Homecoming is a week full of rally assemblies, dances and float parades, with perhaps the biggest event of all, the Friday night football game.
This year, football is taking on the Reynolds Raiders as its Homecoming matchup.
According to senior linebacker Aaron Larson, Reynolds is all about its passing game.
“Passing has been how teams score on us, and Reynolds looks to pass,” Larson said. “Last week against Central Catholic, they only had nine rushing yards in the first half.”
According to Larson, Reynolds also has a big receiver, whom seniors Devauntae Hoffman or Micah Tolai will have to cover. Even knowing they are tough competition, his confidence is high.
“I think we will win. It’ll be high scoring though, and we have to defend the pass,” Larson said.
Defense will be key in tonight’s game, and according to weak-side linebacker senior Daniel Allen, the Gopher defense has to be sharp.
“We can’t get beat deep, and we have to do our responsibilities,” Allen said.
According to the activities director Ty Gonrowski, the fans have to stay loud on defense all game long. This will help the boys on the field to have the momentum to get the job done.
Larson knows that the Gophers need to stick to the game plan to accomplish their goal, the W.
“The defense will be strong throughout the game by hiding what its coverage will be, man to man and then switching to zone,” Larson said.
Switching from offense, this game will be different than any other. Unlike previous weeks, the football team will start with a new quarterback.
Regular starting quarterback, junior Devon Shields, hurt his wrist during this week’s practice and is unable to play in the Homecoming game. Head football coach Todd Nagel sympathizes with his starter but believes that the Gophers will still weather the storm well.
“I like stability, and you can feel bad for Devon, but we’re still going to do fine,” Nagel said.
The team believes that senior quarterback Issac Hinojosa, who will be starting against Reynolds tonight, has the ability and the know-how to lead the team.
“I’m surprised our starting quarterback got hurt during practice, but I have a lot of faith in Issac, and we have a lot of faith in Issac,” senior teammate Luke Aguon said.
Teammates and coaches have no doubt about the quarterback change.
“Although Issac is different than Devon, he is still good,” Nagel said.
Offensively, the team will look to fulfill the same types of plays in the hopes of taking down the Raiders.
“We need to run the ball like usual and keep on our toes,” Larson said.
Fellow linebacker Allen agrees with Larson.
“D [Hoffman] needs to look to run the ball hard,” Allen said.
As the head coach, Nagel adds that he thinks football is a running game. Current fan, and former JV coach Gonrowski, states that Gresham has done this well all season and that the crowd should expect to see a repeat tonight.
“I’m impressed with the way our offense has controlled the ball. Any successful offense effort starts with running the football,” Gonrowswki said.
If everything falls into place, both defensively and offensively, the players believe they will add another win to their record.
“We’ll win if we fill our assignments that the coaches laid out for us, even through the challenge of adversity,” Aguon said.