RACHEL, W.Va. — With back-to-back playoff appearances, North Marion is making strides in the Big 10 Conference and in the Class AA picture. As former North Marion player Daran Hays enters his thirteenth season leading his alma mater, expectations are on the ascent on the Husky Highway. Those lofty hopes will rest in large part on the right arm of senior quarterback Brody Hall. In his first season as the starting quarterback in 2020, Hall accounted for 1,922 yards of total offense with 22 touchdowns in 10 games.
“I am a lot more comfortable with the playbook. And I am really comfortable with the guys because I have been playing with most of them since we were six,” Hall said.
“He is becoming so much more of a leader,” said North Marion senior receiver/defensive back Tariq Miller. “He is making sure everybody is in the right place, doing what he needs to do and keeping everybody’s heads up.”
“This year he is kind of a different creature, Hays said. “He, so to speak, is the coach on the field. You can give him some options now. We give our receivers some freedoms now to adjust routes based on coverages.”
Hall will go to work with one of the state’s elite skill players on the outside. Senior wide receiver Tariq Miller has picked up a scholarship offer from Marshall University. He caught 47 passes last year and finished the season with 930 yards from scrimmage and 11 scores. Miller could line up all over the field on offense and on defense.
“The thing that makes him unique, even when we talk to some of the coaches at Marshall, I am still not even a hundred percent sure what they are recruiting him as. He is just that versatile,” Hays said.
“He makes it pretty easy on me most of the time,” Hall said. “He is a tremendous player and we are really lucky to have him. He is a great dude, a great player and a really hard worker.”
Stable at the skill positions, the Huskies will need young linemen to step into starting roles quickly this fall.
“Losing four out of five starting offensive linemen, we were all kind of anxious to see what it would be like. But we are really proud of how the young guys have done so far. Hopefully we can keep improving,” Hall said.
North Marion has qualified for the playoffs in three out of the last five seasons. Among the many goals for this year’s team is to host a postseason contest in Rachel.
“Brody Hall has no problem saying that we want to compete to win the daggone thing,” Hays said. “I am trying to follow suit with him. We obviously have a long way to go.”
“I think it gave people some hope,” Hall said. “I think some people realize we can actually make a run if we keep getting better everyday.”