by John Unrein
There are pitfalls in football to avoid when you play the same team in your conference twice within a month. The Grain Valley Eagles last hosted the William Chrisman Bears football team on October 9th. The Eagles would trail the Bears in that matchup by the score of 14-6 at the end of the first quarter before Grain Valley widened their margin as the game progressed and went on to win 53-22.
A 47 point explosion by the Eagles after the first quarter led to the difference in the game. Eagles head football coach David Allie and his offensive staff had answers on hand for the Bears defense that used a 33 split front in trying to stymy the Eagles ground game.
“William Chrisman had a good game plan the last time we played them. We were able to make some successful adjustments that led to good things. Reviewing film of them heading into this week, they are doing some things different defensively that we need to be primed for as well,” Allie said.
The Eagles were afforded a bye week during the week of October 26th due to securing the top seed in the Class 5 District 7 playoff bracket of the state football tournament. An extra week to rest soreness and heal wounds is welcomed to rejuvenate a football team ten weeks into a season, especially for offensive and defensive lineman who consistently withstand physical contact at the line of scrimmage in close quarters.
Allie agreed, “The guys up front take a pounding. This last week was crucial for their health and mental stability in the grind of a football season. The week without a game was good for players and coaches both in that it refreshes more than it produces rust.”
“We didn’t practice as long last week and focused more on individual technique in position groups as well as special teams that should pay benefits for us.”
“Still having the opportunity to play and getting to do so in front of our fans is what we look forward to the most. Our senior class this year has experience from our playoff run last season. Our kids will be ready.”
A trio of Eagles seniors that have playoff experience under their belt include wide receiver Parker Bosserman, quarterback Cole Keller, and linebacker Hunter Newsom. All three have provided leadership for Grain Valley during critical moments of games on special teams, offense, and defense.
Each senior provided insight on what high school football is like at this point in the season entering playoff football.
“I don’t know if people realize how much time we commit to the sport. Waking up during the summer and coming to weights. Add practice to that since July and it taxes your body. It’s not easy to get through and you have to put yourself in the right state of mind,” Bosserman said.
Newsom added, “Late in the season everyone is banged up and you can’t feel sorry for yourself. Your opponent is the same boat, and it becomes about who wants it more.”
Keller concluded, “Playoffs in recent years meant a lot, but we have a big group of seniors and we want to show everyone what we can do.”
All three agree that they have played their best football at home this season on Moody Murray field. Grain Valley’s 8-1 overall record and winning all 4 home games this season would back the claim made by the Eagles seniors.
“We are prepared for this Friday. Practice has been good this week,” Newsom said.
Keller agreed, “We will do our jobs.”
“We will be ready to take advantage of the opportunity provided us,” Bosserman said.
The Eagles will host the Bears at Moody Murray Stadium at 7:00pm on November 6th.