The Newport Greypups hosted Green County Tech on Tuesday, August 21st. GCT proved to not be much of a challenge for the Greypups, as the Pups won 44-7. The Greypups were undefeated in 2017 and hope to continue the streak in 2018.
According to Head Greypup Coach Mark McGee, the biggest battle for the Greypups is complacency and making the team understand that a target is on their back now. “It is easy to become comfortable when you experience success, so keeping that chip on their shoulder has been at the forefront of their preparation through the spring off-season leading up to now,” states McGee.
The ultimate goal for the Greypups is to focus on winning the game of the week. Each week begins with a 0-0 record. McGee believes that thinking is critical so that the kids stay humble. “We all know the expectations are high for the team, but at the end of the day these are 13-15 year old young men who need to develop physically and mentally to achieve full potential. In order to do that, the work ethic has to be at a higher level. It isn't good enough to be good, we have to work for what we get. This group has impressed me with their work ethic and their ability to overcome adversity. I get to see them grow up and mature on a daily basis, and that to me, is more important than a record in a win/loss column.”
Offensively, returning freshmen will play key roles on both sides of the ball this year. Eli Alcorn returns as the quarterback, Jadarius Reed as receiver and running back, and Tristen Griffin as receiver as well. Jamarriel Balentine will get some carries at running back. Evan Solis plays left tackle position while Brady Cook holds down the right tackle position. Will Keedy plays center and Brayden Taylor at Guard.
Defensively, the Greypups are doing some new things this season that will allow the team to play faster and be more aggressive. Key players on defense will be Jadarius Reed at inside linebacker next to CJ Young. Outside linebackers in Jamarriel Balentine and Devin Braxton. The line consists of Evan Solis at nose guard. “We feel like with the defensive box and personnel we have will be pretty solid up front. The coverage help behind the box is equally as talented with Tristen Griffin and Brendan Curry at the Safety positions and Isiah Kendall and Cayden Johnson at the corner positions.”
“All of that aside, the true dogs in the fight have been our second and third group guys who show up every day to practice, work hard, always willing to give us a scout look and always willing to challenge our first group bunch. This is vital to a teams success, and I cannot praise them enough for those guys accepting their roles and continuing to put on that orange helmet. I appreciate kids like that.”