Marshall coach Alex Richters knew he had a young team entering the 2012 season, and because of that the Mavericks' second-year boss is evaluating just about every position to determine who will start where.

"We've got a bunch of kids flying around playing with a lot of energy and trying to make their mark," Richters said. "We still have a ways to go until we decide on our final varsity roster, but I'm pleased with the kids with their focus and they're learning from us what they need to be successful."

Marshall, which went 2-8 in 2011 and finished 1-6 in district play, returns only two offensive starters and three defensive starters. Perhaps the largest void caused by graduation is the quarterback position, where Richters must find a replacement for Alandric Tutt, who was Marshall's best runner in addition to his passing duties.

"We've got whole different personalities and skill sets (at quarterback)," Richters said. "I've got three young men working at that spot right now, not leaning toward one or the other."

Line play is a concern. The Mavericks do have center Johnathan Patterson (5-11, 265) and veteran defensive end Alberto Balderas (6-2, 210) back, but other than them, Marshall has a lot of new players to break in along the trenches.

"We're kind of behind in our defensive and offensive lines," Richters said. "That's probably where we've got the most work cut out for us."

Marshall hosts Jasper at 5:30 p.m. today in a scrimmage. The Mavericks also host Tyler Lee in an Aug. 24.

Marshall starts the season Aug. 31 at home against Kilgore. Three of the Mavericks' first four games are at home. The only road contest is Sept. 14 at rival Longview.

"We're treating (the scrimmages) with a game mentality and how to focus in on that. As coaches we're using that as an evaluation tool," Richters said. "We're trying to teach these kids, being as young as they are, they don't need to look too far down the road. They need to focus on the next game at hand. That's how we're using the scrimmages."