Every season, high school football programs from around the nation set the ultimate goal of trying to capture a state championship for their school. Some of these schools might even be attempting to go for back-to-back titles or even three-peats, but in 2013 the Bellevue Wolverines (Bellevue, Wa.) will be doing the unthinkable and that's searching for their sixth straight championship.
After an undefeated season the Wolverines will have the task of trying to match last year's astronomical statistics in which their high-flying offense averaged over 45 points per game and stifling defense that surrendered only five points per contest.
Returning defensive tackle Marcus Griffin plans on leading that charge.
“We had a very successful season and as a team we accomplished a number of goals,” stated Griffin. “We went undefeated and won our fifth straight state championship, so I definitely think we had a great year, but now it's time to focus on this upcoming season and start aiming to stay on top.”
The Irish have already made their presence felt in Bellevue when they offered one of their top defensive players in defensive back Budda Baker earlier this year, but it also looks like they're well aware of what the dominating defensive lineman can do also.
“I've been receiving some mail from Notre Dame, but I haven't got to talk to the coaches yet,” admitted Griffin. “I’m very interested in Notre Dame and I'm a big fan of coach (Brian) Kelly. He's turned around a lot of programs and I knew once he got to Notre Dame that they would do big things. I would love to play for him if the opportunity came.”
Even though his contact with the Irish has been limited, the attention the 6-foot-3, 290-pound defender has been receiving from other collegiate programs has increased dramatically.
“Recruiting has really picked up a lot lately and I'm really happy with how everything is going,” said the Bellevue standout. “I recently picked up offers from Washington State and Colorado State, but there are some other schools, like California and Boise State, which have said once they see my transcripts they'll probably be offering.”
What exactly is he looking for in a school?
“No doubt, the first thing I will be looking for is academics,” he shared. “After that I'll be looking for a school that has a top football program and great coaches. It's really going to depend on how I feel about the head coach, position coach and the scheme they run there. It's going to come down to how my family and I feel about the school, location and then we'll go from there.”
Playing on the line of scrimmage takes a special kind of player who can stay focus and driven all the time and Griffin feels he has that mentality written all over him.
“That's what makes us (defensive lineman) different from everyone else,” he explained. “We go through quite a few things that the average football player doesn't see throughout the game. You have to really love to battle and it's one of my favorite parts of the game.
“I'm an aggressive player and I like to totally dominate whenever I play. I'm going to do whatever I can to help my team win the game and that's the way I play.”
Though he's confident in his ability, the Washington product will be the first to admit he's not a finished product yet.
“If I had to choose one thing in my game that I would like to improve on it would be my pass rushing,” said Griffin. “Right now, I'm working four times a week on my pass rushing. Last season, I had a lot of stops in the run game, but I feel like I need to improve my pass rushing so I can be a more complete player.”
He hopes his work ethic will rub off on the Bellevue underclassmen as well.
“Budda and I are excited to be leading the defense this season and we've already started to take control the weight room,” he said. “We're just trying to keep everybody focused on what needs to be done and that includes having that winning attitude.
“We're definitely excited to be leading this group of guys and I'm extremely excited about the character these younger guys have. That is definitely going to make us a better team going forward.”