The Marana High School football team feels they are one of the only teams in the area that gets to play for their town – Marana is their town.

Last season was head coach Andy Litten’s first season. This season, Litten returns as head coach while having 20 seniors on the heels of losing eight players from last year.

“We have a very strong senior class and they have all worked really, really hard in this off season,” Litten said. “They experienced some success in the last five games of last year. We are using a lot of that motivation to propel us into this year.”

The Tigers closed out that 2012 season 4-6, losing their first five games of the season where they were matched up against local powerhouse teams, including state champions Ironwood Ridge.

“We think our schedule this year favors us quite a bit,” Litten said.

The team starts out playing Mountain View and Rincon, followed by Phoenix’s Poston Butte. The Tigers will then face Catalina and Cholla.

Rather than weathering the storm as Litten said the team had to do early in the season last year, he believes his returning key players can go out and attack like they did late in the season.

“We have a really strong senior class, which is led by our middle linebacker and center Austin Soszynski,” he said. “And then our quarterback Ben Honea has been a great leader for us as well. I can name six or seven kids that, along with those two, who have really taken pride and wanted to turn the program around.”

Going into his second season leading the Tigers as their head coach, Litten has learned about the culture of the game in Marana and has begun to learn how to instill his kinds of methods.

“The big thing we that we realized that we needed to really work on and control was we needed to learn how to win and how to compete. I feel like as we started to have success last year and the tides began to change, that gave us a good understanding of what it takes to win and the kind of work and preparation that it takes.”

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