Deveaux To Key Marvin Ridge Offense

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Marvin Ridge High School is replacing seven starters on offense from a team that averaged 35 points a game while making a run to the Class 3AA quarterfinals in 2016 as the Mavericks prepare for the 2017 season opener against South Mecklenburg High School on August 18.

But that doesn’t mean the Mavericks will be void of experienced offensive firepower.

Caleb Deveaux is one of the top running backs in North Carolina and the senior will bring three years of starting experience to the Mavericks rushing attack. Deveaux, who also will start at linebacker, is getting interest from several Division I football programs and the 6-foot-1, 207-pound two-way starter already has a scholarship offer from the University of Pittsburgh.

Marvin Ridge lost quarterback Austin Colonna (2,665 yards passing) to graduation but senior Bryce McLain logged time under center a year ago for the Mavericks (8-6).

Deveaux rushed 200 times for 1,233 yards and 19 touchdowns a year ago. Deveaux eclipsed the 100-yard mark seven times while averaging 6.2 yards a carry. As a sophomore, Deveaux rushed 193 times for 1,312 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Caleb Woodley (5-11, 184) played in the three playoffs games last season and carried 25 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns and the junior is also expected to get carries.

“With Caleb (Deveaux) being a four-year starter and a three-year starter at running back, we are going to run the ball some,” Carter said. “When you have a player like Deveaux, you want to get the best use out of him. Woodley is going to get a ton of playing time and a ton of carries also.”

McLain played in seven games last season and the 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior was 35 of 50 passing for 393 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed 52 times for 336 yards and two scores.

Juniors Jake Cameron (6-1, 177) and Matt Wunder (6-2, 165) are also in the mix under center.

“Right now, if we played tomorrow, our quarterback would be Bryce McLain,” Carter said after a recent late June practice. “But, we have two juniors that we are also comfortable with. They are competing with Bryce, but if we played tomorrow Bryce would be our guy.”

Tight end Devin Powell (6-3, 218) is the Mavericks top returning pass catcher after having 25 catches for 480 yards and five touchdowns last season.

“Devin will be a three-year varsity player for us,” Carter said. “We have nine or 10 receivers that are competing and we trust everyone that we can put in and play. We have tons of competition for the other three receiving spots.”

Left-tackle Ian White (6-5, 220) returns for his senior season after earning All-Conference honors as a junior. Senior Mitchell Redmon is expected to help at guard.

“Our rising class of junior linemen have a ton of depth,” Carter said. “Those guys have been playing together since the sixth grade. So, those guys know each other and they work hard. Up front, we lost some guys (to graduation) but we expect with the juniors that are there there will be no drop off.”

Marvin Ridge operates out of the spread offense and the Mavericks averaged 221 yards passing and 183 yards rushing a game a year ago and Carter would like to see that balance this season.

“I tell our kids and I tell our parents that we try to do what suits our kids best,” Carter said. ”

Marvin Ridge finished at 3-2 in the Southern Carolina Conference before defeating Concord (49-42) and Jay M. Robinson (48-28) in the first two rounds of the playoffs last season. The Mavericks’ season ended with a 55-49 overtime loss to Hickory Ridge in the quarterfinals.

“We have had a great turnout this summer and we had a great turnout this spring,” Carter said. “The outlook is very promising. Last year, it was good for our program to get two playoff wins. It was the deepest run that this program has ever made in the playoffs. Good season last year and, hopefully, we will improve on it this year.”

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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