Marcellus Now it isn’t a question of whether the Marcellus football team is among the top Section III Class B programs, because consistent winning results over the last five years have answered that concern.
It’s just a matter of the Mustangs taking those last – and most difficult – steps to a championship, something head coach Joe Fiacchi and his charges are eager to do in 2012.
In each of the last two campaigns, Marcellus suffered a close playoff defeat to Cazenovia, including a 14-6 decision in the Buckley-Volo Field mud last fall.
Fiacchi said the line between contender and champion is a thin one, and involves avoiding mistakes as much as it concerns making big plays.
“To get over the hump, you’ve got to create some breaks, and (in years past) we gave away some touchdowns, which cost us,” he said.
Little might be given away in terms of the Mustangs’ defense, a unit that returns several stars, including senior linebacker Jason Decker.
This is Decker’s fourth year as a starter, and he has recorded more than 300 tackles since his varsity debut in 2009. Fiacchi said Decker’s biggest attribute is sideline-to-sideline speed, allowing him to chase down whoever has the ball quickly.
In the Mustangs’ defensive alignment, safeties move up to linebacker positions to stop the run, something that senior Nick Nye is quite capable of doing s he’s joined by Jon Cavaretta, who moves from the line to inside linebacker. Sophomore Chris Wood occupies a similar role as Nye, while Tom Keegan, Will Coons and Mike Raymond round out the secondary.
Normally, Marcellus puts five players on the front line. It has experience at the end spots, where senior Rodney Coffey and junior Wyatt Stehle both return. Pat Cooper, a three-year starter, is posted at nose guard, surrounded by a rotation of tackles.