When Coach Greg Carter took over the position of head coach at Oak Park earlier this year. He left Inkster with a much better program, than what it was when he first took over. The highlight of his tenure at Inkster was undoubtedly, current Michigan Wolverine, QB - Devin Gardner, as they led the Vikings to the state final game. However, Carter was not able to duplicate his success in 2010 without Gardner. Inkster went 2-7 in 2010 and with Inkster not being in a conference; Carter jumped ships to Oak Park. Following his move, a few former Inkster players: runningback, Denzel Wright and lineman, Marquise Wallace also transferred to Oak Park.
Marquise Wallace is 6'3 and 250 linemen who played only played offense so far but in 2011 he will start to play defense for the first time. Wallace described why he choose to follow along with his head coach, "Coach Carter was one of the reasons I came to Oak Park but I also transferred because of Oak Park's academics and I would love to help get Oak Park into the playoffs." Wallace also depicts Coach Carter as a fatherly figure to him, "Coach Carter is a very good man and he has done a lot for me, such as helping me with my academics. He has also made me a better player by making me work hard and pushing me to my goals, that is why I play for Coach Carter."
With the uncertainty of coaching at Inkster, Wallace felt it was in his best interest to transfer to Oak Park. Wallace described why he thinks that, Oak Park will help him in the future, "Oak Park is a great school and I think that they would help me with a lot of things and the decisions I will have to make in the long term."
Several other players’ have transferred to Oak Park from the surrounding counties, which results in no one being familiar with their OAA White opponents. Wallace thinks there will be a minor transition period before they get used to their opponents, "Coming to Oak Park was one of the best decisions I have made so far. Playing teams we never played before will be a little change for us but in the long run we will play the best we can and work hard to get to our goal."
Oak Park has not had much success in previous seasons; the Knights have not had a winning season since reaching the playoffs in 2005. Wallace and his teammates plan to reverse that trend in 2011, "I know that Oak Park has not had a lot of success in the recent years but we came to change things and to help them be the best they can be. The excitement level is much higher with the new staff and my teammates are my new family."
In Wallace's senior season, the coaches have placed more responsibility on him. Wallace will be playing defense for the first time this upcoming season. Wallace discussed what he has been doing to get ready for the new challenge, "I been preparing for it by working hard and studying the position." Wallace still will be playing on the offensive line, where he plans on making some holes for his runningbacks. Wallace shared what he has been working on throughout the off-season, "I have been focusing on how to get my foot work faster and speed up my kick step so my RB, Denzel Wright can get to the end zone much faster."
Oak Park will have some tough opponents in the OAA White. The most common team people may know is Harrison who went 14-0 in 2010. Wallace assumes that Harrison will be their toughest game in 2011, "I think our toughest game will be Harrison because they have a good team and it looks like they work hard."
Recruiting has been going pretty well for Wallace as he describes, "recruiting is going good I have been recruited by: Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, and Wisconsin. I have no offers yet." Wallace closed by giving thanks, "I would like to thank: God, Coach Carter, Lorenzo Terrell, Alphonso Wallace, Sam Wallace and Jalen Wallace for pushing me to be the best I can.
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