Jesuit Marauders senior quarterback Jason Elenberger.
CARMICHAEL, CA - Serving his second year as Jesuit's head coach, Marlon Blanton believes his Marauders will surprise a lot of teams this year with some new confidence in the system.
Blanton replaced longtime coach Dan Carmazzi, who left last year to join his Alma Mater at Christian Brothers. Carmazzi had coached at Jesuit for 30 seasons and won 230 games - and 17 seasons in the playoffs.
Check out photos from Jesuit's practice>>
Replacing a legend isn't easy, but Blanton's goal was to return Jesuit to its rich winning tradition, all the while continuing the great legacy Carmazzi left behind.
A tough task that won't happen overnight, yet Blanton is already seeing the fruits of his team's labor.
Last year, Jesuit finished with a dismal 1-4 league record. Granted, The Delta River league is a tough one for any team, having to face Oak Ridge, Folsom and Pleasant Grove to name a few. However, this season Blanton believes it's a sort of new beginning for the Marauders.
"[The team] is working on being brothers and being unselfish and supporting one-another, translating that into your play with effort," Blanton said.
Jesuit faced only two teams last season that didn't make the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs and this year, their schedule is exactly identical.
"The toughest challenge is getting young men on the same page and submitting their will towards a common goal," Blanton said.
Thankfully, players are starting to gain confidence with Blanton this time around. Jason Elenberger, Jesuits all-city senior quarterback said after a full season and offseason with Blanton, the Marauders are finally ready to go.
"We play a full schedule with good teams, Elenberger said. "We know we are right up there competing with those teams."
Elenberger's leadership role with the team translates into confidence among his teammates as well.
Austin Gates senior tight end said, "We're going to turn it back up and start surprising teams."
Malcom Harvey, senior all-city tight end agreed, and told News10 that the team was getting bigger, faster and stronger.
"Main reason for success this year is guys are buying into the system a lot more now," Harvey said.
Jesuit starts their season in week one at home against Rio Americano on Saturday, Sep. 7.
Check out usatodayhss.com/sacramento and facebook.com/news10highschoolsports for more news and highlights for this upcoming season.