“We talk about, 'One more yard.' We were one yard away. That was a tough one, I'm not going to lie. We're just trying to push them so when they're at the breaking point, we say, 'Think about that one more yard. What would it take to get that one more yard?' That's kind of been our thing.”
- Jason Gibson, Glenwood head coach
The Glenwood Gators were painfully close to advancing to the AISA Class AAA state championship game last fall. Fortunately for the Gators, they return several key contributors in their pursuit of a trip to Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Gone is do-it-all quarterback Bryce Valero, but in his place are a trio of quarterbacks led by senior Bryce Newman. Glenwood head coach Jason Gibson lauded Newman’s arm but added juniors Will Haines and Jackson Griner bring their own strengths to the table. Gibson said Haines has an excellent football IQ, while Griner also boasts a strong throwing arm.
“Bryce, he's not the biggest guy, but definitely don't underestimate him,” senior wide receiver Trevor Crisco said. “I've been catching passes, and we just have really good connections together. I feel like this year we'll be a pretty good duo on the field along with the rest of our teammates.
“I definitely expect a lot out of Bryce. He's got a lot riding on him.”
Whether it’s Newman, Haines, or Griner at quarterback, Gibson expressed total confidence in the offensive line in front of them. The fourth-year Gators head coach said it’s rare for a private school to have as much size on its offensive line as Glenwood has with nearly every linemen weighing in at at least 225 pounds.
Gibson said center Will Smith and fellow linemen Jake Melton, Will Boatner, Andrew Caul and Ben Ryals will be counted on to keep the offense running smoothly this year.
As far as the skill positions, Gibson said running back Kye Robichaux — a transfer from Pacelli in Columbus — should play a significant role. Additionally, Gibson is expecting Crisco, Mason Hurd, Skyler Palumbo and Daryl Monn to be involved a great deal.
When it comes to senior defensive end Allandis Boyd, Smith has a simple assessment of what he’s able to do.
“He's like a walking highlight tape,” Smith said.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Boyd has the size that will bring college coaches by, and Gibson touts him as a prospect that people need to pay attention to. Gibson predicts Boyd will eliminate one size of the field for opposing offenses, and senior outside linebacker Justin Jackson will take care of the other.
Gibson believes Colton Dempsey will be a key piece alongside Boyd on the defensive line. As far as the second and third levels of the defense, Gibson believes the Gators’ linebackers and defensive backs as a collective are as good as they’ve ever been, and their camaraderie on the field is hard to ignore.
Gibson pointed out Jackson, B.J. Snellgrove, Jackson Griner and Scott Anderson as the players who believes will make a difference at linebacker. In the secondary, he named Crisco, Monn, Palumbo and Grant Parham.
“They're all athletes,” Gibson said. “They can all run. They all have speed. I think the defense is what will carry us for the season.”