One of the more impressive wins on September 10 was the Gray Collegiate War Eagles 28-18 defeat of the Ridge View Blazers.
The win wasn’t just about a 2A team beating a 5A team, it was the continuation of what has been an impressive showing by the War Eagles so far. They opened the season with a dominating 20-point win at 3A Camden, followed by an 11-point win against 3A Oceanside Collegiate. Gray Collegiate also scored a 42-0 shutout over Legion Collegiate.
“At the beginning of the year we wanted to test ourselves and play really good competition because of where we want to get to and to prepare us for our region,” Gray Collegiate head coach Adam Holmes said. “We want to get our guys battled tested. To play those teams and to come away 4-0 right now I think that’s a testament to what our players put into themselves. It’s a ‘we’ mentality not a ‘me’ mentality. All they care about is winning.”
Almost equally as impressive is that Gray Collegiate has been able to play all four games as scheduled, something not too many teams have been able to do. Holmes said his team has been fortunate to be able to get those games and playing those them has been critical.
A key player to Gray’s success is KZ Adams. He had 210 yards on the ground and four touchdowns against Ridge View. He also had ten tackles and four pass breakups on defense.
“When your best player is putting in that kind of effort, it makes the other guys want to give that kind of effort, too,” Holmes said.
Other War Eagles have stepped up too, such as Tory Kelly who played tight end, half back, and defensive back against Ridge View. Jakiaus Hilton and Savien Jones played both offensive and defensive lines against the Blazers, and Savion Smith played in the secondary for the first time in the second half of last Friday’s game.
Quarterback Tre Robinson has also played well. The junior has not let an injury suffered in a preseason jamboree hamper his performance. Holmes said Robinson wants to do what is best for the team, whether that is by gaining yards on the ground or making critical throws.
Gray Collegiate was scheduled to travel to Andrew Jackson on Friday, September 17 before jumping into Region 3-2A play. However, that game was cancelled.
Holmes hopes the non-region schedule has prepared his team for the rigors of region play. He says the team goals are to win another region title and earn a No. 1 seed in the 2A playoffs. As the season nears the midway point and the all-important region games start, Holmes wants to put his team in the best position possible, especially with all indications his team will have to take on 2A perennial powerhouse Abbeville at some point in the postseason.
A lot remains before Holmes and Gray Collegiate can worry about the postseason. Holmes just wants his team to continue with the attitude it has shown through the first four weeks.
“As long as we bring our toughness and play together, hopefully we’ll have another successful season during our region play,” Holmes said.