MARIST- Highly regarded Head Coach Frank Geske leads the always tough private school from Eugene and the best receiving core in the state after a loss in last years state title game. ” I would be shocked if you didn’t see us in that final game” Geske said. Taylor Walcott (6-0 170 WR Sr.) and Austin Baird (6-0 175 WR Jr.) are both ranked towards the top of the NEI Receiver Rankings and are considered Division 1 athletes.
Walcott currently holds 5 offers (Idaho, E.Washington, PSU, N.Dakota, Montana) after winning the 5A State title in the 100 Meters (10.8) this past spring. He had 1144 yards receiving and 18 Touchdown receptions a year ago and is on the radar of PAC 12 schools.
Baird had an outstanding season as well and blew up this summer. His ability to shake defenders and adjust speeds has left no doubt that he is one of the top receivers in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010 he had 980 yards receiving and 20 Touchdowns in one of the most impressive sophomore seasons we have seen yet to date. The jump he made on the NEI Top 50 was higher then any other athlete.
You can’t double team both Walcott and Baird, and we will find out really quickly how much Player of the Year Logan Silver will be missed with the addition of transfer Kamerun Smith (6-5 190 QB Jr.) of Willamette. The rangy QB has made the move after starting his sophomore year at Willamette in a very tough situation. He through 10 Td’s and 18 Int’s but was battered all year on a bad team. You can bet Smith will like his new surroundings and featured receiving targets.
One other key addition that could very well put the Spartans back in the title game is that of James Banks (6-1 220 LB Jr.) from South Eugene. The 2nd Team all league Linebacker is considered one of the top 25 players in the state for the 2013 class after having an outstanding Nike event. He got himself out of a tough situation with the Axemen, and now has a chance to win a title.
Greg Park (5-10 190 RB Sr.) 762 rush yds/ 10 tds, and Josh Paeiment, (6-1 185 WR/QB Sr.) 393 yards/ 8 Tds will both be back after all league seasons to help shore up the perimeter. The Spartans line loses a big time talent in Matt Devereux among others and will be tested right away. Paxton Miller (6-2 230 OL/DL) brings his 62 total tackles and 3 sacks back to the forefront of the D line that should still be good. Look for Marist to be in the mix once again come December if they can get the line play they need.