WHS FOOTBALL: A new era begins tonight
WORTHINGTON -- After a switch in head coach, weeks of practice and a scrimmage, the Worthington Trojan football team is ready for a live game. Today, they'll get their chance. Worthington opens the regular season tonight against Fairmont, with ki...
WORTHINGTON -- After a switch in head coach, weeks of practice and a scrimmage, the Worthington Trojan football team is ready for a live game.
Today, they'll get their chance.
Worthington opens the regular season tonight against Fairmont, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
"It's always nice to have a home game, especially the first week," first-year head coach Brad Grimmius said. "They feel comfortable playing here. Fairmont has been a Week 1 opponent for years, as far as I can remember. It's kind of a good measure with how we're going to be throughout the season."
Grimmius replaces legendary head coach Dennis Hale, who led the Trojans for the past 33 seasons.
"In my wildest dreams, after I graduated, I didn't see myself back here on Trojan Field," Grimmius said. "The big thing, when I first step on it to be honest, I'll be thinking about Coach Hale not being on the sideline. Once that gets out, we're going to be ready to play. It's exciting to be back. I've been coaching for just about 15 years now. You don't get quite as excited as a rookie coach with the nerves and stuff, but you still have them if you're a competitor."
A week ago, the Trojans went to a preseason scrimmage in Slayton.
"I told them the way we played on Saturday was not acceptable," Grimmius said. "It's not going to fit my standards of play. I went to the coaches and said we have to coach up more all the way across the board. The kids responded to that, they came out this week and had a great week of practice. We're ready to start the season."
With a poor showing, the new head coach spent time making adjustments.
"I haven't slept much lately, especially after Saturday," Grimmius said. "I spent most of the day up here on Saturday. If I was at home, my wife would contest that she hasn't really talked to me in the last week because of the way we really played. I was up here Sunday early and spent all day Sunday here. I've spent a lot of hours trying to fine-tune this thing."
After another week of practice, the Trojans are ready for the Cardinals.
"To be honest, on Saturday, I was wondering how many first downs we were going to pick up in a ballgame, not how many points we were going to score," Grimmius said. "As this week has gone along, it's gone pretty good. Now, we're back to the mode that we can move the football. Now we just have to do it against an opponent."
The Cardinals have been a thorn in Worthington's side the past few years. Last year, Fairmont won 33-13 at home.
This year, Grimmius hopes it's a different story.
"They love to run off tackle," the coach said. "We have to stop that off tackle. If we can stop that off tackle, that's really their bread and butter. The defense has really worked hard on that this week to stop that. They're going to come out and hit you in the teeth."
With experience at key positions and size up front, the Trojans will be ready for anything tonight.
"My goal and my hope is that we come out ready to play football," Grimmius said. "We'll come out and play smash-mouth football."