Depth, Talent In The Trenches A Plus For Marvin Ridge Football Team

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At A Glance

Marvin Ridge High

Head Coach: Aubrey Carter

2016 Record: 8-6, 3-2 in Southern Carolina Conference. Lost 55-49 in Class 3A quarterfinals to Hickory Ridge.

Returning Starters: 7

Key Players: Caleb Deveaux, Sr., RB/LB (6-1, 207), Bryce McLain, Sr., QB (6-3, 190), Cole Hopkins, Sr., DE/TE (6-3, 213), Ian White, Sr., T/DE (6-5, 220), Mitchell Redmon (Sr., OL/DL (5-11, 230), Chase Fiedor, Jr., OL (6-2, 275).

Marvin Ridge High School has one of the top running backs in North Carolina in Caleb Deveaux but graduation hit the Mavericks offensive line as several key players from last year’s playoff run must be replaced.

But it looks like the Marvin Ridge offense won’t miss a beat this fall. A strong junior class has filled in the holes on the offensive line and senior quarterback Bryce McLain has stepped up at quarterback as the Mavericks prepare for the 2017 season opener Aug. 18 at home against South Mecklenburg.

Deveaux rushed for 1,233 yards and 19 touchdowns last season and the senior has several college scholarship offers, including one from the University of Pittsburgh. Deveaux (6-foot-1, 207 pounds) will also play some at linebacker for the Mavericks.

McLain (6-3, 190) is a dual-threat quarterback with 4.6 speed and the senior and Deveaux will be complimented by a solid offensive line and depth at receiver.

Seniors Ian White (6-5, 220) and Mitchell Redmon (5-11, 230) are expected to be joined by juniors Zach Yaggi (6-3, 230), Chase Fiedor (6-2, 275), Anthony Hinton (6-2, 230) and Spencer Williams (6-2, 230) on the offensive line.

“All those guys are doing a great job,” said Marvin Ridge head coach Aubrey Carter. “We like our depth that we have with our offensive line.”

McLain played in seven games last season at quarterback and he passed for 393 yards while rushing for 336 yards.

“Bryce is a dual-threat kid with a good arm,” Carter said. “He is smart and we can do a lot of different things with him. He can make any throw we need him to make and he knows the offense.”

Junior Caleb Woodley (5-10, 195) will also see time at running back after rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the Mavericks’ three playoff games in 2016.

“We have a nice one-two punch with Deveaux and Woodley,” Carter said. “Caleb (Woodley) runs well also.”

Devin Powell is the Mavericks’ top returning receiver after catching 25 passes for 480 yards and five touchdowns from his tight end position last season. Sean Brown (6-3, 170) and Jackson Stinchfield (6-1, 150) have emerged at outside receiver while Michael Freeman (5-8, 155), Jacob Moran (5-8, 158) and Christian Nanna (5-6, 135) are competing for the other spot at receiver.

“Powell is a big target, and he can run, too,” Carter said. “He is deceptive when he runs and it is nice to have him as a target in the middle.”

Defense, especially the Mavericks front seven, will be one of the team’s top strengths as the Mavericks return seven starters on defense. Cole Hopkins (6-3, 213), Ian White (6-5, 220), Jonathan Clark (6-0, 200), Jackson Wilkerson (6-4, 168) and Powell are all rotating at defensive end. Brae Lein (6-2, 290), Shaaka Tehamwa (6-1, 200) and several of the offensive linemen were getting reps inside during August drills.

“We like our defensive line,” Carter said. “We like our depth there and we have a lot of long kids there. We have some bigger bodies inside and we are really excited about that group of kids.”

Carter said Marvin Ridge will be tested during the nonconference portion of its schedule. After South Mecklenburg, the Mavericks will travel to A.L. Brown and Ardrey Kell before hosting Parkland Sept. 8. Marvin Ridge starts Southern Carolina Conference play Sept. 22 when Piedmont visits. The Mavericks’ bye week is Sept. 15.

“South Meck is obviously a very good opponent that has got us the last two years,” Carter said. “When we play them, we know we are going to play a well-coached, disciplined team. We are going to have to play well to compete with them.

“Our nonconference schedule is no cakewalk. It going to be nice to be able to catch our breath before we get into the conference. With this conference, there are no off weeks by any means.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at