With Air Westbrook departing for Columbus and a new orange and black signal caller soon to be named, Marietta High's offense figures to be more grounded this upcoming season.
Ah, but the Tigers have no plans whatsoever of being one-dimensional as in run, run, run all the time on the football field, especially with a talented wide receiver like Billy Grizer.
And, he's not the only pass catcher that MHS has, either.
"Billy's hard to cover one-on-one," said second-year Marietta head football coach Andy Schob, "and he'll make all of our other receivers better."
Some of those other Marietta wide-outs will probably be Tyler Davis (also a Tiger basketball player), Austin Terry (second fastest player on the team), Adam Arnold (a former quarterback), Justin Baker, Josh Benson, and maybe even Morgan Wynn, if he's not taking center snaps instead.
In a word, the Tigers have plenty of depth at the position.
Last year, Marietta had the luxury of three standout receivers in Zane Eschbaugh, Sean Munfield, and Grizer.
Eschbaugh and Munfield will be playing at the next level at Marietta College. Both of these SEOAL honorees combined to catch 84 passes for 1,253 yards and eight touchdowns from southpaw Cody Westbrook in 2008.
Grizer himself had 30 receptions for 615 yards and four TDs. He actually averaged a team-high 20.5 yards per catch.
This fall, Grizer will be catching 'em from either Lance Weppler or Wynn, both of whom are right-handed.
"We'll be more of a running team this year," Schob said.
That almost goes without saying with a 1,000-plus yard running back in the backfield by the name of Perry Wheeler and a bruiser like fullback Conner Hess.
You want those guys to get plenty of touches.
Incidentally, Wheeler has pretty good hands, coming out of the backfield. Last year, he was the fourth leading pass catcher on the team with 15 receptions for 213 yards and one score.
"I think we'll get to the point where we can definitely pass if we need to and if we want to," Schob continued. "We'll take whatever the other team gives us."
And, if those opponents don't keep an eye or two or even three on Grizer, the 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior will definitely burn them - double coverage or not.
Grizer, no doubt, will get his fair share of touches.
Last year, on a Saturday (Aug. 9), the Tigers' first string, with Westbrook at QB, outpointed Bellaire, 18-12, in front of about 400 fans.
After starting the season 0-3, MHS finished 2008 with a 4-6 overall record, 3-3 in the SEOAL.
Bellaire was also 4-6
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org