Marcus Jolly embraces a larger role with Northside
Marcus Jolly has been a part of some pretty good Northside offenses the past two seasons.
This season, his role should be much larger, and he’s determined to keep the Eagles’ offense rolling right along.
Northside opens its season Friday against Warner Robins in the 60th edition of that rivalry game.
“It feels good to know that I’m the No. 1 man this year,” Jolly said about taking over a leadership role as a senior. “My last two years, Tobias Oliver, he was the man, but we still had other playmakers. It feels good that I’m the No. 1 man this year, and hopefully my teammates can back me up like we backed Tobias up, and we can make plays.
“We can do it. We can step up and play. It’s the same thing every year. We have new players step in and play. It’s nothing new to us.”
Jolly has 549 yards and four touchdowns rushing and 409 yards and five touchdowns receiving the past two seasons. Head coach Kevin Kinsler expects those numbers to increase this season.
“He’s got a lot of ability, he does. Part of it is just trying to convince him how much ability he’s got,” Kinsler said. “He can do a lot of things. We’re not going to put it on one guy’s shoulders, and we’ve got some other guys who we hope can do some things. But we’re going to use him in some different areas because of his playing experience. With his speed, and he’s got some elusiveness and things like that, so, hopefully, we can get the ball in his hands, and he can make some plays for us.
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Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler previews the Eagles’ season.
Daniel Shirley and Jason VorheesThe Telegraph
“I told him every day in practice when he gets the ball in his hands he needs to be thinking, ‘Touchdown’ and not just, ‘Good catch or 3 or 4 yards.’ He needs to be thinking, ‘End Zone.’ Hopefully, he will have that mindset for us this year and make some plays for us.”
The 2016 Eagles had many three-year starters on their roster, and they reached the GHSA Class 6A semifinals with an 11-3 record. This season, there are plenty of open spots for new players to step up and get more playing time.
Kinsler said he’s counting on senior offensive lineman Ham Williams, who has moved from center to guard, and junior quarterback Jadin Daniels to lead the offense, while senior defensive backs Armand Childs and Marcell Griffin, who both started last year, senior defensive lineman/linebacker Braxton Golden and linebacker Greg Coger have stepped up on defense.
“We kind of have the understanding that we’re going to lose at least 30 kids every year, and we’ve just gotta take that time in the first part of the season and keep working and trying to get better,” Kinsler said. “Until they figure it out … the group that we graduated, there were a lot of three-year starters in there, so there are some people who are filling a lot of different roles.
“We’re not trying to recreate last year’s team because that’s not how you do it. We’re just trying to get this team ready to play, and I think that’s what our guys are trying to figure out right now — where they fit in and what their roles are. It’s kind of typical for this time of year, and we’ve got a plan, and we hope by week four or five they’ve got it figured out and a lot of guys can start contributing.”
Northside Eagles 2017
Head coach: Kevin Kinsler.
2016 record: 11-3.
Returning starters (offense/defense): 3/5.
Players to watch: Marcus Jolly (Sr., RB/WR); Armand Childs (Sr., DB); Josh Herring (Sr., OL); Ham Williams (Sr., OL); Daniel Neal (Jr., RB); Courtney Pattman (Sr., RB); Marcell Griffin (Sr., DB); Braxton Golden (Sr., DL/LB); Kameron Tate (Sr., LB); Angel Camacho (Sr., DL).
Aug. 18 vs. Warner Robins
Aug. 24 Henry County
Sept. 1 Westside
Sept. 8 at Lanier
Sept. 15 at Ware County
Sept. 28 Macon County
Oct. 6 Valdosta
Oct. 13 at Lee County
Oct. 20 at Coffee
Oct. 27 Houston County