By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Massive roster turnover, or ample opportunities for playing time?
Either way you look at it, the Glendale Falcons will have many new names on the field this year.
Glendale graduated 17 total starters – nine on offense and eight on defense – from last season’s 5-5 team.
Receivers Winston Quinn and Ryan Moon are the lone returning offensive starters on a team hit hard by graduation.
The Falcons graduated their entire offensive line, three receivers and record-setting quarterback Alex Huston, who threw for 4,827 yards and 57 touchdowns last season. Huston’s continuing his career at a prep school in Tennessee.
“The key to our (offense) will be the development of our offensive line and quarterback,” said Falcons coach Mike Mauk, who enters his fifth season at the school. “We have many positions to fill.”
The offensive line figures to be young. Glendale’s returning lettermen on offense include receivers Michael Scheid, Jack Hamlin and Ben Shoemaker.
Quinn, a 6’3” senior, caught 62 passes for 740 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Moon, a 5’10” senior, added 35 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our strength should be at receiver, where we have several players with Friday-night experience,” Mauk said. “Winston and Ryan will anchor us there.”
The candidates to replace Alex Huston at quarterback may include: sophomore Blaine Huston, juniors David Wells and Gavin Watts, and the senior Quinn. All four were listed at QB in last season’s roster, with Watts and Quinn playing other positions as well.
The Falcons’ offense averaged 42.9 points per game in 2017.
Defensively, Glendale returns a trio of senior defensive backs: Jaxon Harbour, Luke Liston and Hampton Morgan. Harbour had 98 total tackles and four interceptions in 2017. Liston added 46 total tackles.
Glendale allowed 47.5 points per game last season, which ended with a 55-34 loss to Ozark in the districts.
“The success of this year’s team will be determined by the success of the Glendale defense,” Mauk said.
New names looking for playing time include juniors Hayden Scott (LB) and Lazaro Martino (DB), along with senior Parker Widmeyer (LB). The Falcons graduated their entire front seven.
“Replacing eight starters, including the entire front seven, will be difficult,” Mauk said. “We’ll look to (the) seniors Harbour, Morgan and Liston for leadership.”
Eight of Glendale’s 17 graduated starters are now playing college football, including current Missouri State players Max Penny (LB) and Remy Bilodeau (OL).
Mauk will again have sons and former Division I quarterbacks Ben Mauk (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator; University of Cincinnati) and Maty Mauk (receivers coach; Mizzou/Eastern Kentucky) on his coaching staff.
Glendale opens the regular season Aug. 24 at home versus Rolla.