Officially kicking off their season today at 7 p.m., the Golden Valley Grizzlies will face off against the Highland at Highland in hopes of starting the season off the same way as last year — with a shutout win.
Beginning last season with a 30-0 win against the Bulldogs, Golden Valley inside linebacker Derrese Morganfield II can’t wait to get on the field to deliver some soul-shaking hits.
“I can’t wait to get my tackles and get my stickers,” Morganfield said, referring to the stickers that GV players earn for their helmets.
Morganfield and the Golden Valley defense stuck it to the Bulldogs, allowing a meager 108 yards of total offense in last year’s win. He also led the team with 13 total tackles (9 solo) and a tackle for loss.
“This is a whole different team than last year,” said Grizzlies head coach Dan Kelley. “We don’t look in the past. They have a new head coach and new philosophies so we have to game plan for what’s in front of us.”
Finishing the season 3-7 overall, the Bulldogs bring in a whole new coaching staff and some new and exciting athletes on both sides of the ball.
“They have a strong running attack and a threat at quarterback who runs the option very well,” Kelley said. “They have good size up front and defensively they put a lot of pressure and utilize blitzes a lot.”
Senior quarterback Zack Chevalier will be playing in his second game in as many years against Highland after splitting time with Logan Morrison and throwing for 113 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s contest.
Chevalier will be accompanied by wide receivers Antonio Abrego and Carlos Meza, as well as returning wide receiver Johnathan Kaelin. Running back Tyler Walker will get work done on the ground.
“This is like our Christmas Day,” Chevalier said. “We’ve been working so hard to get ready for this game and to get back to where we were last year.”
Win or lose, the Grizzlies are assured of one thing: donuts.
After every game on Saturday mornings, win or lose, Golden Valley head coach Dan Kelley gathers the whole football team to go over film and to do some recovery exercises, bringing with him an assortment of donuts.
“To tell you the truth, it’s a big day for us,” Chevalier said. “After our losses the sessions were some of the most beneficial days of the week because we were able to learn from our mistakes and bond as a team.”
For Morganfield, the decision is either between apple fritters and maple bars, but for Chevalier it’s much more cut and dry.
“Maple bars, no doubt.”