Countdown To Kickoff: North Marion Colts

North Marion pushing for fifth consecutive playoff appearance
Quarterback-receiver combo has big play ability for Colts
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:59 PM EDT
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CITRA, Fla. (WCJB) - The sports world often puts success on a pedestal, where only the great of greats can achieve it by winning the ultimate prize at season’s end. However, success can be defined a number of ways. In the case of the North Marion Colts, it comes in the form on consistency.

The Colts enter the fall of 2022 on the heels of making their fourth straight trip to the postseason. They’ve returned to the playoffs, year after year, because they’ve had a winning season three of the last four years.

Greg Carr begins his third season at the helm of the Colts and believes his young team from a year ago is rounding into form after a solid offseason.

“A lot of guys got their first varsity experience last year,” said North Marion Head Coach Greg Carr. “So, coming into this year, expecting them to be a little more experienced, a little more wiser, a little more intelligent as far as the game and just picking up the speed.”

Those expectations put on a group of players another year older, and wiser, are the kind of standard they look forward to fulfulling.

“Being so young and then everyone growing together for a whole year and start fresh with a good group of guys that’s bonded and connected…it feels great,” said junior linebacker Andrew Zock. “It just gives us more confidence going into the season.”

Offensively, AJ Cussins returns as the starting quarterback. Cussins threw for more than 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in his debut under center as a sophomore. He’s eager to make a big leap in his ability and his team’s production.

“We’ve all grown a lot. I’m starting to come into stuff,” said junior quarterback AJ Cussins. “Toward the end of the season last year I started getting much better as a quarterback overall and my whole team’s coming together and I’m really excited for this upcoming season.”

Cussins work throughout the offseason has his teammates vote of confidence in his ability to perform this fall.

“He’s grown as a quarterback, he’s making better passes, being more confident in himself,” said senior wide receiver Christopher Foster. “Our o-line, d-line got better so I feel like we can make a huge run and get back to how we was.”

North Marion will compete in Class 2A Suburban this fall, alongside Newberry, Santa Fe, and Eastside. The Colts no longer share a district with Clay, Menendez, and Palatka. The switch in competition intrigues coach Carr.

“It changed a few things schedule wise for us as well, but I feel like it gave us better games as well so I can appreciate it.”

North Marion will host Forest in its season opener on August 26.

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