Reporter-"What year will this be for you at Grace now?" Said head coach Bob Ateca,"That's a good question. I think it will be my third. Be my fourth year believe it or not. Yeah. Wow."
Maybe coach Ateca is just trying to forget last year when Grace Academy went 2-8. The Golden Eagles defense gave up 40 or more points in four games, including a 49-41 loss to Silverdale. Said Ateca,"Yeah, we've got to do a better job of tackling and leveraging the ball, which is two of the main things you've got to do in football. If we can do that, then we'll be okay."
Reporter-"Is that something he has emphasized, tackling? Is that a word you hear a lot?" Said running back Will Slack,"Yeah. You hear tackling or leveraging the ball every practice about 75 times in twenty minutes."
Offensively, Grace will feature a one-two punch in the backfield. Said Ateca,"We have two running backs that are both returning in Will Slack and Dequan Hughes. We feel like we'll be able to run the ball pretty good with them. And with that, I think we can get people wide open." Said quarterback Isaac Spencer,"Dequan is a hard runner. Runs hard. Runs over people, and he's a little shifty. Will is fast. He can run around people. It's awesome."
Since Grace Academy is a small school, they're always fighting the numbers game. But this season, the numbers may favor the Golden Eagles. Said Ateca,"We have 13 seniors. To have 13 seniors with a school that has only 160 students or 80 boys in the whole school, that's a pretty good number." Added Spencer"We have a lot of people that know what to do. They've been doing it for awhile. They'll be able to do it better than last year and the year before that."