PREP FOOTBALL: Teammates to rivals: coaches share history
WORTHINGTON -- Worthington football coach Brad Grimmius and Windom counterpart Travis Bretzman used to play football together for Minnesota West. Now they'll match up against each other on opposite sidelines for the first time as their teams play...
WORTHINGTON -- Worthington football coach Brad Grimmius and Windom counterpart Travis Bretzman used to play football together for Minnesota West.
Now they'll match up against each other on opposite sidelines for the first time as their teams play tonight at Trojan Field.
It's been a tale of two different seasons for the coaches. Bretzman's Eagles are 3-0 on the season, and Grimmius' Trojans are 0-3. But neither coach is paying attention to their records as they prepare for tonight's game.
"I really don't look at their record," Bretzman said. "They've got some real good skill players and they've got some big big guys, and it looks like it might be a muddy field on Friday night with this monsoon we've been having here, so I think that's kind of an advantage to them to have some big guys. I'm not a big person to look at records or numbers, I just look at the team on tape and I see they've got talent."
Grimmius hasn't been surprised to see Windom's success this season, and knows that the Eagles will be a relentless opponent.
"Windom's a very talented squad," Grimmius said. "In preseason I had Windom picked as a team underneath the radar, and they're undefeated right now, so people are starting to witness them a bit. Our goal is to go over there and win, but that's their goal as well, so we'll see what happens on Friday night.
"They've got some big guys, some quick guys -- the Holt brothers, they're very good. They hit hard, they fly to the football defensively, and it's going to be four quarters of smash-mouth football coming from Windom, and we want to counter that and up our level of play and match the hitting."
The Trojans are coming off of a narrow defeat against Pipestone Area in their Homecoming game last week, but Gimmius said that his players have taken the loss in stride and that he has been happy with the improvement they have shown throughout the season.
"I'm very happy with how the kids have been working, they have not given up one bit whatsoever, and each week we are getting better," Grimmius said. "It just gets down to when you're a young team you need that experience... the kids have been working really hard for us, and I tip my hat off to them because they've been busting their tails."
Practice was moved indoors during the rain this week, but that didn't affect the amount of work the team was able to put in.
"That's one thing you find out about Minnesota football; whether it's rain, sleet, snow, wind, you always have to make adjustments," Grimmius said.
Bretzman, who is in his first year coaching the Eagles, has been pleasantly surprised by his team's success and continues to fins ways to refine his coaching to see his players continue to perform well.
"I came in as a first year coach not knowing exactly how much I can give to these kids," Bretzman said. "We've been trying to slowly spoon feed them and not give them too much, I know a couple games we probably gave them too much and it showed, they came out a bit flat, they just want to play football and I gave them too much stuff. We've been trying to dial it back a little bit so we can a get on the same page and our offense can catch up to our defense."
The contest is technically Windom's Homecoming game, but this week's flooding caused the game to be moved to Worthington. However there will still be some touches to highlight the occasion.
Bretzman said that his players chose to wear retro uniform pants from the late 80s and early 90s during the contest to match Windom's Homecoming theme, and expects Windom supporters in the crowd to also come dressed in retro 80s attire, mullets and all.
Unlike last week, the Trojans will have no Homecoming distractions. They're focused only on finally finally entering the win column.
"Anytime you get a win it feels good, and a win is huge for our program right now, we need to get things going the right direction in the win column," Grimmius said. "I feel that it's going in the right direction practice-wise in the level of improvement of play that we're seeing out of our players, but the win cures a lot of ailments."