MARKED TREE, AR (KAIT) - Marked Tree Head Coach Waylon Dunn departed the program after six seasons, so the Marked Tree Indians are under new leadership as they work towards their season opener.
Cody Wallis takes the reigns of the Tribe and has installed new philosophies. "It was tough when I first got down here the guys hadn't lifted a lot of weights," Wallis said, "We really came in with the incorporation of a weight plan."
The new head coach was pleased with the support he had for his program. "The booster club was good for us, the school got together and bought us a brand new weight room," he added.
Of course, the new program meant nothing if the players don't buy into it. That doesn't seem to be an issue at Marked Tree. "The guys had to get 35 workouts this summer and they were up here everyday getting it," said Wallis, "We were getting up here at 6:30 in the morning on school days because that's when we need to lift."
The team is already feeling the affects of Wallis' new motto and feel confident about the season ahead. "It's making us stronger and it's something we've never been used to," said Senior Quarterback Blake Daniels, "It's really good for us." For the men in the backfield, they feel it is a competitive advantage. "That's something as a team we've never really done," said Senior Wingback D'Angelo Griffin, "It is important because in the past the teams we've played we've never really gotten over the hump because we weren't physically strong."
The Indians have the potential to be strong in Wallis' first year. He has a good foundation to build off of, Marked Tree has been in the playoffs the past three seasons and return talent at the skill positions. Daniels will be a strong force at quarterback while Griffin will provide speed at wingback.
Marked Tree is coming off a 6-5 season and finished in the 3-2A's four spot in 2014.
They open the 2015 slate against Piggott.