On Monday October 17th we made the trip northeast to take on the Cyclones from Denver. We had heard a lot of good things about these guys so we knew we were going to have to play very well to give ourselves a chance. This is a big, physical 2A school with a bunch of athletic kids that play hard. Coach Barrett and his staff always have their kids ready to play and they always play hard. This was going to be a war. I am pretty sure everyone knew that after the first quarter or so.
We started off slowly as the turnover bug hit us again with a couple of fumbles and a pick early. We trailed 14-0 after one quarter do largely in part to the turnovers. Early in the second quarter Denver punched another score in to make it 20-0. Both teams exchanged scores right before the half and we trailed 27-6 at the break. The second half adjustments worked out well for us as we battled back only to fall 33-22 to finish our season off at 2-5. I know the kids are disappointed in this mark but we dealt with a lot of adversity. This is not an excuse but an explanation. We have had some key injuries that have kept some kids from competing this year. We have asked our freshmen to play a lot of minutes against sophomores and juniors on Monday nights. The 2-5 record is not indicative of how hard these kids worked to get better every day. We went through a tough stretch but these guys came to practice and to games ready to play. I know the coaching staff is pleased with this groups growth throughout the year. It also should be a easy thing to see that we still have a lot of work to do. High school football requires kids to work very hard in the off season especially in the weight room. We have some talented kids here but every year our competitors get bigger and stronger. We have to commit to do the same and that takes all of you. We have the makings for our football tradition to continue being successful. You are the guys that need to make that happen.
We ended up with 100 yards on the ground and 144 through the air offensively. Dustin Dinsdale led the way with 50 yards and Brandon Lakabung added 33 more. Brandon and Hunter Raney scored rushing TD's for us and Dustin hauled in a Brady Kuehl pass for our other score. Brandon scored a PAT on a run also to account for our 22 points. Hunter was 3 of 8 passing for 79 yards and Brady added 65 yards through the air. Phil Zimmerman caught two balls for 60 yards to add to our offensive stats. Defensively, Alex Schick had 12 tackles followed by Pete Meyers with 6, Braden Trepp 5, Dustin, Austin Harris, and Wyatt Swanson 4, Phil 3, Cameron Clark, Joey Linder, and Tyler Bovy 2, Luke Holman, Logan Phillips, Brandon, and Dirk Thesing had 1 each. Dustin had a fumble recovery and Wyatt an interception and Austin had one of each to finish off our defensive stat sheet.
I want to take just a moment and name all these guys that we ask to play on Mondays and Thursdays and practice the rest of the week against the varsity. The sophomores are Shawn Dugan, Chase Clark, Dustin Dinsdale, Hunter Raney, Wyatt Swanson, Tyler Bovy, Blake Kibe, Joey Linder, Pete Meyers, and Dirk Thesing. The freshmen are Cam Kickbush, Logan Flamme, Jake Peters, Brady Kuehl, Austin Lott, Phil Zimmerman, Bennett Petersen, Logan Phillips, Luke Holman, Zach Pierce, Braden Trepp, Brady Wagner, Bryce Ehlers, Shye Johnston, Cameron Clark. Noah Ohrt, and Jeff Tscherter.
Another season has come and gone and I have to say they seem to go faster every year. This is a good group of kids and parents and everyone should be proud of what was accomplished over the last 12-13 weeks. G-R football has a very good reputation of being a perennial power and we will continue that with hard work. The kids will do it and so will our coaching staff. Our kids do work hard and so do our coaches. They watch film, they meet on the weekends, they put together scouting reports, they plan the week of practice. I can't even begin to tell you how much time is put in by this staff. Coaches John Olson, Darren Trunck, Chad Bixby, Evan Schulte, Andrew Billerbeck, Brett Bengen, Skyler Trunck, Sean Babinat, and Aaron McNew spend countless hours preparing 55 kids to play football 2 and sometimes 3 times a week. It means a lot to these guys and it shows. Most of these guys volunteer their time and show up every single day to work to make our kids better. We are so very fortunate to have young men who are willing to do this. Along with a high quality group of contracted coaches, I feel this is one of the best staffs around not only the area but the state. These guys all work extremely hard because the G-R kids matter. I am very proud to be a member of this coaching staff and certainly hope it stays together for quite sometime. Thank you all for your support.