Countdown to Kickoff: TMP-Marian
HAYS, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Recent 2A powerhouse Thomas More Prep-Marian in Hays has had a historic turnaround under fourth year head coach Jay Harris and the class of 2023 seniors - including Harris’ son who has played quarterback under his dad for the past three years.
In Harris’ freshman season, the Monarchs struggled to find success, only picking up three wins, but since then it has been quite the opposite. The past two seasons TMP has compiled a record of 18-5 and a trip to the 2A state playoffs.
Coach Harris said the Monarchs’ seniors have experienced first-hand the program’s transformation and it was not by accident.
“The guys are buying into what we’re doing,” he said. “They’re hitting the weight room hard. They’re doing a great job getting in here. They’ve really turned around the culture of the football program.”
The seniors hope that with their graduation, the success and culture can remain the same going forward, they said.
“Freshman year we had low expectations a lot of not great records, you know, three wins,” TMP OL/DL Michael Hale said. “My sophomore year, we really turned it around and started picking it up. That’s just something that we want to build on this year and continue as we even leave, so the next years’ seniors can carry that on with them.”
The Monarchs graduated a couple big-time skill position players last season in Jace Wentling and Bryce Seib, but after some position swaps, the offense is right where Coach Harris wants it to be.
The biggest change will be Kade Harris, TMP’s quarterback for the last three seasons, switching to the running back role.
“He’s done a great job the last three years at quarterback. We’ve got [junior] Landon Rozean that can step in there and fill that role now, so I think it’s a good move to move him to running back and see what happens.”
Kade Harris said he doesn’t mind the change if it helps his team succeed, and said he’s not alone in having the team’s best interest in mind on this TMP team.
“You know, each of us, we pick each other up, we got each other’s back during the whole season and we just love playing together,” he said. “It’s just been great to come out on Friday nights and perform.”
The Monarchs will open their season this Friday on the road at Oakley High School, taking on the Plainsmen at 7 p.m.
9/2 @ Oakley High School
9/9 vs. Ellis High School
9/16 @ Plainville High School
9/23 vs. Scott Community High School
9/30 vs. Russell High School
10/7 @ Phillipsburg High School
10/14 @ Norton - Norton Community
10/21 vs. Beloit High School
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