Back at the helm

By CRAIG HARVEY

OBSERVER Sports Editor

For the third time in five years, the Dunkirk Marauders have made a coaching change to their football program.

This time, it will be a familiar face as Tim Majka returns to the helm after a one-year absence to tend to personal issues.

Majka was the coach of the Marauders from 2009-2011 as he compiled a 10-15 record which included a trip to Section 6 Playoffs in 2009.

“Things worked out personally so it gave me the opportunity to come back,” he said. “The position is a year to year posting and I really missed it. It was really hard last year. There were days last August where I didn’t know what to do. It never left me. I felt bad for the seniors this year because I had been with them for three years. As soon as I knew things were clear with personal things, I started thinking about coming back.”

After being a high school football coach for 13 consecutive years at different schools, the year away from the game has given Majka a new outlook on coaching and a fresh perspective.

“Just to not take myself so seriously,” Majka answered when asked about what he has learned. “You can have a little more fun with things and it gave me a better view of who are the kids and who they are at Dunkirk – just a fresh perspective of the game. I coached for 13 straight years and I think it did me some good.”

See MAJKA, Page BX

Though Majka was not on the sidelines, he followed the team closely as he stayed in contact with assistant coaches Mario Muscarella and Jim Quinn, as well as talking to the players in school.

“The job that (former coach) Rob Genco did was amazing for the amount of time he had to put in an offense and wok with the kids,” Majka noted. “I was glad Mario and Jim were there for stability. My hats off to the kids for being able to go through that turmoil and have the success they had. I think it bodes well for where their head is at as far as wanting to play football and wanting to succeed at football.”

Muscarella and Quinn were assistant coaches under both Majka and Genco. Assuming the two assistant coaches are back this fall, they will be valuable to Majka as they can help the players transition from one coach to the next.

“Football is football,” Majka said. “There are only so many plays you can call. It’s a matter of what the terminology is. It’s not going to be that different. They went more to a man-blocking scheme this past season which we will be doing. It’s not going to be a big adjustment to the kids.

“My system is going to be more of a power,” Majka continued. “That’s the team we have coming back. Tom Hitchcock will anchor the offensive line. We are not going to chuck and duck.”

Majka has already met with the team and plan on putting together an offseason workout program as well as academic program for after school.

“We will have the weight room going four days a week and have academics after school,” he said. “W want to keep the cohesiveness and have them working together off the field and on the field.”

Majka hopes that cohesiveness will lead to results on the football field this fall.

“At first it was tough to watch because I missed it so much,” he said. “I started to reflect and had a better grasp of things and know that I am lucky to have the chance to take the year off and come back. I can’t wait.”