Marvin Harris understands the challenge. He’s a Raider.
Consequently, the 1998 Huntington graduate also understands the upside, and the opportunity as he readies for his first year as head football coach on Raspberry Lane in West Shreveport.
The initial impression Harris makes on his Raiders will be crucial. He’s the fifth different coach in seven years. The time to entrench a new attitude at Huntington is now.
“You have to establish a rapport and keep the rapport with the kids,” Harris said. “You have to let them know what’s expected. It’s been up and down around here — a lot of changes. You have to give them stability and let them know we’re here for the long haul.”
The Raiders aren’t asking for respect in District 1-4A, they are willing earn it despite a 1-8 record (0-7 in district) last season. One of the men willing to accept the responsibility within the locker room is senior quarterback Aaron Roberson.
“We have a great line, a great team, a great coaching staff,” said Roberson, who expects a lot of people to “sleep” on the Raiders. “I like that. We can punch them in the mouth and get it over with.”
Not only did Huntington have the lone win last year (at Bossier), the Raiders were outscored by more than a 2-to-1 margin (324-157).
“Last year we didn’t have the right system,” Roberson said. “(Harris) teaches us everything. He breaks it down; every detail for every player all the time.”
Harris is excited about the depth of his defense and expects the unit to “set the tone.”
“We’ll be a sound defense,” Harris said. “We’ll stay at home and be physical at the point of attack. We’ll be playing a fast-paced defense, flying around and having fun.”
Harris is more than ready for the Raiders’ season opener at Bastrop on Sept. 5.
“I wish it was today,” he said. “Our guys are tired of hitting each other. And I’m tired of seeing them hit each other. It’s about time to mix it up and see what we can do.
“It’s going to be a growing process, but it’s going to be fun. I think we’re going to surprise some people.”
He certainly doesn’t have to twist the arm of his dual-threat, 5-foot-10, 180-pound quarterback.
“Going into your senior year, you want to leave a great mark,” Roberson said. “I hope I can do that.”
Coach: Marvin Harris (first year)
2013 record: 1-8
Sept. 5 at Bastrop
Sept. 12 Bossier
Sept. 19 at Ville Platte
Sept. 25 Fair Park
Oct. 3 at Loyola
Oct. 10 North DeSoto
Oct. 16 at Woodlawn
Oct. 24 Northwood
Oct. 31 at Minden
Nov. 7 Benton