By Thomas Sellers Jr.
In his time as head coach of the Cougar Football program, Markle has racked up several wins in the tough Region 8-5A, a playoff victory and send several of his athletes to the next level.
The leader of the Cougars admits he wants his program to reach new heights in 2019 with a Region championship and playoff victories. But Munford will have to rely on an experienced defensive line early on in the season as the offense adjust to life with new signal caller Jaxon O’Neal.
The junior quarterback takes over the power running, option offense after the graduation of Ja’Shawn Adell. Last season Adell guided the Cougars back to the playoffs as one of the leading rushers and touchdown producers.
“Ja’Shawn was pretty good,” O’Neal said. “But I’m going to bring my all to the position this year — all I’ve got.
“I’m ready for this challenge,” he added. “Coach Markle has us do all the ball drills in practice and he has us ready for all things out there. I have to stay focus and keep my mind is in the game.”
O’Neal said the key to his success and all the offensive skill players in 2019 starts up front with players like Logan Cramer, Miguel Sanchez and Trevor Holley.
“We can’t do anything without the offensive line,” he said. “So we’ve really go to have them focused and I believe they’re going to execute this year.”
On the other front line for the Cougars are defensive specialist like Carson Roberson and Jevon Bonner. Markle will employ both seniors on the end positions trying to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
“Focus is going to be our main objective this year,” Bonner said. “As long as we focus, we’ll have everything else. We’ve got the concepts and we’ve got the players.
“To work as a team and work together instead of working a part for each other,” he continued. “Carson and I will be switching ends this year. Offensives won’t be able to hide this year. It does start with the with line because we’re the most important part of the defense.”
The Munford defense will be tested early against the Tipton County rival Covington Chargers in Week One.
“We’re feeling pretty good but there are lot of nerves,” Bonner acknowledged. “We’re getting ready for Covington.”
After the Chargers come to town Aug. 23, the Cougars will travel for another rivalry game in Millington for the annual M&M Bowl. Then a contest with the Craigmont Chiefs awaits before five straight Region battles.
The Cougars will travel to Southwind and Brighton. Then the Overton Wolverines come to Munford Sept. 27. Then the stretch concludes with a visit to Ridgeway and a showdown with Kirby in Tipton County.
Munford will finish 2019 with a pair of home games against ECS and Kingsbury.
“We’ve got the coaching and the players,” Bonner concluded. “Now all we need is the ball to be snapped.”