The scrimmages and jamboree are out of the way and Friday night the Yellow Jackets begin anew again as first year Coach Casey Tate takes his team to Whitwell to face the Tigers in the opening game of the season. It’s a non-region game for both teams with both looking to start the season on the right foot.
“We believe we match up pretty well with Whitwell even though we’re young and rebuilding this team. We’re going to focus on this game and do our best to be successful in it and then move forward to the next one. We hope everyone will make the trip to Whitwell and support the kids and the hard work they’ve put in,” said Tate.
Grundy fell to South Pittsburg 14-0 in their first quarter of action Friday night in Pikeville. The Pirates scored on 29 and 64 yard runs. Grundy’s best moments of the quarter were a 38-yard run by Ethan Nunley and a fumble recovery by Zack Brody.
In a matchup of Yellow Jackets, Grundy tied Lookout Valley 0-0. Both teams played most of their youngest players in the quarter and Hagen Cash had a chance to shine for Grundy with runs of 26 and 26 yards.
Whitwell tied Silverdale 0-0, and lost to Marion Co. 21-0.
Coach Tate evaluated his team’s performance in the first under the lights experience of the season.
“I saw some guys I believe are going to help us on varsity, even when we were playing the younger guys against Lookout Valley. We wanted to get some guys on film. I think these guys can help us and get in the rotation on varsity.
“We didn’t respond to adversity well. I know that sounds generic but we got that first penalty and we just hung our head. It’s a programming that we’ve got to get over. You’ve got to keep playing.
“I know we’ve got a lot of guys having to play both ways. We’ve got a lot of freshmen on the field. We’ve got a lot of sophomores on the field. There were nine kids that went out there tonight and it was the first time they’ve ever seen a varsity snap while wearing a varsity uniform. They’re going to make all those mistakes that you hope they make in JV, that you hope they make in the lopsided score games, they’re making them right now. It’s a process but I think it’s going to make the end result sweet. I don’t exactly know when that end result is going to come, but I know it’s going to come. People have to be patient and they have to understand.
“You see Ethan Nunley at 15-years-old run the option for a 30-yard gain against South Pittsburg and it lets you see glimpses. I remember Coach Pickett used to always talk about that and it’s true. You’re trying to look through what is and see glimpses of where you can be, and you just keep plugging away until you get there,” said the coach.
“It was just another scrimmage for us and a chance to get better. The coaching staff is coming together a lot better now. We have a lot more chemistry. There’s things I don’t’ even have to say anymore and someone is taking care of it, so we’re getting a rhythm going. That’s good for everyone. I feel good about where we’re going. We’ve got a lot of young guys but they’re going to work hard and we’re going to get it straightened out,” added Tate.
The Yellow Jackets go under the lights again Friday in Whitwell. This time it counts. The young men, and one young lady, who have committed themselves to representing their school and their county have worked hard for a good start to the 2015 season. They deserve the home fans showing up in force Friday night and cheering them on to victory. They deserve to have all of the Grundy faithful to….Get Out to the Game!