up to 63 players, which is the largest roster Hinterthan has seen since he’s been at the helm. 

“We’re trying to make them part of our special team units as younger kids,” he said. 

The Destin Marlins have been practicing since July 18 in the mornings. Destin opens on Aug. 18 at Niceville High against the Ruckel Rams.

But pretty soon the sixth graders will be splitting off with Marlin assistant coach Martin Starling, a former Destin Dolphin himself, heading up the sixth grade senior Dolphin team. 

When the sixth graders split off,  the Marlins will drop down to 48 to 51 players between seventh and eighth graders. 

The Destin Marlins kick off their season Aug. 18 at Niceville High School against the Ruckel Rams.