Going 2-9 and failing to qualify for the state football playoffs isn’t part of the Gray’s Creek tradition.
“We’ve got a lot of room for improvement,’’ said Bears’ head coach David Lovette as his team went through this year’s spring conditioning sessions. “We didn’t have a typical Gray’s Creek season last year. We want to get back to where we were in the past.’’
Lovette doesn’t make excuses for what went wrong, but if he did he’d certainly be able to point to one area that was beyond his and the team’s control. The first two weeks of the 2016 season the Bears lost five offensive linemen. Four of them didn’t return for the remainder of the season.
“We couldn’t move the football,’’ he said.
But there is reason for optimism this year. The Bears’ junior varsity team was 8-2 last season, and some solid prospects from that team will be joining varsity this year.
“We’ve gotten stronger and have another year of maturity,’’ Lovette said. “We’re going to try and show some of those things on the football field.’’
One big change for the Bears this year will be a new quarterback as Nathan Scott moves up from being a backup wide receiver and junior varsity quarterback to take over on varsity.
“I want to come up as a leader,’’ Scott said. “I don’t want to be the guy everybody doesn’t want to come to. I want to be the first guy people come to.’’
He saw action in one game as quarterback last year against Westover and doesn’t feel he acquitted himself well.
“I’m working on losing weight,’’ said Scott, who considers himself more of a passer than a runner. “I’ve gotten stronger, but I’m getting faster to fit into this run-oriented offense.’’
Lovette was pleased with the early turnout for the Gray’s Creek practice sessions. “Everybody is out here that’s supposed to be here,’’ he said. “We’ve got about 60 or 70 kids, and that’s pretty good for us.
“We’re excited about it.’’
Photo: David Lovette, head coach of the Bears