Golden Valley football energized for season opener against Burbank

Golden Valley quarterback Austin Garcia throws during practice during camp. Dan Watson/The Signal

If Golden Valley football’s excitement wasn’t already demonstrated by the Grizzlies’ energy on the sidelines during practice on Thursday, it was demonstrated by their punctuality.

The team was on the field and ready for practice five minutes early and finished up a block of special teams in well under the designated 30 minutes.

“These kids are jumping out of their skin right now,” said coach Dan Kelley.

There’s excitement on offense as the quarterback battle between Austin Garcia and Jaxson Miner has extended into the preleague season; the two will be splitting reps tonight against Burbank.

Garcia brings three years of varsity experience and although Miner is in his first year on varsity, he’s got the competitive spirit to make up for it.

Golden Valley quarterback Jaxson Miner throws during practice at camp. Dan Watson/The Signal

Whoever is throwing the ball will be faced with a challenge in the Bulldogs’ secondary. Cornerback Shawn Wilson logged eight tackles in last week’s 14-7 loss to Moorpark. Safety Tyler Murphy added seven tackles.

“The strong safety likes to blitz a lot and it’s tough on our offensive linemen,” Garcia said. “They’ve got to adjust really fast. It’ll be good.”

Burbank had two receivers — Ben Burnham and Brandon Pena — tally over 100 yards against Moorpark, but the offense starts with running back Isaac Glover, who rushed for 90 yards on 18 carries against Moorpark. 

“He makes the passing game work,” Kelley said of Glover. “You have to really stop him and he’s a very good runner. He has that second, third effort. We’re going to have to really tackle to stop him and surround the ball.”

First-year varsity player and linebacker Luke McCoy is excited for the opportunity to play against him. McCoy will also be splitting time with Chris Alcantar at running back.

“Their running back is their biggest playmaker and as a linebacker, that’s my main job is to look after the run, but we still have to look out on the pass and do our jobs,” McCoy said.

Golden Valley hosts Burbank at Canyon High School. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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