Shaking off last year’s fumbles

With football season steadily approaching, Grizzlies are ready to break out their face paint and spirit gear to kick-off the football season. Coming off of a 2-8 record last year, the athletes are excited to begin the season.  

“I think we’re going to do good this year,” junior lineman Deryc McCord-Fitzhugh said. “The chemistry, talent and competitiveness are all there.”

Last season, the team started with chemistry issues, defensive problems and an overall need for a team makeover. Now, being team-oriented is a priority for not only the players, but the head coach as well.

“Our biggest [issue] is going to be avoiding injuries and making sure we play together,” Coach Marcus Teal said. “Last year we had a lot of team chemistry issues, so this year it’s going to be very important that we will be able to play for each other and doing a good job of staying together when things go bad.”

This is Teal’s ninth season with the Grizzlies. In high school, Teal was a three-sport athlete. He played football and basketball, and he ran track. After high school, he went on to play college football at Idaho State University and was an official before coaching for the school.

“My favorite part of coaching football would probably be the competition part of it,” Teal said. “Getting ready for game days, battling against someone –– you have a lot of adrenaline flowing that day, and I think just the competitive juices is what keeps me going.”

The most anticipated game of the season is the banner game against Bonanza. Last year, the program lost to them at home. But this year, quarterback Frank Bartley is hopeful about earning it back.

“I really look forward to taking on Bonanza because I’m looking forward to winning our banner back and also getting to compete with friends who play there,” Bartley said. “It’s always a fun game.”

In regards to the season overall, Bartley believes that the Grizzlies will see plenty of success.