It is no secret that the Maryville College football team is under new leadership. While the Scots may have a first year head coach directing the program, Shaun Hayes is no stranger to the team.
“It means everything to me,” Hayes said. “Maryville College is home. To be able to stay in this town and be connected with the people here on campus; it’s a very special time in my life.”
Since day one of Hayes’s coaching career, the team has been working countless hours to prepare for the 2015 season.
“I wanted to make an emphasis on teamwork and hard work, but within that I wanted us to still have fun,” Hayes said of this past fall camp which spanned two weeks in August.
“Coach Hayes really tried to unify the offense and defense as one,” said senior quarterback Evan Pittenger. “We have a more unified team chemistry this year.”
The unified offense and defense includes many talented players within its ranks.
“One of our biggest strengths is that we have quarterbacks that have taken a lot of reps at that position,” Hayes said. “With Evan Pittenger and Nick Meyers, I feel like we have two guys that do a great job leading our football team.”
Hayes also spoke highly of the Scots offensive line, which will be led by senior center Connar Benson-Epstein, as well as fellow senior tackle Chase Courson.
“I’ve been really impressed with our guys up-front,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have stepped up and are able to contribute, and that’s very important to us.”
In the backfield, junior All-Conference running back Trenton Shular will lead the Scots rushing attack. Shular rushed for over 1000 yards last season, and is expected to have another breakout year behind a stout offensive line.
Coach Hayes also bragged on the Scots defense.
“Our defensive line can obviously get after it,” commented Hayes. “There are several guys there that can play.”
One of those players is All-American senior defensive end Zach Capehart. Accompanying Capehart will be senior linebackers Austin Newton and Kent Minor.
With a veteran squad, some like to look ahead to key matchups within the season. However, Coach Hayes explained that he takes the season one game at a time.
“I will never look ahead, every game we play is a key matchup to me,” Hayes said. “I want us to all be able to focus on the task at hand.”
Several of those key conference matchups include Methodist on October, 3rd, Lagrange on October, 31st, and at Huntingdon on November, 7th.
This year could be a special one for Maryville College football. With a potent offensive attack and no-nonsense defense, look for big things from the Scots.