MARLIN, Texas — The Marlin Bulldogs have seen as much coaching turnover as anyone in its recent history.
In just the last three years, the Bulldogs have had three different head coaches. Now, they hope Coach No. 3 can awaken a sleeping giant in Central Texas.
Ruben Torres III takes over a Marlin program which made the playoffs in 2020 but failed to win a game once they got there. However, when he looks at the raw athleticism of his athletes, Torres III is excited.
"You know, the first time I came to Marlin when the job opened and I came to check things out, I saw them play basketball, and instantly the athleticism just jumped off," he said. "And then as I dug into the district and the vision going on there, and the changes, I really felt like it was an exciting opportunity."
Derion Gullette is expected to be a standout star for the Bulldogs in 2021. The junior has already received an offer from Texas A&M. Trajon Butler will also get several touches. Butler was named the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week in Week 10.
But, while the Bulldogs have some playmakers on offense, their strength lies on the other side of the ball.
"I think right off the bat, it's our defense," Torres said. "I think our defensive line and speed at the linebacker positions and safeties is really huge. And that will give us some time for our offense to really get going and grow."
In his first few weeks of practice, Torres believes his team is slowly buying in.
"Everybody just has to keep pushing," Butler said. "The energy is high from the coaches to the players, trainers, managers and everybody else out here. Energy is high."
The Bulldogs will fight for a playoff spot in District 8-2A once again. They open the year against Riesel.