Columbus High Blue Devils look to be resilient this season

Published: Aug. 5, 2023 at 1:09 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Columbus High Blue Devils are led by the longest-tenured coach amongst all eight local Muscogee County District Schools in head coach Phil Marino.

Marino enters his 15th year with the team and his 40th year in education and coaching.

This past season the team dealt with some adversity in the hardships of their leader battling cancer, but the coach says the primary focus that resonates throughout his team is resiliency.

“One of the things we talked about was resilience. You know when I went out there, the kids knew the situation I was having with my cancer. Some days I couldn’t make it to practice, and I think that you know they’re just resilient and knew they had to get through what they had to get through. And I kinda hope that in showing them that, you know the hard work every day you know will get you through. As I said, my health is a lot better. You know thank God, like I said it improved tremendously. So you know I’m back at it again this year, and showing these guys, you know you can overcome anything and just continue to work,” Marino said.

This season, Marino is also expecting big things out of his seniors. In particular, his starting DL/OL Tyranny McGowan.

Come the season, whatever Coach Marino will need on the line, McGowan will be that guy.

Last season, he recorded 25 solo tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.

McGowan says he has a team goal on offense and a personal goal on defense he’d like to achieve this season.

“Personal goals, when it comes to the O-line, are not that personal to me. Because my whole thing to me is trying to get that man right there, (Starting QB Robert Hartford) as pretty looking as he is right now and have my running back in the endzone,” McGowan said. “Defense, it’s just trying to personally, my main personal goal will be trying to double my tackles for loss again.”

Ty McGowan is a senior defensive and offensive lineman. Whatever coach Marino will need on the line, McGowan is his guy. Last season he recorded 25 solo tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles.

The Blue Devils are set to begin their season when they take on Northside, on August 18th in a non-region matchup.