MARLIN, Texas — Year one under head coach Ruben Torres III went about as well as Marlin could have hoped for. After a historic playoff run, the Bulldogs have their eyes set even higher in 2022.
Marlin surprised several during a trip to the state semifinals. The Bulldogs did not even win their district after a slow start to the season.
"You know, I think our offense with all the pieces we have back, our goal, our expectation is to come out and start fast," Torres said. "Last year it took 6-7 games to really get rolling, really get clicking. So, we really need to come out a lot faster."
Marlin brings back 17 starters in 2022, including plenty of future Division I talent.
However, Marlin's highest-rated star will not be suiting up for the Bulldogs this season. Derion Gullette, a four-star linebacker with offers from Texas, Texas A&M and Ohio State, transferred to Teague this summer after his dad was named the school's new head basketball coach. He will not play for the Lions either after suffering a knee injury.
Still, Marlin remains loaded at the skill positions. Quarterback Desmond Woodson threw for more than 3,500 yards and 38 touchdowns last year, and he will still have speedy weapons like Tra'jon Butler and Zha'Mauryon Lofton.
Ty Bell, a Marlin sophomore, already has an offer from Baylor.
With all that athleticism already on the field, the Bulldogs are focusing on the smaller things as they head through fall camp.
"Our kids understand and really bought into being a disciplined team," Torres said. "Tackling well, lining up well, eliminating the silly penalties which cost us games last year... We focus more on those things than the wins and losses and how many rounds."
Marlin enters the year ranked No. 4 in 2A-I and picked to finish first in their district.
2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
8/26 at Crockett 7:30
9/2 vs Mart 7:30
9/9 at Groesbeck 7:30
9/23 at Bosqueville* 7:30
9/30 vs Moody* 7:30
10/7 at Crawford* 7:30
10/14 vs Riesel* 7:30
10/21 at Bruceville-Eddy* 7:30
10/28 vs Rosebud-Lott* 7:30
11/4 at Valley Mills* 7:30
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