Marietta handling high expectations by focusing on "One Family"

Every High 5 football season we see a team or two with a roster of talent that would rival some small colleges, but the team's with the most stars aren't always the ones holding the state championship trophy at season's end.

This year the Marietta Blue Devils are loaded with talent, but they're also making sure that their stars stick together.

The Blue Devils come into this season with a senior class that boasts 7 of the top 100 senior players in the state according to 247 Sports. All look to be heading to play division-one college ball.

"When you've got a whole bunch of talented players, you have a really good shot at winning it all," says senior quarterback Harrison Bailey. Bailey's committed to Tennessee and has been getting college offers since he was in middle school. Now as a senior his eye is on a state title, but he and his teammates know that doesn't just happen.

"Everybody has high expectations for us, but we're used to that. Our coaches are going to coach us up to win every game," says senior defensive end BJ Ojulari.

"We come out here and work everyday, so we don't really feel the pressure. We work for it, so it should show on the field," says senior tight end Arik Gilbert. Gilbert is the second ranked player in the state and looks to be headed to Georgia next year.

With the feel of a ‘dream team', it's coach Richard Morgan's job to keep the focus.

 "We've got some talent, we've got good players, I'm not going to deny that, but how we come together over the next three months is going to determine the outcome of the season. Not stars, rankings or scholarship offers. That stuff doesn't win championships," says Morgan.

That's why when you look at the Blue Devils practice jerseys on the front you'll see the individual numbers, but on the back they say ‘one family'.

"It means play for your brother next to you. Battle it out and if you can't do it for yourself, do it for them," says Ojulari.

"That's kind of our team motto. You don't want to let a family member down, so you stay together as one. You're better together as one than individually," says Bailey.

The bond will be tested. Marietta's schedule is a gauntlet. Out of region, they will face powerhouses Rome and Grayson as well the 12th ranked team in the country, St Joseph's Prep from Philadelphia.