INSIDE THE HUDDLE: Jenkins, Maronic thrive in new offense, credit coaches and teammates for success
Special to The Union
Is the “Grizzly” the latest sports fad at Bear River High School? Does it make any sense and can it set the 2019 version of Bruins football apart? Can two quarterbacks on the same play really make sense?
As confusing as it may be at first glance, the “Grizzly” offensive scheme is working. At the helm are two players, Tre Maronic and Colton Jenkins. They arguably run the offensive show that has seen the Bruins go undefeated on the young season.
It is still unclear if the name “Grizzly” has any direct correlation to the high school. Simply put, it is a formation where there are two quarterbacks from which to choose. In this case, it is Maronic and Jenkins.
From where did it come? Jenkins has the answer.
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“Coach (Terry) Logue has been working on this since last year,” he said.
The “Grizzly” allows many options. Maronic and Jenkins can run off of it. They can throw. It allows four other running backs to join the play. It is the master of deception, and many players feel as though it will be the difference maker in 2019.
On the scoreboard, Bear River has started the season impressively. Double-digit wins have become the norm. However, the outlook was tepid before the season began.
Maronic noted, “We thought it would be a tough season. We lost our whole offensive line. We had five players leave. It was stressful at first.”
It seems that several students believed that the offense was doomed. This new formation made no sense. They could not envision how the Bruins could make a go with it. It was such that Maronic and Jenkins went on a mission to recruit players from the Bear River campus. They were successful in getting the roster to 24.
Jenkins commented that they went to students and simply said, “We need you.” It set the stage for the healthy results of 2019.
Maronic is quick to point out the difference that positive coaching has made. He said, “Coaching has been a big difference. They push us hard and make us a stronger team.”
It is impossible to lay all of the success on the new formation. In fact, special teams and a stout defense have played major roles. They have put up the offensive points while showing positive defensive prowess.
Jenkins asserted, “Everyone has been saying that it is the Tre and Colton show. I correct people when they say that. Our defensive line has totaled so many sacks. It is not about Tre and me. Defense wins and offense sells the tickets.”
Indeed. They note the contributions of other players while staying away from personal accolades. Two of those players are Zach Fink and Jacob Ayestaran.
As he spoke of Ayestaran, Maronic noted, “He has played almost every position. On offense, he has played five. He does not come off the field. He is not recognized like he should.”
Jenkins called him the “hidden weapon.”
Fink is a similar story. Jenkins confessed, “he surprised us.”
Maronic noted, “No one really gave him a chance. We didn’t use him as much as we could have.”
However, they both asserted that today he is dependable, consistent, fast and outgoing. He is not afraid of anyone. They called him “fearless.”
Jenkins summed it up when he added, “He has more opportunities defensively, but he is a great blocker.”
On Jenkins’ long run for a touchdown last week vs. Liberty Ranch, Fink actually threw three blocks to spring him.
Of course, there are concerns with the remaining schedule. They now know that their next game will be at Center. They largely feel this will be the toughest test of the season. Bear River beat Center twice last year. However, a large percentage of Center players are returning. Most feel Center is bigger and stronger than the last campaign.
Maronic said, “You cannot find on Center a kid who is not an athlete. We will need to come off strong from the start. We need to hold them to 28 points. We’re going to put up a fight, win or lose.”
The contest is seen as the key matchup this season and a factor in their route to the playoffs.
Now, Maronic and Jenkins have a new mindset.
“When people told us we would go 5-5 or 6-4, I told them not to underestimate us,” Maronic said. “Our goal was to make it to the playoffs. Now, it is to make it back to the sectional championship.”
For the season, Maronic has 11 rushing touchdowns complemented by two passing scores. Defensively, he has an interception and two blocked punts.
Jenkins has four rushing touchdowns, and has completed all but one pass attempt. He too, has an interception on defense.
There is a lot of football yet to play. However, the Bruins are certainly trending in the right direction. The Oct. 4 contest with Center is surely a game not-to-miss. There are some interesting days on the immediate horizon. With the “Grizzly” in hand, one has to wonder whether this will be the difference maker in 2019.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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